The crosstown USC-UCLA football matchup, which has ended the Pacific 10 Conference regular season on “Championship Saturday” in December the last four years, will be played on Nov. 28 this year.
Instead of UCLA, Arizona will play at USC on Dec. 5, according to the 2009 Pac-10 schedule, which was finalized Friday.
Pac-10 spokesman Jim Muldoon said the reason for the change was that Fox Sports, which has rights to USC-UCLA every five years, wanted to move USC-UCLA off Dec. 5.
However, ESPN still wanted USC in the December slot, Muldoon said, and got the Trojans and Arizona to switch from their original Oct. 10 date.
Muldoon said the move had nothing to do with USC-Arizona being a more competitive game than USC-UCLA.
“No, that was not the case,” Muldoon said.
UCLA finished 4-8 last season while Arizona capped a 7-5 year with a win over Brigham Young in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The last time UCLA and USC did not close the Pac-10 season against each other was 2003. That year, UCLA and USC played on Nov. 22, with USC playing Oregon State on Dec. 6.
Other highlights on the 2009 Pac-10 schedule include USC playing at Ohio State on Sept. 12, the same day UCLA is playing at Tennessee, Stanford is at Wake Forest and Oregon hosts Purdue.
The next week, Sept. 19, is also loaded with interesting nonconference matchups. Arizona plays at Iowa, California plays at Minnesota, Oregon hosts Utah and Oregon State hosts Big East champion Cincinnati.
The annual “Civil War” game between Oregon and Oregon State has been moved to Dec. 3, a Thursday night.