The Idaho Vandals' 2007 football schedule came out fan-friendly and front-loaded.
The Vandals play 12 games — all on Saturdays, including six in the Kibbie Dome and one in nearby Pullman, Wash.
They also get a bye week before trying to end rival Boise State's eight-game series winning streak Nov. 17 in Boise.
"We need to provide our teams with a competitive advantage and we need to provide our fans opportunities to see the Vandals at home," athletic director Rob Spear said.
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The challenge for first-year coach Robb Akey will be to navigate the first half of the schedule. The Vandals' first six opponents all finished at .500 or better in 2006.
The first half of the schedule includes the opener at USC (Sept. 1), the rivalry game at Washington State (Sept. 15) and WAC games against Hawaii (Sept. 29) and San Jose State (Oct. 6). The good news is that the Vandals will not leave the Palouse between the USC and San Jose State games.
The back half of the schedule includes four teams that won four games or fewer last year and the only back-to-back road games of the year — Oct. 20 at New Mexico State and Oct. 27 at Nevada.
The Vandals visit Boise State on Nov. 17 and conclude the season Nov. 24 against Utah State in the Kibbie Dome.
"Having six home games is a great deal," Akey said. "It's great to open WAC play at home and it's great to have a bye before our rival game (against Boise State). That's a positive thing, and to have that game on rivalry weekend. Now it's our responsibility to turn that back into a rivalry."