Happy Monday everyone. Despite USC and Utah being idle this week, it was still an exciting week in Pac-12 football. After last week’s play, the Pac-12 owns five of the top 25 spots on the AP pool, including a couple very surprising teams.
First off, can we show some love to Oregon State? All this team has done is beat solid teams everytime they’ve taken the field. First, they knock off #13 Wisconsin 10-7 at home. Then, they beat #19 UCLA 27-20 on the road. On Saturday, they had what I thought would be their toughest game, at Arizona, and despite a huge battle, they came out on top 38-35. Now, out of nowhere, the Beavers are the 13th ranked team in the country, behind only USC in the AP poll. If you look at their schedule, they should be 6-0 going into what could be a huge matchup in Washington against the Huskies in late October.
Speaking of Washington, they made USC look really bad by knocking off then #8 Stanford 17-14, just two weeks after they beat the Trojans at home. Look, you erase the 41-3 loss to LSU, which is tough to do not only because of the score but cosidering how bad LSU has looked the last two weeks, and you have a really good football team here. They are now #23 in the nation, and we are about to find out how legit they are, as they travel to #2 Oregon next week.
Oregon had a tougher time then many expected with Washington State, as the score was 23-19 at halftime. However, thanks to a 21-0 3rd quarter, the Ducks cruised to a 51-26 victory, and still look like the class of the Pac-12. To round out the matchups in the conference, Cal dropped their third game in a row, this time in a 27-17 loss to Arizona State. And UCLA beat Colorado, who will serve as nothing more then a punching bag for the conference. That final was 42-14.
Now let’s look at the slate of games for this upcoming week, with Arizona State and Colorado being idle.
#13 USC at Utah– Coming into this season, I had this game circled as one I was scare of for the Trojans. Reason being that USC does not play well on the road, especially on Thursday nights. However, my fears have been quelled for two reasons: USC already got the headscratching loss out of the way, and Utah is garbage. Expect this to be target practice for Barkley, as he will try to get himself back in the Heisman race.
SC rolls 38-14.
#2 Oregon at #23 Washington– This will be the biggest test for the Ducks so far, as they made mince meat out of Arizona in what was supposed to be a close game. More importantly, somehow the Ducks managed to wait until October to hit the road. I don’t think this is the game that Oregon falls, but it will be close for two or three quarters. Fact is, Washington doesn’t have the defense to hold Oregon to under 24 points, and I don’t know if the offense can keep up.
Oregon wins 34-21.
#13 Oregon State vs Washington State– Now we need to see how the Beavers play as the favorites. They’ve had nothing to lose all season, but now they are the team that people are looking to cruise. And I don’t think this is the game where they trip up. The Cougars just aren’t that good, as they somehow lost to Colorado. I don’t think Oregon State is the kind of time that will hang 50 on WSU, but I also don’t see this game ever being in question.
Beavers cruise 28-13.
#18 Stanford vs Arizona– How will the Cardinal bounce back from their embarrassing loss to Washington on national TV? They are going up against a Wildcat team that has lost back to back games to the Oregon schools. Arizona tries to outscore you, while Stanford is all about defense and running the ball. I love Stanford’s front 7, and I think they will contain Arizona, holding them to under 20 points. And the offense figures things out, and gets the job done.
Stanford bounces back 30-17.
#25 UCLA vs. Cal- Last game on the board are the Bruins taking on the Bears. After a week outside of it, UCLA has creeped back into the Top 25, and I think they will stay there this week. Cal is just a bad team, and it’s going to he a long season for them. I see UCLA jumping out to an early league, and putting the cruise control on from there. It is very realistic that UCLA goes into their November matchup with USC with just one loss. If USC can hold too, that could be a battle of two top 15 teams.
UCLA controls this game from the start 28-10.
Lastly, we are going to start posting a play of the conference, where we show you the best play from the Pac-12 last week. This week’s play comes from Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, who showed us that he too can evade a couple defenders, and showed his speed on his way to a great touchdown against Washington state.