Well for the second time this season, the #8 Stanford Cardinal have knock off the #2 team in the nation, once again eliminating a conference opponent’s national title hopes. USC was the victim earlier in the year, and on Saturday, it was #5 Oregon. I don’t know what’s more impressive: the fact that Stanford held the Oregon offense to 14 points, or the fact that they did it IN Oregon. I didn’t think anyone could stop this offense, but if there was anyone in the Pac-12 who could do it, it would definitely have been Stanford. Now, Oregon goes from a lock in the National Championship, to possibly not even playing in the Rose Bowl. I’ll elaborate on that later.
In other Pac-12 news, we have crowned a Pac-12 South Champion. And it’s the same team that “won” it last year: #17 UCLA. Last year, it was a flat out joke that they represented the Pac-12 South, but this year, the Bruins are anything but that. They jumped out to a 24-0 lead over USC, and despite a valiant comeback from the Trojans, it was too little too late. The Bruins won 38-28, and actually look like a legitimate threat to whoever wins the Pac-12 North. Meanwhile, this nightmare of a season continues for USC. and somehow, it got even worse, as Matt Barkley went down with a separated shoulder. This was not the season the pre-season Heisman front runner had in mind.
These were the two headliners of the Pac-12 schedule, and the rest of the slate of games went as expected. #15 Oregon State bounced back from their loss to Stanford by whipping up on Cal, who’s terrible season is finally over. For the Beavers, they have a date with their in state rival Ducks, before going on to a bowl game that was likely much better then their fan base had hoped for in the beginning of the season.
Arizona State kept Washington State winless in the Pac-12 by thumping the Cougars 46-7. Colorado was blown out by Washington in similar fashion, with the final score of that showdown being 38-3. Lastly, it took a fourth quarter comeback for Arizona to beat Utah, scoring 17 points in the 4th quarter to win the game 34-24.
It’s the last week of the regular season for the Pac-12, and while the South champion is decided, the North is still wide open. Let’s see what we have in store this week.
Stanford (9-2) at UCLA (9-2)– This is a very interesting matchup. Very interesting. Why is that? Well, UCLA actually wants to lose this game. If the Cardinal win, they will win the Pac-12 North, and these two teams will meet next week in Stanford to decide the Pac-12 Champion, and the team that will be going to the Rose Bowl. If UCLA wins, and Oregon wins, then the Bruins will have to travel up to Eugene to take on the same Oregon team that whooped up on them last year. The Bruins certainly won’t throw the game, but it’s in their best interest to not win. Regardless of that, from what I’ve seen, Stanford is the better team, so I think they would win this anyways, but with this added incentive, the game might not be as close.
Stanford wins Round one 27-14.
Oregon (10-1) at Oregon State (8-2)– Amazingly, this matchup between Top 15 teams that have a combined three losses between then could turn out to be meaningless in the big picture. If Stanford bets UCLA, neither one of these teams will be playing for the Pac-12 title. Of course, there’s still plenty to play for, bragging rights in the state if nothing else. Oregon is the better team, regardless of last week, and now they are just pissed off. Their National Title hopes might be gone, but don’t expect this Oregon team to phone this game in. They are still playing for a BCS game.
Oregon takes this one 38-27.
Notre Dame (11-0) at USC (7-4)- If I had told you the records of these two teams at the beginning of the season going into this matchup, you probably wouldn’t have been shocked at all. Then, if I told you which team was undefeated, and which team had four losses, you would have slapped me for saying something so ridiculous. But true enough, it’s the Irish who come into this game undefeated with dreams of a national title hope, and USC who has four losses, and is wondering what the hell happened to this dream season. You can probably guess my prediction here. The Notre Dame defense is one of the best USC has faced all year, and considering that the Irish could score 24 points on USC defense by accident, I don’t like USC’s chances.
Notre Dame caps off their perfect season in fashion with a 34-17 beatdown of USC.
Wrapping up the week, I expect Washington (7-4) to beatdown their rivals Washington State (2-9), Arizona (7-4) to handle Arizona Stae (6-5), and Utah (4-7) to keep Colorado (1-10) at just one victory.
Well that wraps it up, and that is my second to last Pac-12 week in review! I hope you guys have enjoyed these weekly reviews. I certainly had fun writing them! Who do you think will meet for the Pac-12 Title next week? Let us know in the comments!