I don't think anyone can say anything about the Pac-10 with absolute certainty right now. Who's the best team? Who will win the conference? How many teams will go bowling? The conference looks extremely deep with UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Arizona St. and Arizona, all teams expected to be mediocre at best showing flashes of brilliance early on, but all have struggled with consistency from series to series, let alone game to game. If nothing else, the first four weeks of Pac-10 play have showed us that this conference is going to represent everything we cherish most about sport. Effort, intensity, discipline, explosiveness and above all else, unpredictability.
Player of the Week: Nick Foles, Arizona- In a contest many missed because it was on Versus, Nick Foles had himself a ball game. On the road at Oregon St., the sophomore Foles was 25-34 for 254 yards, three touchdowns and none of his passes ended up in the hands of an Oregon St. defender. Not bad for a sophomore making his first start.
Stat of the Week: 155-77- The home teams went 4-1 this week in games involving Pac-10 teams, outscoring their opponents 155-77.
Game to Watch: USC at Cal, 5:00 pm PDT, ABC- Who would think that USC's chances at winning the Pac-10 could ride on a game on October 3? If the Trojans lose, they then must go undefeated and count on Oregon to lose two Pac-10 games and Cal to lose two more. Meanwhile, the Bears will undoubtedly be ready to go after last week's humiliation
Pac-10 Power Poll
1) Oregon Ducks, 3-1 (3 first place votes)- Who would have foreseen a turnaround like this? Yeah, some people thought the Ducks would topple the Bears in Eugene, but 42-3? The defensive line, which looked awful early on this year, didn't allow Jahvid Best any room to run and put Kevin Riley on the ground time after time, while Jeremiah Masoli had the offense clicking. Pac-1 frontrunner? A visit from Washington St. shouldn't tell us much. Last Week: 4
2) USC Trojans, 3-1 (2 first place votes)- A win is a win, right? After jumping out to a quick 20-0 lead, the Trojans' offense sputtered and one again, there are legitimate concerns as to whether or not it can do enough to win the Pac-10. The defense should do a decent job slowing down the Cal offense this week, but the offense will need to move the ball with some consistency and make sure to get points in the red zone if they want to get win #4 in Berkeley. Last Week: 2
3) California Golden Bears, 3-1- Destroyed, demolished, embarrassed, whipped. All of those could be used to describe what happened to Cal at Autzen Stadium. Losing 42-3, no matter the opponent or venue, is not going to play well and doing so as a top 10 team is just shocking. The offensive line was run over, Kevin Riley looked like he did last year, Jahvid Best had nowhere to go and the defense wasn't any better. They better rebound quickly though with SC coming to Stawberry Canyon. Last Week: 1
4) Stanford Cardinal, 3-1- The Cardinal are better than last year and everyone knew they would be, but taking control of a conference game early on and cruising to victory is no easy feat. Stanford made Jake Locker look average, while Toby Gerhart was a monster as he rushed for 200 yards. Meanwhile Chris Owusu returned his third kickoff for a touchdown and could very well made it four this weekend with UCLA visiting. Last Week: 6
5) UCLA Bruins, 3-0- Who would have guessed that the Bruins would be the Pac-10's last undefeated team? Even the most diehard of UCLA fans didn't predict such a thing, but here we are. The Bruins had a bye week to get healthy, but that didn't apply to Kevin Prince, who is still out and won't be ready for Saturday. Can the Bruins really go on the road and beat a surging Stanford team with their backup QB? We'll find out soon enough. Last Week: 3
6) Washington Huskies, 2-2- You can't turn the ball over three times on the road and expect to win the game. The Huskies couldn't hold onto the ball, couldn't move the ball and couldn't stop Stanford from moving it. Oh yeah, they couldn't win special teams either. That's not exactly a winning formula. Their win over USC is in the past and they'll have to be better at Notre Dame this Saturday. Last Week: 5
7) Arizona Wildcats, 3-1- Arizona hasn't had much of a problem running the football, but now they have themselves a quarterback. Nick Foles looked awfully good and if this team can add a consistent passing game to stretch the field some, this offense can be truly dynamic. The defense can't continue to give up 400+ total yards though and they'll have a bye this week to shore up that side of the ball. Last Week: 9
8) Arizona St. Sun Devils, 2-1- The Sun Devils were outplayed by Georgia last week, but came up with enough big plays to put them in a position to win it. Unfortunately for them, they had a field goal blocked, then Georgia put one through the uprights to win it. Jarrell Holman had himself a big game with two picks, one taken back for a touchdown and may need another one to hold off a visiting Oregon St. squad this week. Last Week: 8
9) Oregon St. Beavers, 2-2- The Beavers had no issues moving the ball against Arizona, totaling over 400 yards, but their pass defense bit them yet again. Oregon St.'s pass defense ranks 109th in the nation and have now allowed over 300 passing yards in consecutive games, both at home. Lucky for them, Arizona St. hasn't shown much of a passing game so they've got a shot in Tempe this week. Last Week: 7
10) Washington St. Cougars, 1-3- 27-6 is a hell of a lot better than 69-0 and that's because this year's Wazzu squad is a heck of a lot better than last year's. They played USC to a draw in quarters two and three at the Coliseum and found a new quarterback in Jeff Tuel, who looks like a real player. The freshman will have the tough task of winning at Autzen Stadium this week though. Last Week: 10