It was a rather uneventful week in the Pac-12, teams are who we thought they were, though there was one exciting "championship preview" game that I hope ends up not being the championship matchup. The second half of the season promises to be much more exciting, as always. In any case, it will be far more exciting than the nonexistent NBA season, or the super exciting World Series.
Player of the Week: Keith Price, Washington - sure, the Huskies were playing Colorado, but Price threw 4 first half touchdowns to 4 different receivers, finishing the day 21-28 for 257 yards.
Stat of the Week: 10 - This will be only the 10th time that U$C will play Notre Dame without either team being ranked. Somehow, all other fans rejoice about that.
Game of the Week: 22 Washington at 7 Stanford, Saturday October 22, 5PM PDT - this will be Stanford's first tough game of the season. They haven't play a team that can score like Washington, but UW has not played a defense like Stanford's either. It should be a good one.
With that, here is this week's Pac-12 Power Poll, after the jump:
1. Stanford (9), 4-0: Stanford was up only 10-7 at halftime, but ended up winning 44-14 against Wazzu. The Furd has been an excellent second half team, but really, not many people expected Wazzu to keep up with them even though they were playing at home. Andrew Luck continues his Heisman campaign with a 23-36, 336 yds, 4TD performance, though he had an interception as well. Next up for Luck, a not very scary Huskies defense, but it could well end up being a shootout.
2. Oregon (2), 3-0: Without LaMichael James, Oregon was just fine. Without Darron Thomas, Oregon was just fine. The Ducks got their 20th straight win at Autzen, and 15th straight against Pac-12 teams, taking care of the Sun Devils. But there were 6 lead changes in the game, and ASU was up 24-21 early in the 3rd quarter. The Ducks did pull away in the end, with the Black Mamba getting his share of touches and 2 TDs. He is one fast runner. The mark of a good team, Oregon had an answer every time ASU scored, and their defense does just enough to win, usually in the second half. Amazingly, Oregon was only 3-11 on third downs...but scored 44 points. Big plays, anyone? The Ducks travel to take on Colorado this weekend...poor Buffs...
3. Washington, 3-0: the Huskies won the Neuheisel Bowl, taking care of a visiting Colorado team that is reeling with injuries and a poor defense. Washington continues to score a lot of points. They are now 5-1, 3-0 in the conference for the first time since 2000 when a certain Bruin was their coach. But the schedule gets much tougher now, starting with a trip to Stanford
4. Cal, 0-3: I watched this game on DirecTV on an airplane. That's neat. The Cal offense is pretty far from neat. They have two amazing wide receivers but the guy throwing them the ball can't play consistently. Zach Maynard, who transferred from Buffalo, had 3 INTs in this game. Cal had a total of 5 turnovers against U$C, playing on ESPN Thursday night, in a pretty ugly stadium...that's actually a nice baseball stadium, while Memorial Stadium gets renovated. The Bears defense was actually good overall, keeping the big Trogan receivers in check, but overcoming 5 turnovers was just too much. They get a visit from Utah to try and notch their first conference win.
5. Washington State, 1-2: a glimmer of hope, stolen by a freight train. The Cougars kept it close in the first half, but 48 rushing yards ain't gonna get it done. QB Jeff Tuel was back from his injury and may have been rusty. Up next, the Beavers are coming to play the Cougars, so a chance to get back to .500 in the conference before a tough slate.
6. Oregon State: I thought OSU would beat BYU at home, but 4 turnovers and 59 yards rushing doomed them. They're still battling though, and their young QB Sean Mannion is getting a lot of action (43 pass attempts). Now the Beavers go play the other non-denominational Cougars. Cougars two weeks in a row can take a toll on anyone.
1. Arizona State (11): Always a tough place to play, Autzen. The Sun Devils were right in the thick of it but couldn't put the Ducks away, once again, despite another good effort. It wasn't so much the turnovers this time as the relentless Ducks who answered everything. ASU gets a week to catch its breath.
2. U$C: the Trogans played Cal. Cal played like crap and the Trogans beat them. The end. Now USB travels to South Bend to play a Notre Dame team on a mission. And maybe get an exorcism.
3. UCLA: we're still here. The Bruins didn't play Saturday so we didn't screw up. Thursday night, another must-win game against a bad Arizona defense with a potent offense, a fired coach and an ESPN broadcast. UCLA had better bring it and win it.
4. Utah: home is not where the heart is, or at least the wins for the Utes. Still winless in the conference, Utah took its frustrations out against Pittsburgh on the road, with a stout run defense and 4 field goals. Utah is now 9-0 against the Big East...hey, I hear they're looking to expand their conference! Well, the Utes go to play Cal instead...probably wishing they'd play Louisville instead.
5. Arizona: like UCLA, Arizona was off before the Thursday game. And I hope they're off during the game too.
6. Colorado: no rest for the Buffs, who took on Stanford on the road. To make matters worse, injuries are piling up for the Pac-12 rookies. And now the Ducks come-a-quackin'. Maybe they should just put some pads on their track athletes and let them run around on the field at this point. Sorry Buffs, we know how it feels to be dealing with a ton of injuries.
I thought I'd get this out before Thursday night's game...I hope we haven't peaked at #3. The boys can make a big statement. Time to put on the helmet and earn your hard hat decals!