I know it's crazy, but if you watched the Bruins play on Saturday then other teams play, there were actual similarities. Things like running and tackling. It was nuts. Elsewhere, in the conference though, it was a pretty tame weekend. Stanford needing three overtimes to beat USC in a thriller was a thriller (hold onto the ball, chief!), but no other games were close and there were no upsets. A damn shame, I know, but with a W at the Rose Bowl I don't think anyone was complaining.
Player of the Week: Chris Polk, Washington- The Huskies running back ran for 144 yards, picked up 100 yards receiving and scored five touchdowns. Four of those were on the ground and one was through the air as he became the first UW player to ever rush for 100 yards and also have 100 yards receiving in the same game. Yup, it was against that same Arizona defense that the Bruins couldn't get going against either.
Stat of the Week: 21- Oregon has won 21 straight games at home, two shy of the school record. Lucky for them, they have two home games left this season, then maybe a third in the Pac-12 Title Game.
Game of the Week: Arizona St. vs. UCLA, 4:30 pm PT, Versus- This one could also go to Oregon visiting Washington, but the Huskies defense will probably give up 9,000 yards so it won't matter much. The Bruins could actually get into the driver's seat for the Pac-12 South, which says a lot about the Pac-12 South.
1. Stanford (9), 6-0: Going on the road to a remote location is supposed to be the go-to got upsets so Stanford should be on upset alert heading to Oregon St., right? No because the Beavers are exceptionally bad at football right now and the other key to an upset, turnovers, goes the way of the Cardinal. They're second in the conference in turnover margin, the Beavers last. They have six turnovers, the Beavers 21. The Cardinal will win, the Beavers will lose.
2. Oregon (2), 5-0: Crazy, stupid thought here, but are the Ducks better without Darron Thomas? He went out early because of his knee injury last week and Bryan Bennett led the offense even more effectively than Thomas did. Thomas is still plenty good, just as Jeremiah Masoli was plenty good before him and Bennett is going to be pretty good. You know who's really good? Chip Kelly.
3. Arizona St., 6-2: The Sun Devils are the best team in the Pac-12 South. No one will question that even a little bit. So how is it that if they lose on Saturday that they won't be on the inside track to the conference title game? Things aren't fair. They probably won't lose on Saturday though. They'll cruise, have no problem with the rest of their weak schedule then get their asses handed to them in the conference title game. Yay divisions!
4. Southern Cal, 6-2: Playing for absolutely nothing is fun. I mean, who cares if you lose a game since you have no postseason anyways. Going to three overtimes then blowing it at the end when you fumble the ball into the endzone? That doesn't hurt at all because there's nothing to play for. Unless it really does hurt and your coach complains about the refs, but insists he's not complaining. Then it hurts. Then we laugh.
5. Washington, 6-2: Score, score, score, score, score. That's what every Washington game looks like. The problem is that half of those scores are for the other team because Nick Holt coaches like he's auditioning to be the next UCLA defensive coordinator. They'll get beat by Oregon on Saturday. Wake me up when they beat someone decent. This week is the last time they'll play at Husky Stadium, as they begin work on a real, awesome renovation. Take notes, Morgan Center.
6. Arizona, 2-6: Where would they be ranked if they didn't beat down on the Bruins? That says a lot more about us than them.
7. UCLA, 4-4: Who was that team that we saw on Saturday? They were aggressive and could tackle. They weren't picking up penalties every two minutes and for the most part, they kept from shooting themselves in the foot. It was a completely different Bruin team. That's because it actually was a very different Bruin team, as in it was all of the players who couldn't get a sniff of the field earlier in the season even if they were talented and good because they didn't have the experience or some other excuse.
8. California, 4-4: This isn't a bad football team. Mitchell Schwartz leads a solid offensive line, the Keenan Allen is as good a receiver as there is in the conference and the defense isn't too bad. Of course, when the defense can't show even the least bit of discipline and Zach Maynard can't find the guys in the same color jersey as him then they might be in trouble.
9. Utah, 4-4: Here's what Utah has learned this season: 1) The Pac-12, even when it's down like this year, is way better than the Mountain West. 2) Their defense is good. 3) They should abandon passing the ball and just run it 80 times a game.
10. Oregon St., 2-6: This team is not good on offense or defense, but besides that they are golden. They will forever go down in history as the first team Utah ever beat in the Pac-12 so at least they're in the history books.
11. Washington St., 3-5: It's amazing to think that this team is leaps and bounds better than they have been in the past. Being second to last in the conference is nothing to really be proud off, but considering where they've come from it's not too bad. Also, Marshall Lobbestael is legitimately really good.
12. Colorado, 1-8: I know that Jon Embree walked into a bad situation where had a lot of rebuilding to do, but this is absurd. They're just awful and in Boulder, with some solid history and everything else that goes along with Buffs football, there is no reason for them to be this bad.