Could nine Pac-10 teams finish bowl eligible? It's possible, if unlikely. Currently, six Pac-10 teams are over .500, one is at .500 and one is only one game under. For a conference that has only six bowl tie-ins, this could create an issue at the end of the year. It's unlikely that all nine teams finish with six wins though so each and every Pac-10 game carries with it the possibility to make or break a bow bid. No pressure though.
Player of the Week: Nick Foles, Arizona- The first ever two-time winner of this prestigious award, Foles had himself a hell of a game in Arizona's comeback win over Stanford. Foles finished the game 40-51, for 451 yards and three touchdowns without turning the ball over once. Foles is turning into a hell of a QB.
Stat of the Week: 9- With 20 seconds left and the game tied, Arizona St. had the ball at midfield. Arizona St. QB Danny Sullivan dropped back to pass and heaved a ball downfield to a wide open receiver and when I say wide open, I mean truly wide open. There was not a Husky within nine yards of the ASU receiver as he walked into the end zone for a game-winning touchdown.
Game to Watch: Oregon at Washington, 12:30 pm PDT, ABC- This used to be one of the Pac-10's premier rivalries. This match-up of the region's best two teams always provided great intensity and quality of play. Washington's awful play in recent years put an end to that tradition, but with the Huskies back on the way up, this could be a good one and UW may catch Oregon looking ahead to USC.
Pac-10 Power Poll
1) Oregon Ducks, 5-1 (3 first place votes)- With a pair of huge games coming up, at Washington then home to USC, the Ducks could have made good use of the bye week they just had. Now, it's time to put the pads on again as they head to what will certainly be a raucous Husky Stadium. The Oregon defense has been the conference's best, but now they have to try and contain Jake Locker. It's a tough job, but it appears as if the Ducks' defense is suited to do it. Last Week: 1
2) USC Trojans, 5-1 (1 first place vote)- Matt Barkley was sensational for most of the game, but an ill advised throw that turned into an interception reminded us all that he's still a freshman. The Trojan defense, which wasn't great, got a stop when they needed it to pull out a tough win at Notre Dame. Things don't get any easier for SC as a hot Oregon St. team will visit the Coliseum this Saturday. Last Week: 2
3) Arizona Wildcats, 4-2- Sometimes a quarterback is the cure to all ills. Nick Foles has certainly proven to be the quarterback the Wildcats have always craved, but he's also gotten help from a running game that provided two 40+ yard runs last week. Now they welcome a reeling UCLA squad to Tucson with the chance to get within a game of bowl eligibility. Last Week: 8
4) Oregon St. Beavers, 4-2- One one Oregon team rests, so does the other? Well, that was the case last week as the Beavers joined the Ducks in front of the TV instead of on the field. That TV was most certainly tuned to the USC/Notre Dame game as the Beavers prep for the Trojans on the road this week. After three sub-100 yard games, Jacquizz Rodgers had himself a big day in OSU's last game and he'll need another this week if they are to beat SC for the second consecutive year. Last Week: 3
5) California Golden Bears, 4-2- It looks like the Cal offense has been found. After a pair of games in which they scored six points combined, the Bears put 45 points, 38 of which came from the offense. Jahvid Best ran for 33 yards on 18 of his carries, but a sensational 93 yard run on his other turned the game and spotlighted the importance of the big play. A home game versus Washington St. should let the offense to continue humming along. Last Week: 5
6) Stanford Cardinal, 4-3- How do you best exploit a defense that lacks speed? You spread them out and make them run in space. That's what Arizona did to Stanford and the Cardinal allowed 553 yards as a result in their loss. The Stanford offense had no problems though as they topped 500 yards themselves. The Cardinal are back at home this week with Arizona St. as the visitors. Last Week: 4
7) Washington Huskies, 3-4- How is it that with 20 seconds to go in a tie game, you allow a 50 yard touchdown pass without having a single defender in the area? That's what the Washington coaching staff must have been asking the entire plane ride home from Tempe and their loss to Arizona St. Back in the friendly confines of Husky Stadium this Saturday, UW has a chance to revive their rivalry with Oregon. Last Week: 6
8) Arizona St. Sun Devils, 4-2- The Sun Devils have finally beaten a credible opponent, although after the way Washington defended at the end of the game, you could question their credibility. Regardless, last week's win is definitely Arizona St.'s best of the year, but a win at Stanford this week would be a real statement. They'll have to keep from committing nine penalties to do it though. Last Week: 9
9) UCLA Bruins, 3-3- How quickly things change. Three up, now three down. With their margin for error in their quest for a bowl berth getting smaller and smaller, each game takes on greater importance. The Bruins' loss to Cal can be squarely attributed to poor defense, although their offense didn't play like a juggernaut. On the bright side, no one can out kick or punt UCLA. Kicking and punting won't be enough to beat Arizona on the road this week though. Last Week: 7
10) Washington St. Cougars, 1-5- What's the best way to keep from losing? In Wazzu's case, it's not playing. Fresh off of a bye week, the Cougars will play the first of three consecutive road game this week at a rejuvenated Cal team. WSU has been banged up so the bye week could be just what they needed as they should be healthier for the season's second half. Last Week: 10