After eight weeks of Pac-10 play, we know...nothing. I can't remember so many teams and so many possibilities to sort through for the Pac-10 championship this late in the season. Here's all I know right now. Oregon and Arizona control their own destinies...I think. There are six teams currently bowl eligible, UCLA and Arizona St. still have the chance to get there and preseason favorite USC can finish anywhere from first to eighth in the conference. At least you can't call the Pac-10 boring.
Player of the Week: LaMichael James, Oregon- A lot of people think Toby Gerhart should be here and he had a fantastic game, but he ran through a USC defense hat has been mediocre at best and horrid at worst. Up in Oregon, James ran 150 yards on 22 carries and scored three touchdowns against Arizona St., whose run defense is sixth in the nation. Running through the Arizona St. defense impresses me far more than running through the USC defense.
Stat of the Week: 111- USC has allowed 111 points in their previous three games. Last season, they allowed 117 points over the course of the entire season.
Game of the Week: Oregon at Arizona, 5:00 pm PST, ABC- Two teams control their own destiny in the Pac-10. Those two teams square off in the desert with the Pac-10 title staring them in the face. It's a pair of high powered, spread offenses whose defense has left something to be desired in recent weeks. College Gameday will be live from Tucson on Saturday morning in a move that will only fire up the Wildcat fans even more as they prep for Saturday evenings red out.
Pac-10 Power Poll
1) Oregon Ducks, 8-2 (2 first place votes)- The Arizona St. defense has been a tough nut to crack all year long, but that didn't matter much to Oregon. With nearly 400 yards and 44 points, the Ducks cruised to a win over Arizona St., setting up their matchup with Arizona on Saturday. Oregon is only 2-2 on the road this year and were run over in their last road game so Saturday will be a major challenge for Phil Knight, I mean Chip Kelly's, boys. Last Week: 1
2) Stanford Cardinal, 7-3 (two first place votes)- Maybe Stanford should only play USC at the Coliseum? The Cardinal, won their second consecutive game on the road versus USC with a 55-21 dismantling of the Trojans. Toby Gerhart scored three times and rushed for 178 yards, while Andrew Luck threw two TD passes and most importantly, never gave the ball away. This week, it's The Big Game with Cal visiting The Farm. Last Week: 4
3) Oregon St. Beavers, 7-3- When you have four players on your offense that are one of the conference's best couple at their position, you're bound to be explosive. Well, the Beavers sure are. Sean Canfield is completing 70% of his passes, Jacquizz Rodgers has 17 rushing TD's, James Rodgers is averaging over 80 yards receiving a game and Joe Halahuni has six receptions of 20+ yards. Washington got the brunt of that offense last week as the Beavers rolled over the Huskies. Wazzu up next. Last Week:5
4) Arizona Wildcats, 6-3- The Arizona offense looked nothing like it had in recent weeks and that's not a good thing. Under 300 total yards, two turnovers and the team has eight penalties. Even so, Arizona had a chance to win it late, but gave up a 61 yard TD run that just about ended it as they fell at the hands of Cal. Being back at home this week, in front of their fans will give the Wildcats a much needed boost as they aim to take down Oregon. Last Week: 2
5) USC Trojans, 7-3- Amazingly, USC still has a chance to win the conference. The odds are so long though that not even Charles Barkley would look to bet on them. The Trojans' reign atop the Pac-10 is done and now, they're fighting for one of the conference's top three spots. It won't be easy and if the defense looks as porous as it did Saturday then a Poinsettia Bowl berth is more likely than a Sun Bowl berth. A perfectly timed bye week. Last Week: 3
6) California Golden Bears, 7-3- No Jahvid Best? No problem. Shane Vereen rushed for 159 yards, including a 61 yard run that wrapped up the game for the Bears. Kevin Riley threw two more picks, giving pause to a recent offensive surge, but the recently struggling defense kept a potent Arizona offense in check. Can you remember the last time Cal were underdogs in The Big Game? They are this week when they visit Stanford. Last Week: 6
7) UCLA Bruins, 5-5- Sure, every team has beaten up on Washington St., but it's been a while since UCLA beat up on anyone, even the teams they should. The Bruins' 43-7 victory was refreshing for Bruin fans and even more refreshing, Kevin Prince survived the game. It's a good thing he did too because he threw for over 300 yards again and UCLA will need that firepower as they aim for bowl eligibility on Saturday versus Arizona St. Last Week: 8
8) Arizona St. Sun Devils, 4-6- Where'd that vaunted Arizona St. defense go? They looked far from dominating on Saturday in the Sun Devils' loss to Oregon and it didn't help that injury forced their third string QB, Samson Szakacsy into action. He didn't perform too badly though and ASU's 21 points is a number the Sun Devils haven't topped since October 17. A trip to the Rose Bowl to face a team looking for bowl eligibility will be tough. Last Week: 7
9) Washington Huskies, 3-7- Chris Polk can run the ball, but Washington struggles to do much else right. Passing offense? Anemic. Pass defense? Non existent. Run defense? Hmmm, working on that one. Special teams is okay...I guess. Oh yeah, they also committed nine penalties on Saturday. Another loss for the Huskies extinguished their small bowl hopes, but it's easy to forget that this is a team that went winless last year so they've made some major strides. The all-important Apple Cup is up next after the bye. Last Week: 9
10) Washington St. Cougars, 1-9- Another dreadful performance from the Cougars and it's tough to see much positive to take from this season. One thing that could give this season a major positive though would be a win over the hated Huskies on Saturday. At this point, the Apple Cup is the Cougars' Super Bowl, but they have to entertain Oregon St. on Saturday first. Last Week: 10