USC's reign over the Pac-10 is over. Attribute it to whatever you want, outstanding recruit, great players, great coaching or favoritism and lack of regard for the rules, USC has dominated the Pac-10 for the last seven years. That is no more as it is highly, highly unlikely that USC wins the Pac-10 this year. It had to end eventually and Oregon ended it by dismantling the Trojans in Eugene. What's even more amazing is that USC is in a battle to finish second or third in the conference. There's a chance for a fourth place finish. The Pac-10 is a changin' folks, at least for one year.
Player of the Week: Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon- 19-31 passing for 222 yards and 164 more yards on the ground with a touchdown. The numbers are impressive, but the way he commanded the game and was in complete control was more impressive. A couple other players, Jacquizz Rodgers and Kevin Riley, put up worthy numbers as well, but Masoli gets the nod for leading his team to a victory in the biggest of games.
Stat of the Week: 613- It's been over 50 years since a team put up 613 yards on USC, but Oregon did it in their absolute destruction of USC.
Game of the Week: Oregon St. at Cal, 4 pm PST, FSN- Don't look now, but Cal is on a roll again and is once again a top 20 team, while Oregon St. is right there with Cal and USC at 3-2 in the conference.These are two good and evenly matched teams who have the conference's two best running backs. Jahvid Best and Jacquizz Rodgers alone make this a game to glue your eyes to.
Pac-10 Power Poll
1) Oregon Ducks, 7-1- I don't think there's much question as to who the conference's top team is anymore. Jeremiah Masoli is the conference's top QB, the Oregon defense is tops in the nation and no home crowd is as hostile as the fans who pack Autzen Stadium. The Ducks have gotten better each and every week and may be the first one-loss team in line for the national title game at this point. At Stanford this week is setting up as a classic let down game though. Last Week: 1
2) USC Trojans, 6-2- Yes, they were demolished by Oregon, but they got whipped by the conference's top team. They still have their share of talent and aren't in a bad place in the Pac-10. The defense isn't near what we've seen in recent years though and will need to improve to succeed no matter how much Matt Barkley grows. Playing at Arizona St. won't be a cakewalk either. Last Week: 23) Arizona Wildcats, 5-2- The Wildcats had a bye last wee, but having won two straight over UCLA and Stanford, I'm not sure that's a good thing. They will have a chance to get their momentum back this week with Washington St. at home, which the Wildcats hope will be a game in which Nick Foles doesn't throw three picks and fumble twice like he did in their last game. Last Week: 3
4) California Golden Bears, 6-2- It wasn't too long ago that Cal was 3-2, coming off a pair of beatdowns and questioning bowl eligibility. They're bowl eligible now and have a shot at second in the conference after a tough 23-21 win at Arizona St. last week. Kevin Riley continues his string of strong play and the defense looked better, but Oregon St. will test that defense this week and it will need to stand up tall. Last Week: 5
5) Oregon St. Beavers, 5-3- How quickly easily cruising can turn into hanging on for dear life. That's what happened to Oregon St. on Saturday when UCLA came from 16 down to put a scare in the Beavers when they tied the game. Luckily, OSU has the Rodgers brothers, who led the Beavers back for a late touchdown and the W. They'll have to be better on the road at Cal on Saturday if they want another W. Last Week: 4
6) Stanford Cardinal, 5-3- The Cardinal snuck up on people when they topped the Pac-10 earlier in the year. Well now, most would be surprised to find out that Stanford is sitting third in the Pac-10. Coming off of a bye, Stanford has a chance to make a statement this weekend with Oregon visiting Palo Alto. Oregon could have a let down, giving Stanford a chance to pounce. Last Week: 6
7) Arizona St. Sun Devils, 4-4- It's becoming quite the problem for ASU that their best performances continue to be close losses. Add last week's Cal game to the list as a late field goal handed Arizona St. yet another close loss. With USC, Oregon, UCLA and Arizona to finish out the year, six wins will be very tough and it starts with the Trojans in town this weekend. Last Week: 7
8) Washington Huskies, 3-5- The Huskies' bye came at a good time as they had lost two straight and four of five. With a bowl game looking extremely unlikely, it's continued improvement that UW is looking for and especially from their recently impotent offense. 20 points this week would be UW's highest output since October 10. A pair of road games, with UCLA this week, is next for Washington. Last Week: 8
9) UCLA Bruins, 3-5- The players made it clear that there are no moral victories. That doesn't mean some positives can't be taken from a loss and the 4th quarter play of Kevin Prince and the offense is a definite positive. With Washington, Washington St. and Arizona St. on tap over the next three weeks, UCLA will have their chance at six wins and the .500 season they have been chasing. Last Week: 9
10) Washington St. Cougars, 1-7- The Cougars have made losing a habit in recent years, but this week's could rank as one of their worst. It was only 40-14, which wouldn't rank as one of their biggest margins of defeat, but anyone who saw the game saw a team outclassed from the first snap. A defense that showed flashes in recent weeks gave up 592 yards. Ouch. At Arizona won't help this week. Last Week: 10