Well, we're half way through the season and it's pretty clear who leads the South, while the North is still a major toss up. The next four weeks are definitely going to solve a lot of that as washington, Stanford and Oregon all meet up.
1. Oregon 41 vs Arizona St 27 – I'm moving Oregon up to the top spot in the power rankings because that win last night was as impressive as I've seen Oregon all year. Without their #1 offensive weapon, with the QB injured in the 2nd half and down points, the team stepped up. The defensive line was stout. The offensive line created holes against one of the best d-lines in the Pac. The wide receivers made clutch catches and were great blocking on the edges. Finally, the secondary stepped up in the second half. Everyone in the Pac got to see Oregon's depth last night. No other team could withstand injuries to those 2 type of players on their team and come from behind in the second half to win against the #18 team in the country. Oregon is the most talented and deepest team in the Pac and it was proven last night.
2. Stanford 44 at Washington St 14 – WSU kept it close for a half, but in the second half Stanford poured it on. Luck struggled to get going in the first, but he was his usual consistent self in the second, throwing all 4 of his TD passes. This was Stanford's best defensive game all year (considering who they've played, that's not saying a lot). Stanford kept WSU under 50 yards rushing and held their passing game to just 5.4 yds/attempt. We'll see if it stays that way next week as the Tree takes on the huskies in prime time on ABC.
3. washington 52 vs Colorado 24 – Uw's offense could do no wrong yesterday. Uw was 8 of 10 on 3rd down conversions. They passed for 267 yards on 23/30 passes with no INTs and they rushed for 295 yards. The beat up Buffs had no chance of stopping the huskies. Keith Price still doesn't look 100% after the bye week, and it will be interesting to see if he can hold up through the rest of the Pac 12 season with no more rest weeks to go.
4. Washington St – Not easy to come back from 4 weeks of injuries and have to play Stanford, but that's what Jeff Tuel had to do. WSU still has OSU, @Cal and Utah on their schedule. There is no room for error if the Cougs have any dream of going bowling, or if Wulff has any hope of keeping his job for another year.
5. Cal – The Bears have Utah, @Ucla, WSU and OSU left on their schedule and they need to win 3 of those to be able to go to a bowl. Right now it looks like either Cal or WSU will not go, I'm going out on a ledge and saying it will be Cal that is home this post season. Maynard is not looking like he's getting better, and they don't have many options besides him.
6. OSU 28 vs BYU 38– Did the sacrificial Stoops lamb really save Riley's job? Can OSU really keep a coach who's only win was against a team that fired their coach during the season (which almost NEVER happens)?
1. Arizona State – ASU is through the meat of their schedule having played 3 ranked teams so far and not having to play Stanford this year. Last night could easily have been a preview of the Pac 12 Championship Game.
2. USC 30 at Cal 9 – USC took advantage of Maynard doing everything he could to telegraph his passes by picking him off 3 times. Cal continues to struggle in the red zone
and was only able to put up 3 FGs on night. Robert Woods took a night off from being his brilliant self and Marqise Lee stepped up in his place. Lee had 81 yards on 4 receptions and 1 TD. USC's schedule gets a little tougher as they take on @Notre Dame, Stanford, Uw, and @Oregon in 4 of their next 5 weeks. The Trojans are going to have to do it without Marc Tyler who dislocated his shoulder in the second half of Thursday night's game.
3. Ucla – The Bruins are 3-3 right now, and it's almost inconceivable to think they'll keep Nueheisel for another season without going to a bowl game this year. Their remaining schedule has @Arizona, Cal, ASU, @Utah, Colorado, and @USC. If they have any hope of going bowling they're definitely going to need to win one of the road games against Arizona and Utah.
4. Utah 26 at Pitt 14 – The Utes got word this week that their starting QB, Jordan Wynn, would not return this season with a shoulder injury that needs surgery. They then went out and rode their defense for to a big OOC win. Utah's defense held Pitt's #1 player, Ray Graham, to only 46 yards rushing. On a day when the wind in Pitt was really whipping around, that was key. It forced Pitt into going 3 for 15 on 3rd down conversions and also forced 3 turnovers.
5. Colorado – Good news Buffs, I know you just got trounced by the huskies, but now you get to play Oregon and ASU in back to back weeks. Good luck with that.
6. Arizona – Do the Wildcats rally after dropping their spoiled brat coach? With Ucla, Utah, Colorado and Louisiana-Lafayette still on the schedule I wouldn't be surprised to see Arizona end the season with 4 or 5 wins on the books.
Next Week's Games:
Ucla at Arizona (Thursday Night GAme)
Oregon at Colorado
Utah at Cal
USC at Notre Dame
washington at Stanford
OSU at WSU