1. Oregon - Half way through the season, it is obvious that the Ducks are the head of the class right now in the Pac 12. But there is a big time game coming up Thursday with the #1 team in the South, the ASU Sun Devils. While there wasn't a lot of fanfare or excitement about the Ducks becoming bowl eligible last week, it should be interesting to see where they fall as the initial BCS standings come out today.
2. Oregon State 42 at BYU 24 - And little brother just keeps on winning. Most impressive has to be the fact that unproven and untested back up QB, Cody Vaz, started for injured Sean Mannion on the road and went 20 for 32 for 332 yards and 3 TDs. The Beavers defense was also stout as they forced BYU into 3 turnovers and kept them under 100 yards rushing.
3. washington 14 vs USC 24 - I still believe that Uw is third best team in the North, even though their record has them fifth. There are areas where Uw has improved significantly, like defense, but areas that are still a work in progress like passing. Keith Price doesn't look as comfortable as he did last year and his protection of the football shows that. The defense did what they needed to do on Saturday to give Uw a chance to win, but that's not going to happen when you're only putting up 14 points and turning the ball over 4 times.
4. Stanford 13 at Notre Dame 20 - B1G Ten football at its finest. Good god was that a boring game. Listen, when your offense is as bad and as predictable as Stanford's has become, you don't get to argue that your first offensive touchdown on the road was taken away by a blown call. Feel free to score a real TD and then we'll listen to your arguments about what it is you think you deserve. This is not the last loss for Stanford this year, and with that offense, I think they're more likely a 7-5 team than a 9-3 one.
5. Cal - It's Big Game week, and Stanford looks beatable. I would not be surprised if the Bears pulled out one against the Tree and took back the axe.
6. Washington State 17 vs Cal 31 - 34 for 63 passing for 384 yards and 2 TDs. Not counting QB scrambles and sacks, WSU ran 12 rushing plays. Man it's great having Leach in the conference, he makes all the passing defenses look better.
1. Arizona St - The Sun Devils are the real deal with their only loss of the season so far coming on the road against SEC newcomer Missouri when ASU turned the ball over 4 times. Graham has his defense playing much more fundamentally sound and the D-line is one of the better units in the conference. Offensively ASU can explode at anytime with their playmakers like Marshall, Foster, or Kelly. A Thursday night game in desert this week is a true test for both teams.
2. USC - When I look at the stats between Barkley and Mariota, they are eerily similar. 15 TDs and 5 INTs each. 150.5 to 156.43 in QB rating. 64.2% to 67.9% completions. 7.6 yards per attempt to 7.7. 1308 total yards to 1301. Yet Barkley is a senior and Mariota is a freshman. Barkley has Lee and Woods, Mariota is throwing to myriad of targets. I have a hard time saying that Barkley is not having a good year, but there is really nothing in his play recently that makes me think it is worthy of the hype and attention it receives.
3. Ucla 21 vs Utah 14 - Brett Hundley is playing on one good leg and yet he still goes 15 for 21 and 183 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs, and rushes for 68 more. Ucla is at their best when they are controlling the game with their rushing attack. Unfortunately, the lack of weapons besides Franklin and a beat up Hundley makes it difficult for the Bruins to do that. Still, at 5-2, Ucla is far better off than where they were last year, and well ahead of what expectations were going into the season.
4. Utah - Ain't nothing like throwing your freshman QB into a road game against a pretty good defense to see if you can find a spark on offense. Utah is not better than last year and not ahead of expectations this year. Norm Chow pretty much left that offense in ruins and Wittingham is doing his best to try and put the pieces together offensively and fight for a bowl berth. It will be interesting to see what Utah does in the coming years when they don't have the cupcake schedule they've had the last 2 season.
5. Arizona - Good week for a bye. Time for Rich Rod to regroup and focus on a winnable first conference game as Uw comes to town Saturday night.
6. Colorado 17 vs Arizona St 51 - The Buffs had their hopes up in the first half that they were going to be able to keep this one close when it was 17-20 at the break. But 31 unanswered in the second half pretty much snuffed out all of that.
Next Week's Games:
Oregon at ASU
Stanford at Cal
Colorado at USC
washington at Arizona
Utah at Oregon State