Sorry for being absent last week. Life tends to get in the way sometimes. Anyway, after a crazy weekend in college football it's time to look at how the Pac shapes up after 6 weeks so let's get right to it.
1. Oregon 52 vs washington 21 – Oregon versus Uw week has become like watching a fireworks display in reverse. The hype, excitement, and explosions all happen early and by the late in the third quarter you're watching snakes and pop-its as Oregon is up by three plus scores and calling it a night. This year was no different. With a number of top 10 teams losing this week, and the BCS rankings coming out soon, look for the focus of the national championship game to continue to zero in on the Ducks versus Alabama. Speaking of Alabama, the comments about hurry-up offenses is stupid and short-sighted. Most games teams need to run a hurry up offense at some time. I guarantee you those fans and teams that are complaining now, don't want to see the rules changed when they need the ball set fast. Just because Oregon and other schools use that strategy against you doesn't mean it's illegal. It means your team is not prepared and not well coached.
2. Oregon State 19 vs Washington State 6 – The surprise of the season kept rolling on Saturday as the Beavers took down the Cougs in Corvallis. Even though Mannion struggled against the varied fronts of WSU throwing 3 picks, the spectacular sophomore ended up with 270 yards on 27 of 42 passes. What is most surprising and encouraging for the Beavers though has to be their defense. The Beavers forced 5 turnovers and held the hapless Cougs to 227 total yards in the loss. They will need to keep that up as their schedule doesn't get much easier with @BYU, Utah and @Uw in the next three weeks.
3. washington – I know Uw just got blasted by the Ducks and their record is worse than Stanford's, but I'm leaving them third in the North because I think that's where they'll finish. Uw's defense is better and more fundamentally sound than in years past and even though they are decimated with injuries, their offense has greater potential. I've seen nothing from Stanford that makes me think they're a top half of the Pac team.
4. Stanford 54 vs Arizona 48 – In all seriousness, Stanford had no business winning this game. With six minutes to go Arizona had a 14 point lead before Nunes ran an option play into the endzone. Also, with :45 seconds left, and a tied game, Rich Rod inexplicably let the clock run out and played for overtime. In the extra period, Matt Scott had a pass deflected that got intercepted and 2 plays into their possession Stanford pulled out the win on a Stepfan Taylor 21 yard run.
5. Cal 43 vs Ucla 17 – I'll be honest, I didn't see this one coming. Although, in retrospect, I should have known that Maynard was due for one of his all-world outings after a couple of stinkers. This has to be even more infuriating for Bear fans. For a QB to go from 9 for 28 for 128 yards against the unranked Sun Devils to 25 for 30 for 295 yards against the #25 Bruins has to have Bear fans pulling their hair out. You have absolutely no idea what type of play you're going to get from your QB from week to week.
6. Washington State – Still waiting for that Pirate ship to leave port and who knows who the Captain will be. Is it Tuel or Halliday?
1. Arizona State – For the first time this year, we have a new #1 in the South Power Rankings. This has as much to do with how ASU has played as it does ASU. I know the Trojans have been the media darlings so far, but if you're paying attention to what is happening in the desert, you know the Sun Devils are for real. Their defense is ranked in the quartile in almost every statistical category and can get them back into any game. The only game they have lost was on the road against a decent Missiouri team who I think would blow out Stanford on a neutral site. Oh, and Will Sutton gives me nightmares.
2. USC 38 at Utah 21 – A couple of early turnovers gave Utah a quick 14-0 lead. Giving a lead to a team built on defense with not a lot of offensive firepower is a recipe for disaster. Lucky for the Trojans they have 2 of the most explosive players on offense in the conference. Robert Woods should never have been let to return to the game after a severe hit on a block that left him stumbling, but he ended the night with 6 catches and 69 yards and the top offensive player in the Pac in my opinion Marqise Lee caught 12 passes for 192.
3. Ucla – The ups and downs of having a new coach can be difficult, but Ucla is definitely in a better position with Mora. Right now the most interesting game left on their schedule has to be the season ender with Stanford.
4. Arizona – What was that you were saying about a new coach? Rich Rod is going to make this team better in the long run, but right now they are going to win games they shouldn't (Oklahoma State) and lose games they shouldn't (OSU and Standord). In both games they had leads late that they should have been able to put away and didn't. But if you have any doubts about what Rich Rod can do in building a team, just look at BCS Michigan from last year and BCS West Virginia from the past couple of years.
5. Utah – What happened to Star Lotulelei after the first quarter? And when they were double teaming him for ¾ of the game, why didn't you ever bring an inside blitz to get after Barkely? Utah has a lot to learn about being a consistent FBS contender.
6. Colorado – Congrats Colorado, you didn't lose to anyone this week.