1. Oregon 59 at Cal 17 - Let me get my biases out of the way from the start. Yes I am a fan. Yes I have a rooting interest, and yes, I'm complaining the day after my team just won by six touchdowns on the road. But that doesn't make my point any less true.
Pac 12 referees are terrible. And this year has been worse than any I can remember. Just look at the stats. Nine conference teams are ranked 94th or worse nationally in penalties per game. It's not just the number of penalties either, it's the inconsistency of the calls. Ticky tack pass interference call on one drive and then nothing on an interception in the back of the endzone. Personal foul calls for hits above a shoulder, that weren't above a shoulder. Finally, I have no idea what constitutes holding any longer thanks to watching these junk judges. Oh, and the best part, with the new Pac 12 media deal, we're broadcasting our incompetency across the country on a weekly basis. At least in years past we only showed regionally how atrocious our refs are, but now everyone gets to experience it.
Larry Scott needs to do something about this. Two years ago he hired FOX officiating expert and former head of the NFL officials, Mike Pereira, as interim coordinator of football officiating. It only took Pereira one month to fire 11 officials (some of which ended up being a part of the "replacement refs" in the NFL this year). That's not far enough. The commissioner has to step in. Coaches aren't going to say anything from fear of being fined. If the fans and media bring it up, it just looks like whining or sour grapes. The commissioner has to look at the stats and realize something is out of whack. The blown calls, missed calls and inconsistency of the refs have almost made the games unwatchable.
Next week, College GameDay will be in Eugene, and the Oregon vs Stanford game will be in national prime time. It will be unfortunate if once again the product the Pac 12 is putting on the field is marred by unfit umpiring.
2. Stanford 27 vs Oregon State 23 - In the battle of which coach can't pick the right quarterback, Stanford wins.
3. Washington 34 vs Utah 15 - I'm putting washington at 3 because that is how I think they're going to end the season even though they have a pretty realistic shot at finishing second.
4. Oregon State - He'll probably win Coach of the Year in the Pac, but to me it almost seems like OSU is winning in spite of Riley and not because of him.
5. Cal - Don't worry Cal fans, just one more game and it is all over. #BobbyPetrino4Cal
6. Washington State 36 vs Ucla 44 - I don't know what to make of the Marquess Wilson allegations, but this is something probably no WSU fan wanted to see. Leach and coaching staff haven't been easy on the team this year, but allegations of abuse, especially with Leach's past, should not be taken lightly. I wonder how Moos handles this whole thing given the state of the program.
1. Ucla - Both divisions are going to be wrapped up come Saturday night. Ucla has been on a tear lately too scoring 45, 66 and 44 in their lat 3 games. USC's defense is going to have to figure out how to slow down Franklin and Hundley.
2. USC 38 vs ASU 17 - Marqise Lee is a monster. I know Johnny Manziel and Collin Klien will get a lion's share of the Heisman hype, but there is no one I've seen play this year that controls a game like Lee.
3. Arizona 56 v Colorado 31 - I'm starting to lose a lot of respect for Rich Rod. I thought the turn around job he did with the Wildcats early in the year was great, but his actions the last couple of weeks are inexcusable. First of all, he never should have left Matt Scott in that game against USC. Second, his explanation for it was total crap. Man up Rich Rod and admit a mistake. Lastly, why is Ka'Deem Carey still in a game when you're up 32 in the fourth quarter against Colorado? I'm glad he broke the Pac 12 record, but that's a dick move, and again you're exposing your players to chance of injury unnecessarily. He may not be at the same level as Mike Stoops, but he's treading close to goat territory.
4. ASU - WSU at home should allow ASU to become bowl eligible giving the Pac 8 teams.
5. Utah - Utah needs wins at Arizona and Colorado to make it nine.
6. Colorado - I think the Buffs would be smart to give Helfrich a call and see if he's interested in coaching. Could you imagine an up-tempo offense playing in the altitude of Colorado?
Next Week's Games
washington at Colorado
WSU at ASU
USC at Ucla
Stanford at Oregon
Arizona at Utah
Cal at OSU