The Cats don’t play on Thursday so you can turn on the TV and watch…well, two teams that are a combined 5-6 in league play. Maybe it’s just best to wait until Saturday after all.

Thu. Jan. 21
OSU (8-9 / 2-3) at Stanford (8-9 / 2-3)
– 8 p.m. (all times Arizona/Mountain)
Two of the three Pac teams with overall losing records battle to get back to glorious .500.

Oregon (10-7 / 2-3) at Cal (11-6 / 3-2) – 8:30 p.m.
The Ducks are 0-3 in Pac-10 home games and 2-0 on the road. The Bears should be concerned.

Washington (12-5 / 3-3) at UCLA (7-10 / 2-3) – 8:30 p.m., FSN
The Huskies look like they’re going to be the anti-Ducks: dominant at home and diminutive on the road.

Washington State (13-5 / 3-3) at USC (11-6 / 3-2) – 8:30 p.m.
The Dead Men Walking took out a whole bunch of frustration against UCLA.

Sat. Jan. 23
OSU at Cal
– 12 p.m., CBS
If the Bears and Devils take care of business at home it would set up a large showdown in Tempe next Thursday. Ick.

WSU at UCLA – 2 p.m., FSN
The Bruins beat the top two teams in the league and have lost to everyone else. Nothing about this conference makes sense.

Oregon at Stanford – 6 p.m.
If the Cardinal don’t get happy against the Oregons at home they’re just going to be sad.

Washington at USC – 8:30 p.m.
UW really wants to take care of business this week. They play the mighty Seattle U on Tuesday.

ARIZONA (9-9 / 3-3) at ASU (14-5 / 4-2) – 7:30 p.m., FSAZ
Since scoring 37 points against USC the Sun Devils have averaged 70 points a game in four wins without giving up more than 57. Stop the insanity!

As promised this week’s power rankings look completely different from last time. Remember, this isn’t a prediction of where teams will finish but a look at their performance thus far (last week’s ranking is in parentheses).

1. ASU (3) – I don’t like it any more than you do.
2. Cal (1) – Losing at UW is forgivable but the Bears need to string some wins together.
3. USC (6) – The head-to-head with UCLA nudges them into the top three.
4. UCLA (4) – The ASU and Cal wins are still better than anyone else below.
5. Washington (10) – Beating the Bears is a good start on a comeback.
6. WSU (7) – All three Pac wins are against bottom-half peers.
7. Stanford (5) – Hanging on by their one-point win against USC.
8. OSU (9) – Beat Arizona and Oregon.
9. ARIZONA (8) – Say what now?
10. Oregon (2) – Losing all your home games gets you the fast track to the basement.

I’m not trying to be harsh with the Cats. Our guys aren’t terrible but I can’t find a good reason to jump anybody else in the sub-division. We lost head-to-head against WSU and OSU, and Stanford’s win against USC is better than our win against UCLA.

The good news is Arizona can change its status in a hurry. First-place ASU is Saturday and second-place Cal is a week from Sunday.

And weekend games are what the Wildcats do best.