Did your Valentine stomp on your heart? Did Cupid miss and put his arrow through your head? You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to cheer you up the old fashioned way: by pointing out the flaws in everyone else.

I didn’t set out to collect depressing facts and stats. I didn’t intend to hang out with Debbie Downer, Betty Bummer and Molly Moper. They all just happen to be Pac-10 basketball fans this year.

I love you?

Are you ready for this? Do not keep reading if you’re standing on a ledge, cliff, or bridge. Do not read on if you are about to operate heavy machinery.

Three Pac-10 teams have overall losing records. A fourth is at .500. A fifth is just one game north of even. Last year only two teams had losing records. The year before that it was another two. If you like losers, this year you’re a winner.

Misery, we’ve got your company.

Thu. Feb. 18 (all times Arizona/Mountain)

UCLA (11-13 / 6-6) at WSU (15-10 / 5-8) – 6:30 p.m., FSN
In three games on Thursday and Saturday Fox Sports Net is stuck with four of the five worst teams in the conference. I hear you can get buy-one-get-one-free commercial time.

Stanford (11-14 / 5-8) at Oregon (12-12 / 4-8) – 8 p.m.
The Cardinal finally dropped a home game to end their schizophrenic season. But they’re just two losses away from completing a perfectly imperfect 0-9 road record.

Cal (17-8 / 9-4) at OSU (11-13 / 5-7) – 8:30 p.m., FSN
As bad as things have been the Bears still have a shot at a respectable 14-4 league record and they’ll be favored in every game the rest of the way. This week we’ll see if they can avoid pulling an Arizona.

Talkin’ ‘bout Schaft(enaar)

USC (15-9 / 7-5) at Washington (17-8 / 7-6) – 8:30 p.m., FSNW
Reason number 1,024 why this is a strange year: It took the Huskies 14 weeks to win their first road game, and they’re still a contender in the Pac-10.

Sat. Feb. 20

Stanford at OSU – 1 p.m., FSN
The Beavers haven’t won two straight since the first time they beat Arizona. (Ad space for this game might be free.)

USC at WSU – 3 p.m.
The Cougars have lost five of six. You don’t want to know who the win was against.

Cal at Oregon – 4 p.m.
Hey, two teams the Wildcats have beaten! Can we get the Ducks on the schedule a couple more times?

UCLA at Washington – 6 p.m., ESPN
The Huskies’ last home game of the year. I expect 85 fouls to be called.

Sun. Feb. 21

ASU (18-8 / 8-5) at ARIZONA (13-12 / 7-6) – 3:30 p.m., FSN
Even though the UA is covered with Beaver-stink, this is still the game of the week. If the Devils can beat the Cats and Cardinal on the road it would set up a huge showdown at Cal next weekend. Now that would be depressing.

It only took a month and a half but we finally have some stratification in the Pac-10 standings. The top four teams are on winning streaks. Five of the bottom six teams lost their last game.
There are only two ties to break in the real standings but, with the precision of Kyle Fogg’s jumpshot, I’m going to break them.

1. Cal (1) – Can the Bears get their first road sweep?
2. ASU (6) – You don’t need to beat good teams when they lose for you.
3. USC (2) – The Fightin’ O’Neills took care of UCLA.
4. Washington (5) – Did not lose to Oregon State.
5. ARIZONA (3) – Did.
6. UCLA (4) – At least we’re still better than the Bruins.
7. OSU (8) – Sigh.
8. Stanford (10) – Most recent head-to-head with Wazzu.
9. WSU (7) – Ended Cal game on a 0-15 run.
10. Oregon (9) – Averaging 50 points their last three games. Somewhere Luke Ridnour weeps.

In this space last week we talked about how even though the top three teams in the Pac-10 were at home the chances of them each surviving unscathed were slim. Sadly, it was the Wildcats who served up the pile of disgust.

But life is not over. The world has not ended. What’s the best way to get over a hideous breakup? Move on to someone better. For the Arizona Wildcats a win over ASU would be like a nearsighted supermodel. A chance for instant redemption is here.


We don’t play Oregon State anymore.