Brock Osweiler

Will Oz be a wizard in the (Daily) Emerald city?
Photo by David Wallace/The Arizona Republic

If you believe either Stanford or Oregon will win the Pac-12 North (I do) and if you think Arizona State is going to win the South (sigh… yes) then the only realistic Pac-12 Championship Game preview takes place this week.

In addition, how does the rooting strategy of Arizona Wildcat fans change now that they’re looking for a new coach?

Some random non-conference games are invading the TWIT-Pac TV schedule (all times Arizona/Pacific):

Date Away Home Time TV
Thu Oct 13 USC Cal 6 p.m. ESPN/ESPN3
Sat Oct 15 Utah Pitt 9 a.m. ESPNU
  Colorado Washington 12:30 p.m. ROOT
  BYU OSU 1 p.m. FCS-Pacific
  Stanford WSU 4:30 p.m. Versus
  ASU Oregon 7:15 p.m. ESPN/ESPN3

If you’re Arizona, your view on the rest of the conference has changed. There is no concern about division races or jockeying for bowl position. The only thing that matters is keeping each of the other 11 schools from firing its coach.

Greg Byrne and the UA don’t want any of their coaching candidates showing up on anybody else’s short list out west. There will of course be job openings across the country but you want to be the only school this year selling the stability of the Pac-12, and you certainly don’t want to be competing with a school in L.A.

USC (4-1 / 2-1) at Cal (3-2 / 0-2)
The Bears have lost two in a row but the schedule eases up considerably after this.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
USC. Cal still plays UCLA, WSU and OSU so you want the Bears to fall apart, unless you think Jeff Tedford is on the hot seat as well.

Edit: On second thought, the idea of Tedford getting fired scares me. Root for Cal to beat USC and then fall apart.

Utah (2-3 / 0-3) at Pitt (3-3)
Hello, random trip across the country.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
Utah. The Pac-12 needs some non-conference pride.

Colorado (1-5 / 0-2) at Washington (4-1 / 2-0)
The Buffs still have to get through four more weeks before the Arizona game.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
Washington. The Cats don’t want to be the first worst team in Pac-12 history.

BYU (4-2) at OSU (1-4 / 1-2)
Every one of BYU’s games except the Utah thrashing has been decided by a touchdown or less.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
OSU. Don’t stop the trick plans, Mike Riley!

Stanford (5-0 / 3-0) at WSU (3-2 / 1-1)
Wazzu’s starting QB, Jeff Tuel, has been medically cleared to return but will he be ready to play?

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
WSU. Forget the national rankings. Paul Wulff needs a contract extension!

ASU (5-1 / 3-0) at Oregon (4-1 / 2-0)
Since Arizona State and Stanford don’t play each other the Game of the Week is the Vice-Game of the Year below Stanford/Oregon. It’s also the last time ASU will be anything but a big favorite the rest of the regular season.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
Oregon. Dennis Erickson is well on his way to saving his job so there’s no conflict of interest here. ASU has a chance to leap onto the national scene in this game and we wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?

UCLA (3-3 / 2-1) – bye
I thought Rick Neuheisel was done after the Houston loss but he took care of business against OSU and WSU and now the Bruins have a legit shot at a bowl game. Obviously the Wildcats want a win next Thursday but after that pull for UCLA to finish the year strong.

ARIZONA (1-5 / 0-4) – bye
The anticipation builds for the start of the Tim Kish era.

Mike Stoops (41-50 / 27-38) – bye-bye

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A quick look at the bowl picture:

UCLA’s (new) starting quarterback broke his leg but their new (old) starting QB came in and led them to a big win and a berth in the middle.

Arizona has dropped out but the Wildcat Universe hasn’t noticed because everyone is chasing coaching candidate rumors.


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Scott Terrell can’t help himself. Join the speculation on Twitter and Facebook.