The Pac-12 football action gets heavy early as the game of the week is tonight and the first archrival showdown of the year is the early contest on Saturday.
At the tail end of the conference’s weekend slate, two teams with mediocre marks try to rediscover winning ways under the Tucson lights.
TWit-Pac welcomes the Arizona Wildcats back to the TV schedule (all times Arizona/Pacific):
|Thu Oct 18||Oregon||ASU||6 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sat Oct 20||Stanford||Cal||12 p.m.||FOX|
Three Pac-12 teams are looking to clinch bowl eligibility this week. An updated look at the bubble:
Oregon State is undefeated. Each of the other five-win teams still gets to play WSU or Colorado. Stanford only has four wins but gets to play both. Nothing has changed on the Bubble In line.
Cal moves up into the Middle after two straight wins but with games left against Stanford, Oregon and OSU it’s going to take some upsets to get all the way to six victories.
You ready for some games?
Oregon (6-0 / 3-0) at ASU (5-1 / 3-0)
This is I Told You So week in the Territorial Cup rivalry. Either Arizona fans will be able to say, “I told you ASU’s great start was only because of a weak schedule,” or ASU fans will get to say, “I told you Dennis Erickson was holding us back.” As for the Ducks? They’re trying to say, “I told you we’re better than No. 3 in the nation.”
Stanford (4-2 / 2-1) at Cal (3-4 / 2-2)
Last year the Big Game was played a week early because Stanford had Notre Dame scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend. This year USC is the one ending the regular season with the Irish, so why is the Cal/Stanford rivalry game being played in October and not the USC/UCLA tilt?
Colorado (1-5 / 1-2) at USC (5-1 / 3-1)
Root for USC to just annihilate Colorado. You want the Trojans going into next week feeling good about themselves and thinking, Hey, we can beat Oregon! even though they play at Arizona first.
Washington (3-3 / 1-2) at ARIZONA (3-3 / 0-3)
Both teams have a win over a ranked team. Both teams have all three of their losses against ranked teams. Both teams are very glad not to be a playing a ranked team.
Utah (2-4 / 0-3) at OSU (5-0 / 3-0)
You know you’re running good when you lose your starting quarterback and you go out and set a season high for points in the next game. The question now is how long can the Beavers go without losing? The first loss won’t happen this week.
UCLA (5-2 / 2-2) – bye
The Bruins bounced back from the surprise loss to Cal by beating Utah. Last year’s UCLA team didn’t get to five wins until the first week of November.
WSU (2-5 / 0-4) – bye
With the home loss to Cal the Cougars’ chances of getting a conference win this year have gone way down. A trip to Stanford after the bye isn’t going to help matters.
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Are you feeling refreshed? Not only was last week a bye for Arizona but we just completed the only two-week span of the season without a home game.
Are the Cats refreshed enough to get a win?
As we mentioned above, the UA and Washington have had very similar seasons thus far, so it makes sense they share 3-3 records. The difference is the Huskies were hoping to be closer to where Oregon State is, while Arizona’s record is exactly where it was expected to be.
We’ll soon find out if Washington has gotten over the disappointment of losing to Oregon and USC by a combined 41 points. Whatever you do, don’t get lulled to sleep by UW’s 11th-in-the-Pac-12 offense. Three different quarterbacks have thrown for career highs against Arizona this year and I expect that trend to continue.
(FYI, Keith Price‘s current career high is 438 passing yards, set in that Xbox-esque Alamo Bowl last year.)
The Wildcats’ game against Stanford felt like the first team to get a stop in the second half and go up two scores would win. Arizona got the stop and the two-touchdown lead but then stopped scoring and didn’t win.
The goal this week is a three-score lead in the fourth quarter. And at least 50 points.
Now that would be refreshing.
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