USC does not play Oregon this week.
As much as everyone associated with college football would love to fast-forward seven days, that game will have to wait, and that suits the Arizona Wildcats just fine.
TWit-Pac isn’t leaving anybody out this week. Here is the TV schedule (all times Arizona/Pacific):
|Sat Oct 27||UCLA||ASU||12 p.m.||FX|
No byes! This is the first of only three weekends when all 12 teams will be playing on the same day.
Next is a very balanced bowl bubble:
Oregon State and USC clinched postseason eligibility with win #6 last week. Stanford has the easiest remaining schedule of the five-win teams. Cal drops down to the Bubble Out line because the Bears need to win three of their final four and two of them are against the Oregon schools. Colorado is 60 minutes away from being officially Out.
Your stacked Pac-12 Saturday:
UCLA (5-2 / 2-2) at ASU (5-2 / 3-1)
Not only are there no battles between ranked teams in the Pac this week but there are only two games between teams with winning records, and both are in the Grand Canyon State. The Devils have to shake off the embarrassment of the Oregon game quick because road trips to OSU and USC are next.
Colorado (1-6 / 1-3) at Oregon (7-0 / 4-0)
Worst visits First. The Ducks beat ASU by 22 last week and dropped from third to fourth in the BCS standings. They could beat the Buffs by 100 and still lower their computer ranking.
USC (6-1 / 4-1) at ARIZONA (4-3 / 1-3)
USC is the third-highest ranked one-loss team behind LSU and Oklahoma, giving the SEC and Pac-12 a combined six of the top nine teams according to the BCS.
WSU (2-5 / 0-4) at Stanford (5-2 / 3-1)
Good news, Cougars! Next week is a game against the other team without a conference win!
Cal (3-5 / 2-3) at Utah (2-5 / 0-4)
Of course, the Utes are facing their first Pac-12 team with a losing record so they’re planning on not being a team without a conference win for long.
OSU (6-0 / 4-0) at Washington (3-4 / 1-3)
This game looked like it had some upset potential but there’s no way Washington expected to do worse against Arizona than it did against Stanford, Oregon or USC. Can the Huskies get back up or are they down for the count?
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Quick, when was the last time you saw the Wildcats beat USC at Arizona Stadium?
No, it hasn’t been quite as long as the last home win against Oregon State but it’s been a while. If you count interims you have to go back six UA coaches to when Dick Tomey bested Paul Hackett in 1999.
The Trojans and Beavers were the two teams Mike Stoops wasn’t able to beat at home:
Arizona’s Most Recent Home Win Against Pac-10 Opponents
The last UA team to break 50 four times? Pop McKale’s 1921 squad, Arizona’s first bowl team. Those Wildcats beat Bisbee Legion, 84-13, defeated Phoenix Indian School, 75-0, walloped Texas Mines (UTEP), 74-0, and squeaked by New Mexico Military Institute by a score of…(dramatic pause)…110-0.
So RichRod still has some work to do.
Back to the future, this is the ultimate free game for the Wildcats. You don’t want another 49-0 spanking, and you certainly don’t want to blow a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter, but if the Cats play well and the Trojans play better on Saturday, so be it.
You couldn’t draw up a better trap game if you tried. Let us count the ways:
• After the Trojans’ record-setting performance against Colorado people have been patting Matt Barkley on the back so much he’s probably bruised.
• Thrashing Colorado doesn’t prepare you to beat anyone else.
• As soon as the Colorado game ended people started asking the Trojans about next week’s clash with Oregon.
• USC hasn’t dominated any Pac-12 teams on the road, losing to Stanford and beating Washington and Utah by ten points each.
• The USC offense isn’t the juggernaut that was expected when Barkley came back. The Trojans are just 5th in the Pac-12 in total offense, 6th in passing offense and 7th in rushing offense (Arizona is 1st, 1st and 3rd in those categories). And that’s after USC got to run 7-on-7s against Colorado.
• USC is the biggest name coming to Arizona Stadium this year. ASU is the biggest rival but this is Arizona’s Pac-12 Championship Game. The Trojans (and the rest of the sporting world) have been counting down to the Oregon game since day one.
• Arizona has increased its offensive output in each Pac-12 game, scoring five touchdowns against Oregon State, six TDs versus Stanford and seven against Washington.
• Did I mention the USC/Oregon game is next week?
Maybe my Red-and-Blue glasses are on too tight but I think UA fans will fill the stadium. I think the ZonaZoo will be at capacity and loud before kickoff. I know the Wildcats will be ready to play and I expect Rich Rodriguez to have a couple tricks up his sleeve.
Will it be enough to win? USC’s going to score more points than Washington. Probably a lot more. I don’t know if the Cats have the weapons yet to take down a top-10 team but I believe Lane Kiffin will be sweating in his visor and it won’t be because of the Arizona sun.
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