tailgate sun

Which teams have a place in the Pac-12 football sun?
Photo by Wildcat Universe

It’s Week 6 already?!

The good news about Arizona being on another bye is it stretches out the season. In comparison, by the end of this weekend Washington State will have already played half its games. Slow down, Cougars! What’s your rush?

This Week in the Pac-12 (TWit-Pac) delves into the TV schedule (all times Arizona/Pacific):

Date
Away
Home
Time
TV
Thu Oct 3UCLAUtah7 p.m.Fox Sports 1
Sat Oct 5Wash. St.Cal1 p.m.Fox Sports 1
Sat Oct 5OregonColorado3 p.m.Pac-12 Network
Sat Oct 5Arizona St.Notre Dame4:30 p.m.NBC
Sat Oct 5Wash.Stanford7:30 p.m.ESPN

UCLA (3-0 / 0-0) at Utah (3-1 / 0-1)
UCLA begins its Pac-12 South title defense as the last unbeaten team in the division. The Utes will try to hold a conference opponent under 50 for the first time this year.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
??? It depends on how you think the Cats are going to do next week. If you believe Arizona is going to beat USC and stay in the South race you want the Bruins to take a loss. If you think the Wildcats are going to end up struggling for a bowl spot you want Utah to lose. In other words, whichever team you think the UA will most resemble, root against that team.

Washington State (3-2 / 1-1) at California (1-3 / 0-1)
A winnable game, Sonny Dykes, a winnable game! Of course, Mike Leach is thinking the same thing after getting knocked around by Stanford.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Doesn’t matter. The Wildcats still have to play both teams.

Oregon (4-0 / 1-0) at Colorado (2-1 / 0-1)
One more warm-up lap and then the Ducks finally face a team with a pulse in Washington.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Oregon. Wave the Pac-12 banner high.

Arizona State (3-1 / 1-1) at Notre Dame (3-2)
The Devils are going to go 3-1 on their “death march,” aren’t they. The refs run out the clock for them against Wisconsin, USC falls on its sword in Lane Kiffin’s swan song, and now ASU is a 5.5-point favorite against an Irish team that needed 21 fourth-quarter points to beat 1-4 Purdue. (Deep inhale.) THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO WORK.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Notre Dame. Cheer, cheer for old Whoever’s Playing ASU!

Washington (4-0 / 1-0) at Stanford (4-0 / 2-0)
This is Washington’s fifth game, and all of them have been against an undefeated team. If you assume Oregon beats Colorado that’ll make next week unbeaten opponent number six.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Stanford. It would take some of the sting out of last week’s loss if the Huskies turn out to be a really good, but I’m in favor of a top-5 Oregon/Stanford showdown in November.

ARIZONA (3-1 / 0-1) – bye
Remember, Ed Orgeron, you are not Tim Kish.

USC (3-2 / 0-2) – bye
I would like to order the Trojan offense that played WSU and the USC defense that played ASU, please.

Oregon State (4-1 / 2-0) – bye
Back-to-back road games await the Beavers but OSU already has two wins away from home.

* * *

More on figuring out who to root for in the UCLA/ Utah game (and, no, that does not say Moron figuring out)…

Here are the current tiers in Pac-12:

Elite – Oregon, Stanford

Strong – UCLA, Washington, ASU

Decent – OSU, WSU, Utah, USC

Bad – Colorado, Cal

The big storyline this week is Washington trying to move up into that top tier. Utah could also move up, but if you promote the Utes you’ll also have to elevate the Beavers who won in Salt Lake City.

Now, where do you put Arizona? Can the Cats beat USC and go on a run that proclaims their Strong-ness? Or is this just a Decent team trying to scrape together a winning season?

Back to Bruin v. Ute, figure which one you believe is in the UA’s peer group and root for that peer to lose.

The Cats will return to affecting their own destiny a week from Thursday. The goal is to end up in the good tiers so you don’t end up with bad tears.

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