Lowell-Stevens Football Facility

It’s time for Arizona Stadium to come to life.
Photo by Wildcat Universe

The college football world will be watching Oregon at Stanford on Thursday night while the Wildcat Universe prepares for its own game of the year on Saturday.

This week’s Pac-12 TV schedule is full of aspiring champions (all times Arizona/Mountain):

Thu Nov 7OregonStanford7 p.m.ESPN
Sat Nov 9USCCal1 p.m.Fox
Sat Nov 9Arizona St.Utah2 p.m.Pac-12 Network
Sat Nov 9ColoradoWash.6 p.m.Pac-12 Network

Oregon (8-0 / 5-0) at Stanford (7-1 / 5-1)
Oregon has won every game by at least three touchdowns, including wins over two ranked opponents. Stanford has a loss to an unranked team and was taken to the wire by Washington and Oregon State. But the Cardinal is at home. And Stanford beat Oregon last year.

Since I’m absolutely horrible at predictions, I’ll make a prediction: Ducks win by 8.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Oregon. If the Cats are going to lose to Oregon in a couple weeks you want the Ducks to run the table and improve everyone’s bowl slot. If the UA is going to shock all of humanity and win you want it to be against the undefeated No. 2 team in the nation.

USC (6-3 / 3-2) at Cal (1-8 / 0-6)
We commented on Sonny Dykes’ team still showing fight but this wasn’t exactly what we had in mind.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Cal. USC has the head-to-head tiebreaker with Arizona and needs more losses.

Arizona State (6-2 / 4-1) at Utah (4-4 / 1-4)
So Steve Patterson went from running a department that is annually in the red to the richest athletic department in all the land. That would be like quitting your job at the local gas station to become the CEO of Exxon Mobil.

(And, June Jones, if you get a phone call from an Austin area code, you may want to let it go to voice mail.)

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Utah. Not just to root for Whoever’s Playing ASU but, that’s right, the Wildcats are in the hunt for the Pac-12 South.

Colorado (3-5 / 0-5) at Washington (5-3 / 2-3)
Cal made Washington feel better about itself last week. The Buffaloes are in town next with more Husky medicine.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Colorado. Not that it matters much.

UCLA (6-2 / 3-2) at ARIZONA (6-2 / 3-2)
The Cats are out to prove that 66-10 was a long time ago.

Who does Wildcat Universe want to win?
Your Hoping-for-Homecoming-Heroics Wildcats.

Washington State (4-5 / 2-4) – bye
Arizona’s next opponent is undefeated in the Pac-12 when it holds teams under 50 points. The problem for Wazzu is that’s only happened once in the past eight weeks.

Oregon State (6-3 / 4-2) – bye
During OSU’s six-game winning streak Sean Mannion threw 26 touchdown passes with no fewer than three in any game. He only has two total TDs (and three interceptions) in the Beavers’ back-to-back losses.

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Movement aplenty in the Pac-12 tier rankings:

    National Contenders – Oregon, Stanford
    Division Contenders – ASU, UCLA, USC, ARIZONA
    Bowl Attenders – OSU
    Bowl Contenders – Washington, Utah, WSU
    Waiting for the Season to Enders – Colorado, Cal

Look at all those new Division Contenders. I also added a new tier for squads that are bowl eligible but aren’t going to win their division, i.e. Oregon State. Oregon’s not losing twice and the Beavers had their chance against Stanford.

Another note on the bowl situation: Six teams are already eligible and USC and Washington should make it eight this weekend. The Pac-12 only has seven bowl tie-ins and Wazzu and Utah are still hoping to join the party. It’s going to be really competitive down the stretch to try and move up the bowl pecking order.

* * *

Whatever happens Saturday night I want to see the Cats play well. I want to see the defense keep Bruin QB Brett Hundley in the pocket. If he turns into Nick Foles back there, so be it.

I want to see the Arizona offensive line opening holes so Ka’Deem Carey can do his thing on ESPN. I want B.J. Denker to keep his critics denying they were ever critics.

I want Arizona Stadium to be electric again. I want to hear just how much louder it gets with the enclosed north end. I want a close game deep into the fourth quarter with the crowd on the verge of losing its collective mind.

Then we’ll see who wants it more.

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