Arizona almost turned their season around in Los Angeles, except that Matt Barkley set an all-time USC record with 460 yards passing.
1.#5 Stanford- 45-19 win over UCLA (4-0 overall, 2-0 in Pac-12)- I predicted Stanford would win by 30 and they only won by 26, so the Cardinal disappointed me. They did let UCLA hang around a little more than I expected, but this game was never in doubt (even at 24-13 in the 3rd quarter). Stanford is simply too disciplined, too well coached, and too effecient to be bothered by a team like UCLA.
2. #9 Oregon- Bye (3-1 overall, 1-0 in Pac-12)- Not much to say this week. They have a big Thursday night game home game against California on ESPN to show their stuff. I have a feeling the Golden Bears will be demolished.
3. #25 Arizona State- 35-20 win over Oregon State (4-1 overall, 2-0 in Pac-12)- The Sun Devils were not exactly impressive in their win over the Beavers at home. They let Oregon State hang around and were only up 28-20 going into the 4th quarter. Had Sean Mannion not been interecepted three times in the 4th quarter, the Beavers might have pulled off the upset. But, luckily for ASU, the Pac-12 South is so weak this year (with all other members losing this week except ineligible USC), that it appears a spot in the championship game is their’s for the taking. Now they get a test on the road against Utah this week.
4a. Washington- 31-14 win at Utah (4-1 overall, 2-0 in Pac-12)- It’s hard to decide who is better at this point, the Huskies or the Trojans. Both have had their close calls in games that should have been easy (Eastern WA and Minnesota respectively). But, both also have some nice wins and some impressive numbers by their QB’s. However, in the one match up against a common opponent, the Huskies dominated Utah on the road while USC barely beat the Utes at home. Keith Price is 2nd in the country in passing TDs at 18 and Chris Polk is 6th in the nation in rushing. With a bye week to rest up before Colorado comes to town, the Huskies are in a good position right now.
4b. USC- 48-41 win over Arizona (4-1 overall, 2-1 in Pac-12)- USC is the hardest team in the Pac-12 to figure out. They look crappy in some wins, then unstoppable in others. Matt Barkley’s career day and 48 points lifted them to a huge win at home. But, the defense gave up 41? That needs to get tightened up. Luckily they now have a bye week to work on that before they travel up to San Franscisco to play Cal.
6. California- Bye (3-1 overall, 0-1 in Pac-12)- They get an extra four days to prepare for Oregon. They’ll need it. Huge game at Auzten for Cal. A win would be a major statement for this program and keep them in the Pac-12 North title hunt. But, somehow I doubt it will work out well for them. Look for a high scoring game with both teams topping 30 points, but Oregon won’t allow them to ruin their chance to shine on national TV.
7. Utah- 31-14 loss to Washington (2-2 overall, 0-2 Pac-12)- Utah had everything at stake this week. It was their first ever Pac-12 home game in front of a sell-out crowd. They had a serious chance to keep themselves in contention for the Pac-12 South title with USC ineligible. But, a fumble on the opening kick off was a bad omen for how their day would go. After a lackluster first half where they squandered multiple chances in the red zone to put the Huskies on their heels, Utah came out in the second half flat and seemingly demoralized. Will they be able to pull it back together? They have that chance as Pac-12 South leading Arizona State comes to town this week. A win this week could save their season.
8. Washington State- 31-27 win at Colorado (3-1 overall, 1-0 in Pac-12)- If you had told me that the Washington State Cougars would be 3-1 to start the season, I totally would have laughed at you. Yeah, I know, their schedule has been really really weak. But, wins are wins, and they haven’t had 3 wins in a season in the three previous years under Paul Wulff. Is he about to save his job? I thought about putting them up in the 7 slot this week, but if they had to play Utah this week, would they be able to win that? I am not so sure. WSU needs to show me more before I move them up. Luckily for the Cougs, their schedule doesn’t get that much harder with a road game against UCLA next week. Could they be 4-1? Seriously? We’ll see…
9. Arizona- 48-41 loss at USC (1-4 overall, 0-3 Pac-12) If I told you that you would put up 41 points on the road, you’d be pretty happy about that. Arizona had a great opportunity to turn their season around, except that they could not stop Matt Barkley as he threw for a school record 460 yards and USC’s seemingly anemic offense exploded for 48 points. Poor Arizona, their bowl hopes were probably ruined with this loss. Did I predict they would go 7-5? My bad. Well, at least they finally get a reprieve when they travel up for Corvallis to play hapless Oregon State.
10. UCLA- 45-19 loss at Stanford (2-3 overall, 1-1 in Pac-12)- UCLA showed a little spine on the road against Stanford this week. Their offense had some nice drives and kept them in the game for a while. Unfortunately, their defense could not stop the Andrew Luck machine. But, amazingly UCLA could get back to .500 and actually remain in the Pac-12 South title hunt with a victory at home against Washington State this week.
11. Colorado- Lost 31-27 to Washington State (1-4 overall, 0-1 in Pac-12)- You really have to feel bad for the tough luck Buffaloes. Up 27-17 with under 3 mnutes left in the game. The injured and decimated secondary was holding the WSU passing attack under control. It looked like Colorado was going to earn its first every Pac-10 win. Then the Cougars moved down the field and scored a touchdown to make it 27-24. Still, all Colorado had to do is run out the clock. But, they went three and out, gave the ball back to WSU, and Marshall Lobbestael moves them down 91 yards in just one minute for the game winning touchdown. Welcome to the Pac-12 gentlemen.
12. Oregon State- 35-20 loss at Arizona State (0-4 overall, 0-2 in Pac-12)- No one has ever doubted that Mike Reilly is not a good coach. That’s why, even at 0-4, you can not take the Beavers lightly. Arizona State actually had the best resume in the Pac-12 this year with their two wins over ranked opponents and could have easily blown out the Beavs in the desert heat. But, Oregon State stuck around, took advantage of some ASU mistakes and were within a touchdown entering the 4th quarter. Unfortunately freshman QB Sean Mannion threw three interceptions in the 4th quarter while the Beavers were trying to come back in the game. He’ll learn in time and I still think someone in the Pac-12 will suffer an upset this year at the hands of the OSU. Will it be Arizona? The Wildcats come up to Corvallis this week at just 1-4 overall.