The calendar turns to November, the month where a lot will
be determined in the Pac-12.
The bad part is that none of it will be determined this
It’s a full slate of games in the conference for the
second straight week, but none of them are all that
exciting on paper.
In fact, three of the six games on tap have point spreads
of at least 16.5 points, and Vegas only thinks one game
will be determined by less than a touchdown.
Excited? Let’s jump into week 9 in the Pac-12…
The Game of the Week
#19 Arizona State (6-2, 4-1) at UCLA (4-4, 3-2) –
Saturday 4:30 at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA
The Bruins bounced back after the bludgeoning they
received in Tucson in week 8 by beating Cal 31-14 last
Saturday. Somehow, UCLA finds themselves in the strange
situation of playing to save beleaguered coach Rick
Neuheisel’s job and to win the Pac-12 South all at the
same time. The Bruins, at 4-4, control their own destiny,
and that includes this week’s game against Arizona State.
Interestingly enough, the Sun Devils’ 55-24 win against
UCLA last November got the ball rolling in the right
direction for Dennis Erickson’s team. Since that day, the
Devils are 8-2. They should be able to make that 9-2 this
week in Pasadena.
Arizona State 40…UCLA 23
The Rest of the (Mediocre) Schedule
USC (6-2, 3-2) at Colorado (1-8, 0-5) – Friday
6:00 at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO
Good news for Colorado–they don’t play on the road, where
they haven’t won since 2007 (22 straight games). The bad
news for the Buffs is they have to play at home, where
they’re 0-3 this year. CU’s only win came in a neutral
site contest against Colorado State. During the
Buffaloes’ current 6-game losing streak, they’ve been
USC feels slighted about how things ended in their triple-
overtime loss to Stanford. In fact, their coach Lane
Kiffin is 10-grand lighter in the pocket because of his
comments criticizing the Pac-12 officials who didn’t grant
the Trojans a timeout at the end of regulation that would
have given them a chance to win. Kiffin should be more
upset at receiver Robert Woods, who took the screen pass
and ran all the way across the field to try to get out of
bounds instead of navigating the middle of the field,
getting down and calling timout.
Sorry for the rant, but reliving that game is a heck of a
lot more interesting than breaking down this one. USC is
good. Colorado is not.
USC 49…Colorado 17
#4 Stanford (8-0, 6-0) at Oregon State (2-6, 2-3)
– Saturday 12:30 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis,
Just when you thought Oregon State had figured things out
a little bit, they go and fall on their faces in Salt Lake
City last Saturday, losing 27-8. Sean Mannion regressed,
throwing three picks in the loss and Oregon State has
alternated losses and wins in each of their last five
Stanford dodged a bullet in L.A. last Saturday night. If
not for the aforementioned brain freeze of Robert Woods,
the Cardinal could very well be out of the BCS
Championship Game picture. But they’re still very much
alive, especially when you consider that this will be
their final road game of the year.
Stanford 45…Oregon State 20
#8 Oregon (7-1, 5-0) at Washington (6-2, 4-1) –
Saturday 7:30 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA
It’s hard to say that a team who wins a conference game by
15 points and scores 43 in the process looks “human”, but
I’d put Oregon in that category after their Washington
State victory. The Ducks were outgained by the Cougars,
only had the ball for 19:34 and benched starting
quarterback Darron Thomas in the win. The good news is
LaMichael James is back from a dislocated right elbow, and
had a manageable workload (13 carries) vs. Wazzu.
Washington got back into the win column with an impressive
offensive showing against Arizona. Chris Polk ran for
five touchdowns and 144 yards. That won’t happen against
a more aggressive and faster Oregon defense.
Oregon 41…Washington 28
Washington State (3-5, 1-4) at California (4-4, 1-
4) – Saturday 3:30 at AT&T Park in San Francisco,
Last week, I admitted that I can’t figure out the Cal
Golden Bears, and then I picked them to beat UCLA. They
went out and stunk up the joint, losing by 17 to the
Bruins. Zach Maynard threw four picks and found himself
in jeopardy of losing his starting job. He’ll keep it
this week, but doesn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room,
either. Maynard has one touchdown pass and 7 picks in his
last three conference games.
And what’s happened at Washington State? Paul Wulff
looked like he had the Cougars on the right track, but
they’ve lost 4 straight, yielding 40 or more points in
their last three.
Much like Cal is with Maynard, I’m sticking with the
Golden Bears, but the leash is short.
Cal 31…Washington State 24
Utah (4-4, 1-4) at Arizona (2-6, 1-5) – Saturday
4:00 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, AZ
Throw the Utes into that weird category with Cal–you
know, the one where you don’t know what team is going to
show up on any given Saturday. Utah did get its first
conference win against Oregon State and has won two out of
their last three, keeping bowl eligibility a possibility.
John White IV had a huge day on the ground against OSU,
with 205 yards on 35 carries.
Arizona, despite already firing their head coach, also
finds themselves clinging to bowl eligibility. But Tim
Kish’s ‘Cats would have to win out. Offense has not been
the problem for U of A, the defense has been. Arizona
still ranks 113th in the nation in total defense and will
be tested by White and the Utah running game. But
something tells me their defense will respond this week.
Well, they’ll respond well enough to win.
Arizona 30…Utah 28