Five in conference games, three within a touchdown, two blowouts that were expected. West Coast football fans rejoice, the Pac 12 teams are beginning to measure each other head to head, and they are punching each other in the face. No quarter asked, none given, eleven on eleven, this is what we call fun.
Full slate this week, six games, and a chance to either muddy or gel these rankings. Ducks migrate north to Montlake, the Devils are serving up bison burgers (I’m not kidding, this is brilliant, and it is not appropriate to make a WSU joke here), and UCLA hosts the players whom they did not offer scholarships.
This weeks voting was so close we will include the scores along with ranking. Should things get crazy in Seattle, well, who knows what we’ll be looking at next week.
1. Oregon (58)
The house on the lake is vicious. Oregon will be the first to see the true wrath of the Huskies’ new home. If the Ducks can jump ahead early, things could get ugly, though. I’m hoping that the boys at Nike do not instruct a solid gold scheme for the ducks with the coinciding monochromatic purple for the dawgs. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
An aside, your author will be attending this game. I will be clad in black, seated at the southwest end of the stadium, wondering if it is poor sportsmanship to root for a war of attrition.
2. Stanford (57)
No one enjoys listening to Sarkesian whine more than the staff at ACU. No doubt that Shaw knows how to work a clock, and some shenanigans may have been implemented, either way, Stanford and Washington played close, and who knows the victor on a neutral field. Now Stanford will fly to Salt Lake City, play a skeleton drill until they are up by three touches, and then burn clock until their flight home. Skov will probably not be lying on the ground in the fourth quarter.
3. Washington (48)
College Gameday is entering the Evergreen State for the first time Saturday. The Washington Faithful is celebrating this achievement by shifting focus against a rival who will not be playing in Seattle this week. Stay classy Purple. (ACU also encourages Coug fans to allow Washington to have their day, allow our two flags to fly as they did in Fargo, unceremoniously reminding the nation that we have our tradition, without causing a riot.)
4. UCLA (47)
The kid from Bellevue has brought his Bruins back to national importance. The gridlock at the top of the conference does not seem to matter, as UCLA can sit back, do their job, and host the Pac 12 Championship due to the big boys in the North beating up on each other. This is not a knock on UCLA, just a reality of how the conference is split in 2013.
5. (tie) Washington State (35)
TCB in Berkeley last week. Halliday passed Jack Thompson and Mark Rypien on the all time passing yards list at WSU as the trip to the Bay area turned out as we at ACU had hoped. Passing last season’s win total with six to play allows the Cougars to wonder if something better then the Breaking Bad Bowl following the regular season. A win at home against the Beavers will allow the Cougs to hope for something that we have not enjoyed since 2003, a winning season.
5. (tie) Arizona State (35)
The Catholics beat the Devils in the Lone Star State last week. This week gives ASU the chance to light up the scoreboard in retaliation, like getting smacked around by a bully and running home to kick the snot out of your kid brother. Sorry, Buffalos, the Tempe boys are ticked, and you are in their path.
7. Arizona (33)
The Wildcats remain the team that wasn’t there. Tuscon could easily end up as a 9-3 team, without a truly impressive win, think Louisville if they had to play in this conference. If Zona takes care of business, they could have the best lackluster season in the Pac -12. This could be either the most opportune time to walk into the Coliseum, or they could meet a USC team that wants to prove addition by subtraction. Arizona will not prove anything with a win, but if they lose, they will join the bottom of this ladder.
8. Oregon State (26)
In similar fashion to Arizona, the Beavers have amassed a 4-1 record that includes a loss to FCS Powerhouse Eastern Washington, and a (possibly more telling) close win against the abysmal San Diego State Aztecs. Blaming OSU for scheduling is not fair, their out of conference scheduling included teams that have had success historically, but OSU could also march to a strong record, without beating anyone of consequence. A decisive loss in Pullman will put OSU down with Cal at the bottom of the North. Essentially, this week will define the Beavers, so tune in.
9. Utah (21)
The Utes may be for real. Again, the scheduling of their games this year is uncanny. Four trips out of the State of Utah, none easy. An impressive showing against UCLA may have been an anomaly, but the victory against the “Y” might have proven Utah better than we thought. A few more weeks will tell us for sure, as Stanford provides little opportunity for success.
10. USC (15)
Enter Ed Orgeron. A name that will cause more problems with Pac-12 writers’ spell check programs then for Pac-12 defenses. Those who had not heard of him are scratching their heads less then those who had. Looking at Orgeron’s record while at Ole Miss (11-25), one can only assume that, barring a turnaround of historic proportion, Ed will be looking for another job in two months and Sarkesisan will be continuing to deny rumors of his trip South.
11. Cal (8)
Oh, Golden Bears. The future looks bright, in theory. That future does not start for eleven months, however.
12. Colorado (7)
Continuing the the optimistic theories, the Buffaloes (largely due to an addition of Charleston Southern to the schedule) are still hoping for a bowl. Do not sleep on the Buccaneers, however (yes, ignore this week, you will not win), they already beat Appalachian State (plus, a school that is called, I am not making this up, Shorter).