10 Things We Learned About the Pac-12 in Week 10

Jonathan IrwinContributor IINovember 5, 2012

10 Things We Learned About the Pac-12 in Week 10

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    What an exciting weekend it was in the Pac-12. With the emergence of a Heisman front-runner, the near winning and losing of divisions and plenty of great football, can you believe we still have three more weeks to go?

    With some of the most crucial November games yet to come, we learned plenty from these teams on Saturday.

Oregon State Has Depth

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    Without their starting quarterback, and without their starting running back, the Beavers put on an offensive clinic against Arizona State.

    Cody Vaz threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns, while Terron Ward rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

    Not to mention the Beavers played this one without star cornerback Jordan Poyer, only giving up 153 yards passing.

    Arizona State was a team with upset potential. And though the Beavers played a hideous first quarter, they dominated the final three of that game.

    As long as its depth holds, Oregon State is still a big challenger in the North.

Kenjon Barner Is a Heisman Front-Runner

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    Barner was always a Heisman candidate, but his stock has been slipping all season.

    While he's playing great, the Ducks' penchant for destroying the opposition has made it so he isn't getting enough playing time.

    Well, Barner finally got a chance to play a whole four quarters Saturday, reminding the world just how good he is.

    The speedy tailback rushed for 321 yards—a school record—and five touchdowns against USC. He also had two catches for 26 yards.

    Barner now has 1,295 rushing yards on the season, with 19 touchdowns. Depending on the severity of Collin Klein's hand injury—suffered Saturday against Oklahoma State—the door could be open for Barner.

Stanford Has a Long Ways to Go

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    Despite losing a plethora of talent to the NFL draft, the Stanford Cardinal have been very impressive this season.

    Tied for second in the North at 5-1—with games against both Oregon schools coming up—the Cardinal are in a great position.

    But after Saturday's games, Stanford gets a look at how hard its journey will be.

    All three of the Cardinal's final opponents won their games Saturday, outscoring the opposition 164-87. The Beavers and Bruins looked great on defense, while the Ducks looked unstoppable on offense.

    Stanford has a great team, but it still has a long ways to go.

Washington State Was Overrated

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    With a new head coach and the potential for an elite passing attack, Washington State was looked upon as a sleeper in the North.

    And while they looked good out of the gate, the Cougars have since fallen hard.

    After Saturday's 49-6 loss to Utah, the Cougars are now dead last in the Pac-12 at 0-6 in conference play. The loss marked the fourth game in a row in which WSU failed to score more than 20 points.

    With performances like that, it's easy to say the Cougars were the Pac-12's most overrated team.

Oregons Defense Can Be Exposed

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    While everyone is talking about how good the Ducks were on offense, many are ignoring how exposed they were on defense.

    After holding the Trojans to just three points in the first quarter, the Oregon defense disappeared. Not only did it allow USC back in this one, but the Trojans actually scored as many points in the final three quarters as the Ducks.

    USC finished the game with 615 total yards of offense, which included 484 through the air.

    Oregon also struggled on special teams, allowing 266 return yards on nine kicks.

    Of course, no matter how exposed it was it doesn't change the big question. Can anyone slow down that offense just enough for a win?

UCLA Has a Great Shot at the South

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    After an embarrassing 43-17 loss to Cal in Week 6, UCLA looked to be slipping.

    Since then the Bruins have reemerged, winning their last three—including Saturday's 66-10 shellacking of Arizona.

    In that same time span, USC has lost two straight to Pac-12 opponents. Meaning, UCLA currently leads the South.

    As long as the Bruins can beat USC on Nov. 17—a game played at the Rose Bowl—UCLA should have no issues recapturing the Pac-12 South.

Arizona Is Toast

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    After Arizona's upset of USC in Week 9, it looked like the Wildcats were back in the Pac-12 race.

    Now they're all but done for. Not only did their loss to the Bruins expose how bad they are on defense—66 points and 611 total yards allowed—but it also moved the Wildcats to 2-4 in the conference.

    With three teams ahead of it in the standings, there's no way 'Zona can get back in the race.

John White Still Has Some Life in Him

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    John White broke out in 2011, rushing for over 1500 and 15 touchdowns. The Utes tailback looked on his way to a stellar senior season.

    Instead, 2012 has brought nothing but disappointment for White. He's rushed for just 619 yards on the season, with only five touchdowns.

    But Week 10 brought good things for White, who rushed for 101 yards on 18 carries.

    It was his second 100-yard game in a row, and the second in which he had two rushing touchdowns—White also had a touchdown catch Saturday.

    While the season is almost up for White, he's proving he's still got something left in the tank.

Arizona State May Have the Best D-Line in the Conference

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    Arizona State leads the Pac-12 in sacks, and it made sure to remind everyone of that fact on Saturday.

    Facing an offensive line that ranked fifth in the Pac-12 in sacks allowed (2.4 a game), the Sun Devils mowed over the Beavers.

    ASU finished that game with six sacks, two forced fumbles (one recovered for a touchdown) and a blocked punt (resulting in a safety).

    Let's just say, Will Sutton had his way in this one. And unfortunately for the Pac-12, he's still only a junior.

November Is Going to Be a Crucial Month

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    As if the first Saturday of the month wasn't exciting enough, November is only going to get better.

    And for many Pac-12 teams, it holds the most crucial games of the season.

    In the North, Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford are all very much alive. All three teams have yet to play one another.

    For the Ducks, winning out could propel them far enough in the rankings to land that elusive second BCS National Championship bid.

    In the South, UCLA and USC have yet to meet in their crucial game. Not to mention, Arizona State is still very much alive, with its game against the Trojans coming up in Week 11.

    Needless to say, the Pac-12 might be the most exciting conference down college football's final stretch.