As we enter conference play in earnest, we are starting to get an idea of which teams came to compete and who needs to head back to the drawing board.
Stanford is off this week, but bears mentioning the huge loss of defensive leader Shayne Skov during the Cardinal's with at Tucson. While Stanford is still a leading candidate for the conference championship, Skov's injury is a massive blow to the leadership structure for the Cardinal.
Washington State and Utah also get a break this week.
Let's take a look at the games.
Getting hot, Rick?
Neither team has played to their potential as forecast in the season’s first weeks. Both teams have had dismal quarterback play and an uncertain future for each starter. Look for the game to be ugly with a lot of turnovers and the defense that is able to capitalize best will win game.
UCLA 14 – Oregon State 10
Both the fanbases of these two teams are expecting dramatic improvement over last year, and so far it has mostly been lived up to. Cal arrives in Seattle with a 3-0 record, and some quality last-second and overtime wins.
Washington’s Keith Price has proven to be up to the challenge, but look for Cal’s defense to win the game for the Bears.
California 17 – Washington 6
Colorado is absolutely improved when compared to last year, but that really isn’t saying much. Ohio State has had an eventful offseason, and it appears that Luke Fickel will not be removing that interim tag anytime soon.
There was not much positive about the Buckeyes trip to Miami, however the Horseshoe is a huge home-field advantage. Look for a close game and a Buffalo upset.
Colorado 34 – Ohio State 32
I’m amazed that ASU lost at Illinois, which makes them appear not as good as we all thought. However, the Sun Devils have a lot of weapons, and sometimes being at home can be a cure-all.
I think that this game has the potential to be one of the more competitive matchups in the entire Pac-12 season. ASU wins, but close.
USC 19 – ASU 25 (overtime)
Maybe try decaf, Mike?
The Ducks arrive in Tucson 2-1, with two wins over fairly inferior competition. Arizona is 1-2 after having been smashed by two top-10 teams. Aside from watching Mike Stoops meltdowns on the sideline, there isn’t much fun about the Wildcats this season.
It appears that Nick Foles has actually regressed in his decision-making skills, and I’m sure that getting screamed at by his coach every time he walks off the field can’t help much. Unlike last year’s thriller in Tucson, Oregon will walk all over the Wildcats.
Oregon 44 – Arizona 20