Pac-10 Outlook: Week 5

I’m a few days late on this, forgive me.  We’ve already covered the UW-USC game, so there’s only 3 to go over.  Let’s do it!

Oregon 52 – Stanford 31

For a little while on Saturday it looked as if Stanford could win the national championship.  They weren’t just beating, they were dominating the Ducks.  It was 21-3.  Then Oregon’s speed took over.  Are these slow starts by the Ducks?  Are they fast starts by their opponent?  In 3 games, the Ducks have faced a double-digit deficit, but they’ve still beat everyone by double digits.  Stanford’s stock didn’t fall in this game, at least it shouldn’t have.  Oregon looks like they might be the best team in the nation outside of those guys down in Alabama.  It’s amazing how explosive they are.  One thing is clear, if you give Oregon any momentum then the game will be over before you know it.  Just ask Stanford.

Oregon State 31 – Arizona State 28

Oregon State got back on the winning side in a game they should win.  The Sun Devils put up another valiant effort but sooner or later close losses lose their meaning and winning becomes a necessity.  ASU has reached that point.  The Beavers defense played a solid game, giving up 364 yards (that’s good for a Pac-10 game this year).  Jacquizz Rodgers ran all over the field, like people expected him to do at the start of the season.  Also, Ryan Katz may have started to find some rhythm, which would make the Beavers offense very dangerous.  As far as ASU goes, they are a good team that makes too many mistakes to win.  They are the most penalized team in the nation.  If they put together a full game, they’d beat just about anyone in the conference but right now there are just too many mistakes keeping them from winning.  We’ll see if that changes, hopefully it won’t this week.

UCLA 42 – WSU 28

This game was weird.  The Cougars have found a little something as far as a passing offense goes.  But, I never really thought WSU was going to win the game even after they were ahead in the 4th quarter.  UCLA seemed like they simply needed to wake up.  When they did, midway through the 4th, it was game over.  The Cougars gave up over 400 yards rushing.  UCLA was playing with a backup quarterback, Brehaut, who is pretty bad.  Kevin Prince should be back this week.  The Bruins’ secondary should not be this bad.  They have the best linebacker and safety in the league, but there have been several games this year where it seems as if they just forgot to show up.  Even after beating Texas, I’m still not sold on the Bruins.  The Cougars played competitively, which is more than they’ve been able to say in a Pac-10 game in about 2 years.  We’ll see if they can keep it up at all.

This Week:

UCLA @ Cal- Two teams that are hard to figure out.  It’s a big game for both of them if either of them want to make a bowl game.
Oregon @ WSU-
After showing some hope last week, the Cougs play a game that they have absolutely no chance in.  Oregon could put up 100 points if they wanted to.
OSU @ Arizona-
This might be the most intriguing game of the week.  OSU plays another tough road game and looks to get on the winning side.  The Beavers have faced the top 3 defenses in the nation, statistically (Boise St, Arizona, and TCU).  Arizona, meanwhile, tries to show they belong with Oregon.
Stanford @ USC-
This is a game that I think most Husky fans will be curious about.  It seems like USC has to put a game together sooner or later.  But, Stanford is so tough.  I think the Cardinal will be glad to be done with this road trip.
ASU @ UW-
As always, we’ll have more on this later.  But, can ASU finally turn the corner or will they finally roll over?  Can UW’s offense be as good as it was last week?  Will the defense show improvement?  A huge game for both schools.

Power rankings after the jump!  1.  Oregon- The Ducks could be double-digit favorites in every game they play from here on. 
2.  Arizona-
Tough game this week, the Wildcats are definitely a good team but how good is yet to be seen.
3.  Stanford-
I think they are better than Arizona but I dropped them to 3rd after the loss.  They looked amazing in the first half last week.  Another tough game this week, but they’ll be ready to go.
4.  Oregon State-
Back on the winning side and probably ready for their usual strong conference season.
5.  UCLA-
Who knows about this team.  Are they the team that beat Texas or the team that was awful against Stanford?  Last week didn’t show us much.
6.  UW-
Absolutely huge win but will it be a launching point?
7.  USC-
Things don’t get easier for the Trojans.  A total collapse may be coming.  Or, they might bounce back this week and surprise us all.
8.  ASU-
So close, but they have to start winning those games.  The hardest part of their schedule is over but do they have anything left after those 3 devastating losses?
9.  Cal-
Cal is a better team than being 9th in these rankings.  They could show that this week against UCLA. 
10.  WSU-
Improvement!

Thanks for reading!

Andrew

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