Before we get to the other teams in the Pac-12, I’ll get to the Husky news of the day. If you haven’t heard by now, Steve Sarkisian has decided that the U-Dub will not talk about injuries anymore. Also, reporters who are at practice can’t report on who sat out of practice or about any strategy being used. In the long-term, this isn’t a big deal. Sooner or later the NCAA will force teams to put out injury lists, like the NFL. Until then we’ll have to deal with this. In the short-term, it is irritating. No, the Huskies aren’t the first team in the conference to do this (the Ducks and Trojans came first) but I don’t support the program limiting access to reporters or fans. Tyrone Willingham treated the media poorly and the fans were closed off from the program. Closed programs are reminiscent of bad times to recent Husky fans. Anytime we hear about the football team limiting access, we shudder now. If we were Oregon, this would be okay because we’d be winning. When you aren’t a top-10 program though, the little things add up to be annoyances. Anyway, I don’t think any less of Sark but I don’t agree with him on this issue. Also, it’s bad when reporters aren’t allowed to report. It hurts what is already a declining industry. Coaching and quality players win games, not keeping injuries secret until the other team can see them during warm-ups.Anyway, on to the real point of this post! Last week was a great week for the Pac-12, even considering some terrible losses. The Pac-12 upsets outweighed the Pac-12 getting upset. This week sports a few challenging games, but also some cupcakes. Not real cupcakes, because what do cupcakes have to do with football. Also, the cupcakes have been much better across the country this year. They are banana cupcakes instead of vanilla. Away we go!
Arizona – Beat Oklahoma State 59-38 – Coming Up: vs. South Carolina State
The last of the upsets came last Saturday night when the Wildcats beat the Cowboys. I guess the cowboys weren’t very quick on their draw. In their defense, wildcats sound like a hard thing to deal with. Oh yeah, football. Arizona’s offense obviously looks explosive and they are looking like a much tougher opponent. Their defense is still in question but I wouldn’t want to face this team right now. Unfortunately for South Carolina State (something I never thought I’d type), they don’t have that luxury. Bulldogs are awesome and that is South Carolina State’s mascot. These weekly blog posts are just turning into a study on mascots.
Arizona State – Beat Illinois 45-14 – Coming Up: at Missouri
ASU winning last weekend wasn’t an upset but the way in which they won was very impressive. Then again, it was the Sun Devils against the Illini. It was sunny. What chance did Illinois really have? So far, Arizona State has been the surprise of the conference (along with Arizona and UCLA). I didn’t think their offense would put up this many points against anyone, much less against BCS conferences. This week they face a much tougher task in Missouri. While Missouri isn’t at the top of the SEC, they are a good road test for the Sun Devils. Expect a shootout and hopefully the Pac-12 can come out with another upset.
California – Beat Southern Utah 50-31 – Coming Up: at Ohio State
The Golden Bears are off to a shaky start. Cal was able to pull away from Southern Utah late in the fourth quarter last week. They had fallen behind for a while but they did rally back. This was a week after losing to Nevada. This week they play Ohio State and, while I’m usually hopeful that a Pac-12 team can pull an upset, I wouldn’t bet on Cal in this one.
Colorado – Lost to Sacramento State 30-28 – Coming Up: at Fresno State
The Buffalo have upstaged Cal in getting off to a bad start. They lost to Pac-12 killers Sacramento State and are now 0-2. Colorado had one of the easier non-conference schedules in the conference but could easily start 0-3 this week. If they don’t take advantage of playing the Bulldogs this week, it could be tough for them to find a win this season. Also, I think buffalo and bulldogs would be good friends in the wild.
Oregon – Beat Fresno State 42-25 – Coming Up: vs. Tennessee Tech
Oregon again jumped out to a large lead and then let Fresno add-on some points against their backup defense. The Ducks are surely very good but we won’t be able to see how good for a few weeks when they actually play a quality opponent. On Tennessee Tech’s home website they have a virtual admissions adviser. They named this virtual adviser ‘Awesome’. Also, this match-up is the Ducks vs. the Golden Eagles. We’ve seen golden things struggle this year in our conference but I have a hard time seeing a duck ever beating an eagle in a brawl. Too bad this is a football game that doesn’t have to do with mascots.
Oregon State – Beat Wisconsin 10-7 – Coming Up: Bye
The Beavers beat the Badgers. Again, I don’t know why everyone was so surprised. Oregon State’s defense was fast and ferocious in this game. I was thoroughly impressed and if they keep playing like that, they’ll be one of the best teams in the conference. Their offense needs to improve though. Everyone will have played 3 games after this weekend except the Beavers, who will have only played one.
Stanford – Beat Duke 50-13 – Coming Up: vs. USC
Stanford probably got sick of hearing about how close their game with San Jose State was and then thoroughly dominated Duke. Of course, Duke isn’t good and their true test comes this week against USC. Stanford probably isn’t what they used to be, but they have been playing well against USC of late. This is a game to keep an eye on.
UCLA – Beat Nebraska 36-30 – Coming Up: vs. Houston
UCLA is the darling of college football right now. They deserve it with their hot start but I’d advise people to ease off their enthusiasm. This start is reminiscent of the start Rick Neuheisal had there. This week they should improve to 3-0 though and will remain the dark horse in the Pac-12 South.
USC – Beat Syracuse 42-29 – Coming Up: at Stanford
USC let Syracuse hang around for a while before putting them away in the second half. The game had a weather delay and not a lot of rhythm if you’re looking for an excuse for the Trojans. I prefer to just wait until this week before I decide whether they are overrated. Trojans vs. Cardinal seems like a no contest because cardinal is a color and can’t fight.
Utah – Lost to Utah State 27-20 (OT) – Coming Up: vs. BYU
In my opinion, Utah had the worst loss of last week. Colorado’s was terrible but no one really cares about Colorado. The Huskies was ugly, but a loss was expected. Utah was supposed to challenge for the Pac-12 South but losing to a below-average team isn’t something champions do. Utah could rebound, they remind me of those mid-2000’s Mike Riley Beaver teams that always started slow but this is definitely a bump in the road. Utah plays an interesting game this week
and could really help themselves with a victory. BYU proved to be a pretty good team against the Cougars. Then again, Cougars.
WSU – Beat Eastern Washington 28-24 – Coming Up: at UNLV (Friday)
Wazzu got a victory, and that’s about all you can say. Eastern is a fine program (as Husky fans found out last year) but WSU should have won this game easily. It was fairly similar to the Washington-Eastern game last year. Now the Cougars go on the road to face those rebels of UNLV. This should be an easy win as well but who knows. The Cougars vs. Rebels? I’d probably choose a cougar in that fight. But, it does depend on what kind of rebel we’re talking about.
Thanks for reading!