Around The Pac-12 – Week 6

This week, on ‘Around the Pac-12’, we’re debuting something new.  It’s something exciting and extremely informative.  It’s a mascot ranking!  Every week I’ll think of categories or events and rank the mascots based on how well they’ll do.  If you’ve read these posts at all, you know that I enjoy sports team’s mascots.  Since we’re out of non-conference play I don’t have the opportunity to find new mascots.  Last week Matthew came up with this idea and I’m going to run with it.  It may turn into its own weekly post.  For now, the mascot rankings will fall after the jump* so that you get all of the informative stuff and have the opportunity to stop reading if ridiculous rankings aren’t your thing.

Of course, I will still be making jokes and dumb comments in the informative part of this post.

This Week:  Arizona (lost to Oregon State 38-35) at Stanford (lost to Washington 17-13)

Well, we know what happened with Stanford last week.  Their quarterback won’t be able to win games for them.  Fortunately for the Cardinal, he won’t have to.  What is also concerning is that Stanford couldn’t just push around the Huskies.  They do that against most of the Pac-12 and it will be interesting to see if they will be able to do this for the rest of season.  Arizona is starting to look like the team we thought they were in the pre-season.  Arizona can and will score quite a few points but it doesn’t seem as if the defense will be able to hold many teams down.  They’ve given up 87 points in the last 2 games.  Of course, this was against the two Oregon schools, two of the best teams in the conference.  This is an intriguing match-up and could really provide some clarity in the Pac-12 race.

This Week:  California (lost to Arizona State 27-17) vs. UCLA (beat Colorado 42-14)

The Golden Bears are now 1-4.  They have played tough against Ohio State and Arizona State but simply don’t seem to have the quarterback to win games.  They have the talent and I think they’ll start to win a few more in the weeks coming, but this isn’t the start to the season they’d imagined.  UCLA did what they were supposed to do last week and beat Colorado fairly easily.  They have moved to 4-1 and could wind up having a pretty interesting South division race with ASU and USC.  That’s something I didn’t think I’d say at the beginning of the season.  This week provides a battle of the bears and I really don’t know which bear is superior.  Probably the one that’s not a statue.

This Week:  Oregon State (beat Arizona 38-35) vs. WSU (lost to Oregon 51-26)

Oregon State continues to show that they are the most improved team in the conference, and maybe the country.  I don’t think they’ll continue to win every single game but winning 9 or 10 games is definitely a possibility now.  It’s tough to win in the desert and that’s exactly what the Beavers did.  They should improve to 4-0 this week.  Wazzu played Oregon pretty tough in the first half.  The Ducks played a pretty simple defense against them and didn’t blitz often in the first half, which showed the rest of the conference what not to do.  The Cougars are improving but I don’t know if it will be enough to win another game this season.  They’re up against a stiff opponent this week.

This Week:  USC at Utah 

Both of these teams had a bye last week.  This game is on Thursday night.  Utah has been fairly bad all year and are playing well-below pre-season expectations.  Even though USC has only one loss, they are playing below expectations as well.  They have the talent that makes me think it’s only a matter of time before they get rolling but it may never happen.  They should win this week though.

Byes:  Colorado (lost to UCLA 42-14), Arizona State (beat California 27-17)

Colorado got back to their normal way of life this week after their miracle in Pullman.  That might have something to do with UCLA being a much better team than WSU.  Barring something crazy, Colorado will finish the season 1-11 and Jon Embree will join Jeff Tedford in unemployment or having toasty buns from the hot seat he’s sitting on.  Arizona State is headed in the other direction, but I do question their level of opponent.  Their defense appears to be strong but I don’t know if the offense has enough playmakers.  Time will tell.  For now, they have to be feeling good sitting at 4-1.

That’s all the match-ups.  Now, on to the good stuff after the jump!

We’ll just title this ‘Ranking The Mascots’.  I will try to not show any bias because these things are serious.  I think a good place to start would be on Olympic events.  We might go with that category for a while.  We’ll start with the 400 meter hurdles because, I don’t know.  These are all Pac-12 mascots.  I’ll go from worst to first because countdowns are cool!

Pac-12 Mascots:  400 Meter Hurdles

12.  Stanford Cardinal – What exactly are the Cardinal?  Are they a tree or a color?  Either way they can not physically run or jump.  The gun would sound and this mascot would either stand firm, get gnawed on by a Beaver that just stumbled through the hurdles, or blend into the track.
10.  Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers – This is a tough one, hence the tie.  For the sake of the contest, I determined that the Duck can fly but is still not allowed to go outside of his lane and has to fly low enough that he still has to show that his flying trajectory goes up a little bit to go over the hurdle.  Now, if you have a duck who has great control then it’s a real dark horse (no pun intended) to win this race.  Since most ducks don’t have that control, I think they’d often be disqualified.  Especially when you consider how they’d be trying to escape being eaten by a bear or a cougar.  The Beaver would be slow but is faster than a duck waddle and would stay in the lane.  Assuming they didn’t go out of their way and start gnawing on the tree.  There’s no clear-cut thing that’s ahead here, so tie.
9.  California Golden Bears – The Bears have made it this far just because they are bears.  I mean, bears would kill ducks beavers and an immobile object in a race.  The Golden Bears fall at number 9 because they’re extinct.  It’s hard to run a race if you’re extinct and don’t exist.  I often think of a Golden Bear as a statue so maybe that’s what they’ll become as we  move forward in these rankings but for now they fall comfortably into the lower tier.

8.  Arizona Wildcats – So, a wildcat is basically a house cat.  I had no idea before Wikipedia told me.  Why are there quite a few people who thought naming a mascot ‘Wildcat’ was a good idea?  Did they have any idea it’s small?  You didn’t do the proper research?  I just Google searched it and found out what an actual wildcat is in less than 15 seconds.  How many cats are better than wildcats?  All of them except for house cats.  With that being said, they’re still faster than beavers, statues, ducks, and trees.
6.  Utah Utes, USC Trojans
– And in come the humans tying at the finish line in sixth place!  If you had 100 Trojans and 100 Utes race, who would win?  I don’t know.  The Trojans seemed like great warriors but the Ute tribe had to hunt in the mountains and I’m sure they did their share of running.  I don’t think they have the power of a large animal like a buffalo or bear and they don’t have the speed of a cat that’s wild.  Of course, this even was made for humans but I’m not really taking into account mascot brains.

5.  Washington Huskies – There are two contrasting thoughts here.  The Iditarod.  Huskies run for miles and they run hard.  But, they don’t often jump in the wild.  They don’t have the power to just run through things like the bigger mascots.  One things for certain, if it start snowing the Huskies will jump up into medal contention.
4.  UCLA Bruins – We’re really getting into it now.  It’s a tough call between the remaining mascots and there’s no real Usain Bolt in this race.  I’m thinking that the Bruin starts off strong and quick, running hard and smashing the hurdles.  After 200 meters though the Bruin gets caught up in smashing through the hurdles and ultimately slows down just a bit.  Bears typically don’t seem to have the best jumping skills.
3.  Colorado Buffaloes
– The medal round is really up for grabs depending on your views of religion and buffalo jumping.  A buff is fairly fast and, unlike the bear, could probably jump over the hurdle.  I don’t know if it’d be smart enough to jump and I think endurance is a problem here.  This is why I may have underrated the Husky and, as sorry I am to say it, the wildcat.  Something tells me the buffalo is a proud animal and won’t settle for less than a

Fighting for the top spot.

bronze medal.
2.  Washington State Cougar –  The Cougar could easily pull out this victory depending on a Sun Devil’s magical powers.  A cougar is fast, agile and probably has as good of endurance as a husky.  If you had to pick an animal to run the hurdles the cougar might be the best animal to pick.  Period.  Too bad it has to go up against…
1.  Arizona State Sun Devils
– It’s just hard to pick against the devil.  I can’t find anything that says a sun devil is any different the devil.  Keeping religion out of this, I’m just going to say that we’re talking about the devil depicted in cartoons.  This devil would start slowly and pick off his opponents using powers and seemingly impossible amounts of speed and tricks.  I could see a tortoise and the hare scenario turning up though because the devil seems like a prideful type.  The devil wins this week though.

So, there you go.  Until next week this has been mascot rankings from the Good Guys.




Filed under Pac-10 Outlook

2 responses to “Around The Pac-12 – Week 6

  1. Matthew

    This was maybe my favorite thing you’ve ever posted. Not to be a homer, but I think you’re definitely underrating the husky. Wolves and dogs are very good leapers. It might be tired by the final hurdle, but I’d definitely take it over the bruin, and maybe even the buffalo. Hard to argue with your top two though.

    On the wildcat, is it possible everyone is thinking in generic terms of “wild” cats, and they combined the words through ignorance? Lions, tigers and jaguars are much scarier than actual wildcats.

    Unfortunately, the duck is going to clean up in the jumping events.

    • Thank you! I do think my trying to be unbiased about the Huskies turned into a bias against them… You know, like Brock Huard. But, I do disagree with you about beating a Buffalo. I just have a hard time seeing a buffalo not getting on that medal stand.

      As for the wildcat, I get your point. I’m sure that’s what all of those schools want the meaning to be that. But, I bet most of their fans (or even administration) don’t know that a wildcat is actually one of the wimpiest cats. I don’t think we should be giving them a free pass just because of what they wanted the mascot to mean. There are no schools named the ‘Wild horses’ even though there are broncos and mustangs. Those schools were responsible enough to name their mascot after an actual breed instead of a sweeping generalization. There are plenty of good cats to choose from, just pick one.

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