Around the Pac-12 – Week 9

If you missed it, I wrote a little bit on the Dawgs yesterday that you can find here.  Today, we get back on track with our weekly Around the Pac-12 posts.  After a brief hiatus, this post will include a mascot mash-up.  That will be after the jump, so go ahead and skip to that unless you like football.  Oh, you’re reading a sports blog and most of you like football?  Cool.  Here are the games for the week.

Arizona (Beat Washington 52-17) vs. USC (Beat Colorado 50-6)

Arizona is coming off one of their best victories of the year.  I didn’t need to remind anyone here of that.  USC finally looked like the dominant team they should be but that was against Colorado.  This game has upset written all over it, which could mean that the Trojans play their best game of the year.  We all know how talented USC is but they haven’t put it all together yet.  Arizona on the other hand is a tough team, especially at home.  I expect a lot of points and some great quarterback play.  This could be the game of the week and will go a long way in deciding who Oregon will play in the Pac-12 championship.

Arizona State (Lost to Oregon 43-21) vs. UCLA (Bye)

The last couple of weeks have provided us with plenty of Pac-12 blow outs.  This is the week where the conference could boast 4 good games.  This one will also go a long way in deciding what will happen in the Pac-12 South.  UCLA can’t afford to lose another conference game while Arizona State tries to prove that they aren’t as bad as they looked against Oregon.  Here’s a hint, everyone is going to look awful against Oregon except USC.  This game may feature quite a few points as well.  When it’s all said and done, I’m guessing that these two teams will be behind Arizona and USC in the south.

California (Lost to Stanford 21-3) at Utah (Lost to Oregon State 21-7)

This game features two teams that are trying to salvage their seasons.  Cal is 3-5 and Utah is 2-5.  The Golden Bears were thoroughly dominated by Stanford last week and Utah’s offense just can’t seem to get on track this year.  While this game may not be the most exciting to watch, I think it will be a dogfight that both teams desperately need to win.  Utah played decently against Oregon State but, like I said, their offense can’t seem to get rolling.  For the record, the Huskies go down to play the Golden Bears next Friday night.

Colorado (Lost to USC 50-6) at Oregon (Beat Arizona State 43-21)

This is not one of those quality Pac-12 games that I was talking about.  This will get ugly and in a hurry.  Colorado is terrible and probably won’t win another game this year.  Oregon is really good and may not lose a game this year.  You can do the math from there.  Oregon’s victory last week was impressive and their defense continues to impress.  A buffalo against a duck is a no contest as far as which one is bigger though.

Stanford (Beat Cal 21-3) vs. WSU (Bye)

This shouldn’t be much of a game.  Arizona gave Stanford some problems defensively with their spread offense so maybe Leach can get something going but WSU is not close to Arizona.  Maybe the bye week will help the Cougars as well?  I don’t know and I feel like I’m grasping at straws here.  Stanford has really found their running game and is still about 3 plays away from being undefeated.  I don’t think the Cardinal should be overlooked.  You should never overlook a tree because they are so beautiful.

It is time for me to rank mascots based on their ability to do an Olympic event.  Feedback has told me that this part of the post is as entertaining as it sounds.  I hope I don’t disappoint now.  Find out the event and the mascot rankings after the jump!

This weeks Olympic event is water polo, nominated by our loyal reader Tyler.  Up until now, I’ve only done events in which the mascots compete alone.  For this week, they will be made a team.  To clarify, a cougar won’t be playing a water polo, rather a team of cougars will be playing water polo against a team of bruins.  Boy, I hope that was the first sentence in this post that someone read.  Anyway, on with the rankings.  From worst to first, here we go!

12.  Arizona Wildcats
What?  Stanford isn’t in last place?  Well, we’ll get to that in a minute but we have a different mascot claiming the cellar this week.  If you hadn’t tuned in to these posts before, we’ve discovered that a wildcat is simply like a house cat.  In fact, think of a house cat at the base of the stairs and a lion at the top of the stairs.  On this ‘stair scale’ of cats the wildcat is simply trying to climb the first step and he is failing!  They are so lame.  Cats are afraid of water and seem to be bad swimmers.  You’d have a crappy goalie who couldn’t take up space and would probably sink sooner or later.  Six cats in a pool is as intimidating as a tree trying to run a 400 meter dash.

11.  Arizona State Sun Devils
This decision may cause some controversy in some circles and I don’t want to offend Sparky but the Devil always seems to be afraid of the water when I play it out in my mind (baptisms and such).  Also, this mascot has the word ‘sun’ in it’s titles.  He likes it hot and the pool is not allowed to be over 82 degrees and is usually closer to 77.  That’s not really warm.  The Sun Devils may just melt like the wicked witch in Wizard of Oz.

10.  Colorado Buffaloes
Sometimes I think I may overvalue the buffaloes.  This week I just can’t pull out a scenario where they’d be good at this game.  Sure the goalie would take up room but I don’t even know if his head would be above the water.  Pools have to be at least 6 feet deep and Olympic water polo is even deeper.  If we’re talking about Water Buffaloes, then it gets more complicated because they’re used to the water.  Still, water polo is a game of agility and quickness.  Buffaloes being quick in the water is not going to happen.  Think of them as the hippo you see at the zoo who just sits in the water and doesn’t move at all.  Those hippos are just trying to trick you by the way, they kill more people in Africa than all other animals combined.

8.  Oregon State Beavers
Like the water buffalo, a beaver is more adapt to water than some of these mascots but isn’t quick enough.  Beavers like to swim under water and the ball isn’t allowed to go under the water.  No one can convince me that the beavers have enough power in their limbs to pass the ball with any velocity or control it moving forward.  Which is why they’re tied with…..

8.  Stanford Cardinal
For this week we are taking the Cardinal as a tree.  Mainly because I can’t do anything with a color.  Trees aren’t able to pass or shoot.  But, they can float and take up space.  I don’t think a Buffalo would be able to score on a tree?  Do you?  At some point, these animals will get tired (maybe not the beaver) but the trees will not lose any stamina.  While the cats sink and die, the ball just might float into the goal.  Plus, after all the cats die the game is forfeited anyway.  This is a real stretch but the Cardinal couldn’t finish last again.

7.  California Golden Bears
Again we come to this dilemma of the Golden Bears being extinct.  At this point, I put the Golden Bears ahead of who they need to be but they lose any close match-ups due to their extinction.  Bears would be fine at water polo but I’m not convinced that they can move fast enough in the water to keep up with the mascots ranked ahead of them.  Plus, they’d get many fouls called on them because of their violent nature.  Water polo appears to be strict when it comes to ejections and you have to think that the refs will have a quick whistle when it comes to a bear being in the water.

6. UCLA Bruins
Take everything I said about the Golden Bears and apply it to the Bruins.  Bruins still exist though so they come in a respectable 6th place.

5.  Oregon Ducks
This is a tricky one, as the ducks are the most comfortable in the water and their quickness isn’t in question.  Their size is what concerns me though.  I believe they’d be able to move the ball with their bill, as long as these ducks were fully grown,  and I think the goalie would be able to cover his ground because we’re allowing him to fly within the size of the goal.  The shooting is what worries me and, quite frankly, I think the ducks will have to overwhelm the other mascots with pressure to score.  They are able to fly along the surface of the water so I do think they’ll apply pressure which is what puts them in the 5th spot.

4.  Washington State Cougars
Yeah, the Cougars have made it this far solely based on what I’ve seen of tigers in the water.  I know their different creatures but they come from the same big cat family and I think they’ll share enough of the qualities to translate to decent water polo players.  The Cougars games will be high scoring affairs as their goalie will not be able to move as well as other teams.  But, I do think the Cougars will move quickly in the water and will have enough strength to pass the ball and shoot to some degree.  They are still cats though and their stamina in the water has to be questioned.

3.  USC Trojans
The Trojans are humans and have that on the rest of the field (except for the Utes).  But, have you seen those outfits?  They have armor and are fully clothed (usually in skirts).  Have you ever tried to swim around quickly with armor on?  Me neither, and please keep it that way.  Also, at what point do we have to worry about rust?  While the Ducks appear to be a trendy wildcard this week, the Trojans have a ton of talent that is filled with complicated questions.  See, some of these things make sense with football still.

2.  Washington Huskies
Dogs like water.  Dogs swim pretty well and can move quickly.  Like the Cougars, their games may be high scoring affairs.  They are also used to chasing objects down in the water, which will come in handy in water polo.  Admittedly, they don’t have the talent that the Trojans do but you don’t have to worry about rust with dogs.  Also, dogs like water more than cats which gets them all the way up to number 2.

1.  Utah Utes

While the rest of these picks can be argued, this is pretty easy.  The Utes are humans and have arms that will be able to actually throw the ball.  They don’t wear metal into the water.  In fact, they have quite a bit of range in what they wear and shouldn’t be held back.  If the Utes lose this event, it will be the biggest upset since a devil getting dominated while trying to tackle a bunch of ducks.

Thank you for reading!




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