Uncle Ted continues to put together the ultimate Pac-12 road trip. The week 11 stop is at good old New Memorial Stadium, where the Bears will host the Ducks.
What will Oregon's mentality be heading into this game? Will they be flying high after knocking off USC in the Pac-12's regular season game of the year? Will they be down in the dumps, doubting themselves after falling to the Trojans? The answer is no or no. Regardless of what happened the week before, the Ducks are one of the most level-headed teams in the conference.
They have only lost back-to-back games once under Chip Kelly and it wasn't even in the same season; the national championship game at the end of the 2010 season to No. 1 Auburn and then the season opener last year against No. 4 LSU. Not offering a prediction on the USC-Oregon game, but I don't think either outcome changes how the Ducks approach Cal.
And Cal will be coming off what many expect to be a slugfest with Washington the previous week in a battle for Pac-12 North pecking order. All of that builds up to a game that may very well determine the Pac-12 North champion. If Cal took care of business against Stanford and Washington (and there's certainly no promises it did) this game could send the winner to the conference championship.
Something to note: This will be Cal's second straight home game and third in the last four weeks. On the flip side, Oregon will have been on the road three of the last four weeks. For those of you who buy into trends, this isn't exactly a game-changer, but it's still worth consideration. Recent history shows the Bears are much tougher against Oregon at home. The Ducks crushed Cal 42-3 in '09 and 43-15 last season. But there was the 15-13 Oregon win at Memorial Stadium in 2010, where the Bears held the Ducks to just one offensive touchdown and Cal won the 2008 meeting at home, 26-16.
Cal's defense is one of the best in the conference -- and it will get a chance to showcase just how good it can be against what will likely be its toughest test to date.
Are you feeling tired after yesterday's Fourth of July celebrations? Don't worry, we won't burden you with too many links today. A couple links and plenty of tumbleweeds after the jump.
- Pac-12 week one primer (about two months in advance): with significant turnover among coaching staff and on the defensive line, Nevada should be a steep underdog to the Bears.
- Jon Wilner has an informative Q+A with his readers about the Pac-12 Network.