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This Week In The Pac: The Pac-10 Hates Their Bowl Tie-Ins

The Big 12 has 7 bowl eligible teams.  So does the ACC and the Big 10 11.  The vaunted SEC has 8!  How many does the Pac-10 have?  A measly 3.  Want to contemplate an insane scenario?  It's possible that the Pac-10 could fail to supply an eligible bowl team for the Holiday Bowl.  Consider the following hypothetical:

Oregon St. (4-4) needs two wins.  They beat Washington St. but lose to USC, Stanford and Oregon
Cal (5-4) needs just one win, but loses to Oregon, Stanford and Washington
Arizona St. (4-5) needs to win out because they beat two FCS teams, but loses to Stanford or Arizona
UCLA (4-5) needs two wins but loses to Arizona St. and USC
Washington (3-6) needs three wins but loses to UCLA or WSU

Then, let's imagine that Oregon makes the national championship game and (shudder) Stanford makes a BCS game.  That leaves Arizona for the Alamo bowl and thanks to USC's sanctions the Pac-10 fails to supply a team for four bowl tie-ins!  And we wonder why the Pac-10 can never negotiate attractive bowl matchups!

After the jump Stanford and Oregon bore us with more blowouts, USC and Arizona St. both try very hard to lose, and Oregon St. decides to flip the narrative by actually losing a game in November for a change.

Stanford 42, Arizona 17

The big matchup of the day turned into a rout surprisingly quickly, as Arizona ignored my exhortations to save a Pac-10 season from spiraling even further into the depths of pain and disappointment.  Nick Foles and the Wildcats produced no offense in the first half while Andrew Luck and a finally healthy Chris Owusu terrorized Arizona's defense backfield. Rule of Tree has lots of praise to give out:

In shredding a defense that was allowing 14 points per game, the Cardinal set up its running game with the pass. Andrew Luck was 23-for-32 for 293 yards and two touchdowns, and got a little love from ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews. Stanford's opening drive featured five passes and one run, and culminated with a 45-yard touchdown reception by Chris Owusu. The junior receiver had career highs of 9 receptions for 165 yards. The Cardinal offense found success on the ground, too, rushing for 217 yards against a defense that was allowing 88 per game.

AZ Desert Swarm has lost faith in their golden-locked hero:

Arizona waited much too long before deciding to put their offense into ‘drive'. Nick Foles turned in arguably his worst performance of the season. It is my opinion that had Matt Scott been healthy, coach Stoops would have pulled Foles. Disregard the final score. When the Arizona offense finally scored a TD, it was far too little, too late to do any good. If Scott is healthy, I say start him against USC.

MGoHarbaugh? Predict where Jim Harbaugh will be coaching next year!

Work up a lather and pretend you're Mike Stoops.  Who would you start at QB next week?

Watch it for the highlights and the empty seats.  Keep the sound off to avoid permanent hearing damage.

UCLA 17, Oregon St. 14

This one is a bit of a head scratcher after UCLA's recent performances, and I can't really explain it since I didn't see any of it.  UCLA did a much better job slowing down Jacquizz than Cal did (sigh) and Richard Brehaut did just enough (and makes me wonder what Norm Chow was thinking in insisting that Kevin Prince was the guy for the first half of the season).  Bruins Nation is pretty pleased with Brehaut:

The promise is certainly there. Last night when Richard Brehaut let the team to a TD in the epic twenty play drive, many of us were having visions of number 18. The way he churned out yards with his legs and kept moving the team forward while keeping his poise, displayed remarkable progress he has shown in a matter of weeks, while undercutting the public criticism directed at him from his OC. Sure as a true sophomore QB Brehaut still locks on his targets at times. However, that is not anything dramatically different than what we have seen from Kevin Prince. At this point the upside and potential of Brehaut is pretty clear and it has all of us fired up for his next appearance in a very winnable game.

Building The Dam isn't pleased with their coaches or their defense:

The loss has to be laid on the coaching staff, the second consecutive one in the last two road games, both to teams with losing records. For one thing, by week 10, a team making multiple personal foul mistakes has had a problem making corrections.

But worst was the defense coming into a game totally unprepared. A glance at the UCLA depth chart revealed immediately that the Bruins were going to be able to do the same thing Louisville did, which was to over-power the Beavers' defensive front. Yet nothing was done about it.

Oregon St.'s defensive (lack of a) game plan made Richard Brehaut look like Andy Dalton, just as they had Louisville's Adam Froman. Defensive coordinator Mark Banker's defensive scheme continues to not provide for containment, allowing quarterbacks with more mobility than a fire hydrant to continually escape pressure, and turn losses into big plays.

Oregon St. has to beat either Stanford, Oregon or USC to make a bowl.  Do you see it happening?

Richard Brehaut:  Good enough to save Rick Neuheisel's skin?

USC 34, Arizona St. 33

Missed field goals, bizarre turnovers, special teams gaffes and a freak blocked extra point returned for two points - just your typical game between two teams with nothing to play for.  Matt Barkley and Steven Threet were pretty good, except when they weren't, and ultimately the winner was the team that didn't screw up last.  Can you tell that I found it frustrating watching USC make mistake after mistake that they would never make against Cal? Conquest Chronicles is just happy to win:

Like I said in last nights post game thread, we saw just about everything last night. There was good and bad on both sides of the ball but at least we got a win. The win certainly wasn't pretty but it was a win. The defense played a pretty good game even though they still have trouble defending spread type offenses/mobile QB's. They also started running out of gas as the second half wore on. You could see it in the tackling...or lack there of.

House of Sparky blames . . . the punter?!?

Trevor Hankins is one of the best punters in college football, averaging 47.1 yards per punt and proving his worth on a consistent basis. He has given ASU two full years of quality play, and has been relied upon by fans and teammates alike.

This weekend, however, the only thing that he did was cause the Sun Devils the road victory against the USC Trojans. Hankins violated a team rule and was suspended for the game, forcing Thomas Weber into punting duties and taxing an already stretched special teams.

How did Thomas Weber do? He punted the ball seven times, kicked off three times, and kicked four PAT's as the end of the game drew near. One of Weber's punts was blocked, his kickoffs were allowing the Trojans excellent field position, and an extra point was blocked.

It was ASU's punter's fault:  Yay or nay?

Which cosmic force do you blame for USC's tendency to make bizarre mistakes and play down to every team in the Pac-10 except Cal?

Oregon 53, Washington 16

Oregon struggled (by their standards for about 35 minutes.  Then they scored 35 straight points.  Stop me if you've heard this before.

Addicted to Quack revels in a rivalry win:

It wasn't pretty for about 3/5ths of the game, but the Ducks continued to do what they've been doing all year: Wear Teams Down (maybe that's what WTD really stands for?). The Ducks were held scoreless in a quarter (other than the fourth quarter in two blowout wins) for the first time this year after failing to put points on the board until Rob Beard's 29-yard field goal at the beginning of the second period. But once the offense got rolling, it was as unstoppable as it's been all season, racking up 522 yards behind a balanced attack capping a very Happy I Hate Washington Week.

UW Dawg Pound tries to evaluate Jake Locker's replacement:

Keith Price looked good in his debut showing plenty of mobility and most importantly no turnovers which kept his team in the game halfway through the third quarter until Oregon scored their three unanswered touchdowns. Price was 14-28 for 127 yards and one touchdown pass. The numbers don't look very good but he didn't have any time to throw the ball. When Oregon built its lead in the second half they blitzed every play and the Huskies had no answer for it.

What would you consider to be an 'acceptable performance' for the Bears against Oregon?

What level is your UW paranoia threat meter if Jake Locker is out against Cal?

Watch this video and look into a bleak, dystopian future.


All games Pacific Standard Time

Washington St. @ Oregon St., 1:00 pm
Stanford @ Arizona St., 4:30 pm
Oregon @ Cal, 4:30 pm, VS
USC @ Arizona, 5:00 pm, ABC

Stanford brutalizes a sleep walking Dennis Erickson, USC and Arizona get one of the most undeserved 5:00 ABC slots ever and UCLA and Washington get a week off to scheme against each other in a bowl game elimination game.  Get your picks in early!