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UCLA vs. Stanford, Part Deux: Pac-12 Championship Game Open Thread

Last week, Stanford defeated UCLA in the regular season finale. Six days later, it's a rematch for the Pac-12 championship. Which one of these Cal rivals will be the Pac-12 representative in the Rose Bowl?

Stephen Dunn

2012 Pac-12 Championship Game

UCLA (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) at Stanford (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12)

5:00 pm PT

TV: FOX

When I was asked by one of CGB's most powerful figureheads if I could prepare and post the open thread for tonight's Pac-12 football championship game, I agreed to do it. Why? I thought I should do my part, pull my weight around here, save someone else the time and trouble, blah blah blah.

But I have to admit my heart isn't in this one. It is UCLA (Pac-12 South champions) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 North champions) in Palo Alto, with the winner getting the right to play in the Rose Bowl game. In other words, it is my two most hated football enemies playing one another for the right to play in a game that has eluded my beloved California Golden Bears for more than 50 years. If you can get into this one, more power to you. You are a better person than I.

As you probably know, this game is a rematch. Just six days ago, Stanford beat UCLA relatively easily, 35-17, in Pasadena. This time, the game is on Stanford's home turf (plenty of good seats available, amirite?). Is there any reason to believe that the result will be different?

Bill Connelly did a preview on this game. Since his SB Nation article definitively establishes that he cares about this game infinitely more than I do, I will borrow from his preview for your benefit:

It probably isn't difficult, then, to figure out the major keys for Friday's rematch in Palo Alto. The team that better takes advantage of its quarterback's mobility will probably win, and the team that takes better gambles on defense will probably win. In the first game, that team was Stanford in both instances.

It isn't out of the realm of possibility, however, that UCLA could turn the tables here. MOST of their defensive gambles worked, and lord knows Hundley can kill you with his legs if you turn your back. Stanford is the obvious favorite, basically, because of that front seven. Along with Alabama's and Notre Dame's, it might be the best in college football.

But if UCLA can force a couple of turnovers (they forced one on Saturday but lost two), create a couple of easy scores, and keep Hundley comfortable early, the Bruins make this one very, very interesting. Pick Stanford, but be prepared to change your mind if UCLA gets hot early.

This is your open thread for all the hot Pac-12 championship game action. If you're watching and want to talk about it, what better place than in the comments below? I'm not watching, so feel free to talk smack about me behind my back. I'll probably never see it. Enjoy the game -- if "enjoy" is the right word.