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This Week In The Pac-12: USC isn't totally useless

Oregon, if you blow this chance, I will never ever forgive you. Plus: Oregon State basketball beat a good team?!

Da Coach O
Da Coach O
Jeff Gross

This Week In Football

I cannot emphasize this enough: If USC doesn't beat Stanford, we would watch Stanford clinch the North Division title at the Big Game. All week long, I adamantly swore that there was no chance that USC could beat Stanford, that there was no way I would root for them because it never turns out well. Was it all an elaborate reverse jinx? I don't know and I don't care.

Rather than recap every game, here are a few random questions to ponder as we all do our best to think as little as possible about the 2013 season:

Now can some random NFL team hire David Shaw while 80% of the Stanford defense either graduates or declares for the NFL?

Random fun fact: Did you know that it is possible for 10 Pac-12 schools to still go to a bowl? It would likely require a (less preposterous than it seemed a month ago) Washington State upset over Washington, amongst other things, but it's on the table. Don't you feel so happy for our conference mates?

So does the success that Myles Jack has had mean that Jack is absurdly talented, or that UCLA has the worst collection of running backs in the conference?

Where will Ed Orgeron be coaching next year, and what will his title be?

What in the world happened to Oregon State's passing attack?

Next Week In Football

Oregon at Arizona, 12:30, ABC
Utah at Washington State, 12:30, Pac-12 Network
California at Stanford, 1:00, Fox Sports 1
Arizona State at UCLA, 4:00, Fox
USC at Colorado, 6:30, Pac-12 Networks
Washington at Oregon State, 7:30, ESPN2

Utah and Wazzu will battle for bowl eligibility, ASU and UCLA will play a game that is nearly a de-facto South Division championship thanks to tie-breakers . . . and I have trouble caring about the other games. Washington and Oregon State will both try to get a win over Pac-12 teams that aren't Cal or Colorado, so that's something.

There's no way Arizona beats Oregon, right?

This Week In Basketball

As always, categorizing non-conference Pac-12 action into four types of results:

Good Wins

Colorado 63, Wyoming 58
Stanford 71, Northwestern 58

Admittedly, categorizing home wins over Wyoming and Northwestern as 'good' wins is specious. But thanks to their conference affiliation, both schools are likely to remain in the RPI top 100 this year even though neither are likely to be especially great. Cal and Stanford beating Denver might end up here later, although I'm leaning towards keeping Denver in the 'expected wins' category as the Pioneers are in a weaker conference. We'll see.

Arizona 69, San Diego State 60

Arizona looked pretty good against SDSU from what I saw, although I was a bit surprised at how reliant they were on Aaron Gordon at times. They could struggle when he leaves the court with foul trouble. But still, their level of athleticism is a tier above anybody else in the conference.

Oregon State 90, Maryland 83

Craig Robinson, I've given you plenty of grief over the years, both for his non-conference scheduling practices and the lack of believably in hot tub time machine. But you just beat an ACC team that many expect to make the NCAA tournament in their own building. I promise to avoid criticizing you for the rest of your non-conference schedule . . . unless you go out and lose to SUI Edwardsville or Maryland Eastern Shore.

. . . Seriously, where do you find these teams, Coach Robinson?

Bad Losses

UC Irvine 86, Washington 72

This perhaps wasn't your typical bad early loss because UCI enjoyed the talents of 7'6'' Mamadou N'Diaye. Still, the Anteaters destroyed Washington. The Huskies don't have any consistent offense outside of C.J. Wilcox, and they look completely incapable of playing defense in the new tight whistle era. Things look bleak for Lorenzo Romar.

Missed Opportunities

BYU 112, Stanford 103

What a weird game. The box score is still hard to fathom. I'm not sure if I should chalk this one up to Dawkins being Dawkins, or to just ignore it because BYU shot the lights out in a way that they are unlikely to repeat often. That and I'm afraid to make fun of Stanford until Cal beats them.

Expected Wins

Arizona 91, LBSU 57
UCLA 91, Oakland 60
Arizona State 90, Miami (OH) 54
Cal 77, Denver 50
USC 95, CSU Northridge 79
Oregon State 79, Portland 73
Oregon 107, Western Carolina 83
Arizona St. 88, Idaho St. 60
Utah 94, UC Davis 60
USC 67, N. Arizona 63
Cal 64, Oakland 60
Colorado 94, Jackson State 70
Washington State 84, Lamar 64
Stanford 66, Denver 57
Washington 92, Eastern Washington 80

Nothing too remarkable here, except to note that Cal, USC, Oregon State and Washington all avoided potential upset bids, and the avoidance of said upsets bodes well for the future. What also bodes well is the rather convincing margins in most of these games. The Pac-12 is on the up-swing

Next Week In Basketball


Arkansas St. at Colorado, 6:00, Pac-12 Network
Fairleigh Dickenson at Arizona, 8:00, ESPNU
Sacramento State at UCLA, 8:00, Pac-12 Network
Southern Utah at California, 8:00, Pac-12 Network


Utah Valley at Oregon, 6:00, Pac-12 Network
Arizona State at UNLV, 7:00, CBS Sports
CSU Fullerton at USC, 8:00, Pac-12 Network


UC Santa Barbara at Colorado, 5:00, Pac-12 Network
Washington St. at Gonzaga, 6:00, ROOT
Washington at Indiana, 6:00, ESPN2
Grand Canyon at Utah, 6:30, No TV
Texas Southern at Stanford, 7:00, Pac-12 Network
West Alabama at USC, 7:00, Pac-12 Network


Lamar at Utah, 6:00, Pac-12 Network
Bradley at Arizona State, 7:00, Pac-12 Network
Morehead State at UCLA, 8:00, Pac-12 Network
Washington vs. UConn or Boston College, TBD, ESPN Networks


Savannah State at Utah, TBD


Harvard at Colorado, 1:30, ESPNU
TCU at Washington State, 6:00, Pac-12 Network
USF at Oregon, 8:00, Pac-12 Network
Chattanooga at UCLA, 7:00, No TV

Not a lot this week. Most teams will be gearing up for their holiday invitational tournament over Thanksgiving, and so they have a light schedule. The one exception is Washington, who will travel to New York to get crushed by Indiana and some other team in the 2K Sports Classic.

Elsewhere, Arizona State visits UNLV and Washington State visits Gonzaga, while a few other schools host some decent mid-majors that they probably should beat at home. It should be a relatively quiet week for the conference before things get real over Thanksgiving. Hold serve, Pac-12, hold serve!