Pac-12 Hangover – Week 10

Garbage, or as our brethren to the south would say, basura!  That’s what I thought of last week’s action in the Pac-12 Conference.

Week 10, while marking the beginning of the end for Oregon State’s Beavers, a continuing nightmare for the league’s bottom-feeders, and a budding resurrection for “Kiffin’s Orphans,” was a week better forgotten for fans of a game which rarely disappoints.

Our week kicked-off with a Thursday night bore fest consisting of a red hot Arizona State team, putting the proverbial wood to a Washington State team sinking faster than a … well … Washington State team.  It continued Friday, as USC methodically squashed OSU beneath their foot in Corvallis.  And ended late Saturday night in Pasadena, where the Bruins rose from the first half canvas and KO’d the visiting Buffaloes in a manner reminiscent of an early 90’s Mike Tyson mismatch. 

Sure, the week lacked panache due to the conference’s marquee teams – Oregon and Stanford – being idle in preparation for Thursday night’s pivotal head-to-head, but as we’re getting separation from this season’s “haves” and “have-nots,” we’re getting far-too-little pushback from the “have-nots” getting pushed around.  Oregon State was as much as a 6-point favorite versus USC, at home, and not being led by an interim coach left with rubble in the wake of Lane Kiffin’s firing … do better.  Washington State was hosting a nationally televised game with a chance to get within a single victory of bowl-eligibility … and they allowed 42 first half points.  And Colorado had a second quarter lead, on the road, against the 20th ranked team in the country … and subsequently allowed the Bruins to score 38 points en route to their 5th conference loss in as many conference games this year.

Memo to everyone on the wrong end of football’s much publicized “momentum swing”: they call it a swing because it goes both directions.  Rolling over at the first sign of adversity seals your fate, and more importantly diminishes my ability to spend the bulk of my night temporarily stupefying myself with adult beverages.  Bad football is better than no football, but bad football usually leads to channel surfing, which likely leads to a bad reality show marathon, which ultimately leads to an intense look in the mirror.  And that never ends well.

On that note, on to what was in the Pac-12 Conference in Week 10 of the college football year:

  • Sean Mannion’s dream season became a nightmare with 3 interceptions against the Trojans last week.
  • While a terrible football game, Thursday night’s Arizona State/Washington State game was worth it due primarily to it facilitating Jesse Palmer traveling to Pullman, Washington.  The “ex-Bachelor” analyst – famously known for his hip and fashionable aptitude – must’ve felt like Marty McFly in Hill Valley circa 1955, while kickin’ around on the Palouse.
  • Marquise Lee is still good.  Injuries had deprived us of late, but Lee’s return to action against Oregon State reminded us all that the conference will be happy to see him go at year’s end.
  • Colorado – while genuinely trying – continues to be completely overmatched in the Pac-12 Conference.  They occasionally make a ripple or two, but as soon as their opponent decides to take them seriously, it’s straight to their room without supper.
  • Ronnie Lott has become a drinking game during that Pac-12 Network studio show.  He commits more errors over the span of a late night game than an uncoordinated 6-year-old playing shortstop with an offhanded glove.  I’m pretty sure I’ve harped on this before, but I apologize for not harping on it again sooner.
  • Oregon State needs to wear those new helmets more often.  The uniforms they wore with them can be put out with the trash, but that lid gets 2 thumbs up and should see far more action in the future.
  • USC administration should all be forced to live within a mile radius of the campus for a year for allowing their football program to get to a point which had them as underdogs in Corvallis.
  • Byes suck!  Four Pac-12 games spread out over 3 days equals a very dull weekend of left coast football.  If I’m only going to get 3 months worth of Saturdays to enjoy the college game, then by all means make my Saturdays as valuable as possible.

Highlight Of The Week – Taylor Kelly accounting for 7 touchdowns in their game against Washington State.  He may not be the class of the Pac-12 Conference, but he’s a second-tier talent in a league whose first tier is pretty darn good.

Lowlight Of The Week – The Oregon Ducks for being affiliated – if even in the most miniscule of ways – with Miami Dolphin Richie Incognito.  In 2004, Incognito came to Oregon after being kicked-off the team at Nebraska…he never attended a practice or class while in Eugene. 


This week’s Diva Award goes to the entire USC Trojan football team for their performance during the waning moments of their victory last Thursday in Corvallis.  Their celebratory, half-choreographed dance looked like a gong show version of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.

My Conference Power Rankings this week:

1.  Oregon

7. Oregon State

2.  Stanford

8. Arizona

3.  Arizona State

9.  Utah

4.  UCLA

10. Washington State

5.  Washington

11.  California

6.  USC

12.  Colorado

With that I bid Week 10 adieu, and the best of luck to you and yours next weekend.

Enjoy the games!