By Fred Delkin
Ducks and Beavers are now the only unsullied squads in the Pac12, and Pigskin expects them to stay that way after this week’s matchups. The Pac12 currently counts six members in the national top 25, with SC, Stanford, Washington and UCLA joining their unbeaten brethren. Washington’s visit to Autzen and the Arizona/Stanford clash in Palo Alto are certain to alter current rankings. Here’s our take on the coming action:
WASHINGTON at OREGON–this hasn.t been the rivalry it once was, with the Ducks having triumphed in the last eight meetings. The Dawgs do have more bite this year, as their 17-13 upset of Stanford showed. However, the UW offense is no match for the Duck defenders and an improved Husky defense will falter in the final half before the rapid and relentless Webfoots. …Dawg new defensive coordinator and former Webfoot player Justin Wilcoxknows Chip Kelly’s offense well from Justin’s service as D coach @ Tennessee and Boise State.
OREGON by 17.
ARIZONA at STANFORD–the Cardinal offense stumbled badly before Washington’s revitalized defense, but Arizona had no effective answer for Oregon State’s offense and we think Stanford’s front line will dominate at home on both sides of the ball. STANFORD by 10.
WASHINGTON STATE at OREGON STATE–ol’ Wassu’s aerial antics are entertaining, but the rejuvenated Beavers will put fatal pressure upon the Cougar throwers. OSU will remain in the national elite for another week. OREGON STATE by 14.
SOUTHERN CAL at UTAH–this Thursday night affair should result in a Trojan celebration. The Utes are well coached, but thin on ew manpower, so their sole hope is that the high Utah altitude will weaken their foe. Not enough, we submit, to daunt the legions of Troy. SC by 21.
UCLA at CALIFORNIA–Jeff Tedford coached the Golden Bears into a contender when he arrived in Berkley, but coach seems to have lost his mojo and a 1-4 start this season makes him a prime candidate for replacement as he suffers from inconsistent quarterbacking and a mediocre defense detracting from an impressive rushing attack. UCLA by 7.
COLORADO and ARIZONA STATE have this week off, and in Colorado it is welcome. These two meet in Boulder next week, and the Sun Devils’ 4-1 record seems in no danger then.
IDAHO STATE at PORTLAND STATE–the host Vikings are off to an unexpected 1-4 start and obviously have lost all Big Sky title and national playoff aspirations. They will not disappoint the few fans who show up at Jeld-Wen field Saturday, however, because the visiting Tigers have no claws, with only a win over BlackHills St. (Who?) To their credit. PSU by 28.
ROSES & RASPBERRIES–we humbly request that a great big bouquet be delivered to coach Mike Riley’s Corvallis address. We’ve often criticized his ministrations, but sometimes nice guys do win…no plaudits should ever be given to those who doubt the Oregon Ducks’ #2 ranking, and just watch Chip Kelly’s “win the day” philosophy stretch to another national title bid…roses have been earned by Steve Sarkisian’s restoration of the Dawgs…but there’s still a ways to go before Husky fans can dream of another conference title (and that may require that Chip Kelly take his leave from Eugene).