Just three conference games left, but still a lot that’s undetermined.
1, Oregon — No change at the top, with Ducks and Beavers waiting for Thursday to settle the Civil War and the Pac-10 title. In the interim, George Schroeder of the Eugene Register-Guard had an interesting column detailing how Oregon officials hoping the crowd behaves Thursday.
2, Oregon State — Whole key to Civil War may be this — OSU leads the Pac-10 in run defense at 98.5 per game, Oregon in run offense at 231.4. Whichever team stays closest to their trend coming in wins the game, probably.
3, Cal — Still no official word on whether Jahvid Best will try to play this week vs. Huskies. But Shane Vereen has been almost as good in his place, now with 738 yards on the season.
4, Stanford — Toby Gerhart should at least be invited to New York. Hard to imagine many players more valuable to their team than he is.
5, USC — Pete Carroll’s play call at the end of the UCLA game last night continues to draw conversation. My take on this one? Once UCLA called time out, anything was fair game. My take on the issue of running it up? When it’s two conference teams going at it, teams are entitled to play the full 60 and if one team can’t stop the other, oh well. If you want to remember it for motivation in future years, go ahead. But teams get 12 chances a year to play. If they want to use all 60 minutes of those to throw, call reverses, whatever, that’s up to them.
6, Arizona — Really pretty lucky to beat ASU on Saturday. Now has to play at USC and a loss could mean the Poinsettia Bowl. Here’s a really good breakdown of all the options from Anthony Gimino.
7, Washington — Now assured of at least tying the best one-season jump in wins since 1970 (when Huskies went from 1-9 to 6-4).
8, UCLA — Rick Neuheisel said after the game last night he thinks UCLA is gaining on the Trojans. Looked more to me this year like USC simply fell back a bit. UCLA has six Pac-10 wins in two seasons under Neuheisel, going 4-0 against the state of Washington schools, 2-12 against everyone else.
9, Arizona State — Dennis Erickson appears firmly on the hot seat heading into next year after a 4-8 season and two straight losing records. Word is he may shake up his staff and one rumor has former UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano possibly taking the same role at ASU. And sounds as if Vontaze Burfict likes throwing punches at players other than just Huskies.
10, Washington State — Simply put, the worst Pac-10 team of the past three decades. Number are worse than UW’s a year ago, when the Huskies at least came within a touchdown of a couple of Pac-10 teams and did at least take a lead a time or two, and had injuries that were just as significant as anything WSU had this season.