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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

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November 23, 2014 at 6:04 PM

A viewer’s guide to the holiday hoops week in the Pac-12

There’s lots of good TV ahead this week in basketball. Here’s what’s on tap for each team in the Pac-12, with a nod to the best games on the tube. And if you’re following 13th-ranked Gonzaga, the Zags have Georgia Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 in the NIT season tipoff, and a game…

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November 23, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Bruins bore in on Pac-12 South championship

UCLA’s decisive 38-20 victory Saturday over USC puts the Bruins in position to nab the Pac-12 South football title and play Oregon Dec. 5 in the league championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara Dec. 5. Wins by UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona put the South in a three-way knot at 6-2 following Saturday’s games….

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November 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Pac-12 picks, Week 13

Washington State (plus 16.5) at Arizona State — Brew the coffee strongly; this is a 10 a.m. (Pacific standard) kickoff Saturday. Two seemingly key factors here: Taylor Kelly and the Sun Devils’ state of mind. Kelly, who had a big game last year at WSU, has been a bit of an enigma for the Sun…

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November 20, 2014 at 2:54 PM

USA Today’s annual survey of football-coaching salaries

USA Today released its annual survey of college football coaches salaries Thursday, and the general trend is not a big surprise. Salaries continue to rise sharply. The newspaper says coaches are making twice what they did in 2006, when it first explored the issue. Washington’s Chris Petersen is No. 13 nationally at…

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November 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Yup, this will be the latest Apple Cup in history

This doesn’t qualify as breaking news, just confirmation of bad news: This year’s Apple Cup, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. in Pullman on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, is believed to mark the latest in a day the game has ever started. In other words, pack the moon boots and the mittens. The long-range forecast I found…

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November 19, 2014 at 5:59 PM

The weekly Pac-12 Prankings

The weekly stern, serious look at the state of Pac-12 football . . . 1. Oregon (9-1) . . . Swears it’s not overlooking Florida State, I mean Colorado 2. UCLA (8-2) . . . Bruins may own LA, since nobody else really wants to 3. Arizona (8-2) . . . Hoop-obsessed fans now celebrating Skowron’s three-ball 4. Arizona…

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November 18, 2014 at 3:18 PM

What they were saying on the Pac-12 teleconference . . .

Tuesday marked the penultimate Pac-12 football coaches teleconference of the 2014 season. Some highlights: Arizona Relating to Washington’s time-management snafu at the end of the 27-26 Wildcat win Saturday, coach Rich Rodriguez acknowledged that “every coach has a chart, how much time can get run off . . . I’ve kind of got it memorized.” When I asked…

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November 17, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Could the college playoff accommodate a two-loss team?

Arizona State’s numbing (in more ways than one) defeat at Oregon State Saturday night got me to thinking: Many of us, me included, have tended to overreact this season to particular losses, forgetting that the name of the game in college football is chaos. It simply is a game that defies form, probably because of emotional swings, so pronouncing anything to be absolute is risky.

To me, it was obvious that ASU didn’t really want to be in Corvallis Saturday night, and the Beavers took full advantage. And the natural reaction is to toss the Sun Devils out of the national-playoff equation, which surely figures to be the damage after No. 6 ASU was bounced by the Beavers.

But is there a chance some other two-loss team could scrap its way back into the playoff bracket?

Well, if you crunch the numbers of history, the outlook isn’t good. But I hesitate to say it’s out of the question, either.

I looked at two metrics: The number of Power 5 (or previously, Power 6) teams that had fewer than two losses at the time of the BCS rankings in early December that determined the national-title game. And I checked out how many such teams there were at this juncture of the season — in other words, with three more weekends to go after this week’s rankings.

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