Thanks to everyone who commented on my draft. Here's the ballot I turned in this week:
- USC (4-1, 2-1) - USC remains the top dawg after taking care of a struggling Arizona State team at home. Things won't get any more difficult for the Trojans, who travel to Pullman this week to take on Washington State. Mark Sanchez could use a week off, as many are calling the ASU game "the worst performance of his career." Sanchez had three interceptions and a fumble, and looked to be less than 100% on his shaky left knee. Mitch Mustain should be able to take care of WSU on his own-- the Trojans' schedule doesn't get difficult for a few weeks. Last week: 28-0 over Arizona State. This week: at Washington State.
- Cal (4-1, 2-0) - Cal stays put at #2 in the poll while enjoying their second bye week of the season. In order to stay unbeaten in conference, the Bears better have found some offensive consistency during their week off. Both Riley and Longshore have shown flashes of brilliance at quarterback, but the offense hasn't really been in sync since they beat Michigan State. All that aside, Cal is now ranked, and should blow through a mediocre Arizona team this weekend. This week: Bye. Next Week: at Arizona.
- Oregon State (3-3, 2-1) - I think we've come to an agreement that 3-5 are interchangeable at this point. Beaver fans would put OSU at #3, Ducks would put UO at #3, and Stanford nerds would put their team at #3. However, it seems to me (warning: bias ahead) like the Beavers are playing the best football right now. They've practically won four straight, and it feels like Mike Riley has his team headed in the right direction for an epic streak. Last week: 66-13 over Washington State. This week: at Washington.
- Oregon (5-2, 3-1) - Dviera said it best when he pointed out that Oregon State has one bad loss, two quality losses, a super good win, and two normal wins. The Ducks have two quality losses (Boise State, USC) and no quality losses or bad losses. I would argue that USC is on the verge of being a bad loss, but then again, the Ducks had the odds stacked against them. I think we need to see a quality win out of the Ducks before we move them up. The Ducks will have a bye week to decide who will be their starting quarterback, work on some fundamentals with their 110th ranked pass defense, and practice zipping each other into those leotards we've been hearing about. Last week: 31-24 over UCLA. This week: Bye. Next game: at ASU.
- Stanford (4-3, 3-1) - Toby Gerhart and Anthony Kimble have made the Cardinal one of the most potent rushing teams in the conference, as they average 184 yards per game on the ground. They put up 286 yards on the ground against what was supposed to be a good Arizona defense, and Stanford's D came up with a few goal line stands that forced Arizona to kick a field goal from inside the red zone. It's becoming clear that the Cardinal are winning games with their toughness and physical nature, because they definitely don't have the most raw talent in the Pac-10. The Cardinal now sit at four wins, and just need to win two more games to become bowl eligible- something that not many people were expecting before the season began. Last week: 24-23 over Arizona. This week: at UCLA.
- Arizona (4-2, 2-1) - The Wildcats got a dose of reality this week, as their apparently-potent defense was shredded by Toby Gerhart, Anthony Kimble, and Tavita Pritchard (each had over 100 yards). However, Stanford still needed a touchdown with 0:25 left to de-throne the Wildcats. And now, the schedule only gets tougher for Arizona, who were having dreams of being one win away from bowl eligibility. They still have Wazzu and ASU on the schedule, but USC and Cal are their next two opponents. Last week: 24-23 loss to Stanford. This week: vs. Cal.
Arizona State (2-4, 1-2) - Rudy Carpenter is iron man, but even he couldn't withstand the pressure of the USC defense. He could barely walk on his ankle towards the end of the game, and his backup Danny Sullivan had some troubles getting anything going. Rudy will have a bye week to rest up, but Oregon will be in Tempe in two weeks. Last week: 28-0 loss to USC. This week: Bye. Next game: vs. Oregon.
- UCLA (2-4, 1-2) - CV3000 pointed out that UCLA scored their first touchdown on the road last night, but, they've only played two road games so far and they were shutout against BYU. They'll play three of their remaining games on the road, but they've got Stanford, Oregon State, and USC all at the Rose Bowl. Kevin Craft had some pretty ridiculous numbers against the Ducks (27 of 43 for 288 yards) (way to go, Oregon secondary), but he also made some bad throws: one of those throws put his receiver in the hospital. UCLA faces Stanford this week, with Stanford needing a win to get bowl eligible, assuming they will destroy Washington State. Last week: 31-24 loss to Oregon. This week: vs. Stanford.
- Washington (0-5, 0-3) - It's interesting how you can lose every game and not be the worst team in your conference. Let's hope the Beavers take care of business this week. Last week: Bye. This week: vs. Oregon State.
Washington State (1-6, 0-4) - Get well soon, Cougs. You have a shot to win the Apple Cup. Last week: 66-13 loss to Oregon State. This week: USC.
How'd I do?