"Gameday, Take 2"
ESPN's Gameday show only rarely comes west, and to have them stay on the west coast for a second consecutive week is unprecedented, and a testament to how tough the west is right now.
Third ranked Boise St. leads the way, but fourth ranked Oregon, and Stanford, ninth ranked by the AP, and 13th. by the Sports Information Directors voting for their coaches, are next, and they meet this weekend.
Oregon's 4-0 start also prompted the University to finalize a contract revision and extension with Coach Chip Kelley that will gradually raise his pay from last year's $1.8 million up to $4 million in 2014 & 2015, the last two years of the new agreement.
The Cardinal broke open their game at Notre Dame with a pair of Owen Marecic touchdowns 13 seconds apart, and went on to a 37-14 win over the Irish. Marecic first scored on a one yard run, then picked off a pass from his linebacker position.
All that means the Gameday set will be in the Autzen stadium parking lot this week, and again this week the ABC prime time game in most of the nation (the game will be on ESPN2 in some eastern and northern markets ) at 5 PM will feature a pair of ranked teams.
UCLA shocked everyone, not just then seventh ranked Texas, with their 34-12 win in Austin. A 5-3 margin on turnovers and a running game that kept the ball in UCLA's hands nearly 60% of the time, and required only nine passes to be thrown, stymied the Longhorns, who have absorbed two of the programs' worst losses in the Bruins last two visits.
The Bruins return home to host the Washington St. Cougars at 12:30, and somewhat surprisingly, the game is only on Fox Sports Northwest and Prime Ticket in southern California. Viewers in the rest of the country will need an extended sports package that gives them access to all the Fox Sports regional networks to see this one.
Oregon St. fell out of the top 25, into the others receiving votes category, after their 37-24 loss at Boise St. The Beavers return home to take on Arizona St. at 3:30, in a game the 2-2 Sun Devils need as badly as Oregon St. in the Pac-10 race.
Fox Sports Northwest and Fox Sports Arizona will both have the game, and again, viewers in other markets will need the full Fox Sports Regional package to see the game. These two events show the importance of the current arrangement with Fox Sports, but also the need for a more widely distributed Pac-10 network.
The USC Trojans, ranked 18th., after taking their turn at destroying Washington St. 50-16 in Pullman, return home to take on Washington at 5 PM in the LA Coliseum, and ESPN2 will have coverage of the game in most of the country (some eastern and northern markets, those carrying the Stanford-Oregon game on ESPN2, will only get this game on premium ESPN3 Game Plan ). The Huskies had the week off after losing to Nebraska.
Future Pac-12 member Colorado is also in a major tv game, hosting the Georgia Bulldogs from the SEC at 4. The Fox Sports network of regional channels exclusive of Fox Sports Northwest and Arizona give this game nearly national exposure, though viewers in half the Pac-12 markets will need premium full Fox Sports network access to scout their future conference foe.
Notably, the need for scouting was diminished for Oregon, as Georgia, in part because they figured out they wouldn't get home until Sunday morning after a trip out west, has bailed out of the home and home series with Oregon in 2015 and 2016. Watch for Oregon to have to sign up some more Big Sky opponents because another eastern opponent doesn't want to risk being the visitor on "Gameday".
Fourteenth ranked Arizona, fresh off a 10-9 win over Cal, and future Pac-12 member Utah, ranked 13th. & 12th., all have the weekend off.
Boise St. visits New Mexico St., and you will need the ESPN3 Game Day plan to follow the progress further of the Broncos.