The conference gets some in-week ESPN exposure, and another Saturday evening ESPN game.
UCLA Bruins (3-3, 1-2) at #1 Oregon Ducks (6-0, 3-0) Thursday at 6 PM on ESPN. The Bruins are coming off a bye, and before that, a 35-7 loss at Cal the week before. UCLA QB Kevin Prince is suffering again, meaning Richard Brehaut probably gets his second career start. In Autzen. Even Bruin Nation is referring to Thursday night as "Death by Ducks".
The Ducks are also coming off a bye, after winning 43-23 at Washington St. Oregon is only #2 in the initial BCS rankings, and though margin of victory is not a component of the BCS formula, and the Ducks are already as high as they can go in the polls, staying there is an issue. How Oregon approaches the game once they get ahead could be as interesting as how they got ahead was.
Arizona St. Sun Devils (3-3, 1-2) at California Golden Bears (3-3, 1-2) at 12:30 on Fox Sports Network channels in the west and midwest. (Interested viewers in the east will need an extended package that includes out of area FSN channels.) The Sun Devils also had a week off, after a 24-14 win at Washington, and need to keep the momentum going, with Washington St. next in a critical stretch of the Arizona St. schedule.
The Bears apparently didn't realize they didn't have a bye, falling behind USC 42-0 before halftime in the Coliseum, and eventually losing 48-14. Every game Cal has played has been a blowout one way or another, except for their 10-9 loss at Arizona.
Half the conference has a 3-3 record, and eight teams are within one game of each other, so this game is vital to determining which of the teams has a chance to bubble up, and which will have their bubble burst.
Washington St. Cougars (1-6, 0-4) at #12 Stanford Cardinal (5-1, 2-1) at 2:00 on Fox College Sports, which is not a part of the FSN national package of regional channels, and NOT included in many satellite and cable packages. The Cougars had their lowest scoring game of the season in a 24-7 home loss to Arizona, and will have to refire their offense if they are to have any chance of keeping any remaining opponents in sight for any part of the game.
The Cardinal enjoyed a week off after their come from behind 37-35 win at USC on a field goal as time ran out. Stanford is fifth in the nation in scoring, and that could well improve after playing at home against the Cougars.
Washington Huskies (3-3, 2-1) at #18 Arizona Wildcats (5-1, 2-1) at 7:15 on ESPN. The Huskies stopped a two point conversion to pull out a 35-34 win over visiting Oregon St. in double overtime. All that after losing an early 21-0 lead. It was the second one point win over a ranked opponent in three weeks for Washington, in games decided on the final play of the game.
The Wildcats may have paid a high price in their win in Pullman, as quarterback Nick Foles is out with a knee injury for several weeks. That's bound to hurt their passing game, ranked #9 nationally, though Matt Scott was 14 of 20 in relief of Foles. Arizona still has the #7 scoring defense in the country to lean on though.
The USC Trojans (5-2, 2-2) and the Oregon St. Beavers (3-3, 2-1) have a bye this week.
Things are both up and down with the future members of the Pac-12.
Colorado St. (2-5, 1-2) at #9 Utah (6-0, 3-0) at 3:00 on The Mountain. The Utes climbed back into the top 10 with a 30-6 win at Wyoming. The Rams are coming off their best game of the year, a 43-10 win over UNLV.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-3, 1-3) at Colorado Buffalos (3-3, 0-2) at 12:30. The Red Raiders fell 34-17 to Oklahoma St. The Buffalos lost 31-25 to Baylor. As a result of those losses, Colorado's Homecoming has no television option, even locally. The Big XII's television package in nothing great either, and the Buffs are looking forward to the possibility of a Pac-12 network as much as anything in their move to the Pac.