There's a full slate of conference games this week, and you can even watch some of them.
Oregon St. (2-2, 1-0) at #9 Arizona (4-0, 1-0) at 4 PM on Versus. The Beavers are not only facing their third top 9 opponent on the road, in their attempt to win a fifth straight in Tucson, its their third team in the top 3 in total defense on the road.
And the Wildcats, who won last year in Reser when these teams met, have had a week off to prep, while it took a full game effort before Oregon St. put Arizona St. away 31-28.Kevin Prince back, though Richard Brehaut completed more passes in UCLA's comeback 42-28 win over Washington St. than Prince threw in the victory over Texas the week before.
The Bears also had a week off, to reflect on not having scored a touchdown against Arizona.
#3 Oregon (5-0, 2-0) at Washington St. (1-4, 0-2) at 2 PM on the radio. There was going to be NO live TV, though Comcast would have a replay at 6:30 PM. Washington St. wanted $100,000 to move kickoff a couple of hours to avoid overlapping the FSN broadcast, which would have avoided the need for a waiver from FSN to broadcast the game, but no one was willing to pay that much. Comcast was in negotiations midweek to secure permission to show the game live to their subscribers only in Oregon and southwest Washington, and it was Thursday evening before the local live broadcast was finalized. Most of the Pac-10, never mind the country, won't see the #3 team though.
Oregon outscored Stanford 49-10, after falling behind 21-3, and climbed to number three in the polls. For that, the terrible Pac-10 tv package puts them in the position of being blacked out, while the Cardinal, and USC, who also lost, get the evening ABC game. In part because they are both from much bigger markets, and in part because the Cougars are as disappointing as the conference's tv package is embarrassing.
USC (4-1, 0-1) at #16 Stanford (4-1, 0-1) at 5 PM on ABC regionally, and on ESPN3 Game Plan in the rest of the country. (Why there is NO football on either ESPN OR ESPN2 in the evening, or other live major sports, for that matter, is unknown.) The Trojans lost 32-31 to the Huskies, and Erik Folk, who won the game with a last second field goal for the second year in a row.
The Cardinal became the fourth team in five games to not score on the Oregon defense in the second half in their 52-31 defeat. With USC no longer having an AP national title to play for, and Stanford effectively needing two teams to upset Oregon to get to the Rose Bowl, this game will be about which team can rebound and play well immediately after losing their season's biggest goal.
Arizona St. (2-3, 0-2) at Washington (2-2, 1-0) at 7 PM on Fox Sports Northwest and Fox Sports Arizona. (FSN is carrying a triple-header nation wide, but only certain stations are carrying a fourth game of local interest in an all day football marathon.) For the third week in a row, the Sun Devils lost a lead to a top tier team, scored last, but came up short.
Last year, a Husky defensive breakdown resulted in Arizona St.'s game winning touchdown at the end. Will it be Washington or Arizona St. that pulls out what could be a season saving win for either one this time?
Colorado (3-1) at #24 Missouri (4-0) at 4 PM on FSN regional stations nation wide. The Buffalos, a member of the Pac-10 starting next year, came from 10 or more points behind twice to defeat Georgia of the SEC 29-27, and has been dynamite except when playing in the Pac-10. The Tigers are their toughest test yet.
#10 Utah (4-0, 2-0) at Iowa St. (3-2, 1-1) at 4 PM on Fox College Sports, on systems that carry this alternate station, which is outside the Fox network of regional stations. The Utes, the other team heading for the Pac next season, are coming off a bye, are the Mt. West team not being talked about a lot, but Utah by taking care of business can position themselves for a home game against #5 TCU that could again thrust them into the BCS conversation.
Toledo (3-2, 2-0) at #4 St. (4-0) at 5 PM on ESPN3 Game Plan Boise. In the debate as to whether Oregon should have floated above Boise St. in the polls, one line floated on a Duck station was that Oregon play a tougher schedule. It might be a good idea to not play the strength of schedule card in the week the Ducks play the Cougs, while the Broncos play Toledo, who is already playing their 4th. bowl team from last year, has a winning record, beat a Big-10 team, and played Arizona. The Rockets qualify easily as the tougher opponent of the two.
The Broncos rolled thru New Mexico St. 59-0, but lost the relative conquest of that state to the Ducks, who had a 72-0 win over New Mexico. It will be interesting to watch the score race for margin of victory between Boise St. and Oregon, who will be playing each other long distance even as they play another team lined up across the line from them as the season goes on.