Order has been restored.
UCLA and their true freshman QB finally lost a game. Oregon put up 41 points on Colorado, securing the victory. Stanford, after looking like an absolute tire fire against Northwestern in the first game of the year, is simply dominating opponents. Oregon State is finally back from their bye. It seemed two weeks ago that we entered some sort of college football twilight zone, but things appeared to go back to a relatively normal state after last week's play.
The weirdest thing to happen was that Wazzu almost beat Cal. Considering that Cal did give up 44 points to Texas earlier this season, we have to assume that every game Cal plays this year will probably be a shootout. The lowly Cougars only proved that notion, as they kept the game close, but ultimately fell 34-28.
The mighty Utah Utes are currently the top-ranked Pac-12 team in the country, checking in at #5 after a five spot swing despite their bye week. Props to them, because THEY BEAT OREGON 62-20 AT AUTZEN. Warning: I am never going to get over that.
Stanford moved up a couple spots and sits at #16 now. USC sits right below them at #17, staying put after their bye. UCLA fell 13 spots to #20 due to their blowout loss to Arizona State, and Cal moved up one spot to #23 thanks to preserving their undefeated record.
Tonight will feature the first game of the week, with Washington (2-2, 0-1) heading down to #16 USC (3-1, 1-1) to play under the Thursday night lights in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC is the heavy favorite here. QB Cody Kessler, WR JuJu Smith-Schuester and a slew of talented running backs put everything together in their 42-14 win against ASU a few weeks ago, rebounding from their loss to the red hot Cardinal. News flash- USC is still really good. They may not be in the top 10 in the rankings anymore, but they have enough athletic juice on both sides of the ball to be a really scary team. Washington is still a work in progress. They gave Cal a good fight last week, but then again, so has every other actual Division 1 team. The UW defense has been solid this year, but the offense may not have the firepower to keep up in this one. Tune in tonight at 6:00 pm PT on ESPN to watch.
Starting off the Saturday, Oregon State (2-2, 0-1) is taking on Arizona (3-2, 0-2) at their place. As AndyPanda noted earlier, things are going to get hot. Not quite as hot as expected, however. The current weather prediction has the temperature set at 89 degrees for kickoff. Most of the (figurative) heat will be on Arizona, as they have been burnt to a crisp to the tune of 111 points in their last two games against UCLA and Stanford. Fortunately, QB Anu Solomon will be back on Saturday. That won't help their defense, but it might help their offense pull their load a little better. Oregon State also enters with some questions on the defensive side of things. Michigan and Stanford both exposed OSU's weakness stopping the running game. The offense has showed real potential, however, and it will be interesting to see how true freshman QB Seth Collins plays after getting the week off.
Arizona and OSU have both been on a bit of a skid lately, so both teams will be fighting to change their fortunes. This game starts at 1:00 pm PT on Fox Sports 1.
Oregon (3-2, 1-1) will get a chance to exorcise some of their demons when Washington State (2-2, 0-1) comes to play at Autzen. The Ducks were in complete disarray against Utah, but have been blessed with two consecutive soft matchups to get them back on their feet. While Oregon showed some life against Colorado last week, the only quarterback that scored a touchdown for them was third-stringer Taylor Alie. It's very unclear who exactly is going to start at QB for the Ducks. Whoever does end up starting will be handing the ball off to Royce Freeman, and subsequently watching him run through weak-ass defenders who think they can tackle with their arms. That stuff doesn't tend to work when a train is running at you.
Wazzu may very well try to pass the ball 70 times to try and keep up with Freeman and Co., a strategy that they have used ineffectively many times in the past. Watching the Cougars passing themselves into oblivion has turned into an annual fall tradition that I have become fond of. Washington, please never fire Mike Leach. This game will be airing on the Pac-12 Network at 3:00 pm PT.
The marquee matchup of the week will be the final battle of the undefeated. #23 California (5-0, 2-0) will travel down to Salt Lake City to take on #5 Utah (4-0, 1-0). Cal and Utah are the last two undefeated teams since UCLA was knocked off last week. This will be the toughest test of the season for the Golden Bears. They narrowly escaped with wins in their last three weeks against sub-par competition, and their defense has been suspect. What they do have going for them is steady and reliable veteran presence in Jared Goff. Goff is by far their best weapon, and in order to get a win at Utah he will have to orchestrate a stellar performance. Utah is tough as nails this year, and have already proven they are a legitimate force with wins over Oregon and Michigan. Utah is solid on both sides of the ball, and if Travis Wilson keeps playing like he did against Oregon, Utah will be a really difficult team to knock off. A win for Cal would send them flying up the rankings, while a victory on Utah's end may put them in the top 4, which means playoff contention. This game will have magnitudes of epic proportions, enough so that I deem it a must-watch. Set your TV's to ESPN at 7:00 pm PT.
Also starting at 7:00 pm PT is the game between Colorado (3-2, 0-1) and Arizona State (3-2, 1-1). ASU followed up their disappointing blowout against USC with a resounding 38-23 victory against UCLA, and will likely be hungry to eat some Buffalo meat this week to keep their season from the brink of death. There is not much else to say here. This game is not going to be terribly exciting. If you don't feel like watching ads from the Cal-Utah game, perhaps you could switch to the Pac-12 Network to watch this one. I should mention that Big Momma's House 2 will also be playing at the same time on Bravo. I know which channels I'll be flipping between.
For more channel flipping options, here's the complete national schedule, revised for East Coast Bias Time, and adjusted for the move of the LSU-South Carolina game from Columbia back to Death Valley.