In the second week of non-conference play, the Pac-12 fared decidedly well. Excluding any team from the state of Oregon, the Pac-12 went undefeated. The only game that the non-Oregon Pac-12 was in true danger of losing was the Washington State-Rutgers tilt, which Wazzu ended up winning, 37-34. Yep, that’s the Rutgers team whose head coach, Kyle Flood, just got suspended three games for having "inappropriate communications" with a professor. I’m sure it was all just a misunderstan-
Good grief. Flood even "provided grammatical and minor editorial suggestions" to a paper in hopes of getting Nadir Barnwell eligible.— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) September 16, 2015
Oh. Well, that doesn’t seem too bad, as long as he isn’t doing anything shady or knowingly against the rul-
Flood: "I am sending it from my personal email to your personal email to ensure there will be no public vetting of the correspondence."— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) September 16, 2015
"Flood told the Professor that he purposely didn’t wear any Rutgers apparel so he wouldn’t be recognized in public."— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) September 16, 2015
Oregon and Oregon State were the only losers this week in the Pac-12. Luckily, the losses came at the hands of two solid programs in Michigan and Michigan State, and both games provided UO and OSU with plenty to build off of. The Pac-12 still has five teams in the top 25, with USC and UCLA moving into the top 10 and Oregon moving down to #12.
The first game of the week will be a Friday matchup between Arizona State (1-1) and New Mexico (1-1) at 7:00 pm PT on the Pac-12 network. The Lobos will be traveling from one hot place (Albequerque) to another hot place (Tempe) so don’t expect either teams to have an advantage in terms of temperature acclimation. I would say, however, that Arizona State has the overwhelming skill advantage. They’re currently listed as 27-point favorites. Sure, last weeks’ 35-21 win over Cal Poly may have been a little close for comfort, but this is the Lobos we're talking about. Fun fact: the Lobos are 15-60 since 2009!
A Saturday full of Pac-12 goodness will begin in Eugene with a totally fair matchup between Georgia State (1-1) and #12 Oregon (1-1). Fun fact: Georgia State is a combined 1-23 in their last two seasons! If there’s one reason to watch this game, it’s because starting QB Vernon Adams may not play with a broken finger. The broken finger is on Adams’ throwing hand, which leads me to believe he will probably sit this one out. If backup Jeff Lockie ends up getting the start, it’s likely he’ll shred the hapless Panthers and perhaps start a quarterback controversy. Tune into the Pac-12 network at 11:00 am PDT to see who ends up playing.
Utah State (1-1), fresh off a 24-14 loss to Utah, heads up to Seattle to take on another Pac-12 foe, Washington (1-1). Utah St. kept things fairly close with Utah, so don’t expect to see a blowout on the Huskies side. The game starts at 2:00 pm PDT on the Pac-12 network.
Colorado (1-1) will battle for the right to reclaim ownership of the Rocky Mountains against Colorado State (1-1) down at Sports Authority Field in Denver, the home of the NFL Broncos, in what is sure to be a titan-esque throw-down of epic proportions. It won’t actually be that exciting, but in-state rivalries are always an entertaining watch, especially with Colorado looking to avenge last year’s 34-17 loss. It will kickoff at 5:00 pm CDT (4:00 pm PDT) on CBS Sports Network.
Cal-Berkeley (2-0) will be traveling to Austin to take on the really not so good football team formerly known as Texas (1-1). Cal has been cruising with Jared Goff under center, while Texas has been pretty bad with noodle-armed Tyrone Swoopes manning the offense. Texas' AD Steve Patterson just got fired, too. Don’t mess with Texas, Steve. Expect Cal to run (and pass) all over Texas when they play at 6:30 pm CDT (4:30 pm PDT) on Fox. The Golden Bears will be looking for their first win ever over the Longhorns, and to exact a measure of revenge for the 2004 BCS snub.
In the first Pac-12 conference matchup of the year, Stanford (1-1) will be taking on #6 USC (2-0) at the Memorial Coliseum. Both Stanford and USC started the season in the polls, but Stanford has struggled mightily out of the gate and become unranked. Their season prospects took a huge blow when they lost their season opener against Northwestern. Stanford was a huge favorite for this game, but thanks to shaky play from (seemingly) eighth year starter Kevin Hogan, they lost. Hogan rebounded with 341 yards and three touchdowns in a matchup against UCF, but it remains to be seen if he can string together a few good games and establish any consistency.
Meanwhile, USC has taken a turn in the opposite direction of Stanford and has rocketed up the polls. QB Cody Kessler has been on the money so far, with 650 yards, seven passing touchdowns and no interceptions. USC has made it clear that they have aspirations to win it all this year, and they are going to be a tough team to beat at home. Stanford, and namely Hogan, will really have to get their act together if they want to pose a serious threat to USC. This game will start at 5:00 pm PDT on ABC.
Oregon State (1-1) and San Jose State (1-1) will also take each other on at 5:00 pm PDT on the Pac-12 network in what will hopefully be a rebound game for OSU. Gary Anderson and Co. will look to clean up their act after last week’s mistake-marred nightmare against Michigan. San Jose State will be no cake walk, but it's a game the Beavers need to win. Keep it here for more analysis on this week's game.
Wyoming (0-2) has had a rough start to the season. With early losses to North Dakota and Eastern Michigan, Wyoming only has so much time to gather the pieces and make something out of this season. Luckily, they will be playing at Washington State (1-1) this week. After Wazzu's early loss to Portland State, anything is possible with this Cougars team. However, Wyoming needs to beware of kicker Erik Powell, who was named one of the Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week. I only note this because the game may very well come down to who can make the most field goals. The Cowboys and Cougars will square off at 5:30 pm PDT and it will be viewable on pac-12.com
#21 Utah (2-0) will look to continue its early success with a matchup at Fresno State (1-1). Utah brings much more talent to the table, but the Bulldogs might just make a game out of it. Fresno State has a nice home-field advantage, as the Buldogs are 18-2 at home since their current head coach Tim DeRuyter took over. This game will start at 7:30 pm PDT on CBS Sports Network.
Brigham Young University (2-0) will travel to #10 UCLA (2-0) to try and knock the Bruins out of their lofty ranking, but they may find it difficult with UCLA's true freshman QB Josh Rosen playing so well. BYU probably leads the NCAA in below the belt punches, but that won’t help them much against UCLA. Get on Fox Sports 1 at 7:30 pm PDT to catch kickoff.
Another in-state (albeit less exciting,) game this week will take place in Tucson between Northern Arizona (2-0) and #20 Arizona (2-0). Check it out at 8:00 pm PDT & AST on the Pac-12 network. The Lumberjacks wins have come against another FCS foe and a Division II team, so the 'Cats represent a sizable upgrade in difficulty.
Here's the complete, national schedule, fully adjusted for East Coast Bias time: