The Orange Attack: Remain calm, all is well

HEADING INTO ARIZONA, the inclination could be to look at me as Animal House's Chip Diller, frantically waving my arms in the air while pleading and screaming; "Remain calm! All is well!" But take heed -- I'm right. Let's look at a glass more than half-full plus the Pac-10 Power Poll..

Oregon State has an excellent opportunity to get back on track this week. Arizona rides into town with an average offensive line, a suspect quarterback, and a pretty decent defense.

The Beavers don't need to win a shootout on Saturday -- they just need to stop the run and not turn the ball over on offense.

There is enough black and orange talent and firepower to get the job done -- with room to spare. And even though Arizona is actually favored, this game is the Beavs' to lose.

Sean Canfield has done his job taking care of the rock and not committing turnovers. Jacquizz Rodgers looks to have made it through the game without further aggravating his ankle.

And the secondary, they're growing up before our eyes. DE Matt LaGrone is making a case for more playing time, as is S Cameron Collins.

Lee Corso, love him or hate him, is fond of saying; "It's a game of inches, Kirk. A game of inches." Well for once, the crazy ol' coach is right.

Cincinnati didn't go as planned but let's not lose sight of the fact that the Bearcats are a Top 15 program and have an outstanding offense. And the Beavers were just a few miscues away from notching a marquee win -- that 6-0 lead was a few bounces in the other direction from being 21-0 and in the driver's seat.

Add Kristick's interception and a more favorable call on the fumble that wasn't, and everyone would instead be basking in the afterglow of a quality win. Something that more than likely will be taking place at this time next week.

Pac 10 Power Poll:
Cal: Minnesota actually gave the Bears a lot more than I thought they would. Cal takes care of business, and moves back into the top spot in the Pac 10 thanks to a gag job by USC.
USC: Normally losing to Washington would kick you down more than just one peg, but there's just no way to move anybody from the middle of the Pac logjam above the Trojans... yet.
UCLA: A win at Rocky Top followed by a win over Kansas State in any other year would move you to the very top of the poll, but let's face it: K-State and Tenn. are down, down, down this year.
Washington: The Huskies get the "biggest mover and shaker" award of the year this week. If Sark doesn't win another game all season he's got the Tyees off his back at least.
Oregon: Give the Ducks credit: They could have folded up the tents and called it a season after SuckerPunch-Gate. They pulled it together and showed a lot of heart against a Purdue team (never mind that they may be awful) and then followed it up with a gutty performance defensively against Utah.
Oregon State: Golden opportunity missed to carry some momentum.. but not the end of the season. Hang in there Beavs.
Arizona State: It's not so much that Arizona State is awful - they haven't done anything that locks them into "bottom of the conference" status. The margin between 3rd and 9th in the conference is razor thin.. ASU just hasn't looked good yet.
Stanford: The Furd rebound from a bad loss at Wake Forest to put an absolute stomping on SJSU, who typically gets "up" for the game against "privileged" Stanford. Only the loss to Wake Forest is keeping them from one of the top three spots.
Arizona: Again, No. 9 looks bad but it's only because Arizona looked terrible in the game against a mediocre Iowa team. The Cats could easily rocket up 5 or 6 spots in a single week with just one good performance -- not much separates everybody outside of 1-2.
Washington State: Yikes. I spent the drive home from Corvallis explaining what the Death Penalty is after hearing that SMU had managed to take WSU to OT in Pullman. I should have given the Cougs a charity bump but I had my conscience removed years ago.

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