Dirty Dozen, the Sewage Center Edition

What do cochlear implants, diploma mills, the California budget, child support, wastewater treatment, optimism, nature and Paris Hilton have in common? Well, nothing actually. But we cover them all in this week's Dirty Dozen nonetheless. For all the latest on Pac-12 politics, party schools and the Pittsburgh Panthers, read on…

Arizona – Requests for cochlear implants have doubled among U of A fans now that screamin' Mike Stoops has walked the plank. The reason: interim U of A coaches speak at a normal volume, or a good 30 decibels quieter than Mad Mike. Now, Arizona faces UCLA Thursday night in what promises to be a ratings bonanza for ESPN and a matchup of two of the West Coast's finest football programs.

Arizona State –The New York Attorney General subpoenaed Bridgepoint Education earlier this year, reflective of a wider, countrywide crackdown on for-profit diploma mills. The relevance? This week, ESPN projects ASU into the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. Sometimes the jokes write themselves, folks. Like, ASU and education in the same phrase, that's funny right? Here's to a school and a company that both can't stay out of trouble.

California – You're our archrival and I would make fun of you, but I'll only think up witty insults once you actually win a Pac-10 game. (And no, beating craptacular Colorado 36-33 in overtime doesn't count.)

Colorado – Welcome to the Pac-12, Colorado. I love how the conference has gotten disrespected for years as being too soft, but when two new teams join, they're a cumulative 0-6 in the league. As for Colorado, the bad news is that the Buffs just lost 52-24 at Washington, a week after falling 48-7 at Stanford. The good news is that those games really could have gone either way. Now, with two of their best players lost for the season and Oregon, Arizona State and USC on deck, things only promise to get easier for the postmodern bison.

Oregon State – Maybe Mike Riley is still bitter over Ted Leland allegedly not offering him the Stanford head coaching position. Maybe he's in cahoots with Colorado and Arizona. But Stanford plays all three of those teams this year, and their cumulative record is a combined 3-16. The BCS computers are going to love that. Hey, there's a silver lining to every cloud. I'm sure those three fine institutions have signed some solid recruits we can steal.

Oregon – Against teams not named Missouri State, the quackers have allowed 27, 20, 31, 15 and 27 points. I know they've got LaMichael James and Darron Thomas healthy and raring to go (oh wait…) and I heard they bought this $25,000 recruiting packet that will surely give them a leg up against the competition in years to come (oh wait…). But still, they're an elite team? Really? LSU beat them by 13. Can we double that to make our BCS case?

Stanford – Who? Never heard of them. (I like things just the way they are. Let's not jinx it.)

UCLA – Things are going nearly as well for the ‘ruins on the California budgetary front as they are on the football front, where "U (clap, clap, clap) G (clap, clap, clap) elllllll Y, U-G-L-Y fight, fight fight" is 78th in points for and 98th in points against. Crazy thing is, as bleh as the .500 Bruins are, they have Arizona, Cal, Utah and Colorado still on the schedule, all of whom stink. The ursines do have to close the season at USC, but they're only one game behind ASU and the Devils visit UCLA November 5. With you know who ineligible, UCLA/ASU could well be for the Pac-12 South title. In unrelated news, the Pac-12 South is horrendous.

USC – So I saw the headline "USC loses top commitment," and I got really confused. Which commitment? Pete Carroll's to "win forever" at USC? Matt Leinart's child support payments? (From the USC basketball star he dated, not Paris Hilton, his subsequent girlfriend.) The down payment on Reggie's ride from eight years ago? Whichever way, I'm sure Lane Kiffin will find a way out of this sh-tstorm. Sewage treatment is Lane's specialty, after all.

Utah – I'm an optimist, so I like to believe things generally get better with time. Last week, however, is the exception that made the rule. Utah took out Pitt 26-14, six years after Urban Meyer's Utes took out Walt Harris' Panthers 35-7 in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Urban Meyer has since won two national titles, but the Eww-tes and the Panthers are decidedly mediocre, and whatever happened to that Walt Harris guy?
Oh, thanks Wikipedia: "In February 2009 he joined the University of Akron coaching staff as quarterback's coach/passing game coordinator, but the team struggled and head coach J. D. Brookhart lost his job at the end of the year. In April 2010, Harris became the offensive coordinator at Division II California University of Pennsylvania. He was replaced after one season." Unreal. Seriously unreal.

Washington – In my Dirty Dozen masterpiece two weeks ago, I wrote the following: "Thanks in advance for adding some faux drama to Stanford's season. By that, I mean you should be 5-1 come your Oct. 22 visit to the Farm. Only problem is that your wins will have come against Eastern Washington, Hawaii, Cal, Utah and Colorado. I count half a good team in there. Still, thanks to the 5-1 record and lack of feasible alternatives, you'll likely be ranked. Thus, the hypochondriac fans among us will go on about how scary this game is, right before we go on to win our 10th straight by 25-plus points. Good for the kishkas, as my dad would say." I stand by my statement.

Washington State – I really like you guys, so I hate to rag on you, but duty calls. And recently for Wazzu, it hasn't been duty, but nature calling, and repeatedly. Nature hollered about four minutes too early against UCLA and the Cougs soiled themselves at the last moment and cost themselves a College Gameday visit in the process. Nature, meanwhile, must have been impatient last week, for it came a-knocking at halftime. Stanford won the second half 34-7.

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