Dirty Dozen: The Tough Luck Trophy Edition

James Vaughters, Cardinal slaughters. Henry Anderson "Cooper". Levine Toilolo, how low can you go-go? It's free association hour, and it's time to let our minds play. It's a look at the lighter side in this week's Dirty Dozen, courtesy of TreeBoy. (And what's with that name, anyway?)

Arizona

Losing in heartbreaking fashion for the second straight week has the Cats in position to take home the Tough Luck Trophy, which would compliment the Territorial Cup nicely in Rich Rod's new office. With Scott driving the Formula 1 offense, Arizona is putting pressure on opposing defenses and lighting up the scoreboard, but the side effect is their own defense can't keep up, sputtering to the finish line with empty fuel tanks. Taking a week off might do their bodies good, and the schedule does get markedly easier from here on out.

Arizona State

The Demons stand alone in first place as the only South team with a perfect conference record, and that didn't change when they headed to Boulder for a gimme. Thursday night games are notorious for upsets, and with Oregon looming on the horizon, this had all the makings of a major toe-stubber. It looks like Todd Graham wants to keep his COY campaign rolling, because he was able to focus the troops and keep the bounty checks coming.

California

When kal's defense shows up and the "good" Maynard suits up, they look formidable. Luckily, Coach Tedford prevents that from happening too often, though he has never lost at home to fight song rival UCLA. Weenie fans have bemoaned the lack of touches for big-play back Brendan Bigelow, but C.J. Anderson's break-out game should keep them satisfied, at least until they lose in Pullman this weekend.

Colorado

Coach Embree continues to be baffled that his offense can look so good in practice but not translate it to game day. Perhaps the Buffalo D has something to do with that? In a season short on positives, Colorado can boast the fewest injuries in the league, which keeps the rehab budget in the black. This healthy streak will be put to the test when they run the 'SC/Oregon/Stanford gauntlet soon.

Oregon

Ho hum, another Duck beat-down by a bazillion points. Chip's Chirpers made sure the UW ranking buzz was shortlived and head into the bye week 6-0. We know Oregon has reached juggernaut status, but it does seem odd that they won't play their first road game until Week 8 of the season. If Marcus "Hotel" Mariota can keep his composure in hostile environments, UO will be primed to run the table.

Oregon State

You just knew something bad was going to happen in Corvallis based on the unusual good fortune that had been bestowed upon the Beavs. Just days after improving to 4-0, Riley announced his starting QB Sean Mannion had gone under the knife and would miss the next few games. This means OSU will have to rely even more heavily on the defense, which may be up to the challenge if Jordan Poyer can continue to pick off three passes per game.

Stanford

Considering how poorly the Cardinal offense played in Seattle, I don't think it is hyperbolic to say the shocker of the week in college football was the 600 yards and 54 points rung up by that same group at home. Though he won't admit it publicly, the POW numbers put up by Josh Nunes "your business" had to make Coach Shaw feel vindicated in his decision not to replace the QB, despite popular opinion. The defense will have to rebound from a down day if they want to become the first team in history to defeat both $¢ and Notre Dame four consecutive years.

UCLA

Proclamations of El Lay's return to prominence in SoCal were largely based on their win against Nebraska. Back-to-back losses to the Beavers and Berkeley coupled with the Cornhuskers getting shellacked by Ohio State have pretty much squelched that noise. Bear DC Clancy Pendergrast may have provided the blueprint on how to shut down Brett Hundley with is 2-4-5 defense, and Rick Neuheisel still gets to chew him out from his chair at the Pac-12 studios.

USC

Matt Barkley may not regret his decision to return to school, but I bet Robert Woods does. Not only has he lost his alpha dog status on the receiving corps (some would argue he is now the third option) but his toughness has been called into question by Pac-12 defenders. Under Kiffin, SC has been a second-half team, and getting their center back has the offense back on track. Also returning from the DL was PK Andre Heidari, but he shanked 40- and 45-yarders against Utah, so it may be back to the bench for him.

Utah

Utah parlayed emotion and turnovers into a 14-0 lead against the Trojenz, but crapped out the rest of the way and remain winless in conference play. Part of the problem was 13 penalties (one of which nullified a TD), but considering SC was called for 14, You-taw can't blame the zebras. When Jon Hays could only muster 48 yards of offense in his second-half "drives," Wittingham inserted his third quarterback who promptly marched the Utes 63 yards for a touchdown.

Washington

Forgive me Husky fans, but losing nine in a row by 17 points or more to Oregon means you can't refer to them as a rival anymore. More concerning for the Purple People Eaters is the dreadful season Keith Price is having under center. Ranking dead last in efficiency in the conference, Price is trying to do too much without Chris Polk there to shoulder the burden. A win against fellow Pete Carroll coaching disciple Lane Kiffin would have Coach Sark sleeping easier.

Washington State

It's fitting Wazzu is listed last alphabetically because they would also be listed last in power ranking format. The Cougs aren't taking to Mike Leach's system and he is taking pot shots at the seniors. I don't know if they will turn it around at some point, but I do know that Craig James' youngest son is not on the recruiting radar.


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