Boot Power Ratings: Nov. 24

Seeing as Oregon plays Oregon State in a game called the Civil War, seeing as Nike's making throwback jerseys for rivalry games, seeing as Oregon's never been shy when it comes to uniforms, seeing as this year's Civil War is extra-special since it's for the Rose Bowl and seeing as the KKK protested on Ole Miss' campus last weekend, what if those Nike folks made throwback KKK uniforms for the game?

1. Oregon 91

Wonder if Phil Knight owns stock in Disney, because ESPN and her parent company must be ecstatic next Thursday's Civil War will be for a Rose Bowl berth. Also, with all the Southern pride this great sport generates, why would Oregon/Oregon State, of all games, be called the Civil War? Shouldn't it be Michigan/Ohio State, whose states actually did wage war, albeit a bloodless one, against each other? Or Kansas/Missouri, whose skirmishes in the 1850s served as prelude to the actual Civil War? Guess Oregon's football players aren't majoring in history. Then again though, if Oregon football is known for anything, it's creative marketing, and there's no better way to make the South watch a football game than to imbue it with Civil War undertones. Maybe those Nike uniform designers in Eugene could make some Technicolor Klan outfits to mark the occasion?

2. Oregon State 89

The Beavers nearly tripled Wazzu in total yardage, 567 to 192, nearly quintupled the Cougars, 283 to 59, in rushing yardage, won time of possession by a solid ten minutes and had 31 first downs to Wazzu's 13. The one statistical battle Oregon State lost in decisive fashion? Yup, the Beavers got whistled for 13 penalties for 107 yards. The more things change in Corvallis, the more they stay the same. I'd look for QB Sean Canfield, No. 5, to change his name to Sean Cinco in honor of Chad Johnson and the good ole days.

3. USC 84

With the 14-9 clunker over Arizona State sandwiched by blowouts at the hands of Oregon and Stanford, The Trojans had their best result in over a month this past Saturday: a bye. With Arizona and Stanford both going down and USC in obvious need of a reset, the rest couldn't have come at a better time. For all the talk of USC's downfall, if the Trojans win out and favored Oregon beats Oregon State, USC will finish (drumroll) tied for second in the Pac-10 with Stanford, OSU and Cal. The sky isn't exactly falling with a second-place Pac-10 finish, though I'm sure it feels that way in L.A.

4. Stanford 7 (honorary)

Hard to draw it up any better for Toby Gerhart's Heisman chances: a nationally televised primetime game against a rush defense that absolutely stinks and an offense that will force the Cardinal to score in the 30s to 40s to win it. Texas visits Texas A&M Thursday, Alabama visits Auburn Friday, Clemson visits South Carolina Saturday at noon, and Florida hosts Florida State at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, which means it'll be Gerhart who has the final chance to impress voters. Voters' (who, for the first time, are voting online only this year) ballots are due Mon. Dec 7, so you have to figure many will either submit their ballots outright or, at the very least, make tentative rankings after this weekend's games. If Stanford can get its first win over Notre Dame since Ty was our coach, who knows what could happen for Toby. Here, he gets the Card this week's honorary score.

5. Arizona 82

Never has a 6-4 team generated so much hype, though I guess the same point could be made of our 7-4 Cardinal. Arizona has lost two heartbreakers in a row, at Cal and versus Oregon, killing their Rose Bowl hopes and confirming Mike Stoops' legacy as a coach who inevitably blows it come midseason. Motivation has to be a question for the Cats, who've seen their dreams implode in two weeks, and have no home games remaining. Plus, the last two on the schedule are a visit to archrival ASU and the wounded beast that is USC. Think those two programs won't be fired up to hit Arizona when they're reeling?

6. Cal 81

Even when the Weenies try to spoil Stanford's season, they mess up. Rose Bowl shot? Oregon would have KO'd that anyways. The Heisman? Oops, shouldn't let Toby score four times. (And how clutch were the officials for overturning Stepfan Taylor's apparent touchdown – allowing Gerhart to run it in from the one.) Maybe the Dirty Bears can do us one last favor and mess up our shot at the Emerald Bowl by taking that bid. I'd happily "have" to go to the Las Vegas Bowl instead.

7. UCLA 68

"We're number seven! We're number seven!" The Bruins made a decisive statement in the Pac-10's de facto seventh-place game, knocking off ASU with the help of six, count'em, six Sun Devil turnovers. And to think Kevin "Fresh" Prince (of Bel-Air) was the quarterback for the other offense. Seeing as UCLA's last three wins were over the Washingtons and an anemic Kansas State, the Bruins will gladly take their biggest win since they beat QB Jonathan "Straight Outta" Crompton and Tennessee, which also committed four turnovers in that loss. Moral of the story: unless USC or the bowl opponent commit five-plus turnovers, the Bruins ain't winning any more this season.

8. Arizona State 64

Szakacsy, Szakacsy, Szakacsy, Szakacsy, Miles and Kohl. No, that isn't the starting lineup for Mighty Ducks 7: Czech Republic edition (complete with token non-Czechs thrown in for diversity's sake.) That's the list of who dropped the ball, the football equivalent of dropping the soap, in the UCLA meltdown. Quarterback Samson Szakacsy must have had his locks trimmed recently, as he fumbled three times and threw a pick, while Jamal Miles fumbled twice, losing one, and tight end Trevor Kohl lost a fumble for good measure too. At the BPR, we know people have said Dennis Erickson has quit, but it's hard to blame this one on the coaches.

9. Washington 62

Our eyes get a break this week, as does Washington, before closing out with their big game opponent,0 Wazzu, and our Big Game opponent, Cal. My favorite Washington stat deals with the fact that, in chronological order, the defense has allowed 31, 23, 13, 34, 37, 33, 24, 43, 24 and 48 points. Not hard to see why the Huskies are 3-7. But the numbers themselves aren't what make this tidbit great. Any guesses who the 13 belongs to? Yup, that's right. USC.

10. Washington State 4

After three straight 30-plus point blowouts, the BPR has implemented a new policy. We will only write about Washington State when they come within four touchdowns of their opponent. Thank you for your understanding.


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