Here are some observations, news and notes from around the Pac 12 conference after week nine of the college football season...

Here are some observations, news and notes from around the Pac 12 conference after week nine of the college football season...

-- I thought the whole purpose of having instant replay was, to quote all of the advocates, "to get it right". Well, last weekend we saw one game, Oregon/Arizona State. It's undeniable they missed Bralon Addison's left foot touching out of bounds as he hauled in the game-winning touchdown in the third overtime, but they also seemed to miss a possible fumble by Christian McCaffrey late in the Washington State/Stanford game. How much longer can they let this go on?

--I've made no secret that I don't think Vernon Adams is the type of quarterback who could be special in the NFL, he was electric in the Ducks' thrilling win over A

-- Washington State continues to impress with their overall effort and their defense, while it's not stellar, is much better than it had been. 

-- Stanford couldn't get out of their own way on Saturday night. They looked sluggish and slow. Washington State looked much faster and much more into the game than the Cardinal did. Did they take WSU lightly?

-- It's pretty obvious that Rich Rodriguez isn't long for the Arizona job. He was unable to motivate his players to get up for their game with UW and his players appear to be tuning him out. His look on the sideline was "I want to be anywhere but here right now".

-- Say what you want about Colorado, but Mike McIntyre has them playing well right now. They gave UCLA all they could handle and the Bruins were lucky to escape with the win. 

-- UCLA's defense has really struggled with the losses of so many key contributors due to injury (Eddie Vanderdoes, Myles Jack, Fabian Moreau). They get a bit of a rest this weekend when they take on Oregon State, but then they have to face WSU, Utah and USC to finish out the season. That's not an easy stretch run.

-- One of my favorite matchups last weekend was watching Arizona State LB Salamo Fiso vs. Oregon RB Royce Freeman. Those are two of the most physical players in the conference. There were several times that Fisa met Freeman in the hole and there was almost always a big collision. It reminded me of the old iso plays from back in the 80s and 90s.

-- I love the way Fiso plays the game. He's emotional, but he's also very smart and controlled in his actions. He knows the game and, at least so far, he has my vote as a first team All-Pac 12 middle linebacker.

-- Why didn't ASU just keep running the ball late in the game? I don't understand offensive play-calling in today's football. When something is working...why stop? To me, it sure seems like a lot of play-callers want to show how smart they are by "out-scheming" teams instead of doing what is working.

-- There will always be some semblance of the spread in college football, especially for less-talented teams that need to rely on deception and getting guys into space, but you can see the success a lot of these power-teams are having this season. Stanford and Michigan are just two of them. I would really like to see more fullback led plays and more i-formation. Defenses are built to stop the spread nowadays and that requires speed, rather than bulk. Mash the ball with a physical ground game and you should be able to find some success.

-- The USC/Cal game was fun to watch. Adoree Jackson is worth the price of admission. That kid is special and Cal, unlike in previous years, never gave up. They just kept grinding and almost came back and won it. However, USC is still the most talented team in the conference, top to bottom, and they showed it down the stretch.

-- I firmly believe that Jared Goff will be a first-round selection, but his 2:1 TD to interception ratio has to be concerning. Against the best defenses he's faced this season (UW, Utah, UCLA and USC), Goff has thrown nine touchdowns to eight interceptions.

-- Should be some good games in the Pac 12 this weekend. Since joining the Pac 12, Utah has not beaten the Huskies and, for the most part, none of the games has been close. UW opens as a one-point favorite. ASU is a one-point underdog to Washington State this weekend. Can the Cougs get bowl eligible? I don't see them stopping the ASU offense, but can ASU's defense stop WSU's? This one has the makings of another crazy game offensively for both squads. Cal has lost their last three games and they travel to Oregon where they are a 5.5 point underdog. Sitting at 5-3, like WSU, they just need one more win to get bowl eligible. If they get there, Sonny Dykes will be safe for another year, but whose to say they actually get there?


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