This Week in the Pac-10: Week 13

This is the last week for the conference and it's a fitting conclusion that the game that didn't look like it had any meaning at all less than a month ago now will decide whether or not the Oregon Ducks will be conference champions alone or if they'll be sharing rings with Washington State, Washington and Stanford.

It must be an odd feeling for the Huskies that they'll be rooting their butts off for the team that spanked them in Corvallis a few weeks back, but such is life in the Wacky Pac. On to the games!

Arizona State v. UCLA
Oregon State v. Oregon
Stanford v. San Jose State
Current Pac-10 Standings




Arizona State v. UCLA

Two teams searching for answers clash in a battle that has some bowl implications for the struggling Bru Crew. There's reason to think that if Bob Toledo doesn't make it to San Jose or Boise for the bowl season (which should probably happen regardless), he may end up leaving Las Vegas like Nicholas Cage. A win over the Sun Devils in the Rose Bowl will get there, but he'll be doing it without DeShaun Foster and most likely Cory Paus. It's too bad too, because UCLA will be going up against a Devil defense that gives up roughly 31 points and 385 yards per game. One way the Bruins can shake things up is rely on Akil Harris and Manuel White to get into the secondary of ASU Defensive Coordinator Brent Guy's unique 4-2-5 scheme and make true freshman Jason Shivers the leading tackler for the day. Putting the game on the shoulders of Ryan McCann or Scott McEwan probably isn't the best idea. Conversely, for the Devils, Dirk Koetter doesn't have a ton of options after starting QB Jeff Krohn, who may or may not play because of health concerns. Freshman Andrew Walter played a lot in their loss to cross-state rival Arizona, but didn't impress. Walter will be a fine one in time, but not against the likes of Robert Thomas, Kenyon Coleman, et al. I expect UCLA to ride their horses (Harris and White) a little better than ASU will theirs (Delvon Flowers) to make sure they get that Silicon or Humanitarian invite. Wouldn't a picture of Toledo on a snowmobile be interesting?

UCLA 35-28



Oregon State v. Oregon

The match up of the week, the Beavers are riding high into Autzen Arena with hopes of wrestling Oregon's kung-fu grip off of the first place trophy. For the Ducks, the incentive isn't quite there, other than the knowledge that with a win they win the conference outright. As far as a bowl berth, their slot in the Fiesta Bowl is already secure and it would take some serious weirdness at the top of the national polls for Oregon to make the title game. We've already seen Nebraska and Oklahoma get their shots taken away from them and I think the same thing is going to happen to the Quackers on Saturday. Why? Well, the ghost of Joey 5-picks will be rearing his head in the Beaver secondary, and his name is Jake Cookus. For some reason, Joey and Jake fit just like a hand in glove, so if he doesn't get at least one pigskin souvenir courtesy of Mr. Heisman, I'd be shocked. Jonathan Smith has found his groove again and has some unlikely targets in Seth Trimmer and Tim Euhus to go along with their one proven vet, James Newson. Kenny Simonton will want to make his final hurrah in Duckville a memorable one, and will get ample assistance from Pat McCall and Steven Jackson. Tensions will be high in Eugene, and I expect that Oregon will strike early, but the Beavs will hang around and score late ala Okie State to pull out a stunner. This is their bowl game, and if they get to another one, it'll be a bonus, but it won't be as sweet as this one will be.

Oregon State 19-14



Stanford v. San Jose State

The Cardinal have all but packed their bags for Seattle, and not much will change regardless of the outcome of this irrelevant match up in Silicon Valley. This one is strictly for pride, and the knowledge that they can finally get the Spartan monkey off their backs for good. Stanford has lost three straight to SJSU, and all of them have come at Stanford. But with all that way comes a ray of sunshine wider than I-5; San Jose State has the worst defense in all of Division-1 football, surrendering over 500 yards of total offense per game. That has to be sweet music to Ty Willingham's ears, as the Cardinal are tops in the Pac and 10th in the country in scoring, racking up almost 37 points per contest. Solid offense plus crappy defense equals a really bad game, but with Stanford's bowl future already determined and Fitz Hill wanting to make a statement in his first year as the Spartans' head coach, SJSU just may have enough motivation to make a real game of it. One thing is for sure; it will be a shootout of major proportions. San Jose State beat Nevada earlier by a 64-45 score, a total more reminiscent of a battle on the hardwood. This game will be 'basketball on grass', to quote Joe Tiller, and the Cardinal will outlast the Spartans and put their three-game losing skid to rest.

Stanford 50-40


2001 PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL STANDINGS
	        Conference Games      All Games
	        W  L   Pct. Pts. Opp  W  L   Pct. Pts. Opp Streak
Oregon           6  1  0.857 264  167  9  1  0.900 357  226  Won 3
Washington State 6  2  0.750 257  187  9  2  0.818 387  242 Lost 1
Stanford         6  2  0.750 312  266  8  2  0.800 367  301  Won 3
Washington       6  2  0.750 227  237  8  3  0.727 310  323 Lost 1
USC              5  3  0.625 249  150  6  5  0.545 292  197  Won 4
UCLA             3  4  0.429 191  143  6  4  0.600 265  183 Lost 4
Oregon State     3  4  0.429 177  166  5  5  0.500 273  242  Won 2
Arizona          2  6  0.250 223  317  5  6  0.455 320  377  Won 1
Arizona State    1  6  0.143 178  260  4  6  0.400 332  309 Lost 4
California       0  8  0.000 148  333  1 10  0.091 201  431  Won 1

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