Pac Tracks: This mid-season report needs second-half adjustments

It’s the midway point in the Pac 12 season, or close enough, and the boys in the front office have done it again.

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The conference has one viable playoff contender, No. 7 Washington, but has positioned it perfectly to be eliminated as soon as this Saturday.

The league knew Washington, going into the season, was that most likely contender.

So, after a winning trip to UCLA last weekend, UW had to fly back to Seattle straight over Eugene, the site of this weekend’s game against hated Oregon.

Washington will play two straight road games while Oregon waits, in their luxury Nike-funded complex, after an open week.

This sets up well for the Ducks, who likely have no shot at the playoff even if they beat the Huskies thanks to a come-from-ahead loss to Stanford and playing three non-con stinkers.

I’ve been around a long time but don’t pretend to know everything about the Pac, so here are my mid-season power rankings paired with a nice Willamette Pinot and some things I didn’t know.

1:Washington: I knew this was a veteran Huskies team, but not that the Huskies, for the first time since 1995, did not have a true freshman play in the season opener...

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2: Oregon: I knew Marcus Mariota played at Oregon and that current players Troy and Travis were brothers, but not that Matt Mariota, younger brother to Marcus, was listed on the roster as a junior tight end...

3: Colorado: I knew the Buffs were 5-0 for the first time since 1998, but not that they were 2-0 in conference for the first time since joining the Pac...

4: Washington State: I knew East Carolina grad-transfer QB Gardner Minshew II was having a good season, but not that he has thrown for at least 300 yards in every start...

5: USC: I knew the Trojans boasted a good all-time record against Colorado, this week’s opponent at the Coliseum, but not that the record was 12-0 by a combined score of 419-169…[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

6: Utah: I knew Utah was the only school in the Pac South that has not won a divisional title, but not they are the first school to feature reigning winners, Matt Gay and Mitch Wishnowky, of the Lou Groza and Ray Guy Awards...

NewPac

7: Stanford: I knew the Trees were desperately struggling to run the ball as Bryce Love continues to deal with an ankle injury, but not that they were ranked No. 126 nationally this week at only 85.7 yards per game...

8: Arizona State: I knew the Sun Devils fell to 3-3 with a loss at Colorado last weekend, but not that their running backs have now gone 699 consecutive plays (25 games) without fumbling…

9: Arizona: I knew the Wildcats defeated Cal on Saturday, but not that TWO of their touchdowns came on interception returns for score...

10: California: I knew the Bears went into the season juggling three quarterbacks, which usually means you don’t have one. I didn’t know Ross Bowers, who threw for 3039 yards and 18 touchdowns last year, has only attempted 17 passes this season...

BennyBeaver

11: UCLA: I knew the Bruins played better in Saturday’s 31-24 home loss to Washington, but not that they established season highs for completions (27), passing and receiving yards (272), total yards (422) and points (24), with a season-low four penalties.

12: Oregon State: I knew the Beavers were based in Corvallis and played in Reser Stadium but, somewhat embarrassingly, not that their mascot’s name is Benny.[/membership]

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