Pac Tracks: USC\UCLA "hottest" power couple in pod rating

Larry’s League did NOT go 11-0 last weekend and did NOT have a team come back from 34-points down in the second half.

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Washington State came closest, rallying from 21-points behind in the fourth quarter to take down Boise State, in triple OT.

Of course, it took the worst shovel-pass decision in the history of mankind, by Kansas transfer Montell Cozart, which led to a pick six. And then a Wazzu punt that bounced off the back of a Boise kid that led to the game-tying score in regulation.

Leave it to Mike Leach, prepping for a laxative endorsement, to sum up his team’s first half performance:

“We were like one of the most constipated offenses on Earth,” Leach said.

Forget Gatorade: try prune juice.

Oregon, for what it’s worth, nearly blew a 28-point second-half lead, at home, against Nebraska.

Week 2 was the anticipated reality check. The league scored some nice wins against Nebraska, Boise and BYU, but took lumps versus Minnesota, San Diego State and Houston.

To quote the great Chuck Berry, “c’est la vie, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.”

I’ve always loved the conference for its geographic, and geopolitical, uniqueness. The conference is basically six sets of pairs—teams of rivals.

The leaders, so far, in this year's potato sack race:

1: USC\UCLA

Combined record: 4-0. Separated by 13 miles, 10,000 plastic surgeons and the world’s worst traffic, the Trojans and Bruins have suddenly become the Pac’s hottest power couple. Last year, at this point, USC had already lost to Alabama, 52-6, and Max Browne was still starting at quarterback. UCLA was also 1-1 after a choke-job loss at Texas A&M. Today, they’re taking selfies in front of the AP top 25 poll.

USC romped all over Stanford, with more than 300 yards passing and rushing, which hasn’t happened since Buddy Teevens handed the coaching baton the Walt Harris.

“Anytime you outrush a David Shaw Stanford team, that’s a special thing,” USC Coach Clay Helton said.

Josh Rosen was Edward Scissorhands in UCLA’s slice and dice against Hawaii, throwing for a career-high five touchdowns.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Rosen has completed 67.9% of his passes for 820 yards, with nine touchdowns and no interceptions.

Is that good?

“It’s been enjoyable to watch him work,” Jedd Fisch, UCLA’s first-year offensive coordinator, said after the Hawaii dissection.

On deck: USC hosts Texas this week in a game that is NOT revenge for the national title game loss, while UCLA plays at Memphis.

Hey look: UCLA has moved to 75\1 in latest Bovada odds to win the national title. USC is 6\1.

2: Washington\Washington State

Combined record: 4-0

Washington’s walk-over of Montana made amends for that sloppy start at Rutgers which, oh-by-the-way, lost Saturday to Eastern Michigan. Washington State needed a miracle to stay unbeaten—but got it.

Coaches Chris Petersen and Leach remain firmly entrenched as the conference’s best, and worst, quotes.

On deck: Washington hosts Fresno State, which held Alabama to 41 points, while Wazzu starts league 1-0 after next week's home win over Oregon State.

3: Utah\Colorado:

Combined record: 4-0

B-O-R-I-N-G. The newest Pac couplet, working methodically behind the scenes like Nike aglet assemblers in Thailand, has yet to crack the AP top 25. Utah is No. 24 in the USA Today index because a couple SEC coaches remember Utah, a long time ago, beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

On deck: Two more wins as Colorado hosts Northern Colorado and Utah unwelcomes San Jose State.

4: Stanford\California

Combined record: 3-1

Stanford lost, at USC, its hard-won reputation for being the league’s most dominating rushing offense in the last decade, even though it’s actually been Oregon. A student protester in Berkeley, lodged in a tree since Justin Wilcox was announced as new coach, was coaxed down by Ann Coulter after the Bears improved to 2-0 with a comeback win over Weber State.

On deck: Warning! Ole Miss at Cal must be a typo, or a communist plot. And Stanford at San Diego State is big trouble for the tall trees.

5: Oregon\Oregon State

Combined record: 3-2

This is sort of like Hank and Tommie Aaron having 768 “combined” home runs. Oregon is 2-0 after a come-from-ahead win over Nebraska. Oregon State is, by far, the Pac’s worst team with blowout losses to Colorado State and Minnesota. The Beavers’ only win was a cliff-hanger against Portland State.

“What can I say?” Coach Gary Anderson said after Saturday’s Minnesota debacle. “The football team is not playing very well and it’s a football team I’m in charge of.”

On deck: Two dangerous trips: Oregon is at Wyoming while Oregon State is at Pullman.

6: Arizona\Arizona State

Combined record: 2-2

The Arizona schools came into the Pac together, in 1978 and may go out together.

On deck: Good news: Both Zonas play in the state of Texas this week (Arizona at UTEP; ASU at Texas Tech). If you can’t win in sad-sack Texas, these days, it may be time to reform the WAC. [/membership]

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