A crazy work week kept me from really diving into this weeks Roundtable. Laughing Stock offers up some thoughts with this weeks questions...
1. While Arizona's victory over California certainly caught most of us by surprise, perhaps even more surprising was the 42-27 score. With many of us thinking that Cal was the second best team in the conference, this result throws a huge twist into the Rose Bowl race. Is Arizona really that good?
What surprises me about Arizona's offense is how senior QB Willie Tuitama was expected to air it out all of the time with a minimal run game. Last year Tuitama averaged over 40 pass attempts per game, but this year averages just over 30. It is interesting to note that the two games in which the team failed to record at least one hundred yards rushing were also the two games they lost. As to whether they are "really that good" I cannot help but point out that their wins outside of Cal have come against UW, UCLA, Toledo, and Idaho and that they have lost to Stanford and New Mexico, so I guess I really don't think that they are that good, but the truth will come out during the stretch when they have to play USC-wsu-Oregon-OSU.
1a. Is Cal's defense really that terrible?
Cal is currently ranked 31st in Total D and 48th in scoring D, which I think is pretty average/mediocre. Not spectacular, but certainly not terrible. Hey everybody has an off day right?
2. USC's 69-0 beatdown over Washington State rates among the worst losses in the history of the sport. The Cougars had a total of four first downs, three turnovers, and 28 passing yards. If there are any Washington State fans left out there, what do you say to calm their existential crisis at this point?
Watch college gameday, there are obviously some very dedicated Cougar fans out there somewhere.
3. Oregon State is at it again. Despite being the butt of jokes at the beginning of the year, the Beavers now look to be rolling and headed toward another top three finish. Are the Beavers primed for another late season run, or were victories over the Washington schools just smoke and mirrors?
Mike Riley is a great coach and it is hard to ignore the late season surge OSU seems to experience every year. I think they lose at least one more game, but I think a Holiday bowl berth is in reach. OSU controls their destiny though, and if they win out they are going to the Rose Bowl believe it or not.
4. Stanford's bowl dreams just took a major hit when they laid an egg at the Rose Bowl. While Stanford is 4-4 at this point, Washington State looms as their only easy game, and they still must play at Oregon, at home versus an SC team that will be looking for revenge, and the Big Game in Strawberry Canyon. Given the brutal schedule, is it too early to bugle 'TAPS' on their bowl chances?
Chalk up WSU as a W right now, and really all they have to do is pull off one win in any of the other 3 games. Seems a little less difficult when looking at things that way huh?
5. At this stage in the game, USC is Barack Obama, and the field is John McCain. Make the best case that you can for SC not winning yet another conference crown.
This intro to this question is confusing as hell, but if either Oregon State or Arizona win out then they are uncontested Pac 10 champs so there you have it.