We're now at the end of the regular college football season. Yes, I'm still in denial over the fact that college football is ending for the year 2008. And after last week's games, it's not that hard to understand why. It wasn't the greatest week for Washington State, losing 24-10 in Hawai'i. Arizona State held UCLA to only three field goals to their 34 points. USC, um, soundly beat Notre Dame 38-3. But the game of the week had to be the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State. In what could only be classified as a "classic shootout", Oregon ended Oregon State's hopes of a Rose Bowl bid by beating them 65-38. If you think about it, Pac-10 teams put up 194 points this past weekend and their non-conference opponents only scored 27. Okay, it may be a bit "unbalanced". But you have to admit that it's a pretty impressive score.
We at World Financial Group are proud to sponsor the last regular season week for the Pac-10. One contest crosses a state border. Another will be played solely in the confines of the state of Arizona. In fact, they call it the "Duel in the Desert". And the third will be a "battle for Los Angeles". That sounds like a movie title, doesn't it?
In the only game this week to require extensive travel, the Washington Huskies travel to Berkeley to take on the California Golden Bears. The Huskies still seek their first win of the season, after losing a couple of weeks ago to Washington State for The Apple Cup. California is fresh off a bye week after defeating Stanford in The Big Game. WU did gain 224 yards on the ground in their bid for The Apple Cup, with half of those yards coming from freshman tailback Willie Griffin. California punter Bryan Anger averaged 60.2 yards on four punts, setting a Golden Bear single game record. The last time the Huskies and the Bears met, Washington was victorious by a score of 37-23. This is something California has not forgotten, and their chance for redemption will start at noon PT on FSN.
The intra-state rivalry game this week pits the Arizona State Sun Devils against the Arizona Wildcats. The Sun Devils are building on their three game win streak after defeating UCLA while the Wildcats are seeking to stop a two game skid. Arizona State free saftey Troy Nolan earned Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors after a one hundred yard interception for a touchdown last week. Arizona running back Nic Grigsby only needs 48 yards to become the Wildcat's first 1,000 yard rusher in seven years. Last year's Duel in the Desert (that is a great name for a football game) was a squeaker for the Sun Devils, earning a 20-17 victory on three Wildcat turnovers. The Wildcat Nation remembers last year and seeks to set things right at 6 MT on ESPN and FSN Arizona.
Finally, the USC Trojans, um, "travel" to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to take on the UCLA Bruins for the "Victory Bell". The Trojans have an eight game win streak (one of the best in the nation) while UCLA seeks to redeem themselves after losing to Arizona State last week. The Trojans didn't give up a touchdown against Notre Dame last week and held the Fighting Irish to only four first downs. Bruins wide receiver Terrence Austin only needs 62 more receiving yards to eclipse current record holder Maurice Jones-Drew, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The last battle for the Victory Bell was soundly (sorry) won by USC with a 24-7 score. But UCLA wants that bell this year. They'll fight for it at 1 PT on ABC. And we just found out that USC will lose a time out per half for wearing their home jerseys when they are the away team!
If USC wins this weekend, they will emerge as the Pac-10 champions and play in the Tournament of Roses game (also known as the Rose Bowl) on January 1. However, if the Trojans lose, this will create a three way tie for first between the Trojans, the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon Ducks. All three of these teams have 1-1 records against the other two in this scenario. Should this happen, the tied teams will the be compared to the next highest ranked teams, being the Golden Bears, the Wildcats and the Sun Devils and compare those head to head records until the tie is broken. Should this go into effect, Oregon State will then represent the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl. But this remains to be seen.
Again, WFG is proud to sponsor Pac-10 Athletics. Thank you for a great season of college football!