Here's what we learned from this week's Pac-10 football games...
Washington (4-6 overall, 3-4 in Pac-10 play) defeated UCLA (4-6, 2-5) by the score of 24-7 in Seattle. We learned that UCLA is in disarray. Penalties, fumbles, poor play, Neuheisel ranting at his own players on the sideline. Not good. Yes, they beat Texas on the road early, but they have virtually zero QB talent to throw the ball, rendering them one dimensional on offense and, therefore, easier to shut down. And that's what UW did. We also learned that UCLA will wilt. We saw it in their game vs. Oregon where after the Duck's initial onslaught they just kinda gave up. Same thing vs. Washington in the second half. All that said, I think we learned that UCLA is officially done this season and won't be winning any more games - like they still have to play against Arizona State and USC. No bowl for the Bruins.
We learned that Washington still has some life left in them and that if they win their last two games - one at Cal, one at WSU - they will make a bowl game. Granted, they were playing UCLA, but the UW defense came to play for real and did a very good job shutting down the Bruin offense. We learned that, despite Jake Locker being an all around good guy and having the potential to be an NFL QB, he is...much to UW fans' lament...not a very good college QB. Fewer than 100 yards passing, one interception, no TD passes...although he did run one in for a score.
And finally, we learned - or at least I did - that the UW looked good in those black uniforms. I say bring 'em out a few times a year you Dawgs!
Stanford (10-1, 7-1) defeated Cal (5-6, 3-5) by the score of 48-14 at Berkley. We learned once again how good, how balanced and how talented Stanford is. We also learned that Cal's defensive effort against Oregon last week was a "one-off" performance - part valiant effort, part Oregon not playing very well. Oh, and you cannot discount the "comedown" factor after a game like that. If just wasn't meant to be vs. Stanford. We learned that Cal needs to win its last game vs. Washington next week to get to a bowl. Same goes for Washington to keep its bowl hopes alive. I think we also learned that if Stanford wins its last game of the season, it will likely be in a BSC bowl. Lastly, we now know as a result of this game that Oregon still has to win one of its last two games to clinch the league title.
Oregon State (5-5, 4-3) defeated USC (7-4, 4-4) by the score of 36-7 in Corvallis. Well, the first thing we learned here is that I am not that good a predictor. I believed that a better USC team would roll into Corvallis and beat up on a downtrodden OSU team that just been beat by lowly WSU (sorry WSU fans), but I was wrong. Which leads to another lesson we learned anew this week...you cannot predict with much certainty what will happen in the Pac-10 from week to week. Teams look great one week and horrible the next and vice versa. Home, road, bye week? Not factors. Oh well. Although they still have to on the road to play Stanford next week, I fully expect OSU to use this win over USC to springboard into the Civil War at full strength.
Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State and WSU did not play this weekend, so we didn't learn anything about them...although we know if Oregon wins vs. Arizona Friday they will wrap up the Pac-10 championship.