Looking at the weekend ahead in the Pac-10
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
There's a Rose Bowl elimination game (the Civil War), bowl elimination game (UCLA at Arizona State), a national rivalry game (Notre Dame at USC) and a beach trip for the celebrating Cougars (Washington State at Hawaii) this week to keep you entertained while you digest your turkey.
UCLA (4-6, 3-4) at Arizona State (4-6, 3-4): The loser becomes a loser -- record-wise -- and is out of the bowl hunt. The winner then will try to earn mediocrity -- record-wise -- and bowl eligibility vs. its rival on Dec. 6. UCLA and Arizona State have split their last four meetings, but the Bruins have won seven of 10 at Sun Devil Stadium, including their most recent visit in 2006. Last year, in the Rose Bowl, the No. 9-ranked Sun Devils improved to 9-1 with a 24-20 victory. Keegan Herring was the difference, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Notre Dame (6-5) at USC (9-1): The nation needs this game to matter because it's a unique and special rivalry. Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis isn't keeping up his end of the bargain since the classic 2005 affair. The Irish are coming off a humiliating home loss to Syracuse. After the game, Irish fans pelted some of their players with snowballs. USC could use a quality Notre Dame team to bolster its national standing. Too bad. As it is, the Trojans need a blowout or they will face further skepticism from voters. Duplicating last year's 38-zip win in South Bend might do the trick. That was the most decisive Trojans victory in the 79-game series and their first shutout in South Bend since 1933. Mark Sanchez, making his second career start in place of John David Booty, threw four touchdown passes and USC rushed for 227 yards.
The Civil War
Oregon (8-3, 6-2) at Oregon State (8-3, 7-1): If Oregon State wins, it's going to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 44 years. If Oregon wins, the Beavers don't go to the Rose Bowl and likely end up in the Sun Bowl because the Holiday Bowl likely would prefer the Ducks. So, there's a lot at stake here in the biggest Civil War since 2000. This is the longest running football rivalry on the West Coast in terms of games played. The teams have met 111 times dating to 1894 and uninterrupted since 1945. The Ducks lead the series 55-46-10, but Oregon State won at Eugene last year -- 38-31 in double overtime -- snapping a 10-year run of the home team winning. The Beavers have won five in a row in Reser Stadium with the last Duck victory in Corvallis coming in 1996.
Washington State (2-10) at Hawaii (6-5): The Cougars would like to remind you that that last weekend they beat Washington 16-13 in double overtime. Oh, this game? Well, Washington State leads its all-time series with Hawaii 2-1, including a 22-14 win in 1999, the team's most recent meeting. In that game, quarterback Jason Gesser, who, unlike Kevin Lopina, never beat Washington -- which lost to the Cougars 16-13 last weekend in double overtime -- led WSU to 10 points in the final three minutes in his first collegiate start in his hometown of Honolulu. Gesser, of course, though he never beat Washington 16-13 in double overtime, went on to become the school's all-time passing leader before being eclipsed by Alex Brink, who was part of three victories over Washington, though never by a count of 16-13 in double overtime.
Arizona (6-5), California (7-4), Washington (0-11) - open dates.
Stanford (5-7) - season concluded.