Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Halloween in the Pac-12
By Ted Miller
The Pac-12 has its share of ghosts, ghouls and goblins. So in the spirit of the Halloween weekend ...
Scary movie -- Worst loss of the season: USC was everyone's preseason national title favorite, but the image of the Trojans as invincible went down hard when they lost 21-14 at Stanford. The Cardinal defense dominated up front and made USC look ordinary. It was certainly a shocker for USC fans.
Rising from the dead: Don't sleep on Washington. The Huskies' early schedule was brutal, and the loss at Arizona on Oct. 20 was ugly, but after slipping past previously unbeaten Oregon State last weekend, they could be on the cusp of a winning run. None of their final four opponents has a winning record.
Haunted House: USC may have broken the 21-game home winning streak for Oregon in Autzen Stadium last season, but there is no scarier place to play in the Pac-12.
Thriller: Stanford and Arizona in overtime or UCLA's last-second winner over Arizona State. Too close to call.
Jason Vorhees -- teams that won't die: Just when you are ready to stake, burn, decapitate, drown and disembowel the Utah Utes, they keep refusing to bow out of the bowl picture. They have to win three of their last four to keep their nine-year bowl streak alive and two of those games include Washington and Arizona.
Nightmare in Eugene -- biggest debacle of the season: Arizona is a good team -- see its national ranking and three quality wins, including last weekend over USC. But the Wildcats went down hard 49-zip at Oregon. How many Top 25 teams lost a game by 49 points this year?
Cursed team: California's season hinted at promise in the preseason, with a nice collection of players back on both sides of the ball and a fancy, new remodeled Memorial Stadium. But the Bears are 3-6 and coach Jeff Tedford is on a decidedly warm seat.
Paranormal activity: Washington has been winning games with defense (at least at home). The Huskies have a plus-four turnover margin when playing at CenturyLink field. But on the road, it's a much, much scarier scene.