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Monday, November 17, 2008
Looking at the weekend ahead in the Pac-10

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Just three games this week, but two have big bowl implications and the third decides who finishes last in FBS football.

No. 21 Oregon State (7-3, 6-1) at Arizona (6-4, 4-3): Oregon State tries to keep its Rose Bowl dreams alive, but Arizona will be a test. The Wildcats, who are playing for their own bowl positioning, have won six of their past seven at home, the lone loss coming to USC. Last year, the Beavers started their annual second-season run with a dominant 31-16 victory over the Wildcats, the first of seven wins in eight games (the lone loss coming to USC). Oregon State took a 31-3 lead and coasted home. Arizona didn't score an offensive touchdown and had 231 total yards and just nine yards on the ground. The Beavers picked off three passes and posted eight quarterback sacks. So the high-powered Arizona offense, which ran 98 plays and scored 28 second-half points in a losing effort at Oregon, will be looking for revenge. It's noteworthy, however, that the Beavers have won eight of the last nine in the series, including three straight in Tucson.

The Big Game

Stanford (5-6, 4-4) at California (6-4, 4-3): Stanford needs to win the West Coast's oldest rivalry to earn bowl eligibility, and California needs to win to not allow the Cardinal to win two in a row in the series and to move up in the bowl pecking order. Stanford leads the all-time ledger 55-44-11, though the point total -- 1,780 for Cal, 1,755 for Stanford -- is nearly identical. Stanford's win last year snapped a five-game Bears winning streak, and Stanford hasn't won in Memorial Stadium since 2000 (36-30 in overtime). They met at Palo Alto last year and celebrated the 25th anniversary of "The Play." The Cardinal prevailed 20-13, handing Cal its sixth loss in seven games since being ranked No. 2 in the country.

The Apple Cup

Washington (0-10, 0-7) at Washington State (1-10, 0-8): Laugh at the records, sure, but know that this the 101st Apple Cup will be played with great intensity because the winner gets at least one positive memory for the season and the loser gets a national dunce cap. The Huskies lead the all-time series 64-30-6, but the Cougars have won three of four. Washington won the last meeting in Pullman, a 35-32 victory in 2006 that likely prevented the Cougars, who finished 6-6, from earning a bowl invitation. The last six games have been decided by eight or fewer points, including the Cougars 42-35 win in Husky Stadium last year. Cougs quarterback Alex Brink threw for an Apple Cup record 399 yards and five touchdowns, including the game winner to receiver Brandon Gibson -- who was uncovered -- with 31 seconds left.

Arizona State (4-6, 3-4) - open date - next game Fri., Nov. 28 vs. UCLA
UCLA (4-6, 3-4) - open date - next game Fri., Nov. 28 at Arizona State
Oregon (8-3, 6-2) - open date - next game Sat., Nov. 29 the Civil War at Oregon State
USC (9-1, 7-1) - open date - next game Sat., Nov. 29 vs. Notre Dame