Pac-12: 2014 pac-12 morning links

Pac-12 morning links

November, 18, 2014
Nov 18
8:00
AM ET
Nervous?
Yes
First time?
No, I've been nervous lots of times.

Leading off

The College Football Playoff will release its new rankings tonight, and it's a safe bet that Oregon will still be in the top four after being on bye last week. Projections have had them as high as No. 1 and as low as No. 4. If The Eliminator has anything to say about it, the Ducks are still in good shape. The Ducks are one of eight teams still listed as "in contention."
For No. 2 Oregon, the mission is now simple: Don't screw it up. The Ducks suffered November losses in each of the past three seasons that prevented them from playing for a BCS national championship. Oregon's path to the playoff isn't entirely clear -- it still has regular-season games left against Colorado on Saturday and at Oregon State for the Civil War on Nov. 29, as well as the Pac-12 championship game -- but it would be a surprise if anyone can knock off the Ducks. Since losing to Arizona 31-24 at home on Oct. 2, Oregon has scored at least 42 points in five consecutive victories.

But the Ducks aren't the only Pac-12 team still hanging around. Three others -- Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA -- remain "on the fence." The Wildcats have a tough South Division road game against Utah. The Sun Devils will look to bounce back against Washington State and UCLA and USC square off at the Rose Bowl in a rivalry game with plenty of regional and national implications.

Awards season

The Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's top receiver, announced its 10 semifinalists Monday. Almost half of the players are from the Pac-12. Here's the list:
The award has resided in the Pac-12 the last two seasons, after OSU's Brandin Cooks won it in 2013 and USC's Marqise Lee took it home in 2012. You can check out the receiving stats here to see how the four stack up against the competition.

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Must be rivalry week.

 

Pac-12 morning links

November, 17, 2014
Nov 17
8:00
AM ET
All the vampires walkin' through the valley, move west down Ventura Blvd;
And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows, and the good girls are home with broken hearts.

Leading off

It's a new week, which means a new set of rankings. Chaos continues to ring throughout the land, as well as in the Pac-12 South ... the toughest division in all of college football.

Half of the Pac-12 is ranked this week -- and five of those six teams hail from the South, which was thrown into further turmoil Saturday night with Oregon State's win against Arizona State. As always, Kyle Bonagura has the league breakdown here.

And here's where things shape up for the conference this week. The new College Football Playoff rankings will be unveiled -- with much debate, no doubt -- Tuesday. You can see the complete rankings here. As always, the AP result is listed first:
  • Oregon 3-3
  • UCLA 11-12
  • Arizona State 13-14
  • Arizona 15-13
  • Utah 20-21
  • USC 24-24

And as we do every Monday, here's a look at how some folks who cover the conference voted on their AP ballots. Northern misery loves company

If you land on Dan Wolken's Misery Index, chances are things have gone very, very wrong. The USA Today writer picked a pair of Pac-12 teams for this week's index, both of them from the North Division.

First, his thoughts on Stanford:
... but fans have to be a bit concerned about the backslide this year to 5-5 and the possibility the Cardinal will miss the postseason for the first time since 2009. Yes, that's right -- with games remaining at California and UCLA, Stanford is on very thin ice to make a bowl game, which would be a true disappointment considering they were expected to contend for the Pac-12 title.

And now Washington:
Coincidentally, this is the first time he's lost five games in a season as head coach. And unlike in Boise, where Petersen had enough goodwill built up to survive a rough patch or two with his fan base, he's starting from scratch with Washington fans. So far, he hasn't shown them much.

Both teams are still one game short of bowl eligibility. And as Wolken mentions, Stanford has to get it done either against rival Cal or UCLA. The Huskies have two shots left with OSU at home this weekend and then a trip to Pullman in the Apple Cup. Wouldn't be shocking if either team is left on the outside.

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Good call, coaches.

It's on!

Pac-12 morning links

November, 10, 2014
Nov 10
8:00
AM ET
Dear God, it's me, Jonah Hill... from "Moneyball."

Leading off

Well, this is shaping up nicely for the Pac-12, isn't it? Two teams are ranked in the top 10, one from the North and one from the South -- seemingly on a collision course in the Pac-12 championship game with a spot in the College Football Playoff on the line. Oregon and ASU both overcame tremendous hurdles this past weekend, with the Sun Devils knocking off the visiting Notre Dame Irish and the Ducks coming out of #SackLakeCity with a victory.

The AP and coaches poll rankings reflect the significance of the wins. Kyle Bonagura has the breakdown here for the Pac-12.

Here are the league's ranked teams (AP poll first, followed by the coaches poll).
  • Oregon 3-4
  • Arizona State 7-8
  • UCLA 14-15
  • Arizona 17-18
  • Utah 25-N/R

You can see the complete rankings here.

As always, here's how a few folks who cover the league voted in the AP ballot. The latest College Football Playoff rankings will be released Tuesday night. The return of Orgeron?

Coach "O" might not be done with USC just yet. Ed Orgeron, who did a splendid job pinch-hitting as the Trojans' head coach post-Lane Kiffin, told Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times that he wouldn't be against a possible return to USC as an assistant coach.
I will be a USC Trojan forever, and, I don't know what they're thinking, but the door to come back there is always open in my mind. If the right situation comes up this year and they ask me to go back, I'd be more than happy to listen.

As you may recall, Orgeron was hoping to have the interim dropped from his title and be named USC's next head coach full-time. But following a loss to UCLA, athletic director Pat Haden informed Oregeron he would not get the gig. New head coach Steve Sarkisian offered Orgeron an assistant job, but he declined.

The Trojans (6-3) were on bye last week and close the year with Cal, UCLA and Notre Dame.

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Did you like the ASU Desert Fuel unis? Learn a little more about them here.

Sometimes it is what it is ...

Pac-12 morning links

November, 3, 2014
Nov 3
8:00
AM ET
Like a groupie incognito posing as a real singer, life imitates art.

Leading off

As we do each Monday morning, it's time to check in with the new rankings. Of course, from here through the rest of the season we'll be glued to the Tuesday night ranking show, where the College Football Playoff selection committee will update its weekly poll. But for a little perspective, here's where things stand in the AP and coaches polls. Kyle Bonagura updates Oregon's status in his weekly Sunday post.

Here's where things stand with the ranked Pac-12 teams (AP ranking first, followed by the coaches poll).
  • Oregon 5-5
  • ASU 11-12
  • UCLA 18-18
  • Utah 20-22
  • Arizona 21-21

Here's how a few folks who cover the conference voted in the AP poll: Talking playoffs

With Oregon solving its Stanford problem, the Ducks still have the clearest path for a Pac-12 team to reach the College Football Playoffs. Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports thinks the Ducks will be there. In his weekly "Fab 4" rankings, he has Oregon as the No. 3 seed playing No. 2 Florida State in the Rose Bowl. That's a game that would have no shortage of quarterback story lines ... especially if Marcus Mariota makes it to New York for the Heisman ceremony, as expected.

Here's Forde's take on the Ducks:
Its win over fading, 5-4 Stanford won’t move the needle a lot in terms of power ratings, but it was a major victory for the Ducks. The Cardinal was Oregon’s season-wrecking nemesis the previous two seasons, punishing the Ducks and branding them with the damning “soft” label. They weren’t soft in rolling up 525 yards and 45 points Saturday, nor were they in September when they whipped physical Michigan State by 19 points. So consider that reputation dismissed for now.

The win didn't give Oregon much of a bump in the polls, which is to be expected because Stanford is having a down year. But as Forde notes, emotionally, that win was a huge hurdle for Oregon. It was also a good tuneup for this week's trip to Salt Lake City, where Oregon will face a salty defense (slight pun intended) with a good running back.

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

A couple of game balls to hand out for the Sun Devils after their overtime win over visiting Utah. A look inside the ASU locker room reveals that one of the game balls goes to kicker Zane Gonzalez. Makes sense, he was 4-of-5 on field goal attempts and hit the game winner in overtime.

Speaking of the kickers in that game, thought this was all class by Phillips.



But that wasn't the only game ball handed out ...

Pac-12 morning links

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
8:00
AM ET
Don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy, she'll beat you if she's able;
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet.

Leading off

At this point in the season, any injury to a starter can be crippling. And in the ridiculously competitive Pac-12 South, it can be downright devastating. Earlier in the week we learned that USC would be without left tackle Chad Wheeler for the rest of the season. Wednesday, another impact player was lost for the year when Utah announced that wide receiver Dres Anderson would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
“We feel bad for Dres. It’s heartbreaking for that kid. He’s a fifth-year senior. He’s poured everything he had into this program for five years,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham told reporters after practice on Wednesday. “Nobody’s outworked him. Nobody’s done more for us than Dres during that period of time. He’s taken care of business on and off the field. He’s got his degree already in hand.”

Here are some reactions:
The Utes, very much in the thick of things in the Pac-12 South -- and even the playoff conversation -- enter one of the toughest stretches in the country. After this week's trip to ASU, they are home to Oregon, at Stanford, home to Arizona and at Colorado to close out the season. According to FPI, the Utes have the second-toughest remaining schedule of the 25 ranked teams and the eighth toughest in the nation.

Heisman update

Catching you up on the Heisman race, which could take a turn this weekend with Stanford heading to Oregon, Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota is nearly neck-and-neck with Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. In the latest ESPN.com poll, Prescott leads Mariota by a single point.

Here’s how it shakes out (followed by total points):
  1. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (45)
  2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (44)
  3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (18)
  4. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama (13)
  5. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska (11)

No other Pac-12 players are receiving votes. Here’s guessing that if Mariota can finally get over his Stanford hump, he’ll enjoy a nice bump.
News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

I guess yesterday was National Cat Day? To which my beagle says, meh. The tweet is still funny, though.
D.J. Foster bringing his media skills to practice.

Pac-12 morning links

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
8:00
AM ET
The hurt doesn't show;
But the pain still grows;
It's no stranger to you and me.
(I know you totally just did the drums in your head!)

Leading off

It's depth chart Wednesday! And the people rejoiced. All 12 teams are in action again, so here are the most current depth charts for each team (except, as you know by now, UCLA, which doesn't do a weekly depth chart). As always, I've made some notes below.
Notes (lots this week) News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Happy birthday, coach.

Pac-12 morning links

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
8:00
AM ET
I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.

Leading off

Time for our weekly check-in with The Eliminator, everyone's favorite (or not) weekly segment. The latest victim is USC, which dropped its third game of the season on the road at Utah. Per the folks at ESPN Stats & Information, USC has now lost 15 in a row when trailing going into the fourth quarter.

So who is left? As the first batch of playoff rankings are set to be released Tuesday night (4:30 p.m. on ESPN for us West Coasters), the Pac-12 still has five teams that are either in contention or hanging on. Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State still qualify for the "In Contention" category, while Utah and UCLA are "On the Fence." Some thoughts on the Utes:
OK, it's time to call the Utes a legitimate contender in the Pac-12 South. Utah became bowl eligible for the first time in three seasons by knocking off No. 20 USC 24-21 at home Saturday night. The Utes scored the winning touchdown on quarterback Travis Wilson's 1-yard touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay with eight seconds to play. If the Utes keep winning against their upcoming schedule, they'll be a legitimate playoff threat (and they'll have earned it).

Should be much to debate when these folks release the first rankings.

In defense of Sark

All those going after USC head coach Steve Sarkisian need to slow your roll, so says Chris Dufresne of the L.A. Times. For whatever blame you want to throw on the Trojans' first-year head coach, Dufresne is quick to remind us that the blame can sometimes fall on the players not performing an otherwise acceptable decision from the coach. From his column:
No one weeps for Steve Sarkisian because he makes a fortune, yet the first-year coach does have the misfortune of presiding over a whiny, entitled franchise in the shameless era of dingbat social media. He also is chopping wood, well under the scholarship cap, in a Pac-12 that has never been better. Not every Trojans fan wants Sarkisian sacked for being 5-3 through eight games, but even one is too many.

He's not wrong, especially when you consider the Utah game and the fourth-and-2. Even though there's altitude, it still would have been a 40-plus-yard kick into the wind. And it only would have tied the game. Every coach has their own metrics for when to go on fourth down. I'm guessing most of the league's coaches would have done exactly what Sarkisian did.

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Baby announcements have become quite the rage. Last week at practice, Cal assistant coach Pierre Ingram and his wife Dani found out they were having a boy through the magic of colored cupcakes. Pretty cool video.

Some highlights from Arizona's win over WSU. (Look away, Cougar Brian, look away.)

Pac-12 morning links

October, 27, 2014
Oct 27
8:00
AM ET
And I'm going down to Hollywood;
They're gonna make a movie from the things that they find crawling 'round my brain.

Leading off

The Pac-12 lost one of its ranked teams this week when the Utah Utes came from behind in the final two minutes to knock off the USC Trojans at home. With the win, the Utes climbed from No. 19 to No. 18 (seemed like a light bump for beating a ranked team), and the Trojans went spiraling out of the rankings. As always, Kyle Bonagura has the breakdown of what it means for the conference.

Here is where things stand in both polls heading into Week 10. The AP ranking is listed first, followed by the ranking coaches poll.
  • Oregon 5-6
  • Arizona 14-15
  • Arizona State 15-14
  • Utah 18-18
  • UCLA 25-25

And if you're curious on how some of the folks who cover the conference voted, here is a sampling: Has Utah arrived?

It would seem so. Now 6-1 with conference wins over the LA schools, the Utes find themselves as major players in the South Division heading into this week's showdown with ASU. Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune writes the biggest difference is Utah has been able to finish. From his story:
Many of the things Utah fans sought before the season have been achieved. Bowl eligibility: Check. Sweep over Southern California schools: Check. Winning on the road: Check. National ranking: Check. Beating nationally ranked teams: Check. But Utah's coaches and players are tearing up the checklist. Although they may not have expected as much early success, they're starting to embrace the idea that bigger, better things are still at stake.

Aside from Saturday being Utah's second win over a ranked team this season, the win also makes Utah bowl eligible for the first time since 2011.

News/notes/practice reports
Just for fun

What does the Utah locker room look like after beating USC? Click here and find out.

Pac-12 morning links

October, 17, 2014
Oct 17
8:00
AM ET
Happy Friday!

Leading off

Another double-overtime game. Another game that comes down to the last possession. Another home team falls. Just another night in the Pac-12.

If you stayed up for the Utah-Oregon State drama, you were rewarded with yet another fantastically entertaining game.

Here's some reaction from the action at Reser: Pick 'em

Every Friday we bring you some picks from folks who cover the conference. The Pac-12 blog, which continues to muddle its way through this torturous weekly exercise, posted its picks Thursday morning. Here's what some other folks have to say about this weekend: A happy return?

There are always questions when things don't go according to script. And more than once, the Pac-12 blog has received a letter or two about Brett Hundley's decision to return to college for another season. An unnamed NFL scout talked about that decision with Chris Foster of the L.A. Times. And Hundley called his return "a worthwhile experience."

The scout pitched the idea of Hundley coming back for one more season next year. Here's what he had to say:
He has a long way to go. He's still athletic. He's still smart. He's still a good worker. He just needs to become a better passer in the pocket, and he needs to learn that he's got to stay in there and throw the ball accurately inside the pocket ... Don't take those sacks. You never see Peyton Manning taking those kind of sacks. You can't hold onto the ball for five seconds.

Accuracy hasn't necessarily been the problem. Hundley leads all FBS quarterbacks with a 72.2 completion percentage. The sacks, however, have been. Head coach Jim Mora and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone have gone out of their way to say that sacks aren't just on an offensive line. That sometimes the quarterback is at fault. Sometimes it's the receivers. And sometimes the other team just makes a play. Will be interesting to see in the coming months if Hundley even entertains the idea of coming back for one more year. However, he told the Pac-12 blog in the preseason that regardless of what happens, this was his last year at UCLA.

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Oregon State's Dylan Wynn is awesome. #Damcancer indeed.

Loading

#DAMCANCER

View on Instagram

Pac-12 morning links

October, 16, 2014
Oct 16
8:00
AM ET
Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark!

Leading off

Get a good look at as many Pac-12 players as possible over the second half of the season. Because for a lot of them, this will be their last year. The league is loaded with NFL potential this season, and ESPN's Todd McShay recently updated his Top 32 players. There's a new No. 1 -- USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams. But he's just one of 10 Pac-12 players who could go in the first round in the next NFL draft.

Here's what McShay has to say about Williams:
Williams moves up to the No. 1 spot in this week's rankings, as we've had more of an opportunity to watch his performance; this adjustment is mostly just an acknowledgement of what a complete game he has and how he has been playing up to that level so far this season. He possesses excellent strength and speed for his size, and has the versatility to create mismatches all along the D-line. His best projection is as a 5-technique defensive end, but he has the quickness and point-of-attack skills to perform inside as a 3-technique (especially in pass-rushing situations), and enough athleticism to occasionally line up as a traditional left defensive end. As a pass-rusher, he isn't going to gain the edge with pure speed, but he has good initial quickness and a wide array of moves. He possesses an above-average motor and plays with an edge.

The rest of the article is Insider, so you'll need to decipher a series of clues hidden within some of the greatest Renaissance works of art to get full access. But I'll give you a hint at No. 2 ... he's a quarterback and he wears green.

Who's the Q for the U?

We have football tonight when Utah travels to Oregon State. And the big storyline surrounding this game is whether it will be Travis Wilson or Kendal Thompson at quarterback for the No. 20 Utes. So far, coach Kyle Whittingham has kept things close to the vest.
"It's not a huge strategic move, but why tip your hand if you don't have to, and we don't have to. It's not like the NFL where you have to declare what's going on," Whittingham said. "They've handled themselves very well in practice. You'd expect both of them to work hard like they have all year long. There is really no change in our approach in that regard."

The irony, of course, is that the Utes have wished upon many a star to have a starting quarterback make it through the season -- pretty much ever since Brian Johnson. Now they have two. Tonight's game is a 7 p.m. PT kickoff on the Pac-12 Networks.

News/notes/practice reports
Just for fun

ASU created a stick-figure video to remind over-zealous boosters not to be over zealous.

Pac-12 morning links

October, 15, 2014
Oct 15
8:00
AM ET
I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings;
Coming down is the hardest thing.

Leading off

Welcome to depth chart Wednesday! There are 10 teams in action this week with the alphabetical bookends -- Arizona and Washington State -- on bye. As always, here are the depth charts for the teams in action (save UCLA, which doesn't provide a weekly depth chart).
Notes Heisman update

As we do every Wednesday, we'll check in on some Heisman updates. Dak Prescott holds a lead over Marcus Mariotta in most of the ballots that are out there -- including the ESPN.com poll.

Heismanpundit.com also updated its weekly straw poll, which consists of 10 Heisman voters. However, we're starting to see a couple new Pac-12 names on their ballots. Here are the results this week (first place votes in parentheses).

1. Dak Prescott, QB, Miss. State — 25 (7)

2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 21 (3)

3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin — 4

4. (tie) Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor — 2
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama — 2

6. (tie) Bo Wallace, QB, Ole Miss — 1
Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame — 1
Buck Allen, RB, USC — 1
Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana — 1
Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington — 1
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia — 1

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

In case you missed it, the Ducks will honor "The Pick" with their unis.

 

Pac-12 morning links

October, 13, 2014
Oct 13
8:00
AM ET
What is this? You're wearing the shirt of the band you're going to see. Don't be that guy.

Leading off

The shakeup in the rankings continues and once again the Pac-12 has a team ranked in single digits after a one-week hiatus.

On the strength of their convincing road win at UCLA, the Ducks are back in the top 10 in both polls, while the Bruins stumbled out of the rankings for the first time since 2012. USC is back in as the L.A. schools continue to ping pong in the rankings.

Kyle Bonagura broke it down here, as he does every Sunday. Here are the Pac-12 teams in the rankings. As always, the AP rank is first, followed by the coaches poll.
  • Oregon 9-9
  • Arizona 16-17
  • Arizona State 17-18
  • Utah 20-23
  • USC 22-25
  • Stanford 23-20

UCLA and Washington are receiving votes in both polls, and the Bruins are the unofficial No. 26 for both. You can see the complete rankings here.

Here's how some folks who cover the conference voted:
And speaking of rankings, the College Football Playoff will reveal the first round of rankings later this month. Here's a quick tuneup on everything you need to know about this brave new world.

Oregon-UCLA reactions

It was billed as one of the biggest games in the Pac-12 this year, but it ended with a thud. Here's what some folks are saying about the battle of ranked teams.

The Ducks understand what a second loss could mean, writes Tyson Alger of the Oregonian.

Also from Alger, does Thomas Tyner's performance point to a more productive Oregon run game?

The Bruins find themselves at a crossroads, writes Jack Wang of the LA Daily News. Here's what Myles Jack had to say about it:
We have to change something that -- maybe the coaches will figure out, or something we’ll figure out. Something’s gotta change.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports still has the Ducks as one of his four playoff teams. His thoughts on the Ducks:
The Ducks are the first team with a loss to crack the top four, thanks to owning a pair of double-digit wins that stack up well against the competition: by 19 over Michigan State and by 12 on the road over the Bruins. If undefeated Baylor had played Oregon’s schedule so far, their record would be no better and perhaps worse.

Some thoughts from Larry Scott on the league's parity. And he said the conference will review the Eddie Vanderdoes punch.

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Kyle goes all Cliff Clavin on us.

Pac-12 morning links

October, 9, 2014
Oct 9
8:00
AM ET
I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

Leading off

It seems so long ago that the Josh Shaw story of heroism captured the country's hearts, only to find out two days later that it was fabricated. New USC coach Steve Sarkisian was left to put out the fire before he'd even coached his first game. And he was down a senior defensive back to boot. So what's the latest with Shaw? Michael Lev of the Orange County Register is asking that question.

Per Lev, Shaw remains suspended indefinitely, and still has to go through several administrative layers before it would even reach Sarkisian. The LAPD is continuing to investigate, though there haven't been any updates from detectives since last month.

Sarkisian told Lev he'd like to have Shaw back in the lineup, especially given some of USC's defensive breakdowns in two of their last three games.
When you have a senior DB, you’d love to have him out there, especially in our conference where there are so many people throwing the ball. We haven’t even gotten to the meat of it yet. We still have Washington State and Cal to come, and these guys are unbelievable with what they are doing throwing the ball. We would love for that to occur.

Shaw was projected as a starter and team captain before the season started.

Breaking out

Athlon Sports looked at some of the top breakout players in college football through the first six weeks. And their list has some strong Pac-12 representation. Here are the conference players who made their list. Their take on Spruce:
No Paul Richardson? No problem. Spruce has emerged as a capable replacement for Richardson and is the favorite target for Colorado’s rising star quarterback Sefo Liufau. Spruce leads the nation with 62 receptions and ranks third with 732 receiving yards. The junior also leads the nation with 10 touchdown receptions and has caught at least 10 passes in three games this season. Coming into 2014, Spruce had just seven career touchdown catches.
News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Football pump-up videos + Gladiator references = awesome. (Though there's an Airplane joke in there somewhere).

Here's a neat photo essay of sorts of life on the road with Oregon State.

Great pic!

Pac-12 morning links

October, 8, 2014
Oct 8
8:00
AM ET
The choo-choo train left right on time, a ticket costs only your mind;
The driver said, 'Hey man, we go all the way,' of course we were willing to pay.

Leading off

Depth chart Wednesday is upon us. Below you'll find links to all the depth charts of teams in action this week (except for UCLA, per usual, which doesn't offer a weekly depth chart). Four teams are on bye this week, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State and Utah, so we'll update them next week. Here are the links to the teams playing this week. Notes
Heisman update

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered his first significant setback in pursuit of a Heisman Trophy with the Ducks' loss to Arizona last week. He dropped to third in the ESPN.com poll and also in the Heisman Pundit straw poll. Their weekly poll consists of 10 Heisman voters. Here are this week's results (first place votes in parentheses).
  1. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia — 23 (5)
  2. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State — 18 (4)
  3. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 11 (1)
  4. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin — 6
  5. (tie) Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn — 1
    Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama — 1

Plenty of opportunities for Mariota to climb back up the rankings. And the same can be said for UCLA's Brett Hundley, with both teams squaring off this weekend at The Rose Bowl.

Something worth noting about these two Pac-12 QBs:

 

News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

In honor of Mike MacIntyre's $10,000 fine, now seems like an appropriate time to bring up some of the worst Pac-12 officiating moments in recent years.

Pac-12 morning links

October, 6, 2014
Oct 6
8:00
AM ET
In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on.

Leading off

A little Robert Frost seemed appropriate today. After the thermonuclear detonation that occurred in the Pac-12 and around college football, there are a lot of teams celebrating, a lot licking their wounds, and still a lot who want to know what the heck just happened. (The Pac-12 blog feels the same way).

Let's start with the rankings, where the Arizona Wildcats, on the strength of their win over Oregon last Thursday night, went from unranked to No. 10. As he does every Sunday, our Kyle Bonagura gives as a snapshot of what this means for the league.

Here's a look at how the voters broke down the Wildcats:



It was a chaotic weekend for the nation's top-ranked teams, with 11 of them losing -- including all four from the Pac-12 that were ranked: Oregon, Stanford, USC and UCLA.

The Pac-12 now has six ranked teams. Here is where they stack up. As always, the AP poll is first, followed by the coaches poll.
  • Arizona 10-13
  • Oregon 12-11
  • UCLA 18-17
  • Arizona State 20-20
  • Utah 24/RV
  • Stanford 25-22

You can see the complete rankings here.

Here's how Daniel Berk, who covers the Wildcats, voted.

Misery hates company

A pair of Pac-12 teams made Dan Wolken's weekly Misery Index. Oregon and USC check in at Nos. 3 and 6 of his 10 miserable teams for the week. Here's his take on the Ducks:
Another year, another national title mirage. More concerning for the Ducks than the actual loss (31-24 at home to Arizona) or how it happened (an absurd penalty and crushing turnover) is just how flawed they look. They can't protect Marcus Mariota, and even if they could, the defense doesn't look stout enough to get through a playoff gauntlet.
News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

This is cool.



Creepy and adorable. But let's not forget what happened to the King in the North. (Spoiler alert, it doesn't end well. See The Wedding, Red).



Locker room selfies are all the rage.



This pretty much sums it up:

SPONSORED HEADLINES

PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12