The marquee matchup for the Pac 12 this week is the Big Game between Cal and Stanford, moved to the middle of the season for the first time in recent memory. The USC Trojans host the Colorado Buffaloes in local action, a game broadcast on the Pac12 network. The UCLA Bruins and Washington State Cougars have by weeks.
Opening act of a FOX doubleheader on Saturday (Gus Johnson calls Kansas State at West Virginia in the headliner), Stanford come in the favorite having won two straight Big Games. The Cardinal also have one of the conference's top rushers in Stepfan Taylor and a top defensive back in Ed Reynolds. Cal has, well, a lot of spunk. Still, it's a rivalry game and Cal is hosting. Not to mention Stanford just had a real tough outing in South Bend.
Colorado Buffaloes at No. 9 USC Trojans - 3:00 pm - Pac 12 Network
The Trojans are going to win this one. It's hard to tell if the Pac 12 Network having spotty coverage of the LA area is a good thing or a bad thing in this one. Is it fun to watch your team run roughshod over a small, overmatched squad? I guess it could make for some fun drinking games, but even college toughened livers might struggle to get through such revelry. Matt Barkley is good at football and Colorado isn't.
1-2 in the conference Washington travels to the desert to take on the 0-3 in the conference Wildcats. When I try and reinforce that missing out on the Pac12 network only means missing out on the games you should skip and instead spend time with your family or go to the zoo and feed the elephants, this is the type of game I'm trying to help you avoid. It'll be bad, but it'll be a dry bad.
The Beavers are the dark horse Pac12 title contender, so Trojan and especially Duck fans should give them a look. Yes, Utah isn't going to cause anyone to quake in their boots, but Oregon State is the conference's other undefeated team and they're going to be a force to recon with. USC avoids having to play Oregon St in the regular season, but if the Beavers win the Civil War then this could be the team the Trojans face in the Pac 12 title game. Brandin Cooks is a top receiver in the conference, and Sean Mannion is doing well for himself.