What a league!
Oregon State is unbeaten and ranked No. 8 in the country, despite the fact that its starting quarterback is shelved by a knee injury.
Arizona State is alone top the Pac-12 South, where preseason No. 1 USC sits second.
And the Big Game is in October.
Should be a fun week. A little strange, but fun.
LAST WEEK: 5-1
— No. 2 Oregon at Arizona State, 6 p.m. (ESPN): The Sun Devils (5-1, 3-0) and Ducks (6-0, 3-0) meet in a clash of the Pac-12 South and North division leaders. ASU has been surprising, efficient, impressive. This is a great test, a great opportunity. But it ends here. The Ducks simply have too much firepower and too much motivation to show they’re a national title contender after checking in No. 3 in the initial BCS standings. Oregon 38, Arizona State 24.
— No. 22 Stanford at Cal, noon (Fox): The Bears (3-4, 2-2) have momentum, home-field advantage, more speed, a red-hot Keenan Allen and buckets of motivation. Stanford (4-2, 2-1) has scored just 13 points in each of its past two road games — both losses. So it’s tempting to pick the Bears. But football usually comes down to line play, and the Cardinal may have the edge on both sides of the ball. Stanford 27, Cal 24.
— Colorado at No. 11 USC, 3 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): Avert your eyes. This could be gruesome. The Buffaloes (1-5, 1-2) are allowing 41.3 points per game, and the damage is 49.3 over the past four. The Trojans (5-1, 3-1) expect to move back into a tie for the top spot in the Pac-12 South with a win here and an ASU loss to Oregon. They’ll handle their part of the equation. USC 48, Colorado 7.
— Washington at Arizona, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): There is no other team in the nation averaging 37 points and winless in an automatic-qualifier conference. Arizona (3-3, 0-3) fits the bill because its defense is as wretched as its offense is productive. Defense won’t matter as much against the Huskies (3-3, 1-2), who haven’t scored more than 21 points against a FCS opponent. Arizona 38, Washington 21.
— Utah at No. 8 Oregon State, 7:30 pm. (ESPN2): OK, already, I’m a Beaver believer. If OSU (5-0, 3-0) was good enough to beat a solid BYU team on the road with their second string quarterback, they’re good enough to beat the Utes (2-4, 0-3) at home. The Beavers will lose eventually. Not here. Oregon State 27, Utah 14.