This week’s games
- Washington State (8-3, 6-2) at Washington (5-6, 3-5), 1:30 p.m. (Ch. 11)
- Oregon State (2-9, 0-8) at No. 18 Oregon (8-3, 6-2), 2 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
- Colorado (4-8, 1-7) at Utah (8-3, 5-3), 12:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Arizona)
- No. 22 UCLA (8-4, 5-3) at USC (7-4, 5-3), 1:30 p.m. (Ch. 9)
- No. 4 Notre Dame at No. 13 Stanford (9-2, 8-1), 5:30 p.m. (Ch. 11)
- Arizona State (6-4, 4-4) at Cal (6-5, 3-5), 8 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Last week’s scores
- Arizona State 52,
- Stanford 35, Cal 22
- UCLA 17, Utah 9
- Oregon 48, USC 28
- Washington 52, Oregon State 7
- Washington State 27, Colorado 3
The big game (and we’re not talking
Notre Dame at Stanford: Yes, the USC-UCLA game will determine the Pac-12 South champion. But don’t discount Stanford’s home game against the fourth-ranked Fighting Irish. With a win, the Cardinal can strike a blow for Western football while ruining Notre Dame’s chances of making the College Football Playoff. Christian McCaffrey can help his Heisman Trophy campaign with a solid performance in the prime-time, nationally televised game; he already leads the nation with 255.8 all-purpose yards per game.
1. Stanford (9-2, 8-1 Pac-12)
2. Oregon (8-3, 6-2)
3. Washington State (8-3, 6-2)
4. UCLA (8-3, 5-3)
5. USC (7-4, 5-3)
6. Utah (8-3, 5-3)
7. Arizona State (6-5, 4-4)
8. Washington (5-6, 3-5)
9. California (6-5, 3-5)
10. Arizona (6-6, 3-6)
11. Colorado (4-8, 1-7)
12. Oregon State (2-9, 0-8)
The Pac-12’s home attendance leaders,
by average crowd
1. USC 73,984
2. UCLA 68,858
3. Washington 60,499
4. Oregon 57,601
5. Arizona State 52,712
6. Arizona 51,392
7. Stanford 49,666
8. Cal 49,482
9. Utah 46,652
10. Colorado 39,388
11. Oregon State 36,079
12. Washington State 29,407
Oregon: The Pac-12’s hottest team won’t win its division or play in a significant bowl game. But, man, the Ducks are on a roll. Since losing to Washington State on Oct. 10, Oregon has beaten Washington, Arizona State, Cal, Stanford and USC.
Cal: Remember when the Golden Bears were everyone’s — OK, our — pick to make noise in the Pac-12? Sonny Dykes’ crew has lost five of its last six games, including last week’s 35-22 loss to Stanford in The Big Game. Their only win during that stretch came against Colorado, which has just one conference victory.
Observe and report
A quick look around the Pac-12, with help from the coaches’ weekly Monday conference call:
1. Why can’t we be friends? Rich Rodriguez hired Todd Graham to his West Virginia staff in 2011, and the two coaches have remained friendly since. But don’t expect to see the UA and Arizona State coaches on the golf course or splitting a bottle of wine anytime soon.
“When you’re coaching against a rival school, you don’t communicate as much as you normally would,” Rodriguez said Tuesday. “We see each other at Pac-12 meetings … but because he’s a rival, you’re not going to converse.
“Todd’s done a really good job everywhere he’s been, but we don’t root for him.”
Especially not after Saturday, when the Sun Devils blasted the UA 52-37 at Sun Devil Stadium. The win was Graham’s third in four years against the Wildcats.
2. Injury talk. Washington State coach Mike Leach created a stir late Saturday night, when he told a sideline reporter that quarterback Luke Falk was “healthy as can be; (we) rested him in the second half.” Problem was, Falk had been strapped to a board, carted off the field and taken to a hospital in the first half. Leach, who owns a law degree, says revealing injuries is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is designed to protect private health information.
“The fact that (other football coaches) violate HIPAA doesn’t mean I’m going to,” he told The Seattle Times.
3. Heisman hope. Christian McCaffrey is the Pac-12’s most dynamic player, and he keeps getting better. Stanford’s do-it-all back posted a school-record 389 all-purpose yards in Saturday’s Big Game win over Cal. He rushed for 192 yards, caught one pass for 49 yards and returned three kickoffs for 148 yards. He scored two touchdowns, one on a catch and the other on a 98-yard kickoff return.
“Every time we needed something, he was the guy,” Cardinal coach David Shaw said. “That’s what big-time players do. You run out of adjectives to describe him. You sit there and you just say, ‘Wow.’ ”
4. Thinking of Sark. UCLA coach Jim Mora has Steve Sarkisian on his mind this week. Sarkisian was fired by USC earlier this season following his second alcohol-related incident in a matter of weeks; he soon checked into rehab.
Mora has kept tabs on Sarkisian since; the two became close when Sarkisian coached at Washington and Mora was living in Seattle after being fired by the Seahawks.
“It’s really hard. He’s a friend, and he’s a good man,” Mora said. “You don’t like to see people struggle. He’s in my thoughts a lot. I hope the best for him as he moves on in life.”
– Ryan Finley