This Week in Pac-10 Football

Aug. 29, 2005

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LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Nine of the Pac-10 institutions, all save STANFORD, kick off the 2005 football season the first weekend of September. A number of them are getting early starts on the Labor Day weekend. On Thur., Sept. 1, ARIZONA STATE (FSNA) plays host to Temple, WASHINGTON STATE is home for neighboring Idaho (FSNNW) and OREGON hits the road for Houston (ESPN2). The next evening, Fri., Sept. 2, ARIZONA is at Utah (ESPN). Rounding out the first-week schedule on Sat., Sept. 3, Sacramento State is at CALIFORNIA (CSN), Portland State at OREGON STATE, UCLA at San Diego State (ESPN2), USC at Hawai'i (ESPN2) and WASHINGTON faces Air Force with the Falconsthe home team even though the game is at Seattle's Qwest Field.

Stanford sits out the first week before opening its season on the road at Navy on Sept. 10. Here is a look at the first week of the season (note: ranking is the 2005 preseason AP media poll followed by the USA Today coaches poll):


Ranking Game - Thu., Sep. 1 Site Time/TV Series/Last Meeting
27/27 Oregon Reliant Stadium (70,500) 6:00 CDT Oregon leads 1-0
--/-- Houston Houston, TX ESPN2 Oregon 15-14 (1983)
--/-- Temple Sun Devil Stadium (71,706) 7:00 MST First meeting
20/18 Arizona State Tempe, AZ FSNA
--/-- Idaho Martin Stadium (35,117) 7:00 PST WSU leads 67-17-3
--/t48 Washington State Pullman, WA FSNNW WSU 49-8 (2004)
Ranking Game - Fri., Sep. 2 Site Time/TV Series/Last Meeting
--/t46 Arizona Rice-Eccles Stadium (45,017) 6:00 MDT Utah leads 18-15-2
28/28 Utah Salt Lake City, UT ESPN Utah 23-6 (2004)
Ranking Game - Sat., Sep. 3 Site Time/TV Series/Last Meeting
--/54 Washington Qwest Field (67,000) 12:30 PDT Air Force leads 5-2
--/-- Air Force Seattle, WA ABC Air Force 31-21 (1999)
--/-- Sacramento State Memorial Stadium (67,537) 2:00 PDT First Meeting
19/20 California Berkeley, CA CSN
--/-- Portland State Reser Stadium (43,000) 3:00 PDT OSU 1-0
39/-- Oregon State Corvallis, OR OSU 51-14 (1983)
1/1 USC Aloha Stadium (50,000) 1:00 HST USC 5-0
--/-- Hawai'i Honolulu, HI ESPN2 USC 61-32 (2003)
33/36 UCLA Qualcomm Stadium (54,000) 7:00 PDT UCLA leads 19-0-1
--/-- San Diego State San Diego, CA ESPN2 UCLA 33-10 (2004)
--/-- Stanford - opens season Sep. 10 at Navy

PAC-10 ON THE WEB: Pac-10 releases and other information can be found online by pointing your browser to www.pac-10.org.

PAC-10 BOWL GAME ARRANGEMENTS - 2005-06: The Pac-10 has contractual arrangements to send six teams to post-season bowl games. The Rose Bowl features the BCS National Championship Game this season. Thus, the Pac-10 champion will play in the TostitosFiesta Bowl, unless ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS rankings.

Following is the Pac-10 bowl lineup for 2005-06:

Bowl Site Matchup Date TV
Rose Bowl* Pasadena BCS National Championship Wed., Jan. 4 ABC
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl* Tempe Pac-10 Champ vs. Big 12 Mon., Jan. 2 ABC
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl San Diego Pac-10 #2 vs. Big 12 Thu., Dec. 29 ESPN
Vitalis Sun Bowl El Paso Pac-10 #3 vs. Big 10 Fri., Dec. 30 CBS
Insight Bowl Phoenix Pac-10 #4 vs. Big East Tue., Dec. 27 ESPN
Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl Las Vegas Pac-10 #5 vs. Mountain West Thu., Dec. 22 ESPN
Emerald Bowl San Francisco Pac-10 #6 vs. Mountain West Thu., Dec. 29 ESPN2

*Rose Bowl hosts BCS National Championship Game. If Pac-10 Champion is not rated No. 1 or 2 in the final BCS poll, then Pac-10 champion will play in the Rose Bowl. If not ranked No. 1 or 2, the Pac-10 champ will play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

PAC-10 TELEVISION: Pacific-10 Conference television partners ABC Sports, Fox Sports Net and TBS combine to provide extensive coverage of Pac-10 football in 2005. ABC will televise 14 games from Pac-10 sites over the air, while Fox Sports Net will air 12 games and TBS six games to a national cable audience, giving the Pac-10 a total of 18 home games on national cable. In addition, all 11 non- conference road games involving Pac-10 teams will be televised by a combination of ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NBC and CSTV. In addition to the Conference television packages, individual schools at times may present games on local over-the-air or cable entities.

2005 PAC-10 FOOTBALL TELEVISION SCHEDULE:

Day/Date Time (PT) TV Game
Thu., Sep. 1 4:00 p.m. ESPN2 Oregon at Houston
Fri., Sep. 2 5:00 p.m. ESPN Arizona at Utah
Sat., Sep. 3 12:30 p.m. ABC Washington vs. Air Force(@Qwest Field, Seattle)
4:00 p.m. ESPN2 USC at Hawai'i
7:00 p.m. ESPN2 UCLA at San Diego State
Fri., Sep. 9 7:00 p.m. ESPN Washington State at Nevada
Sat., Sep. 10 12:30 p.m. ABC California at Washington
3:00 p.m. CSTV Stanford at Navy
3:30 p.m. FSN Boise State at Oregon State
5:45 p.m. ESPN Arizona State at LSU
Sat. Sep. 17 9:00 a.m. ESPN/or2 Oregon State at Louisville
12:30 p.m. ABC Oklahoma at UCLA
4:00 p.m. TBS Fresno State at Oregon
7:15 p.m. FSN Arkansas at USC
Fri., Sep. 23 7:00 p.m. ESPN California at New Mexico State
Sat., Sep. 24 12:30 p.m. ABC Notre Dame at Washington
4:00 p.m. ABC USC at Oregon
7:00 p.m. TBS Arizona State at Oregon State
Sat., Oct. 1 12:30 p.m. ABC TBA (12- or six-day selection)
4:00 p.m. TBS TBA (12- or six-day selection)
Sat., Oct. 8 12:30 a.m. FSN TBA (12-day selection)
4:30 p.m. TBS TBA (12-day selection)
7:15 p.m. FSN TBA (12-day selection)
Sat., Oct. 15 12:30 p.m. NBC USC at Notre Dame
12:30 p.m. ABC TBA (12- or six-day selection)
3:30 p.m. FSN TBA (12- or six-day selection)
Sat., Oct. 22 12:30 p.m. ABC TBA (12- or six-day selection)
4:00 p.m. TBS TBA (12- or six-day selection)
7:15 p.m. FSN TBA (12- or six-day selection)
Sat., Oct. 29 12:30 p.m. ABC Washington State at USC
3:30 p.m. FSN TBS (12-day selection)
Sat., Nov. 5 12:30 p.m. ABC TBA (12- or six-day selection)
7:00 p.m. TBS TBA (12- or six-day selection)
Sat., Nov. 12 12:30 p.m. ABC TBA (12- or six-day selection)
4:00 p.m. ABC Arizona State at UCLA
7:15 p.m. FSN Oregon at Washington State
Sat., Nov. 19 12:15 p.m. FSN Washington State at Washington
3:45 p.m. FSN Oregon State at Oregon
4:00 p.m. ABC California at Stanford
7:15 p.m. FSN Fresno State at USC
Fri., Nov. 25 12:00 noon FSN Arizona at Arizona State
Sat., Nov. 26 12:30/5:00 ABC Notre Dame at Stanford
Sat., Dec. 3 1:30 p.m. ABC UCLA at USC

PAC-10 IN THE POLLS: Three Pac-10 teams start the season in the Top 20 in the preseason polls, with a couple of others lurking just outside the first 25. Two-time defending National Champion USC begins the season ranked No. 1, and, in a tribute to the depth of the Pac-10, nine of the league's 10 teams receive votes. Following are the rankings of Pac-10 teams in the preseason AP (media) and USA Today (coaches) polls:

Team (2004 record) AP USA
USC (13-0) 1 1
California (10-2) 19 20
Arizona State (9-3) 20 18
Oregon (5-6) 27 27
UCLA (6-6) 33 36
Oregon State (7-5) 39 --
Arizona (3-8) -- t46
Washington State (5-6) -- t48
Washington (1-10) -- 54

MEDIA TAB DEFENDING CHAMPION TROJANS:
Defending National Champion USC is the unanimous choice to win the 2005 Pacific-10 Conference football title in a preseason poll of West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. It marks the second consecutive year the Trojans have been a unanimous pick to win thetitle. USC garnered all 41 first-place votes in the annual poll.

USC is the two-time defending Pac-10 champion as well as two-time defending National Champion. The Trojans fashioned a 13-0 mark last season, capped by a 55-19 romp against Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game at the FedEx Orange Bowl. After USC, opinions were mixed as CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA STATE, OREGON and UCLA all received multiple second-place votes and were tightly bunched in the upper half of the poll. The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 22 of 44 previous polls, including the last five years in a row.

Following are the results of the preseason media poll (points 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, first-place votes in parentheses):


1. USC (41) 410
2. California 300
3. Arizona State 296
4. Oregon 290
5. UCLA 282
6. Washington State 189
7. Oregon State 159
8. Arizona 131
9. Stanford 106
10. Washington 92

PAC-10 NOTES ENTERING THE 2005 SEASON:

NEW COACHES: One new head coach and one returning head coach will grace Pac-10 sidelines this year. Walt Harris takes over at Stanford after a very successful run as head coach at Pittsburgh,where he led the Panthers to six bowl appearances in eight years.

It's a homecoming for Harris, who is from the Bay Area and attended Pacific. He began his college coaching career in 1971 and has 31 years of college coaching and three in the NFL under his belt. . . .

The other new head coach in the Pac-10 is not really new as Tyrone Willingham returns to the West Coast to take over the reins at Washington. Willingham had a successful seven-year stint as head coach at Stanford from 1995-2001, which included leading the Cardinal to the Rose Bowl following the 1999 season. Willingham has been head coach at Notre Dame the last three years.

INSTANT REPLAY: Like most of the other Division IAconferences, the Pac-10 will utilize instant replay this season.Replay will be in use for all Conference games and most non- conference games played at Pac-10 sites. The replay teams consist of three persons--the replay official, a replay assistant or communicator, and a replay technician. The replay officials and replay assistants are all former Pac-10 football officials. The instant replay team will review video from the television production of the game (or video board production in the event a game is not televised), and the standard to change an on-field officiating decision will be indisputable video evidence. The Pac-10 system will vary from that used in the NFL in a couple of significant ways. Only the replay official in the press box may stop play for a review (no coach's challenge), and the replay official, as opposed to the referee, will make the final decision to change or not change an on- field decision.

CONFERENCE MISSES: The Pac-10 enters the final year utilizing an eight-game Conference game format. Beginning in 2006, the Pac-10 will go to a full round-robin nine-game Conference schedule as college football moves to a 12-game regular season. But there is one more year where Pac-10 teams will miss one conference opponent and here are the 2005 'misses': Arizona-Washington State
Arizona State-California
Oregon-UCLA
Oregon State-USC
Stanford-Washington

CURRENT STREAKS:
Longest overall winning streak - 22 games - USC (longest in nation)
Longest Conference-game winning streak - 15 games - USC
Longest home winning streak - 21 games - USC
Longest road winning streak - 9 games - USC

OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: The Pac-10 finished the 2004-05 season with a mark of 23-13 (.639) against non-conference foes.

FANS: The Pac-10 institutions averaged a record 55,684 fans per game in 2004, up more than 4,000 per game from the previous season. Leading the way was National Champion USC, which became the first Pac-10 team to average more than 80,000 per game with a Conference-record 85,229 per contest.

ARIZONA: Wildcats may have the toughest opening assignment among Pac-10 teams with a road game at Utah, which finished 12-0 last season. . . . Senior RB Mike Bell has rushed for more that 900 yards in each of the last two seasons while starting 21 games. . . .Wildcats were the least penalized team in the Pac-10 last year under first-year coach Mike Stoops. UA was flagged just 56 times for an average of 42.9 yards per game. . . . Soph Richard Kovalcheck, who took over as starting QB midway through last season, apparently is fully recovered from off-season back surgery. . . . Arizona has 28 players from the state of Texas on its roster.

ARIZONA STATE: Sun Devils' opener against Temple is Dirk Koetter's 50th game as head coach at ASU. . . . ASU has an eight-game home winning streak going at Sun Devil Stadium. . . . TB Rudy Burgess and USC All-America TB Reggie Bush were the only Pac-10 players to gain at least 200 yards rushing, receiving, returning kickoffs and returning punts in 2004. . . . WR Derek Hagan enters the season with a streak of 29 games with a reception, second-longest current streak in the nation (33, Chris Francies, UTEP). Hagan had eight 100-yard receiving games in 2004. . . . TE Zach Miller was selected Pac-10 Freshman of the Year by the league's coaches after pulling in 56 receptions as a starter last year.

CALIFORNIA: Golden Bears have a seven-game home winning streak going entering the 2005 season. . . . Cal finished the 2004 season ranked No. 9 in both final polls. It was the Bears' best final ranking since 1991, and only the second time since 1950 Cal finished the season in the top 10. Cal also has posted three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since Pappy Waldorf's Bears recorded six straight from 1947-52. The three straight winning seasons coincides with the arrival of Jeff Tedford as head coach. . . . Cal has the fewest returning starters (11) among Pac-10 teams. . . . Bears lost a 2,000-yard rusher in J.J. Arrington, but Marshawn Lynch averaged 8.8 yards per carry in a backup role last year.

OREGON: The Ducks will have a new look on offense as new offensive coordinator and former BYU head coach Gary Crowton likes to spread things out. Oregon will utilize both a tight end and an H- Back in the offense. . . . Crowton has an experienced cast of players on offense led by QB Kellen Clemons, who returns for his third season as the starter, and the top returning rusher in the league, TB Terrence Whitehead, who picked up 1,144 yards on the ground in '04. . . . Oregon jumped from seventh to fourth in the Pac-10 in pass defense and hope to continue that trend with a secondary that returns intact.

OREGON STATE: Beavers play four of first five games at newly expanded Reser Stadium. Capacity at Reser has been upped from 35,362 to 43,000, setting the stage for new attendance records. OSU's largest home crowd in history is 41,600 against Oregon in 1980. The expansion comes in the form of a new East grandstand. In addition, Reser will sport a new FieldTurf field. . . . SE Mike Hass is the top returning receiver in the nation in terms of receiving yardage. Hass accounted for 1,379 yards on 86 receptions in 2004, good enough to garner first-team All-Pac-10 and third-team All-America honors. . . .Beavers won six of last seven game in 2004.

STANFORD: New head coach Walt Harris has installed a short- passing, ball control offensive scheme, the West Coast offense, that will give the Cardinal offense a different look this season. Junior QB Trent Edwards is slated to be at the controls and is one of 10 returning starters on offense. Seven of those 10 were sophomores last season. . . . Harris led Pitt to a bowl game in each of the last five seasons, culminating in a BCS berth in the Fiesta Bowl last year. . . . Major chore for Stanford will be replacing three starters in the secondary that was the strength of the Cardinal defense last season. . . . Stanford is the last Pac-10 school to see action, opening the season on Sept. 10 at Navy.

UCLA: Starting QB Drew Olson, who passed for 2,565 yards and 20 TDs last year, is reportedly fully recovered from off-season knee surgery to repair a torn ligament suffered in the Las Vegas Bowl. . . . Bruins open on the road at San Diego State, but then play four straight at home at the Rose Bowl. . . . UCLA plays only two games outside the state of California this season. . . . ILB Spencer Havner led the Pac-10 in tackles last year with 11.4 stops per game. . . . Big-play TB Maurice Drew had nine plays of at least 40 yards last year and scored on seven of them. Five of his eight rushing TDs went for 45+ yards. . . . UCLA's scoring average of 30.1 points per game last year was best for the Bruins since 1998.

USC: Trojans enter the season attempting to become the first team in modern football history to win three straight national championships. USC is on quite a tear with three straight BCS bowl wins, a current winning streak of 22 games overall (and 33 wins in its last 34 games) and 15 straight Conference victories. . . . The Trojans have won those 22 in a row by a staggering average of 25.2 points, although four of SC's eight Pac-10 victories last season were decided by eight or fewer points. . . . QB Matt Leinart has a mark of 25-1 as a starter. He gives the Pac-10 a returning Heisman Trophy winner for the first time ever.

WASHINGTON: Huskies have the most returning starters in the Pac-10 (20). . . . Joe Toledo, starting tight end last year, has bulked up to 290 pounds and moved to offensive tackle, where he figures to start. . . . Huskies don't have to leave town in September. Opener against Air Force is technically a road game, but will be played at Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. UW's next three games are then at home. . . . Last season's losing record marked the first time Washington had finished under .500 since 1976. . . . Huskies return 19 starters, most among Pac-10 teams. . . . UW linebacking trio of Joe Lobendahn, Evan Benjamin and Scott White ranked No. 3, 4 and 6, in the Pac-10 in tackles last year.

WASHINGTON STATE: Cougars return 17 starters, including nine on offense, in stark contrast to inexperienced unit that finished 5-6 last year. . . . Coach Bill Doba has been on the WSU staff since 1989 and took over as head coach following the 2002 season. The entire Cougar coaching staff returns intact for the third straight season. . . . The Cougar defense has been labeled the 'Killer D' due to the linebacking trio of Will Derting, Scott Davis and Steve Dildine. . . . Big task for WSU is replacing three starters in the secondary, including two who were NFL draft choices (Hamza Abdullah and Karl Paymah).

PAC-10: Pac-10 Coordinator of Football Officials Verle Sorgen has been selected to receive the 2005 Outstanding Football OfficialAward by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.The award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed to the sport of college football in the area of officiating. Sorgen officiated in the Pac-10 for 20 years prior to being named Coordinator of Football Officials in 1986. . . . The Pac-10 also had two players included in the 2005 class inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. RB Anthony Davis of USC (1972-74) and DT Paul Wiggin of Stanford (1954-56) were the honorees.

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