Roundup: Pac-12/Big Ten who comes out smelling like roses?

California

Which conference do ya got- Big Ten or Pac-12? With four matchups between the two leagues on Saturday, this weekend could go a long way toward boosting one of the conference’s national profiles. Cal has arguably the toughest task of all the Pac-12 schools, hosting No. 4 Ohio State, but the Golden Bears received some good news with Chris McCain and Nick Forbes being reportedly cleared to play against the Buckeyes. Meanwhile on the other side of things, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller will be a game-time decision. Trends are meant to be broken, and this would be a good one to break for Oski and Friends: Cal has lost 18 consecutive nonconference games against top-5 teams. So yeah, the Bears’ history against top-5 foes isn’t good.

UCLA

In a battle of ranked squads, UCLA is set to visit Nebraska after the tragic death of Nick Pasquale. On the field, this means that the Bruins will face the “dynamic” Taylor Martinez, aka T-Magic (one of the best nicknames going in college football right now). Last year, T-Magic went for 179 yards in the air and 112 more on the ground in a 36-30 loss to Mora’s bunch.

Arizona State

The Forks will have a great chance to crack the top-25 if it can beat the 20th-ranked Badgers in Tempe, and 75 Cent (aka Todd Graham) is “intense” during preparations for Wisconsin. The big games don’t stop with Wisconsin; nah, son, Arizona State faces a tough stretch ahead.

Washington

The other game going on between these leagues will take place in Chicago as the 19th-ranked Huskies meet up with Illinois. One of the headlines going into this contest is that Washington is searching for consistency as it prepares for its first road trip of 2013.

Utah

Oregon State

There is one Pac-12 duel occurring, and it will take place in Salt Lake City when Oregon State heads East to meet up with undefeated Utah. It’s obviously a big game for both teams, and the Utes and Beavers are seeking momentum. Talkin’ Whittingham and Crew, the Utes D-line is ready for the Oregon State test; getting pressure on Sean Mannion is a must for this bunch. Talkin’ shop about Riley and Friends, Oregon State fans will be happy to know that linebacker D.J. Alexander is back for the Beavers.

Oregon

No. 2 Oregon will welcome Tennessee into the “friendly” confines of Autzen Stadium, and lineman Jake Fisher sounds really intimidated by the SEC... not. Meanwhile, Tennessee defensive lineman Maurice Couch has been ruled ineligible for the contest.

Arizona

The Wildcats have a date with one of the youngest programs in all of college football- UTSA, which is in its third year of pigskin action. You might not know much about ‘em, so let’s preview the Roadrunners with UTSA head coach Larry Coker.

Colorado

Colorado is looking to avenge an embarrassing 69-14 loss to Fresno State in 2012, and the pressure is on the Buffs to pressure Fresno State QB Derek Carr if they hope to improve to 3-0.

Stanford

Stanford heads out to West Point to take on the Black Knights, and David Lombardi tells us how to beat Army.

 

USC

Times have been tough down at Southern Cal, but Lane Kiffin sought to strike a lighter note after practice. And it sounds like that players-only meeting wasn’t really a players-only meeting after all (those details also included in the above link). Anywho, USC welcomes Boston College to the Coliseum, so here’s a preview of the BC offense courtesy of the folks at Reign of Troy (Michael Castillo in particular). One women's basketball link for ya, because Tina Thompson is ready to retire and spend more time with her 8-year-old. The former Woman of Troy great is the last original WNBA player.

Washington State

Washington State hosts Southern Utah as Leach and Co. strive for a plus-.500 record, and despite Southern Utah being an FCS school, they are a tough and physical bunch. As a result, the Cougars expect the Thunderbirds to flex their muscles.