Roundup: Crucial battles up North, down South
All 12 teams are in action Saturday, and the best game of the day might be the last one on the slate, as Arizona State hosts Utah at 8 p.m. PT/9 p.m. MT on FOX Sports 1. Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic has your Arizona State-Utah game preview and prediction (he has the Forks winning 26-20).
As the Utes get ready for a mega matchup that will help determine Pac-12 South supremacy, Kevin Gemmell writes that the Utah defense has led to the team’s rise in the rankings and standings.
In the Pac-12 North game that has decided the conference the last four years (Stanford-Oregon, 4:30 p.m. PT on FOX), Oregon’s youth could be a benefit to the Ducks, according to Chantel Jennings. Winner of this one takes control of the Pac-12 North yet again.
Meanwhile, Kyle Bonagura believes that Stanford and David Shaw are at a crossroads against Oregon. How will the Cardinal respond to a shaky 5-3 start to the season against a potential College Football Playoff team?
Utah-ASU isn’t the only big Pac-12 South game this weekend; UCLA welcomes Arizona to the Rose Bowl for a Saturday night treat (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN), and UCLA doesn’t want to get blown out at home again (Los Angeles Times). The Bruins trailed Oregon 42-10 in the fourth quarter in their last home game before bowing out 42-30.
For you Wildcats fans, check out SI’s Andy Staples’ podcast with Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez. Make sure to carve out 21 minutes and 22 seconds if you can.
If the Cougars want to make a bowl game, they have to beat USC in Pullman at 1:30 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks and then continue to win out from there. CougCenter gives us three questions for the Washington State-USC game.
This link might not have anything to do with the upcoming game, but For the Win says USC has the best fan base in college football, judging by social media and online voting. Oregon is second on this list.
The Pac-12 Networks nightcap takes us to Corvallis for Oregon State-Cal (7:30 p.m. PT), and here’s some good stuff from John Canzano’s chat with Oregon State head coach Mike Riley. A link to the full podcast is included.
After giving up 59 against Oregon, Cal’s defense is “ripe for improvement,” pens Mike Vernon of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Early start time for Huskies fans on the West Coast (10 a.m. PT/11 a.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks) with their team taking on Colorado in Boulder. Adam Jude of the Seattle Times writes that Washington quarterback Cyler Miles is back in charge of the offense; he will return as the starter against the Buffs.
The Denver Post’s Tom Kensler gives us five things to watch in the Washington-Colorado game from a CU standpoint of things.