Washington at Oregon, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Washington’s chances of winning this game are about 1 in 100. That is, Oregon has the No. 1 offense in the country while the Huskies have the No. 100 defense. Plus, the Ducks are at home. The only thing that may stop Oregon in this game is the clock. The only question is whether the first number of the Ducks’ score will begin with a 5, 6 or 7. Any hopes the Huskies had of trying to keep pace offensively with Oregon were effectively erased when the team announced quarterback Jake Locker would have to sit out with a cracked rib. Washington’s free-fall from bowl eligibility looks to be accelerating.
California at Washington State, Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
The Bears are heavy favorites, but don’t be shocked if this game is competitive. The Cougars are still bad, but they clearly are improving from where they were two seasons ago. They have some talent now on offense and have demonstrated they can move the ball. The Bears are reeling. They lost starting quarterback Kevin Riley last week to a season-ending knee injury and haven’t proven they can win on the road. Cal is 0–4 away from home, getting outscored 145–61 in the process. Junior Brock Mansion will make his first career start for the Bears, who need to win two of their final four games to become bowl-eligible.
Oregon State at UCLA, Saturday, 4:00 p.m.
Despite the loss of All-America candidate James Rodgers at wide receiver, the Beavers are still in the Pac-10 race, although Oregon looks unbeatable at this point. Oregon State is 3–1 in conference play after last week’s impressive win over Cal, and is oh-so-close to being 4–0 were it not for a missed two-point conversion in double overtime against Washington. The Beavers are 1½ games behind the Ducks in the Pac-10 race, and the teams will meet in the Civil War to close out the season. The Bruins, meanwhile, have lost three in a row since their supposed upset of Texas, although that’s not looking like such a big deal anymore. UCLA is looking like the eighth-place team it was picked to be before the season.
Arizona at Stanford, Saturday, 5 p.m.
The implications of this game are clear: The winner keeps alive its slim hopes of catching Oregon in the Pac-10 race, while the loser redefines its goals and simply starts playing for the best bowl berth possible. For the second straight week, Stanford’s Andrew Luck gets to go head-to-head with one of the other top quarterbacks in the conference, Arizona’s Nick Foles. Foles missed the past two games with a dislocated kneecap but is fully healed and expected to start. That being said, the Wildcats still may find a way to get backup Matt Scott some playing time. Scott excelled filling in for Foles, averaging 276 yards passing while throwing three touchdown passes with one interception. Luck easily outplayed Washington’s Jake Locker in last week’s showdown of top Pac-10 quarterbacks.
Arizona State at USC, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
The Trojans were humbled by Oregon at home last week. Now, USC, with no bowl game to play for, simply looks to finish as high up in the conference standings as possible. The Trojans are tied for fifth place with three other teams entering the weekend. This may be the most winnable game left on USC’s conference schedule — the Trojans still have to play at Arizona, Oregon State and UCLA. Arizona State is a hard team to figure out. The Sun Devils have been competitive against good teams like Wisconsin and Oregon State but were blown out by Cal, also an up and down team. The Sun Devils are coming off a thorough pasting of Washington State last week.