Monday, September 23, 2013

From Showdown to Blowout

In a contrast from over a week ago when the college football schedule matched teams from the Pac-12 against counterparts from the Big Ten, last Saturday saw four Division I schools score 70 points or more against second- and even-third level teams.
In the Pac-12, both Washington and Washington State score lopsided victories against Idaho State and Idaho, respectively. After nearly a month of the season, both the Huskies and the Cougars have emerged as contenders and have tilted the balance of the conference's power to the North Division.
Both Washington and Washington State have closed the gap on Oregon and Stanford.
Overall, the Pac-12 is off to a strong start, winning 5 of 6 games a week ago and 6 out of 6 two days ago.


add Pac-12: UCLA also had a field day against New Mexico State at the Rose Bowl, routing the Aggies, 59-13. The Bruins are the pleasant surprise team in South Division in which Arizona State was the preseason choice to finish in first place, but the Sun Devils are wobbly at the moment after being dominated by Stanford Saturday night.
Across town in Los Angeles, USC struggled against Utah State, with the Trojans' stellar defense holding off the Aggies' Chucky Keeton and its spread offense for a 17-14 win.
USC was somewhat embarrassed by the number of empty seats in the Coliseum. The attendance was announced at over 63,000, but TV camera pans of the crowd would indicate that the turnout was much less.
Granted, USC hasn't had a glamourous schedule so far--its two premier games against Stanford and UCLA are in November--but it is obvious that the offense's lack of productivity and the anti-sentiment against Coach Lane Kiffin, are keeping the fans away.
Despite the uninspired start,  Trojans are 3-1 and will get into the teeth of their schedule Saturday night when they travel to Arizona State. After the Sun Devils come Arizona, Oregon State and  Notre Dame.

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