Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Huskies are 6-0 (and so are the Cougars)

We're half-way through the NCAA FBS regular season after playing six games. As of now, there are only two undefeated teams in the Pac-12 Conference: the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars. That's because Stanford beat Utah yesterday.

Last night the Huskies played the California Golden Bears. And it was, like so many of their games this year, a blow out. Ten minutes left in the fourth quarter coach Chris Petersen, as is his habit, put in back-up players. The Bears only scored once, on a fumble scoop-up and ran it in for a touchdown. The Bears had no offensive points. The final score was 38-7.

The one weak area for the Dawgs is the kicking game.  The starting kicker missed a field goal he should have made. The back up kicker did make a field goal. And all the kickoffs tend to be short, meaning there's always a run-back and usually past the 25-yard mark. This needs to be fixed before we face Stanford, USC, or go to a bowl game.

Also yesterday, the WSU Cougars beat the Oregon Ducks, keeping the Cougars at 6-0 for the season (and the Ducks at 4-2, 1-2 in conference). And it would be easy to say that they have had a harder schedule than UW, having played USC (and won) and not having such a wimpy non-conference schedule. UW doesn't play USC in the regular season this year.

The Pac-12 South is in turmoil. USC is on top with a 5-1 record (2-1 in conference) with that loss to WSU last week. Utah is in second with a 4-1 overall record and 1-1 in conference (they had a bye last week).

The Polls

Oklahoma lost yesterday to Iowa State (!). Why do we care? Because Oklahoma was ranked at #3. They are now ranked at #12. That means a lot of teams moved up one, including the Huskies, now at #5 in the AP Top 25 poll, their highest ranking this year. Also, they are for the second week in a row, the highest-ranked Pac-12 team.

Washington State is at #8 having moved up from #11 (Michigan, which was at #7, also lost, so more teams moved up). WSU is at their highest ranking this year (and probably in a long time). USC is at #13, having moved up one slot. And Stanford is back in the top 25 at #23. Utah dropped off from #20 after their loss to Stanford.

Next Week

Next week the Huskies face the Arizona State Sun Devils at Tempe (or Tuscon, I always get those mixed up). ASU is at 2-3 overall so the Huskies shouldn't have any problem with them.

The Cougars play California on Friday. Again, the Cougars shouldn't have any trouble with the Bears.

The Future

Looking at the Huskies' and the Cougars' schedules, I don't see where either team is going to have any huge problems until they meet each other in the Apple Cup. Stanford is the only team that could be a spoiler. The Huskies play them at Stanford on November 10th (a Friday) and the Cougars host Stanford on November 4th.

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