Pac-12 Peek - Latest News & Notes
Bart Doan's Pac-12 Peek - The Pac-12's Latest News & Notes
Pac 12 Peek
Each Week, Bart Doan takes you around the wild world of the Pac 12 and gives you an idea of what's coming down the pipe.
By Bart Doan
Follow me @Bart_cfn
BIG MAN ON CAMPUS - Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State
I try my darned-est to not just go chalk and pick quarterbacks for obvious awards in weekly columns, but I felt like after Sean's 433, 3 score, late TD pass win in Arizona for the Beavers, I'd be doing a disservice to actual column writing honesty to pick anyone but him. It all helped Mike Riley break the school record for wins by a head coach at Oregon State, and gave me another chance to say there's no head coach in the game more underrated. To be frank, people that adore recruiting ranking numbers and such won't buy Oregon State, but it doesn't matter. In three weeks they've beaten two ranked teams and one on the road that was ranked the previous week. Mannion gets the pub for this win, but this team is something a bit on the side of "special."
TEAM OF THE WEEK - Washington Huskies
Stupid, useless stat alert? It had been Sept. 1 since the Huskies scored a TD against an actual FBS team. That's not hyperbole. But they got a signature win, down 10, against unbeaten and ranked Stanford in what was a must-have game for morale after getting gutter stomped by LSU three weeks ago. The Husky defense was like the final season of Melrose Place since last year. If you were talking about it, it probably wasn't acceptable language. But they showed up here, rattling Stanford QB Josh Nunes into under 50% passing and 19 incompletions while keeping the team in the game as their offense got dominated for the most part. It's not that you get the doors blown off of you, just like it's not if you get the big win. It's how you respond. The Huskies responded well. Goading Stanford into an offsides penalty to win it on 3rd and 4 was the stuff of Belichick, by the way.
PLEASANT SURPRISE OF THE WEEK - Quack, quack second half
After the Ducks big win in Arizona, it would make sense if they introduced themselves to "press clippings" and went out on a few dates. After the first half, up only four on a Washington State team in transition, the Ducks boat raced the third quarter, outscoring WSU 21-0. For coaches, things like that are glimpses into how a team can handle success and pats on the back. First half looked a bit like the Hootie and the Blowfish second album Fairweather Johnson. Rough encore to an infallible first act. But Oregon turned it around and that bodes well for tough times down the road. Stop reading the presses. Unless, you know, it's my column.
CLUNKER OF THE WEEK - Josh Nunes, QB, Stanford
Having been a terminally mediocre college athlete myself, I really hate with the heat of 1,000 white suns calling out individual student athletes, but Nunes will be the first to tell you (and I'll be the second, apparently) that he had a rough game. 18-37 passing, a pick, and just missed throw after missed throw for him all night, all against a defense that came in looking sketchy and getting criticism, warranted or not. Stanford's lone TD came on a defensive play and gave the offense every chance to stay unbeaten in spite of his poor outing. I think they call it "a learning process."
POWER RANKINGS - 1. Oregon
2. Oregon State If they're an SEC team with this resume, they're ranked top 5 - 3. Southern Cal
Alone with the spotlight, Trojans need to bust open a big game in Utah on Thursday - 4. UCLA
Nice bounce back win on the road against a Colorado team with added confidence - 5. Stanford
Looking for a stupid stat? Both Stanford and UW punted nine times for exactly 350 yards. You're welcome. - 6. Washington
Another stupid stat? UW holds the decibel level record for a college football crowd. Nice to see them clawing back. - 7. Arizona State
When you have 10 fewer penalties and 99 fewer yards on them, you tend to win. Which ASU did over Cal. - 8. Arizona
Nice resolve in coming back from huge deficit. Again, Rich Rod's teams lost at Michigan in bunches. Need a win. Badly. The buzzards. They circle quickly. - 9. Utah
Hyperbole alert: Biggest game in Utah PAC 12 history. - 10. Colorado
Another obtuse stat? Buffs had ZERO punt return yards on Saturday. That seems almost impossible. - 11. Washington State
Nice first half for a team just looking to improve and learn Leach's system. Second half was something Lady Gaga would wear in public. Train. Wreck. - 12. Cal
This is getting a little NC-17, if you ask me.HEISMAN HOPEFULS
1. Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State- Went over 1,000 passing. Against two ranked teams and one that was ranked the week before. Wake up, national media.
2. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA- with 15 carries for 111 yards, it's sort of hard to downgrade him. Good bounce back game, young fella.
3. Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon- Had 195, 3 touchdowns, and two in the second half during the Oregon realization that they had to wake up.
Battle of the Beaver State against the Emerald State. Loser has to claim Willa Ford's music. And put it on loop. I like my odds for Oregon as the Ducks get Washington at home and the Beavs get WSU. Arizona tries their best to get off the schneid against Stanford. But the headline affair happens on Thursday, when scuffling Southern Cal invades Utah after a week off for both teams with the one from L.A. trying to give CPR to their national title hopes. There are good games across the conference. I'd advise you watch.