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The PAC Twelver: Week Six Observations

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A twelve-pack of observations on the Conference of Champions.

California v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

First: #6 Washington (6-0 / 3-0 PAC-12) ran over Cal (3-3 / 0-3 PAC-12) this past Saturday in Seattle 38-7, and furthered my claim that they are the most complete team in the PAC-12. UDub was on cruise control from the very beginning, and still, the Bears could not manage to score a point in the first half. Watch out ‘Bama, The Dawgs are howling this year.

Second: Chris Petersen has the Midas touch, and since everything he touches turns to gold, I imagine it is fortuitous that he ended up at Washington. “My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with a girl” who said Coach Pedersen paints the Huskies helmets himself by hand on game days. For anyone under the age of 30, that is a ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ reference, and if you have not seen the film you really should. That’s right, John Hughes: you finally made it - you finally made ‘The Twelver.’

Third: #11 Washington State (6-0 / 3-0 PAC-12) beat a depleted Oregon (4-2 / 1-2 PAC-12) squad 33-10 in Eugene over the weekend, and the Cougars did not even bring their A-game. Oregon injuries have simply piled up on both sides of the ball, and first-year head coach Willie Taggart will have to earn his paycheck the rest of the way if the Ducks roster does not mend.

Fourth: At a combined 12-0 (#6 UDub 6-0 / #11 WSU 6-0), the great state of Washington should be referred to as “The Pacific Northbest” until further notice.

Fifth: #14 USC (4-2 / 3-1 PAC-12) pounded Oregon State (1-5 / 0-3 PAC-12) 38-10 at the Coliseum on Saturday, and even Beavers fans saw it coming. Sam Darnold threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns, as the Trojans bounced back from last week’s tough loss to #11 WSU.

Sixth: In my eyes however, this win says less about USC being elite, and more about OSU being down this year. Not “down” like the Wu-Tang Clan obviously, down like the overall vibe of the Los Angeles Chargers. Oregon State is so bad in fact, that some time after the game their head coach Gary Andersen was fired. In only his third season of a contract that lasted until 2021, Andersen turned down the remaining twelve million dollars he was set to be paid by the university on principle. Oregon State athletics director Scott Barnes called the decision “unprecedented in major college athletics.” How is that for taking responsibility for your actions? The Twelver salutes you, Coach Andersen. Old-school pride is hard to find these days.

Seventh: USC will make its bones over the next two weeks, against #20 Utah (4-1 / 1-1 PAC-12) in L.A. this Saturday, and at #16 Notre Dame (5-1) the following week.

Eighth: Speaking of the #20 Utes, #25 Stanford (4-2 / 3-1 PAC-12) handed them their first loss of the year this past weekend, 23-20 in Salt Lake City. Bryce Love again stole the show, this time with a 68-yard 4th Quarter touchdown run that won the game for the Cardinal. If he continues running this way, the Heisman Trophy will be all about Love this year.

Ninth: Targeting is becoming a real problem for the quality of the college football game in general, and there is no other way to say it. While I appreciate that player safety is in mind, I believe that the rule has completely compromised the integrity of the game from the defensive end. I don’t have a dynamic solution, I simply feel that as we try to make football “safer”, the inherent quality of the game will continue to diminish. The numbers on youth tackle football in America are clearly down since ‘CTE’ has become a household term, but the kids who do choose to play should be allowed to.

Tenth: Arizona (3-2 / 1-1 PAC-12) outlasted Colorado (3-3 / 0-3 PAC-12) 45-42 in Boulder this past weekend, almost singlehandedly on the legs of sophomore back-up quarterback Khalil Tate. Tate rushed for 327 yards against the Buffaloes, the most in a game by any QB in FBS history. Oh, and the ‘back-up’ accounted for five touchdowns, four rushing, and one in the air. Well played Mr. Tate, well played indeed. I think you may be starting next week.

Eleventh: With the current state of the NFL, I have never been more grateful to be a college football fan.

Twelfth: Lastly at The Twelver, we always discuss liquid accompaniments to the college football weekend. I am staying on the Ballast Point Sculpin train as long as Stanford keeps winning, and aggressively staying on it at that. Please feel free to drop a line here on the adult refreshments you and your home team enjoy on game day. Cheers y’all.