The Sun Devils have finally earned their "sleeping giant" rep under first year HC Dennis Erickson, and are sitting at 7-0 and atop the Pac 10. Of course, they've had a favorable schedule so far, and should come crashing down with a brutal finishing stretch against Cal, at Oregon, at UCLA, Southern Cal, and Arizona. They should get at least a couple of wins out of that bunch, and CBS thinks they'll get an invite to the Emerald Bowl to take on Miami (FL).
A loss to a decent Cal team is the only thing keeping the Ducks from tied for the lead in the Pac 10, and these guys should take the conference. Preseason media darlings Southern Cal go to face them this weekend, with a tough game against Arizona State following. Those two games should determine the Pac 10, and I like Oregon's chances. At Arizona, at UCLA, and Oregon State round out the schedule, and CBS thinks they'll get the Rose Bowl bid against West Virginia.
Crowned the national champions before the season even started, USC has looked merely good the entire season, and was on the receiving end of a mind blowing upset by Stanford for good measure. At Oregon, Oregon State, at Cal, at Arizona State, and UCLA is a brutal stretch for the Trojans, and it will likely cost them the any shot at the conference title. CBS thinks they'll get an at large bid to the Fiesta Bowl, where they'll take on Big 12 champion Oklahoma.
Dorrell is trying his best to stay on the job in Westwood, to the consternation of our friends over at Bruins Nation, and a 4-0 record in conference play is helping to boost his cause. But a blowout loss to Utah and having the dubious distinction of giving the worst Notre Dame team probably ever it's first win of the season, coupled with a lot of preseason hype, doesn't look good for him. At Washington State, at Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, and at Southern Cal is a pretty tough stretch, and it's likely the Bruins will finish somewhere around 7-5. CBS thinks they'll wind up in the Holiday Bowl versus Kansas.
Cal started off strong, but injury issues cost them the past two, and any chance they had for a run at the conference title. At Arizona State, Washington State, Southern Cal, at Washington, and at Stanford should allow them to finish on a hot streak, though, with the Washingtons, Stanford,a nd even Southern Cal all winable. CBS thinks Cal will take on Rutgers in the Sun Bowl.
Hoping to Get In
After getting dominated in Cincinnati, the Beavers struggled mightily until an upset win at Cal put them back on the right track. Stanford, at USC, Washington, at Washington State, and at Oregon finishes out the schedule, and they should be able to scratch out two or three wins there, good enough for an invite to the Las Vegas Bowl against BYU.
Don't count the Cardinal out yet. A close victory over Arizona has this team at 3 wins, and a closing slate of at Oregon State, Washington, at Washington State, Notre Dame, and Cal might just be weak enough to get them to six wins and a shot at the postseason. CBS doesn't think they'll get there, but I wouldn't be too shocked to see them best the Washington schools and Notre Dame to at least get to .500 but not receive an invite.
The Wildcats have been this close to turning the corner for years now, and something tells me that corner is a lot further away than it looks. At Washington, UCLA, Oregon, and at Arizona State finishes the year, and the Wildcats don't have much of a chance to run that gauntlet unscathed to get to six wins.
The Huskies were pegged a sleeper team earlier in the year, and their upset of Boise State had a lot of people taking notice. Unfortunately, a mobile QB carrying the entire team with him can only get you so far, and that distance is apparently two weeks. They're riding a five game losing streak right now, and though Arizona, at Stanford, at Oregon State, Cal, Washington State, and at Hawaii is a fairly favorable stretch, with at least three imminently winable games, the Huskies will likely be at home watching the bowls this year.
How priceless (no pun intended) would it be if Mike Price got his old job back and made the Cougars respectable again? Since his departure, they've struggled mightily and seemingly gotten worse each year, so this is probably Coach Doba's last season. With UCLA, at Cal, Stanford, Oregon State, and at Washington remaining, there's just no way they'll be traveling this year.