Well I missed the week three review. My bad, team. I was in DC getting my America on and attending the Inauguration ceremonies. I did have my Pac-12 feelers on and caught a glimpse of the First Coach in his orange and black scarf. You know what they say about coaches? ABR: always be recruiting.
But you know what else I saw? Lupe Fiasco sing 40-consecutive minutes of the same mildly anti-it’s-unclear-exactly-who/what song at a cozy open bar event. Have you ever seen a B-star get defiant then forcibly removed from a stage? Let me rephrase: have you ever seen a B-star get defiant then forcibly removed from a stage at an open bar event? It’s awesome. So awesome that I’d later get into a dance battle in which I displayed my jestful breakdancing moves as a retort to my competitor’s back handspring. So there was that.
Oh, and of all the planes in the SWA fleet, brother and I wound up on what I think is the only one without WiFi and could not stream the Arizona-ASU game. We were 35,000 in the air and anxiously predicting outcomes. We decided to watch Seven. I won’t go into the details of when we turned our phones on, but let’s just say if it’d been a race amongst the other patrons, we’d have won.
That’s the longwinded version of why I missed the review and why I’m a day late on this preview. Here I can do a brief review with emojis:
🙂 Oregon and Utah
🙁 Washington, Oregon State and Cal
The day-late preview:
Game of the Week: I really don’t feel that bad about missing Wednesday’s games with this preview. I mean, that two gamer featured an average RPI of 109. So back to the best game of this week, I’m not going to pick Arizona and UCLA. I just sincerely think Arizona is too big for this game. I don’t even mean that size wise – seriously, UCLA is 7th to Arizona’s 10th in effective height. No. At 16-1 and rolling, Arizona is beyond the emotional game standpoint. They’re playing to make statements now and UCLA just doesn’t bring enough to the table to merit the emotions of a rival. To me, the biggest game of the weekend is Stanford at Colorado. Here’s a pair of underachievers with a lot of games left to play but not a lot of time to figure it out. A win in this game could be just the momentum each needs to get the ball rolling again. Of course this is big kid competition and not everyone is going to walk away with a ribbon. Home has long been kind to Colorado but Stanford is one of just a handful of teams (five I believe?) to win at the Keg since Tad Boyle started there. And when the Cardinal won there, they rolled, 74-50.
Game to Avoid: The more I watch WSU the more I find them to look lost. Sure they rained threes to keep Oregon at bay for a good chunk of the game Wednesday night, but when it came down to the stretch run, when things like execution and discipline are important, the Cougars fell apart. Point being, Ken Bone’s now 1-5 crew will head to Corvallis to see who will become a two-win team. I have better things to do on my Saturday afternoon.
Something to Prove: I think both Colorado and Stanford have a lot to prove, but that’s more of a week-in-week-out thing moving forward. They’re in trouble. ASU, however, has started conference play quite nicely and have got to feel good about their 3-2 conference start and overall 14-4 mark. But now they host the upstart (can we call them that?) Trojans who seem to be playing loose and fearlessly – a scary combination – and the talented Bruins. UCLA is a good team and has a chance to win every time out. If ASU wants to contend, they’ll need to win this game. I find this an intriguing matchup with some pretty similar pieces and, for all my eviscerating of them, it’s still UCLA and a game that can be pretty easy to get up for. Which of course leads us back to the Trapjans (that’s my new nickname for USC). They’re the wildcard in all of this and will cause fits for many teams. But ASU has the opportunity this weekend to prove they’re more than a hot start and a weak schedule.
Something to Lose: I really could pick from any team not in the top or bottom three. It’s long been discussed what a toss up the middle of this conference would be and that assumption is being validated just three weeks deep. However, I’m picking Washington here, which might be cheating because I’m doing such after they already lost and have now done such for two consecutive games and have now done such against winless teams. Whatever good spirits the Huskies may have garnered with their nifty road start will evaporate with an ugly showing in Oregon. Sure, there’s no shame in losing to the Ducks, but three game losing streaks aren’t good.
The YouTuber: I present to you…Lupe Fiasco. #FiascoFiasco