There are three ranked Pac-12 teams and that is based on merit and not preseason expectations. How. Do. You. Like. Them. Apples.
It won’t last long as two of them square off this weekend but hey, it’s been a really great week, right? But it’s shaping up to be a strange one, too. I haven’t had an adult beverage since before midnight on Saturday (I think) and there are only four midweek games. It all just seems so odd. Of course a mild midweek means we have a spicy Saturday. A day during which I will be shelling out whatever SWA charges me for WiFi while I fly to DC. Anyone know if streaming on a flight is just a lost cause? I’m trying regardless but let me know how its treated you (@pachoopsab). I can’t do the DVR-and-watch-it-later thing. The moment those front tires hit I’m off Airplane mode (I don’t power down) and right to checking scores. I’ll get the rundown later. I’m results oriented.
Anyhow, here’s my snippets on those midweek-ers for PacificTakes including a great Bob Cantu joke. Then there’s this stuff:
Game of the Week: My hand’s are tied here. I literally have no choice with this one. I can’t pick either of the rivalry games (Arizona @ ASU and Cal @ Stanford). I’m not allowed to pick…well, ok those are really my only other options and…the point I’m trying to get at and the lead I’ve buried, is the fact that Saturday’s Oregon-UCLA game will be the first game featuring two ranked Pac-12 teams since March of 2009. How do I insert one of those blushing, embarrassed emojis here? I mean, it’s 21 v. 24 which ain’t much to bat your eyes at but hey it’s something and that’s certainly more than nothing. But if we set aside the fact that the outside world may look at this as a really cute little matchup, the reality is that this is a big game. I don’t think anyone is completely sold on either team and this is a very big conference test for both squads. Oregon certainly showed their mettle beating Arizona last week and the Bruins just keep grinding. It will be interesting to see how UCLA handles Oregon’s frontline as well as their depth. Also, I’m curious as to whether or not we’ll see the Thursday night EJ Singler (14/7/7 against Arizona) or Sunday EJ (7/2/2 on 1-9 shooting against ASU)?
Game to Avoid: To be fair, I can’t tell if a game featuring two winless teams is an avoidable or attractive offense. Are we drawn to it like rubber necking a car wreck or is it a scenario where the last two girls in the bar are bickering over you and you probably should just bolt? Whatever it is, my gut tells me that you have better things to do on Wednesday. Utah deserves a win for having played really well in 75% of their conference games. But it is worth noting that by beating the Utes by 17, Kevin O’Neill was fired. Ouch.
Something to Prove: You! I’m pointing at you Tad Boyle and your 1-3 Buffaloes. That start is not as disappointing as it would appear but 1-4 is a ditch you don’t want to be in. The Huskies are playing well but they aren’t yet striking fear into anyone – losing to Albany wont can’t escape them any faster than Herpes. So this is the Buffs chance to right their lightly off-kilter ship. Perhaps some offensive adjustments because I really do believe they’re well squared away defensively. It’s these offensive lulls where Josh Scott doesn’t touch the ball or Askia becomes far too much of an inefficient volume shooter in a possession conscious offense. Alas, Wednesday is step one to recapture the attention of the Pac-12 audience. The Dawg Pound will be rocking (UW hasn’t played in Seattle since 12/22) to add to the adversity heap; but what don’t killya makes ya stronger. The same story holds true for the Stanford Cardinal. These guys have underwhelmed to date and play 1-3 hosts to cross-Bay rivals, Cal. A win here and we can start re-imagnining the Cardinal as a team contending for a spot in the big dance, start believing they’re pissed off for greatness (I might use that every single time until I believe they’re actually pissed).
Something to Lose: The Arizona Wildcats head on the road to face what’s shaping up to be a potentially very good ASU team. If conference play evokes strange results, then the same can be said about rivalry games. And then some. Just ask these Wildcats about their last trip to Tempe. It was March 2012 and the Cats needed just to beat a nine win Sun Devil team. They didn’t and wound up not dancing for just the second time in my life. My impression is that stung and that Sean Miller won’t be quick to remind his team about that. But the Sun Devils won’t soon make this a cake walk for their friends from the South. The Wildcats are the better team here and should be expected to win and avenge that tourney costing loss a season ago. A repeat performance, however, would spark a lot of questions about the Cats.
The YouTuber: The original of this commercial is ridiculous enough. Good edit.