I skipped the first preview and before you fault me that misdeed, note that I was beach side for the Butler family’s twenty-third consecutive Mexican New Years. Behold:
So yes, I skipped a Week 1 preview to give us 14 Things To Watch including DaVonte Lacy who still isn’t playing and got drunk at 10:15am at a restaurant with just my brother and his girlfriend for the Ka’Deem Carey Bowl. Otherwise known as the Not-Dre-Williams-Doak-Winner-Fight-East-Coast-Bias Bowl. But I’m no longer beachfront. I’m just playing softball games in shorts while the rest of the country bundles up. So Week 2 gets previewed.
Game of the Week: This is easily Arizona’s visit to Pauley Pavilion to battle the Bruins. The Cats haven’t won there since we thought of Steve Alford as that guy who failed at Iowa, going 0-3 last season whether the ball was touched or not. And it’s that losing streak – not Rush-gate – plays a huge factor in this game. There are wildly intriguing statistical components to this game I could get in to (and will) but the narrative here, at least in the Arizona locker, is “We haven’t beaten these guys in a year and it hasn’t even been pretty.” That’s to say that home for the Whiteout, handled in Pauley, and the aforementioned ball touch game were difficult pills to swallow. At this point we can cite something about pissed off for greatness; or is that just an awesome video? And if you’re curious about those stats I’d mentioned, exercise some patience, please. I’ve got a whole ditty on that drafted that’s coming on game day. And one last thought here: I wish the game was on a Saturday so I could’ve gone. I just can’t get to Los Angeles on a Thursday at 6pm.
Game to Avoid: This is most certainly not the spiciest of weekends – no geographic rivalry, no top-25 matchup despite the above flirting with it. Thus, the weekend kind of lends itself to an uninteresting schedule. I can’t call the whole damn thing avoidable because that’s just absolutely not the case. But if you find yourself at a bar watching Indianapolis at New England instead of Cal at Oregon State – the only Saturday game – I certainly am not going to blame you.
Something to Prove: This thing’s early so ultimately everyone has something to prove, right? I suppose USC, WSU, and OSU have proven themselves as bottom of the barrel but it is indeed still early – even for them (hey! I’m glass half full guy). Pin pointing one team, however, I’m going to go with the suddenly upstart Utah Utes. They gave the Ducks all they could handle – including the game winning basket – and against Oregon State they took care of business (a characteristic of a good team). They made us all Krystkowiakers (are we going to make that a thing?). But now they hit the road. And while the 2013-14 trip to Washington won’t soon frighten anyone, it’s certainly not about to make anyone comfortable. No road trip will. And when you’re Utah and haven’t played too much outside of the Huntsman Center, well then you’ve got a great opportunity to prove something to us.
And in a shocking new twist: A SECOND SOMETHING TO PROVE! Washington State must prove they can score more than 7 points in four consecutive halves. Or at least more than two field goals (non-football reference).
Something to Lose: I’m afraid I’m going to be picking on these guys all the season long. They’ve already dropped a home tilt to a thinned out Cal team and now they have to play in Oregon? The Stanford Cardinal haven’t been doing themselves too many favors this year. Sure they beat #10 UConn on the road. That was indubitably impressive. Wanna know what’s not impressive? UConn’s 2-2 record since that game. From where I’m sitting (on my couch at 12:51am playing this sweet jam in clothes I worked out in 4 hours ago) the Cardinal will be 1-2 in conference play on Monday. Not the start they were looking forward to. And can you even imagine what a slip up Thursday night in Corvallis would look like?
The YouTuber: This is why someday I want a microphone and an audience.