We got together with old friend of the pod and real friend in real life, Jamie, to chat during Utah’s home (shocker) win over Cal. Having noted that fact, be warned that there are asides to discuss Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Sam Singer, Brandon Taylor as well as the game’s score. No spoilers, the contest is over. We also dove into the impending reality of the Washington Huskies, which unblemished home team will stumble first, Spencer’s heated take on court storming, an aside to the national scope of CBB, and a tangent on court appearances.
I got to watch live Pac-12 basketball this weekend which was a treat. I would’ve had a prelude to the first of my two live events – ASU @ Cal – from Palo Alto’s Old Pro but Dad forgot the tickets. Sorry if I missed you there. But as far as weekend expectations go, that wasn’t the most surprising transgression. Utah earned the conference’s first road sweep on their trip to the PNW. Jakob won the Pac-12’s Player of the Week honor though I’d have given it to Pops despite the ticket gaffe. We’ve got a new #1 and the live LA SportsCenter is remarkably bad.
Our favorite team – the Arizona Wildcats – is making its annual (or mostly annual) trip to the Bay Area. This also marks Spencer and my friend-iversary and a lot of great Cal-Arizona games. Of note, Cal has also lost to ASU on the weeknight before playing Arizona for two consecutive years.
Alas, this week’s pod isn’t all about us: USC had another statement win (how many schools have beat AZ and UCLA in back-to-back games, ever?); Washington garnered a road win; Oregon looked nice in Utah; Colorado got a home hold; Spencer promises to write about Stanford. Listen and subscribe on iTunes.
And if you’ve made it this far, I’m going to offer up a new section/experiment. Have something Spencer and I might be able to answer? Discuss? Throw me a question comment or anything via tweet. Thanks.
How many hot takes could you come up with surrounding Jarmal Reid’s trip? I chose not to because I ain’t trippin’. Of course no one condones this behavior. Of course it was a regrettable action. Oregon State has taken action, disciplined the kid 4 games and the conference – who didn’t even have to dip Reid into the holy suspensions waters – approved of the action. Kudos. In completely unrelated news, four Pac-12 commits will be included in this year’s McDonald’s All-American game. Burgers.
Anyhow, this week had the feel of normalization. There was a blowout (2 actually) and zero overtimes. It didn’t feel as CrAzY as previous weeks ‘felt’ and especially as the rest of the nation (most notably the top-25) was ravaged. Duke lost its third consecutive game as a ranked team to an unranked opponent for the first time since the ’60s and I love it! USC is ranked which is completely unrelated to Duke’s lack of success.
UCLA’s offense is fine. Mostly at least.
Perhaps that’s an odd lead following their first loss to the enemies of Troy since 2013. But in last night’s game the Bruins still managed a 75 spot, an efficient-ish 1.03 points per possession. Speaking of possessions, Andy Enfield earns his first win against UCLA in the Enfield-Alford rivalry’s second fastest game.
But that’s offense. The scoring and such. Continue reading
I’m not sure it’s worth a qual/quant analysis of what makes a sports villain. Like a four-year old, loathing a given competitor can be justified with a whiny, “Just cause.” Pushing the hater any further leads them to incoherent rambling about a nominal three-pointer he hit and the classless celebration that followed. What a dick!
This is the sort of stuff we explored with my good friend (met via Twitter), Luc. A Bruin faithful and kind enough to not egregiously rub Bryce’s three in our Wildcat faces, it was great to get his perspective on the UCLA program and Pac-12 slate two weeks deep.
I imagine you’re going to start seeing bigger swings in these rankings as it only makes sense to reward teams for being as good as their last weekend. It’s like a weekend when family comes to visit and you don’t go to bars until last call. Monday – or in this case Tuesday’s Power Rankings – are just going to be a lot kinder to you. That’s a less-than-abstract way of asking Pac-12 teams to sober up? Or do we like a drunk Pac?
Which brings us to even further existential questions like: Do I want to live in a world where Alabama is winning national championships on trick plays? Where people watch an admitted one quarter of college football and their first take is “Lane Kiffin called a great game?” Where Andy Enfield runs the hottest team on the coast? I hope you’re sticking to your 2016 resolutions.
Don’t let the title confuse you. Just because Spencer and I have an Arizona expert on this week’s podcast, we get deep into the entire conference. A loose timeline of what we discuss with Senior Staff Writer at WildcatAuthority.com, Cody Martin:
- First Conference weekend impressions
- Most impressive individual performances
- Non-conference run around
- Non-conference Biggest Surprise (individual and team)
- Non-con biggest disappointment (individual and team)
- Non-con + 1 weekend POY and COY
Without a doubt, this was the most difficult Power Rankings I’ve had to complete. Considered foregoing it. I dropped teams with noteworthy showings (Colorado, Stanford), while others made huge jumps because – yanno – last week’s second through fifth ranked teams went a combined 0-6. Standard stuff. Begging the question: Is the Pac-12 full of parity or parody? The former would suggest that good teams are losing on the road to equally challenging opponents. The latter, however, suggests we’re in for a season of laughable outcomes, an opportunity to perhaps enjoy our Western anonymity.
But before you go diving onto the season’s panic button or attempt to rip your shirt off as you’re being escorted from the final minute of a rivalry game, remember that the Pac-12 is a historically difficult road game. Last season, home teams won 67% of the games – the third highest mark amongst conferences. This – my Utah and UCLA, friends – should have a calming affect. I think we can rest pretty well assured that this conference is full of champions! Parity.