PULLMAN – The first question asked of Stanford coach David Shaw during Tuesday’s Pac-12 coaches teleconference was if he had an urge to drop the microphone on the media after his team beat USC, by asking reporters if there were any more questions about his play selection.
“I’ll say that it was never an option,” Shaw replied. “I won’t say that something like that didn’t cross my mind.”
Shaw had good reason to be smug considering his team just eradicated the prospect of its imminent demise. Rather, the Cardinal’s conference rivals appear vulnerable. California and UCLA won their two games by two combined points and Oregon’s defense looks suspect enough to cost the Ducks a win or two.
Arizona State hasn’t shown the same passion for blowing out opponents that we’ve come to expect from the Sun Devils, and even an impressive Arizona squad remains untested.
Stanford has already defeated the media’s preseason conference favorite, USC, which sits squarely at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings. The Cardinal is all alone at the top.
1 UCLA (3-0, last week: 2) The Pac-12’s playoffs hopes may rest on the Bruins, who beat a ranked BYU team despite three picks from their freshman quarterback.
2 Stanford (2-1, last week: 7) Stanford has the best win of any team, and its loss to a Northwestern team that is now ranked No. 17 doesn’t look bad anymore.
3 California (3-0, last week: 3) Cal coach Sonny Dykes should start rewarding kickers with scholarships. Specifically, kickers from other teams.
4 Oregon (2-1, last week: 4) An injured quarterback and an unimpressive defense make this the most vulnerable Oregon team in years.
5 Arizona (3-0, last week: 5) Nobody beats up on their state’s third team quite like the Wildcats.
6 Utah (3-0, last week: 6) Some players feel like they’ve been at their respective schools forever. Travis Wilson just feels like he’s been in the hospital forever.
7 USC (2-1, last week: 1) Steve Sarkisian’s Trojans forgot to “bleeping fight on, bebay!”
8 Washington (2-1, last week: 8) The Huskies may have found their quarterback, but they’re going to lose him if they don’t find some offensive linemen, too.
9 Arizona St. (2-1, last week: 11) Mike Bercovici and Demario Richard are both really good, so why do the Sun Devils still seem so pedestrian?
10 Colorado (2-1, last week: 9) Don’t look now, but this time next week the Buffaloes should be on a three-game winning streak. They didn’t even win three games last year.
11 WSU (2-1, last week: 10) Washington State has played to the level of its opponent in all of its games. That must mean the Cougs want ’Bama.
12 Oregon St. (2-1, last week: 12) At least the Beavers have a better record than Mike Riley’s new team.
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