Good morning, Coug fans. Our Washington State Cougars are idle this week, but what happens in the rest of the Pac-12 today greatly impacts WSU’s fate going forward. By now, you probably know WSU and Oregon are the only teams in the Pac-12 North that control their own destiny. Win out, and WSU’s in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Even if WSU loses to Oregon next week, there’s still hope!
And get this: What if I told you WSU can even wrap up the Pac-12 North before the Apple Cup? Crazy, I know, but it’s possible. A lot has to happen, and I tried writing it out but gave up after a half hour because my head hurt.
I’ll just allow Josh Furlong of KSLsports.com in Salt Lake City to do the work:
OK, like an idiot, I tried to figure out the North division race. I've checked this many times*, but still so many ways this can fall.— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) November 4, 2021
*There's a chance this is all wrong, but here we go; I make no promises. The biggest potential errors are if there's chaos. pic.twitter.com/D0MsumFYTb
Basically, Oregon, WSU, Oregon State and Washington are still in the race for the North. Oregon and WSU have the most straightforward path, and Oregon State and Washington need a considerable amount of chaos in their favor.
Some of this will be cleared up after today is over, but not all of it. With that, here’s what we’re watching today:
Three Things to Watch in the Pac-12
1. Oregon’s study habits: Washington head coach Jimmy Lake put his boot in his yapper this week when he said UW doesn’t see Oregon as a recruiting rival because UW goes up against schools that have “more academic prowess” like Notre Dame, Stanford and USC. Lake later walked back his comments and used the old “taken out of context” defense, but that’s not going to help him. I really hope Oregon trounces UW and puts its foot on the gas no matter the score. Hey, Oregon needs style points. Should the Ducks win (they should), Mario Cristobal should withhold his players from meeting the media, justifying it by saying, “Well our student athletes take their academics real serious and decided a group academic study session would be better then talking to the media. I hope you understand.”
2. USC at ASU: Which team wants it less? Talk about drama. Both teams are under the gun, and USC already fired its head coach and ASU might not be far behind in doing the same. The Sun Devils haven’t really showed up since the first half against Utah back on....checks notes...Oct. 16! Herm Edwards took absolutely none of the blame for having his team ill prepared coming off a bye week, and put it all on the players. Great leadership! Meanwhile, USC lost its best receiver, is dealing with an apathetic fanbase, and just gave up 34 points to the terrible Arizona Wildcats last week.
3. Cal’s roster: The California Golden Bears are dealing with a depleted roster due to COVID restrictions, and apparently the city of Berkeley is to blame. Jon Wilner reported that the Bears are 99% vaccinated and there’s no outbreak. So, what’s going on? Information is scant, and my only guess is the City of Berkeley says fully vaccinated individuals—even if they’re not showing any symptoms—must sit out if they come into contact with a COVID-positive individual. That’s not the case elsewhere. At least the Bears get to play Arizona, right?
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