No. 25 Washington at Colorado (10:30 a.m. PT, FX) - Washington was rollin’ when it played the Buffaloes last year, and a 52-24 victory over Colorado propelled the Huskies to a 3-0 start in conference play for the first time in nearly 15 years and a 5-1 record that pushed the Dawgs into the rankings. Last year’s win over CU also made it three in a row on the season for Washington. A Husky win in Boulder this time around will make it four straight both on the season and the series history with the Buffs while also guaranteeing a winning season in Seattle for the third consecutive year.
Washington State at Arizona State (12:00 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks) - Arizona State has been stuck on one win shy of bowl eligibility for a month, but returning home to face a conference-winless Washington State squad gives the Sun Devils as good of a chance as any to get to six W’s. However, Arizona State can’t count its chickens yet: Last season, the Sun Devils were in the beginning stages of a familiar funk heading into the Washington State game when an upset-minded Cougars squad knocked off Arizona State, 37-27, thanks to the play of then-rookie Connor Halliday, whose 494 passing yards set a Washington State freshman record. No Marquess Wilson for this one, but a couple of Williamses, a Marks and more will make an improving Air Raid tough to cover for the Sun Devil secondary.
No. 18 USC at No. 17 UCLA (12:05 p.m. PT, FOX) - One of two heavy-hittin’ games in the Pac-12, Battle: Los Angeles will also be Battle: Pac-12 South as the winner secures a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game 13 days later. No need for extra motivation when it comes to a rivalry that has had moments like this (a familiar face on that UCLA sideline), but a potential BCS berth at stake doesn’t hurt to add a little extra sizzle. The Bruins would love nothing more than to wash the taste of a 50-0 defeat at the hands of Troy from last year out of their mouths, while the Trojans can still salvage what has been a disappointing season by taking it to the Bruins again. Plus, Gus Johnson is going to be on the call – something crazy is bound to happen.
No. 13 Stanford at No. 2 Oregon (5:00 p.m. PT, ABC) - This would be the other heavy-hittin’ game in the Pac-12. If the Ducks win, the Pac-12 North is theirs and they keep pace in the national championship hunt. If the Card wins, Stanford is a victory over UCLA away from representing the Pac-12 North on Nov. 30 while boosting its chances for a BCS at-large berth. Stanford fans don’t need to be reminded of the recent history between these two teams, but for those who aren’t Stanford fans, here it is: 83 combined points have been scored in each of the last two contests, both of which the Ducks won by at least three touchdowns. Oregon’s 53-30 triumph in Palo Alto last season was especially sour for the Cardinal, as many around The Farm billed it as the most important game in Stanford history. The Cardinal have a little extra momentum going into this one courtesy of Kevin Hogan, the new starting quarterback who engineered a 27-23 comeback victory over Oregon State last weekend. But, of course, all momentum usually stops at the entrance of Autzen Stadium, the ultimate house of horrors for opposing teams.
Arizona at Utah (7:00 p.m. PT, ESPNU) - If the Utes want to make it 10 straight years with a bowl appearance, a win over the Wildcats is a must. At 4-6, Utah cannot lose another game if it wishes to play beyond the regular season finale against Colorado. Arizona will present a very stiff challenge, and the Utes will have to figure out a way to stop the extremely scary Ka’Deem Carey, who is fresh off a Pac-12 record 366-yard rushing performance against Colorado. Of course, the Buffs don’t have Star Lotulelei, a surefire first round NFL draft pick who clogs up the middle better than perhaps anyone in the nation. Now more than 100 games deep into his Utah coaching career, Kyle Whittingham’s first game as head honcho came against Arizona back in 2005, a contest the Utes won. It was also the starting debut for then-quarterback and now-offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. Utah won in Tucson last season by a score of 34-21, a game that put John White over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He would need 239 on the ground against the Wildcats to get to 1,000, but with the way Pac-12 backs have been putting up numbers lately, you never know…
Cal at No. 16 Oregon State (7:30 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks) - The two longest-tenured head coaches in the Pac-12 face off in Corvallis as Jeff Tedford’s California Golden Bears make the trip north to take on Mike Riley’s Oregon State Beavers. Both teams come into this matchup slumping – Cal has lost four in a row, while Oregon State has lost two of three after a 6-0 start. While this will be Cal’s season finale, the Beavers will still have three games left after this one: the Civil War, Nicholls State and a bowl game to be determined based on how the rest of the regular season plays out. While the Pac-12 North is out of the question for Oregon State, a potential BCS bowl isn’t. The Beavers must finish in the top 14 of the BCS standings to be considered for an at-large bid. (Right now, Oregon State is No. 16). Cal’s 23-6 win over Oregon State in San Francisco last year made the Golden Bears bowl eligible and featured a career-high 190-yard rushing performance by running back Isi Sofele.