The Pac-12 football season will officially come to an end tonight after the Fiesta Bowl showdown between Oregon and Kansas State. The venerable Ted Miller of ESPN’s Pac-12 Blog writes that the Fiesta Bowl quarterbacks Collin Klein and Marcus Mariota are the same and different. The Oregonian and Wichita Eagle conclude their 10-part matchup series with a look at Chip Kelly vs. Bill Snyder. It could have been the national championship game (thanks, Stanford and Baylor), but should be a fun one nonetheless.
The Pac-12 men’s basketball season got underway last night, with Arizona State surviving Utah in overtime thanks to a driving layup by Jahii Carson, who also hit a three late in regulation to send the game to an extra period. As Herb Sendek put it after the game, welcome to conference basketball.
Dropping the overtime thriller to Arizona State was tough to swallow for the Runnin’ Utes, who put up a heck of a fight thanks a monster game from Jason Washburn (19 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks). In Utah football news, defensive lineman Joe Kruger will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft. The junior led the Utes with six sacks and hopes to join brother Paul (who plays for the Ravens) in the NFL. Older brother Dave, who was a four-year starting defensive tackle, also hopes to make a successful jump to the NFL.
Three more men’s games tonight, and the action starts in Tucson at 5:00 p.m. PT when Arizona hosts Colorado. Can the Wildcats get revenge and limit TOs?
For Colorado, the Buffs know the game plan; they’re just hoping for better results. It will be the same game plan they had against Kansas (a 36-point road loss) – control tempo, handle the rock with care and don’t give the ‘Cats any easy buckets off miscues.
Two hours later, Cal will do battle with UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. The SB Nation blog sites get you ready for this one, as California Golden Blogs grills BruinsNation for info on UCLA…
…while BruinsNation says that Cal and UCLA are two teams going in opposite directions (UCLA has found its touch, Cal is slumping). In related Bruins news, former UCLA big man Josh Smith has announced that he will transfer to Georgetown.
The nightcap takes us to the Galen Center, where Stanford plays USC for their Pac-12 lid-lifter. Take a look at the work that Stanford strength coach Juan Pablo Reggiardo puts in with the players to get them toughened up for a grueling season.
My favorite athletic department writer in the Pac-12, Gregg Bell, thinks it’s time for another Shawn Kemp in Seattle. Luckily, Lorenzo Romar has one.
CougCenter asks the burning question on Cougars fans’ minds – how many wins you got for WSU men’s hoops this year with conference play upon us? This writer seems to think 10-8 in conference and 20-13 once the Pac-12 Tournament is over and done with – agree? Also, check out this week in Cougar athletics.
It’s a few days away (and don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you, Scott Rueck – we’ll get to your squad tomorrow!), but Oregon State is set for a primetime Civil War on Sunday night, as the Beavers will host the Ducks at Gill Coliseum at 7:00 p.m PT in men’s basketball action.