Oregon's fast track to BCS National Championship Game slowed by Kansas State
K-State, which opted out of a once-scheduled game this year against Oregon, nosed past the Ducks for the No. 3 spot in the BCS rankings this week.
Seattle Times college football reporter
Even in the wake of a nationally televised stuffing of Arizona State Thursday night, there's consternation in Duckville and environs.
In its quest to land a spot in the BCS National Championship Game, Oregon has a new and unexpected challenger. It's a team whose coach is to the Ducks' nouveau richness as Lawrence Welk is to 50 Cent.
It's Kansas State and Bill Snyder, and it just got done waxing potent West Virginia on the road, 55-14. The problem, vis-à-vis Oregon, is that the Big 12 is widely rated stronger than the Pac-12 this year.
Sunday, Kansas State nosed ahead of Oregon in the BCS standings to third place as the Ducks dropped to fourth.
Oregon fans point out that K-State, well, ducked out of a once-scheduled game this year with Oregon, which would probably count for some visceral points in the human polls. But that might not be enough to offset the damage K-State quarterback Collin Klein is wreaking in the Big 12.
Ah, counter the Oregon fans, the Big 12 doesn't have a title game, while, ostensibly, the Ducks will be showing themselves off in theirs.
When things like this come up, I always rely on an old maxim: It'll all come out in the wash.
What We Learned
Washington's offense is stuck in neutral. It doesn't seem to matter if the Huskies are facing Stanford's behemoths or Oregon's athletes or Arizona's undersized defenders. Washington hasn't scored more than 21 points against an FBS team in 2012.
Not that it's all balloon bouquets on the other side of the ball, either. In four seasons under Steve Sarkisian, the Huskies, 52-17 losers to Arizona, have now allowed 50 points or more seven times, and the odd thing is none of them came his first year.
Yes, Robert Woods is still a threat. The USC standout had had a quiet season, averaging only 10 yards a catch.
But Saturday, Woods became USC's career receptions leader, catching four of Matt Barkley's six touchdown passes on a day Barkley moved past Matt Leinart to the top of the career scoring-pass list in the Pac-12. USC won 50-6.
Of course, it came against Colorado.
Flames are licking at Jeff Tedford's backside again. Whatever equity the Cal (3-5) coach built up with victories against UCLA and WSU, he just spent in a 21-3 home loss to Stanford. If the most stunning stat wasn't Stanford's 252-3 edge in rushing yards, it was that of 19 runs by Cal backs, the longest was four yards.
The Bears now have to beat a currently unbeaten team, Oregon or Oregon State, to get to a bowl game in 2012.
The newbies have found this Pac-12 thing a challenge. Since they started playing in this league, Utah and Colorado have combined for a 7-19 league record. Utah is 0-4 for the second straight year, and one of the abiding mysteries is how Colorado, while regularly getting splattered, pieced together eight minutes of sufficient competence to come from 17 down and beat Washington State for its only win of the season.
It's back to Saturday-only games, the best of which look to be USC (6-1) at Arizona (4-3) and UCLA at Arizona State (both 5-2). The card ends with Oregon State's night visit to Washington at CenturyLink Field.
About Bud Withers
Bud Withers gives his take on college sports, with the latest from the Huskies, Cougs, and the rest of the Pac-12.
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