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Pac-12 College Football Week Four: USC and UCLA Shine, Others Do Not

September 28, 2019

                                                                                                             Photo credit// Back to the Future 3

 

 

 

The Pac-12 appears to have righted its sinking ship status. It is no longer a sleek, fast yacht. Rather, a listing container ship with large holes. The incoming water is being bailed out as fast as it rushes in. Lifeboats are being prepped, just in case.

 

It is an improvement. Hooray.

 

Cal beat Ole Miss at Oxford. Arizona beat Texas Tech. And both Los Angeles teams won. 

 

USC was rumored to be in the midst of securing a new coach to replace Clay Helton when the unthinkable occurred. Behind third-string quarterback Matt Fink, the Trojans upset No. 10 ranked Utah, 30-23. Helton was named Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week. For some Trojan fans, this is akin to your lottery numbers coming up and you losing the ticket. 

 

FOXSports broadcaster Urban Meyer raised some eyebrows at the game when he "liked" a reply to a scintillating tweet.

 

After USC upset Utah, USA Today's Dan Wolken sarcastically tweeted "that's a big win for Helton's next job."

 

Hitman2006 replied, "And Urban Meyer is thinking now I will have a quarterback to work with." Meyer "liked" that tweet.

 

So what's the big deal?

 

In the past, Meyer has not "liked" tweets that involve a potential hiring change. It's unprofessional to comment on stuff like that, even if the comment is a Twitter emoticon. Second, Meyer was at the Los Angeles Coliseum— undoubtedly getting recruiting pitches from former Trojan greats Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush—while he offered his analysis during the game. He must have known that the rumors were out there. He must have known that he was being closely watched for any tells on whether he was returning to coaching. And yet, he still "liked" that tweet.

 

Meyer could also be trolling USC fans. He removed the "like" once fans caught on to his Twitter faux pas. 

 

Much ado about nothing? Maybe. Let's see what happens December 1, shall we? 

 

UCLA also decided to save Chip Kelly's job and beat Washington State at Pullman, 67-63. The Cougars helped the Bruins out with a major "cougin' it" episodic seizure, but give beleaguered quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson a ton of credit for having a night to remember. He went 25-38, 507 yards, 5 TDs and 1 INT. If DTR can continue to play like he did in Pullman, UCLA could produce a winning streak. 

 

Cougar quarterback Anthony Gordon threw nine touchdowns in that game. NINE. Apparently he didn't get the memo that he would have to throw 10 touchdown passes to beat 0-3 UCLA.

 

The California Bears are playing out of their collective minds. Ole Miss may not be as good as Rebel teams of the past—they also lost to Memphis, 15-10—but that win did help the Pac-12's image in SEC Country. Hey, it's tough to win there. Even if the Pac-12 officials try their damnedest to help you out. 

 

Mississippi receiver Elijah Moore appeared to be standing in the end zone when he caught a pass with seconds left in the game. Instant replay on television showed a possible touchdown from one angle. Another angle showed his body was in the end zone but the ball was short of the goal line. Instead of taking an official time out to review the play, the clock continued to run. Cal won the game, 28-20. 

 

The Pac-12 did review the play the following day. That ought to make Rebel fans feel better. 

 

"Even though the receiver's feet are in the end zone, the ball has not penetrated the plane of the goal line as is required by rule," David Coleman, Pac-12 vice president of officiating, said in a video published along with the statement.

 

Usually, the Pac-12 has to take its lumps and admit it screwed up a call. This time, it put out a rare statement of, "neener, neener, neeeeener."

 

Speaking of a rare statement, I agree with the Pac-12's official decision. However, an official review would have squelched a lot of fan outrage. Was it a game-changing call? No, because Ole Miss would have had to complete a 2-pt conversion to tie the game and win in OT.

 

The conference suffers from sub-par officiating, no doubt. But in a remarkable display of sportsmanship, we are sharing the wealth—I mean dearth—of our professionals. 

 

You're welcome, SEC.

 

Stanford continues its losing streak (0-3). We do not know how bad things are at Stanford but if the Cardinal lose to the Oregon State Beavers, then there is not much more to say except the Beavs will be 2-2. Yay?

 

Arizona State is a giant question mark (really, beating Michigan State in East Lansing but losing to Colorado at home?)

 

Arizona is another giant question mark (how do you give up 45 points to Hawai'i and lose but give up 41 points to Northern Arizona and win?)

 

Colorado looks meaner and tougher (and we love new head coach Mel Tucker). Beating Nebraska in OT is fun and all but losing to Air Force in OT is not a good sign. The Falcons were supposed to be one of the Buffs' Ws.

 

Predictions for the Pac-12 this week are tough. 

 

USC will continue to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and beat Washington in Seattle. Of course, since Cal already beat the Huskies, the Trojans will drop in the rankings for beating a mediocre team. See how this works? 

 

It will get worse for USC. Washington State will take its frustrations out on Utah and win, thus further diminishing USC's SOS. 

 

UCLA will beat the fighting Sumlins at home in front of a bigger Rose Bowl crowd. The Bruins' students are now on campus. Chip Kelly's job is safe for another week. Keep your applause quiet, please. 

 

Cal will beat Arizona State. This is a Friday night game so all hell will break loose. Head coach Justin Wilcox may be courting a lot of athletic directors in early December, if this continues. But hang on, this is Cal football. And in true Cal fashion, it will also find a way to lose during its bye, to Washington State, Utah or UCLA before beating USC.  

 

Will Stanford lose four in a row? The Beavers and Cardinal will keep it close. Too close to call. In the end, it doesn't matter because Stanford will win the Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup for the 26th time.

 

Nothing else really matters on The Farm. 

 

 

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