Washington starts the week as a 3 1/2 point favorite over Stanford who rallied to beat San Jose State last weekend. The key to beating the Cardinal is to get out to a lead and not let them hang around. The offensively challenged Cardinal don't do so well when they have to play catch up despite overcoming a 10 point deficit against SJSU last weekend.
It is a big week and new season for Willingham's Huskies. They have four games in a row that are winnable on paper and the coach knows that if he is going to be around next year he has to be at least 3-1 by the end of this stretch. Finish this stretch with a winning record and you really only have one certain loss left on the schedule and that is on the road against USC.
The Pac 10 looks a lot different heading in to week five than it looked heading into week one. What we have found out so far is that USC is a national championship caliber ball club and they should be able to finish the season undefeated because the rest of the league has been frankly a disappointment so far.
ASU, one of the league favorites now has two losses. Oregon the other front runner barely got past Purdue then headed home to be upset by giant killer Boise State. California started strong and but fell asleep last week against Maryland.
The rebuilding OSU Beavers lone victory was against a rebuilding Hawai'i squad at home. WSU has been terrible but was able to prove they can be a solid Big Sky team after thrashing Portland State. UCLA is falling off the map quicker than anyone thought after opening with a win over Tennessee. A 59-0 beating by BYU was followed up by a lethargic performance against a struggling Arizona team this past weekend.
That leaves us with winless Washington playing for its coaches life against 2-2 Stanford who can move into a good position to qualify for a bowl in Harbaugh's second year if they can get by the Huskies. On paper you have to favor the huskies since they seem to have more fire power at the QB position and the Cardinal offense on the other hand is struggling.
What Husky fans are wondering this week is exactly where the team fits into the Pac 10 picture. We know that we can't compete with an Oklahoma, but we did take BYU to the last tick. The Oregon game on the other hand is disturbing because the Ducks heading in to week five look less than special after two lackluster weeks in a row.
If Washington can beat Stanford they will be able to get some momentum going which will at least make the season interesting. If they lose you can write off the rest of the year and Ty Willingham's tenure at UW.
It looks like every Husky game is going to end up being on television this season. This would be the second consecutive year that has happened. Nothing is officially official since the USC, ASU, UCLA, and Cal games haven't been scheduled yet.
This weeks Stanford game is going to be broadcast on Fox Northwest to a regional audience. That means if you are outside the Northwest, and Northern California you are going to need the Fox sports station package on Direct TV, or some other service to watch to view the game.
The Arizona game will kick off at 4:30 p.m. Seattle time and will be televised nationally on Versus. Versus is the old outdoor life channel. I don't think I have ever seen a Husky game on Versus but I do happen to have it included in my Direct TV package. If you have Dish TV, Comcast, or AT&T chances are you have access to Versus too.
Oregon State is going to be a 4:00 pm Seattle start and it will also be on Versus.
Notre Dame is another late start which goes off at 5:00 PM Seattle time. It will be broadcast nationally on ABC/ESPN.
Pac 10 Power Ratings
1. USC....(2-0)...Nobody in the Pac 10 even comes close to USC this year. Next up is Oregon State Thursday night in Corvallis. (1 )
2. California....(2-1)...I move the Bears up in the ratings because they made the wise choice of having a bye last weekend. The Bears should have little problem with Colorado State this weekend. Cal is a young team with plenty of talent that should get better every week.
3. Oregon...(3-1)...The Ducks travel to WSU this week and I think the Cougars are going to be facing a pretty angry group of Mallards. The QB roulette caught up with them last week.
4. Arizona State....(2-2)...The Devils get a well earned bye after a couple of losses in a row. UNLV is tougher than most people think, but they had no business dropping that one. Georgia was in a different league than ASU last week.
5. Arizona....(3-1)...The Wildcats redeemed them selves a bit beating UCLA this past weekend. The loss against New Mexico hurts but the offense under Tuitama should be able to get them in a bowl.
6. Washington...(0-3)...The Huskies get a break and instead of playing an NFL type team face off against someone there own size.
7. Oregon State....(1-3)...This ESPN national Thursday night contest should be over pretty quickly as the Beavers fall to (1-4)
8. Stanford...(2-2)...If the Cardinal can beat UW on the road the goal of six victories this season becomes pretty possible.
9. UCLA....(1-2)...Next up is Fresno State and it isn't going to be pretty. Pat Hill would love to hang a bunch of points on rick Neuheisel.
10. Washington State....(1-3) Don't be fooled by the win over Portland State. This may be the Coug's only win this season.