Pac-12 by the numbers: Week 3

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
5:30
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Here's another look at random stats pertaining to the Pac-12.

Wyoming at No. 2 Oregon
  • QB Marcus Mariota's yards per pass attempt (12.19) ranks No. 4 in the country, and he is one of three quarterbacks nationally with at least six touchdown passes and no interceptions.
  • The Ducks rank second in the country in points (108) and sixth in total offense (582 yards per game) among teams that have played two games.
  • DB Troy Hill is tied for fifth nationally with three pass breakups.
Illinois at Washington
  • RB Lavon Coleman ranks No. 4 in the Pac-12 with 196 yards rushing.
  • Washington is 45-44-2 all-time against Big Ten teams.
  • Washington DT Danny Shelton ranks No. 1 in the nation with six sacks.
Army at No. 15 Stanford
  • Stanford has gone three-and-out just once in 23 drives.
  • In 11 trips to the red zone, Stanford has scored three touchdowns.
  • The Stanford defense has faced 25 opposing drives and has allowed points on three -- with one being a touchdown.
Portland State at Washington State
  • QB Connor Halliday leads the nation in pass attempts (113), completions (78) and passing yards (921).
  • Among teams without a win, WSU has scored the second-most points in the country (52).
  • Only two teams -- SMU and Central Florida -- average less yards per rush than WSU (1.38).
No. 12 UCLA vs. Texas in Arlington
  • UCLA is one of four teams in the country with at least five red-zone drives that has scored a touchdown on each one.
  • The Bruins have nine players on their roster from the state of Texas.
  • Only two teams in the country -- Oregon State (26) and Texas Tech (25) -- have committed more penalties than UCLA (21).
No. 9 USC at Boston College
  • WR Nelson Agholor (14 catches, 148 yards) has been targeted on 21 of USC's 63 pass attempts.
  • USC's 56.3 percent third-down conversion rate ranks No. 10 nationally.
  • RB Buck Allen is No. 10 in the country in carries (45) and rushing yards (287).
No. 16 Arizona State at Colorado
  • Through two games, the Sun Devils have averaged 7.78 yards per play, which ranks No. 5 nationally.
  • ASU QB Taylor Kelly's 90.7 raw QBR ranks No. 5 nationally.
  • ASU RB D.J. Foster has three carries for 40-plus yards. Last year no one at ASU had more than two such carries.
  • Colorado WR Nelson Spruce leads the Pac-12 with 249 receiving yards.
  • In five games in this series, Arizona State holds a 5-0 lead.
Nevada at Arizona
  • Among running backs in the country with two or fewer career games, Nick Wilson ranks No. 3 with 278 rushing yards.
  • The Wildcats rank No. 3 in the country in total offense (620.5 yards per game) among teams that have played two games. They rank No. 1 among teams that have only played FBS schools.
  • Nevada has allowed just one touchdown its opponents' seven trips to the redzone this year.
Past weeks

Week 1

Week 2
The Pac-12 typically has great quarterbacks and good depth at the position, but the 2014 season is particularly stacked behind center. With 10 returning starters, including a handful who are expected to be All-American candidates and early NFL draft picks, it’s almost difficult to keep up with who’s doing what to whom’s secondary.

No worries. We’ve got you covered. Each week, we will provide you a top-five ranking of the Pac-12 QBs.

Now, it won’t always be a 1 to 5 ranking according to the expected pecking order at season’s end or NFL draft lists. It will react heavily to the preceding week. And we’ll try to spread some love. If our ratings seem inconsistent and they frustrate you at times, well, we just feel so horrible about that.

Honorable mention: Sefo Liufau, Colorado, almost made the list for picking up a win for Colorado. He completed 26 of 42 passes for 318 yards and threw three touchdowns and one pick. That alone is really darn impressive. However, his adjusted QBR was 57. Wilson was at 68 and Mannion was at 75. This list isn’t just about the QBR scale but it is taken into consideration. Congrats, Liufau and the Buffs on the win, but you just missed the power rankings this week. Have that kind of a performance against a conference foe and you’ll see your name on this list for sure. Arizona State's Taylor Kelly completed 11 passes for 192 yards and threw two touchdowns in the Sun Devils' win over New Mexico, which is impressive, but not enough to warrant a place on this week's list.

To see last week’s rankings, click here.

Campaign trail: USC Trojans

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
2:11
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Which teams will make the College Football Playoff? Ultimately, the selection committee will decide. Until then, there will be a lot of campaigning. Each week we'll unveil what we think one team's campaign message should be.

USC made a statement in Week 2, taking down Stanford 13-10. But the storyline of the game was the Trojans' beef with the officials -- most notably, coach Steve Sarkisian's decision to call athletic director Pat Haden to the sideline for backup. Haden's confrontation with the refs went viral, but for USC fans, the only thing that matters is the Trojans' playoff path -- one that looks considerably easier now that Stanford is out of the way.

USC posterIllustration by Sam Ho

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
10:00
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video Oregon made the most noise on the field and the recruiting trail this past weekend, posting a win against a top-10 team in front of a number of potential impact recruits in the 2015 and 2016 classes. Elsewhere in the conference, USC made a statement with a big win and UCLA did the same with a big offer.

Planning for success: Oregon

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
9:00
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Outside of quarterback Marcus Mariota, the only position group on nearly the entire Oregon roster that came into the season with the fewest question marks was the offensive line. It had five returning starters. It had gained more than 100 pounds as a unit. Last year's shortcomings had lit a fire and they were ready to play for the national title this season.

[+] EnlargeMarcus Mariota
Phil Ellsworth/ESPN ImagesAs the Ducks' offensive line continues to be a work in progress, which players will protect QB Marcus Mariota in Week 3?
Then, starting left tackle Tyler Johnstone tore his ACL. So the Ducks moved senior Jake Fisher over to left tackle (he had been at right) and Andre Yruretagoyena, who had taken Johnstone's reps in the spring when he was nursing his previous injury, took over at right tackle.

Then, redshirt freshman Jake Pisarcik beat out Cameron Hunt for the starting right guard position prior to the South Dakota game. Hunt, who had started the final seven games of last season, had become the first true freshman to start on the Ducks' O-line in 16 years and gave fans hope he was a part of a foundation that other players could build upon, not usurp. Against Michigan State, he'd return to the starting line up before more question marks were added.

Early in the third quarter against Michigan State, Yruretagoyena was carted off the field and Oregon put freshman Tyrell Crosby on the right side.

And suddenly, the wall that's supposed to protect Mariota and create a run game for the talented trio of Ducks' backs was seemingly falling down as question marks popped up.

Can the Ducks deal with these kinds of transitions just a few weeks before the start of conference play? Will the young players on the offensive line have a steep enough learning curve that when Oregon plays teams such as Stanford and Arizona -- teams that pushed them around a bit in the trenches in 2013 -- that there won't be any hiccups? Can this O-line, even with the early season shake-ups, be enough to help the Ducks find success in 2014?

Center Hroniss Grasu says yes. And why?

"It's our attitude, it's our mindset we have going in," Grasu said. "It's a mindset of being the best offensive line that we can be and just go out there, if we play together as a unit -- all five guys, one heartbeat -- good things will happen. That's all we think about."

Grasu said it's not even as important as to which five guys it is because the coaches have done a good job of grooming the "next man up" mentality, which is evident in the Crosby and Pisarcik cases. And looking forward to Wyoming, maybe the best question to ask isn't can Oregon's offensive linemen answer the questions, but which Oregon offensive linemen will answer those questions?

The Ducks don't talk about injuries, but even if Yruretagoyena is ready to go for the Wyoming game, it's likely to be a bit of a competition for the starting right guard spot considering Crosby's performance last weekend.

Next to him will likely be Hunt -- though Pisarcik shouldn't be ruled out -- and then the left side remains secure with Grasu at center and Hamani Stevens and Jake Fisher at right guard and right tackle, respectively. But with the amount of shuffling that has happened with this group in the past three weeks, it's hard to say anything is written in permanent marker rather than pencil.

Certainly, no one thought the offensive line would be the group with the greatest question marks at the Week 3 mark. But with the way the running backs, tight ends and wide receivers have played and grown, it's starting to seem that the group that was once considered the most sturdy is the one that has the most to prove.

And that's the one that could have the greatest effect on the Ducks' success.

Pac-12 morning links

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
8:00
AM ET
Oh, look what you've done to this rock'n roll clown.

Leading off

For as well as USC is doing on the field, the Trojans just can't seem to get out of their own way off of it (or at least off the sidelines). And that's not to say the whole Pat Haden thing is being blown waaaaayyyy out of proportion. Because it is. But still, news is news. And news came down that the USC athletic director has been fined $25,000 for his involvement in a brief sideline "discussion" with officials during USC's 13-10 win over Stanford.

Following a public apology Sunday night from Haden, who is also a member of the 13-member playoff selection committee, the Pac-12 issued its reprimand and fine Monday. Which in turn drew statements from USC head coach Steve Sarkisian and Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff.

From Sarkisian:
“I regret putting Pat in the situation I put him in on Saturday. It is my job to manage the game, not Pat’s. For the good of the game, I will be better on this in the future.”

From Hancock:
"Emotional outbursts at games are not a matter for the playoff selection committee to deal with. This does not affect Pat Haden's capability as a committee member. We recognize that athletics directors cannot be dispassionate about their own teams, and that's why we have the recusal policy."

Joey Galloway and Danny Kanell discuss the situation here:

video Playoff chatter

If you haven't seen The Eliminator yet, you should. It's awesome. Our Mark Schlabach takes a look at all 128 FBS teams to see who is still in the hunt for one of those four spots, who is on the fence and who is out. Five Pac-12 teams are still "in contention" -- Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA and USC. California, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah and Washington are "on the fence."

USA Today is taking a similar approach with its weekly "Played in/Played out" segment. Lots of good Pac-12 stuff in there this week.

Finally, some thoughts from Jon Wilner in his Week 2 recap. Writes Wilner:
Oregon’s victory over Michigan State had a twofold effect, at once vaulting the Ducks into the heart of the playoff picture while undermining the Big Ten’s quest for a spot in the four-team event -- which could, potentially, open the window for a second team from the Pac-12.
News/notes/team reports
Just for fun

Utah players are really, really fired up about their white helmets.



Hey Cal? Are you going to play spoiler on Nov. 29?



Step up, ladies. The line starts at the right.

An illustrated look at Week 2 in the Pac-12

September, 8, 2014
Sep 8
10:42
PM ET
Each Sunday during the season, ESPN.com will highlight four storylines that had an impact on the College Football Playoff race. Week 2 victories from Oregon and USC were selected this week.

Oregon vs. Michigan StateChris Morris for ESPNOregon raced past Michigan State in the second half in a 46-27 win.
USC-StanfordChris Morris for ESPNUSC needed a late field goal to see itself past Stanford.
Oregon got a much-needed win against Michigan State on Saturday. But even more, it grew up in a way that wouldn’t have happened against a subpar team.

In so many regards -- which will be of importance to the College Football Playoff committee -- a W is a W. And so, the Week 1 win against South Dakota and the Week 2 win against Michigan State are both wins, both positive things for the Ducks’ playoff resume.

But what Oregon took away from MSU is something so different than what it took away from South Dakota. The Spartans were able to put pressure in different ways on a young squad in Week 2 of a crucial season for the Ducks. They sent Oregon into the locker room at halftime with a deficit, with all the momentum turning green and white.

[+] EnlargeRoyce Freeman
Phil Ellsworth/ESPN ImagesRoyce Freeman and several other young Ducks showed their mettle against Michigan State.
Many young teams -- even at home -- could have shrunk under that pressure. And yes, even with a Heisman-leading quarterback in Marcus Mariota, the game could have turned out differently considering the youth at wide receiver and the reliance on freshman at running back, right tackle and on defense.

"The biggest thing I think we can take away from this is that our team really grew up in the second half," offensive coordinator Scott Frost said. "We’ve got a lot of young players and a lot of them haven’t been in a game like that before. I think it really showed their character that they were able to respond the way they did."

"We thought we had a pretty mature group of young players," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich added. "I think that was very evident in the second half."

Helfrich said that at halftime he noticed the young players were composed, which could have been tough given the moment, the stage, the opponent.

"There was no panic," Helfrich said. "There was no element of fear."

That kind of attitude would be expected out of Mariota or cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu or center Hroniss Grasu, any of the guys who have been apart of these games before.

But the fact that it was coming from players like wide receivers Devon Allen and Darren Carrington, running back Royce Freeman and defensive back Tyree Robinson, who were playing in just their second collegiate football game ever, says way more than a 40-point blowout win over an FCS school.

This experience is going to pay dividends going forward. Allen, Freeman and Robinson are going to be huge contributors for the Ducks this season and thanks to Michigan State, they really aren’t freshmen anymore. They are top targets in the run and pass game who proved themselves worthy of Mariota’s attention in tight situations. They are top tacklers on the team. They are guys who went from untested youth to valuable experience in about 30 minutes.

And that could be the difference between later W’s and L’s this season.

The Ducks have talent and experience, high power and big names. Now, they just need consistency, and a lot of it is going to come from guys whose age wouldn’t necessarily dictate that kind of play.

But age is just a number, and the Ducks don’t care about numbers, just W’s.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, USC defensive end Leonard Williams and USC kicker Andre Heidari are this week's Pac-12 Players of the Week.

Mariota completed 17 of 28 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns in the Ducks' impressive 46-27 win against then-No. 7 Michigan State Spartans. The Hawaii native also ran for 42 yards on nine carries.

Williams was limited by a sprained ankle, but still finished with a game-high 11 tackles in USC's 13-10 win against Stanford that vaulted the Trojans to No. 9 in this week's AP poll. After Williams looked shaky testing the ankle in warmups, it wasn't clear how much of a factor he would be. However, as the game progressed those concerns died down.

"He obviously wasn't 100 percent," USC coach Steve Sarkisian said. "In the end, Leonard at 70, 80, 85 percent is better than a lot of people. And his presence just helps us.”

Heidari hit a pair of field goal for the Trojans, including a career-long 53-yard attempt -- tied for third-longest in USC history -- with 2:30 left that was the eventual game winner. The senior also kicked a field goal to beat Stanford last year.

Full list of nominees:

Offense: Nick Wilson, QB, Arizona; D.J. Foster, RB, ASU; Jared Goff, QB, Cal; Nelson Spruce, WR, Colorado; Terron Ward, RB, Oregon State; Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA; Javorius Allen, RB, USC; Travis Wilson, QB, Utah.

Defense: Jared Tevis, S, Arizona; Laiu Moeakiola, LB, Arizona State; Joe Walker, LB, Oregon; Michael Doctor, LB, Oregon State; Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA; Hunter Dimick, DE, Utah, Danny Shelton, NT, Washington

Special Teams: Casey Skowron, PK, Arizona; Bryce McGovern, ST, Cal; Will Oliver, PK, Colorado, Ishmael Adams, DB, UCLA; Tom Hackett, P, Utah

Big Ten plummets in conference rankings

September, 8, 2014
Sep 8
11:25
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The Big Ten’s struggles in Week 2 have been well documented. The conference lost all four of its games against opponents ranked in the top 50 of the Football Power Index, and its top win according to FPI came when Minnesota defeated No. 73 Middle Tennessee at home.

The next tier of Big Ten teams struggled too, as Nebraska, Iowa, Maryland, and Illinois all were tested into the fourth quarter against teams they were favored to beat.

The Big Ten is now 11-7 against non-conference FBS opponents, by far the lowest win percentage (61 percent) of any Power Five conference. Against other Power Five teams and Notre Dame, the Big Ten is 1-5 with an average point margin of -12 points per game.

The Big Ten’s difficulties begin at the top of the conference. The highest ranked Big Ten team in the Football Power Index is No. 22 Michigan, who lost 31-0 at Notre Dame on Saturday. Every other Power Five conference has at least two teams in the top 20 of the FPI, and the SEC has nine teams.

In the AP Poll, the other component of the conference power rankings, three of the four Big Ten teams ranked in the poll last week fell at least six spots.

As a result of the Big Ten’s dreadful weekend, the conference fell 17.3 points in the conference power rankings, the largest single-week plunge of any conference in the last three years.

On the flip side, the ACC rose by 7.2 points and jumped over the Big Ten for fourth place. The ACC went 11-0 in non-conference games in Week 2, bringing its non-conference win percentage to 87 percent in the first two weeks. Only the SEC (95 percent) has a higher non-conference win percentage.

The Pac-12 barely budged in the conference rankings, but Oregon's win against Michigan State may end up being the biggest win for a conference in terms of national perception this season. The Ducks showed that they could play a physical style of football against one of the toughest defenses in the nation.

Next week is a big one for the Big 12 as the conference has seven non-conference games against Power Five opponents. Oklahoma hosts Tennessee (8 ET, ABC), Iowa State travels to Iowa (3:30 ET, ESPN) and Texas Tech faces off with Arkansas (3:30 ET, ABC) in games that could help solidify the conference as the third-best in the nation.

The conference power rankings are a formula that equally weighs the rankings from the AP Poll and ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) in order to determine the best and worst conferences in the country. For more information on the rankings and FPI, click here and here.


Week 2 statements can be deceiving

September, 8, 2014
Sep 8
10:30
AM ET
Each college football season is a whodunit. Or, more accurately, it's a "who-will-do-it." It contains plot twists and turns, false leads and subtle clues about how things will play out. It's basically a 14-chapter potboiler, so if we seemed to have a couple of big reveals in Chapter 2, we should greet them with equanimity. Even skepticism.

No. 3 Oregon made the biggest national statement so far this season with a 46-27 victory against No. 7 Michigan State. The Ducks answered questions about their ability to match up with an elite physical defense and established their legitimacy. That quarterback Marcus Mariota turned in a tour de force for the Ducks further validates the preseason feeling that he was the Heisman Trophy front-runner. Also getting a hole punched in their validation cards were Ducks coach Mark Helfrich and new defensive coordinator Don Pellum.

[+] EnlargeRoyce Freeman
Phil Ellsworth/ESPN ImagesWe shouldn't punch Oregon's ticket to the College Football Playoff just yet.
Meanwhile, USC and new coach Steve Sarkisian also answered questions, though the Trojans' 13-10 triumph at Stanford was pretty much a quasi-comic thriller unto itself. For one, there's USC athletic director Pat Haden, who has never previously merited a rating on the wacko scale, apparently deciding there was some wisdom in his engaging the officials for all to see. Yes, a former USC quarterback, Rhodes Scholar and 61-year-old member of the College Football Playoff selection committee apparently didn't think making a spectacle of himself would turn out badly.

As for football, the Trojans won a second consecutive nail-biter over the Cardinal, propelling themselves into the top 10, They won in large part because Stanford couldn't get out of its own way. The Cardinal had nine drives inside the Trojans’ 35-yard line but scored just 10 points, which almost seems mathematically impossible. That red zone ineptitude would be notable for any team, but it's even more stunning when you consider Stanford's well-established reputation for disciplined, bruising, efficient play.

Nonetheless, the victory made the Trojans the second-highest rated team in the Pac-12 in both major polls. Two weeks into the season, one might call them the South Division favorite and most likely team to challenge the Ducks.

But what of USC's friends from Westwood, UCLA, the previous holder of both those designations? The Bruins improved to 2-0, but only after an unimpressive performance in an anxious 42-35 victory against lightly regarded Memphis. They continued a tumble in national estimation, falling from a preseason ranking of No. 7 to No. 12 in the latest AP poll. In Week 1 at Virginia, the Bruins' offense, particularly the line, appeared hapless. In Week 2, the defense took the day off.

UCLA is a cipher. The Bruins look good on paper -- the depth chart suggests no obvious deficiencies -- but have not looked good on turf, at least thus far. They remain unbeaten but are presently the most deserving owner of the dreaded "overrated" label. They could turn out to be the Chapter 1 good guys who end up as heels. Or the opposite. They could be lying in wait, bland and unimpressive, before leaping out of the shadows to make their heroic flourish. Feel free, by the way, to put your own spin on coach Jim Mora's brief postgame interview in which he said he liked his defense "a lot," before frumping off, leaving reporter and audience hanging.

In the preseason, there was some hope that UCLA's game with Texas on Saturday in Cowboys Stadium would be revealing. While expectations weren't terribly high for the Longhorns under first-year coach Charlie Strong, there were reasonable projections this game at least would be a matchup of ranked teams. But Texas is battling growing pains, as well as injuries and suspensions, under Strong. It just got whipped for a second consecutive season by BYU, so the Longhorns look like more of a banana peel than a national stepping-stone for the Bruins.

If UCLA loses, it probably will fall out of the Top 25, going from vogue pick for CFP semifinalist to unranked within three weeks. If it wins, most will shrug and point to the Sept. 25 date at Arizona State, a Thursday night showdown between South Division contenders, as a true measuring stick for whether the Bruins merit our preseason gushing.

This skepticism, however, carries little more authority than everyone's present approbation of Oregon. It's just fickle words, really. Fodder for the daily grind of sports fandom, this week's topic. In December, Oregon's 2-0 might not end up being any more meaningful than UCLA's 2-0. Further, UCLA at 4-0, no matter how it got there, would probably rework its popular descriptive term from "overrated" to "opportunistic."

In other words, our present takes are no more than hunches. These are educated hunches based on tangible evidence, but we all know tangible evidence often has a brief shelf life in college football. Oregon, USC and UCLA have made statements about themselves through Week 2, and it's inevitable that we react to what has been said.

That doesn't mean we won't be breaking down a rematch between Arizona State and Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game when the regular season ends.

Pac-12 morning links

September, 8, 2014
Sep 8
8:00
AM ET
Look at you, member of the honor roll, assistant to the assistant manager of the movie theater. I'm tellin' ya, Rat, if this girl can't smell your qualifications, then who needs her. Right?

Leading off

Week 2 is in the books. And as we'll do each Monday, here's a quick look back at the games. Rank 'em

The latest rankings are out and five Pac-12 teams are among the top 16. Click here for Kyle Bonagura's summary and a super snazzy video with Brett McMurphy explaining his thought process on how he votes. Everyone has their own belief structure on how they should vote. I tend to lean more toward the McMurphy approach. Also, some good stuff in the video about Oregon.

Here are the latest rankings, with the AP rank first and the coaches poll second:
  • Oregon 2-4
  • USC 9-10
  • UCLA 12-12
  • Stanford 15-16
  • ASU 16-14

Also receiving votes in the AP poll are Washington, Utah and Arizona. Washington, Arizona and Oregon State are receiving votes in the coaches poll.

Oregon re-quacktions (it's Monday, laugh a little)

You might have heard the Ducks had a pretty big win over the weekend. It vaulted them to No. 2 in the AP ranking and earned them 16 first-place votes. Here are some takeaways from what folks are saying.
  • First off, is this guy the best ever at Oregon?
 
Writes Dodd:
Oregon needed to suffer. It needed to come from behind. It needed to hit and be hit. It needed to stare down this steely-eyed invader from across the land. It needed to win a game like this because it had never played a game like this.
News/notes/team reports

Early Offer: B1G's losses will hurt 

September, 7, 2014
Sep 7
10:23
PM ET
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting news across the country. Today’s offerings: Ohio State and Michigan State likely won’t see any effects of their defeat’s this weekend, but two Big Ten recruiting coordinators believe others like Michigan, Purdue and Northwestern could be hurt by the non-conference losses. Plus, USC should be able to gain some momentum against Stanford after beating the Cardinal. We also continue our tour of the top recruiting happenings on social media.


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Pac-12 bowl projections: Week 2

September, 7, 2014
Sep 7
8:00
PM ET
We have twice as much data to work with than a week ago, but let's not kid ourselves with this: Trying to accurately project bowl games during the first week of September is a fool's errand.

At this point, you can really put everyone outside of Oregon, Colorado and Washington State in a bag, draw them out randomly and make valid points to why that random order makes sense.

If you agree with the order, cool. If you don't, you're probably justified.

College Football Playoff: Oregon
Fiesta Bowl: USC
Valero Alamo Bowl: UCLA
National University Holiday Bowl: Stanford
San Francisco Bowl: ASU
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Arizona
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Utah
Cactus Bowl: Washington
Heart of Dallas Bowl*: Oregon State
*-At large

Best of the visits: Pac-12

September, 7, 2014
Sep 7
4:07
PM ET
[+] EnlargeSeth Green and Taj Griffin
Courtesy of Seth Green's familyThe Ducks had a good showing for 2016 target Seth Green and Oregon commit Taj Griffin.
When it comes to visit weekends in the Pac-12, Oregon stole the show on Saturday, as no Pac-12 program brought in as many big-time recruits to witness an atmosphere as impactful as the one provided by the Ducks. While part of that was due to the opponent and the buildup surrounding the game, Oregon capitalized on hosting an impressive group of recruits, making a statement with both the 2015 and 2016 classes. Also represented in this look at the best visits of the weekend is Utah's big win against Fresno State and UCLA's closer-than-expected victory over Memphis.

Green visits the green and gold
While Oregon had a number of official visitors from the 2015 class, the Ducks also hosted 2016 ESPN 300 quarterback Seth Green on an unofficial visit. Green was able to take a photo of himself with Taj Griffin, an Oregon running back commit and ESPN 300 recruit. Green also tweeted, "Where great teams go to die" #WTD, a reference to a story written in the Michigan Daily in 2003, after No. 3 Michigan visited Autzen Stadium and lost to the Ducks.

Locked in to Oregon

The Ducks hosted ESPN 300 defensive backs Marvell Tell and Micah Abernathy over the weekend, and likely received some significant help in recruiting them from committed safety P.J. Locke. In fact, the Ducks had at least three committed recruits on campus for official visits this weekend, as Locke and offensive lineman Brady Aiello (pictured in Locke's tweet, below) were joined by offensive tackle Calvin Throckmorton.
Utes host big in-state target

It's always a positive thing when a significant in-state target spends a Saturday on campus, so Utah coaches had to be happy that mammoth offensive tackle prospect Brandon Bowen took in the Utes' thrashing of Fresno State. Bowen holds offers from several Pac-12 programs, including Colorado, Oregon State and Washington State, but Utah appears to be in solid position.
Bisharat sees slugfest

While wide receivers love watching wide open offenses, it's likely that a 6-foot-2, 200-pound running back, such as 2016 recruit Beau Bisharat, enjoyed what he saw from Stanford and USC on Saturday, as running games took center stage in a low-scoring affair. Bisharat, who holds early Pac-12 offers from Cal, Colorado and Washington State, tweeted a photo of his view of the game.
Unfortunately for the Cardinal, who dropped a heartbreaker, 13-10, Bisharat followed that tweet later in the day by retweeting USC defensive backs coach Keith Heyward, who took a picture of the scoreboard following the game.

Martin sees more than just a game

For 2016 ESPN 300 offensive lineman Frank Martin, Saturday night didn't just result in the memories of an entertaining game between UCLA and Memphis. The big tackle and No. 166 overall prospect also finished the night by earning his 10th offer, this one coming from the Bruins.

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