Football hotbed: Oregon
In this week's AP Top 25, seven states account for 14 ranked teams. Oregon is the most distinguished state in the Football Bowl Subdivision, with two of its schools in the top 10.
Oregon (7-0) is No. 2 and Oregon State (6-0) is No. 7 and we're not even 30 years removed from the 1983 season, when the Ducks and Beavers posted a combined 6-14-2 record and played to a 0-0 tie in the Civil War.
Oregon State's 6-0 record is surprising, considering the Beavers went 8-16 over the previous two seasons. But in 2009, the rivals met with the winner promised a Rose Bowl bid. Oregon won 37-33.
The Nov. 24 game in Corvallis could have high stakes, determining the Pac-12 North's contestant in the conference championship game.
States with two ranked teams in the AP Top 25:
Oregon • Oregon (No. 2), Oregon State (No. 7)
Florida • Florida (No. 3), Florida State (No. 11)
California • USC (No. 10), Stanford (No. 19)
Louisiana • LSU (No. 6), Louisiana Tech (No. 24)
South Carolina • Clemson (No. 14), South Carolina (No. 17)
Ohio • Ohio State (No. 9), Ohio (No. 23)
Texas • Texas Tech (No. 15), Texas A&M (No. 22)
Undefeated and unseated
Oregon State junior quarterback Cody Vaz may conclude his career with a unique record: victories over BYU and Utah in his only two starts. Coach Mike Riley is going back to sophomore Sean Mannion, who had knee surgery two weeks ago and missed those games, although he was available against Utah.
Vaz played much better against BYU than Utah, so there's hardly any controversy in Corvallis about Mannion's returning Saturday at Washington. "We just decided to go with him, but it was not easy," Riley said.
The benefit to Mannion's injury was Vaz's proving himself as a capable backup. "We would never even blink about playing him," Riley said.
The run stops here
A week after rushing for 318 yards against Washington State, Cal was held to 3 net yards on 28 carries against Stanford. That's 3.86 inches per attempt.
Four sacks for minus-24 yards altered Cal's statistics, but 24 rushing plays netted only 27 yards.
Cottonwood High School product Isi Sofele recorded 13 yards on 10 carries, and no Cal running back gained more than 4 yards on any carry.
"It's what most people set out to do on defense sometimes you can do it, sometimes you can't," said Stanford coach David Shaw.
Some of Cal's running plays appeared promising, Shaw said, "but we had one guy beat his block."
Stanford is now No. 4 nationally in rushing defense, allowing 77 yards per game, while having faced the likes of USC and Notre Dame.
There's an explanation for USC quarterback Matt Barkley's completing 19 of 20 passes against Colorado: One of his passes was dropped. Running back Curtis McNeal bobbled a short toss before dropping it, ruining an otherwise perfect day as Barkley threw for 298 yards and six touchdowns.
Aside from that drop, "Guys were making big plays for him," said coach Lane Kiffin.
His passing efficiency rating was an astronomical 319.16, a Pac-12 record. "It didn't surprise me, what he was able to do, because he's that kind of guy," said Colorado coach Jon Embree.
Barkley attempted only three passes in the second half, as Kiffin showed some mercy on the Buffaloes.