The Pac-10 has a 13-3 record against out-of-conference opponents this season, and is getting a lot of love for it.
Meanwhile, the Big Ten is 18-4, but is catching a lot of grief mostly due to Michigan’s two high-profile losses and Wisconsin’s unimpressive win at UNLV.
In any case, Washington — which has done the conference’s reputation a lot of good so far with those wins over teams from the Big East and the best of the WAC — gets another chance to strike a big blow for the conference Saturday when it hosts defending Big Ten champion Ohio State.
We look at that aspect some in the Wednesday paper.
Also, these Pac-10 notes:
OREGON (2-0). Coach Mike Bellotti said the quarterback Dennis Dixon had his best game at Michigan. "He’s more mature and more comfortable in the system," Bellotti said. He added that he doesn’t expect his team to look past Fresno State because of a history of close games between the schools.
STANFORD (0-1). The Cardinal returns to action Saturday against Bay Area rival San Jose State still looking for its first win in its new stadium, which opened last fall. Coach Jim Harbaugh said the San Jose State game has particular significance this season because of the recent death of Bill Walsh, who attended SJSU and coached at Stanford.
ARIZONA (1-1). Quarterback Willie Tuitama three a career-high five touchdowns in the Wildcats win over Northern Arizona.
OREGON STATE (1-1). Coach Mike Riley said quarterback Sean Canfield will retain his starting job. Riley also said receiver Sammie Stroughter "made a decision to (rejoin the team), and I’m glad now in retrospect that he did. … I think that he’ll just get better and better now."
USC (1-0). The Trojans were off last weekend, and coach Pete Carroll said his team has come to like early bye weeks. "It’s kind of a nice thing," he said. "It’s such a big deal to play that first game and then you get to regroup a little bit." Carroll said depth is returning to his tailback position where Chauncey Washington (shoulder) has returned to practice and top freshman Joe McKnight (knee) is returning to form.
UCLA (2-0). Coach Karl Dorrell said defensive end Nikola Dragovic (concussion) has been cleared to practice today. … Dorrell said he will continue his tailback rotation of Chris Markey and Kahlil Bell with continue even though "both those guys are very competitive, they both want to be the starter and they both want to carry the team on their shoulders."
ARIZONA STATE (2-0). Coach Dennis Erickson said he is disappointed that his team was called for eight personal fouls in its victory over Colorado. "If we have penalties it’s going to be because we’re hustling and hitting hard," he said. "But some of those are what I call stupid penalties."
CALIFORNIA (2-0). Coach Jeff Tedford said "against Colorado State we learned … that you can’t take any team lightly." It is a message he may need to stress again this week as the Golden Bears host Louisiana Tech, a low-profile team that took No. 24 Hawaii into overtime Saturday.