When Chris Petersen spoke out early last week about not liking how many late games his Huskies were playing, he never could have imagined how much flack he would catch from ESPN.
ESPN, which was televising last Saturday night’s 7:45 p.m. kickoff against California, took exception, apparently, even though Petersen said nothing specific about the network.
Still, the ESPN announcers at the game went out of their way to basically call Petersen names when talking about him.
“So 38-7 for Washington, an impressive performance,” play-by-play guy Mark Jones said in the fourth quarter. “And maybe this will assuage the irascible and somewhat cantankerous head coach, Chris Petersen.”
They even did a spot on Washington’s nonconference schedule and called it cupcake city, showing actual cupcakes on the field.
Guess they needed something to talk about because of how dominant the Huskies were in blowing out the Golden Bears.
That kept Washington as the unanimous No. 1 in this week’s power rankings.
The Huskies have yet another late start (7:45 p.m.) when they hit the road to take on an Arizona State team coming off a bye. The last time the Huskies faced a team that had a bye was on the road against Oregon State and they struggled in the first half, leading just 7-0 at the half before breaking it open in the third quarter.
Washington State remained No. 2 with a 33-10 at undermanned Oregon and played at California on Friday night.
Stanford jumped to a tie for No. 3 after going to previously undefeated Utah and getting out of Salt Lake City with a 23-20 win, thanks in large part to Bryce Love, who appears virtually unstoppable.
The Cardinal host Oregon in an 8 p.m. start on The Farm.
USC rebounded from its loss at Washington State with a less-than-impressive victory at home over Oregon State to tie for No. 3 with Stanford. USC and Utah (No. 5) square off in the Coliseum this week.
UCLA hits the road after a bye and faces an Arizona team that looks like it could be on the rise after a big road win at Colorado despite losing starting quarterback Brandon Dawkins early.
No fear, backup Khalil Tate went crazy, rushing for an FBS quarterback rushing record 327 yards and throwing for 142 more on 11-for-12 passing in a 45-42 win.
The Wildcats jumped from No. 11 to No. 6.
In a battle of teams looking for their first conference win, Colorado travels to Oregon State.
Here’s a look at Gameday’s rankings this week:
1. Washington (60 points, 6-0, 3-0, last week 1): Huskies shut down another inferior opponent and cruised to a win over California. In three Pac-12 games, the defense has allowed just 17 points, not counting Cal’s fumble recovery for a touchdown.
2. Washington State (54 points, 6-0, 3-0 last week 2): Cougars started slowly but pulled away to knock off Oregon in first road game and remain undefeated. Washington State back was at California on Friday.
3t. Stanford (48 points, 4-2, 3-1, last week 4): Stop if you have heard this before – Cardinal get another big game from running back Bryce Love. Love has been the offense and has Stanford in the hunt for North division title.
3t. USC (48 points, 5-1, 3-1 Pac-12, last week 3): Trojans may have knocked off Oregon State but sure didn’t look like a team that was picked to challenge for a College Football Playoff spot. Big battle with Utah this week.
5. Utah (40 points, 4-1, 1-1, last week 5): Utes took one on the chin at home and must regroup quickly with a road trip to USC. A bounce-back win would out Utah in the early driver’s seat for South division title.
6. Arizona (30 points, 3-2, 1-1, last week 11): Wildcats picked up a huge road win thanks to backup quarterback Tate, who was named the Pac-12’s offensive player of the week. Arizona close to being undefeated in Pac-12 play.
7. UCLA (28 points, 3-2, 1-1, last week 6): Bruins coming off a bye and hit the road to face an Arizona team playing with some confidence.
8t. Oregon (23 points, 4-2, 1-2, last week 7): Ducks hung tough early but the offense was dead in the water with a true freshman at quarterback. Oregon must contend with Stanford’s run game this week,
8t. Arizona State (23 points, 3-3, 2-1, last week 9): Sun Devils coming off a bye and face a Washington defense that has not given up much this season.
10. Colorado (16 points, 3-3, 0-3, last week 8): The Pac-12 South champs from a year ago have started 0-3 in conference play and are all but out of the hunt for a repeat trip to title game.
11. California (15 points, 3-3, 0-3, last week 10): Golden Bears have fallen hard since that 3-0 start. Cal hasn’t been able to slow Oregon or Washington the past two weeks and played at potent Washington State on Friday.
12. Oregon State (5 points, 1-5, 0-3, last week 12): Missed opportunities early cost the Beavers against USC. Defense has surrendered 25 touchdowns this season, 11 more than UCLA and Arizona State.