No announcement yet.

Where things stand in the Pac-12 as January comes to an end

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Where things stand in the Pac-12 as January comes to an end

    Originally posted 02-01-21, 11:27 PM

    Tonight's Apple Cup matchup between the Dawgs & Cougs marks the end of January basketball in the conference.

    Heading into February, UCLA (the preseason favorite by many) sits alone on top, with a more-than-two-game lead on every school (other than SC), with theoretically 10 games to play. UCLA can, in theory, be caught; but barring a sweep at the hands of USC, the Bruins will likely finish in first place in the conference.

    USC is alone in 2nd place, a game-and-half behind UCLA, with 11 scheduled conference games to play, including 6 on the road. Since Andy Enfield is now 6-23 in road games in the month of February since arriving at USC, the odds of a 1st place finish are rather dim.

    Oregon, which has finished top 3 in the conference in six of the last nine seasons, is sitting at 4-2 with -- in theory -- fourteen games to play. Because of its second covid pause, Oregon isn't schedule to resume games until Thursday (Feb 4) against Wazzu; its last regular season game will be held on Saturday, March 6 against the Beavers. There are 36 days squeezed in between those two dates, in which -- again, in theory -- Oregon is supposed to play 12 conference games -- totaling 14 games in 38 days. No team in conference history has come close to playing 14 games in 38 days. So I'm suspicious Oregon reaches 20 regular season conference games.

    Meanwhile, over in Boulder, Tad Boyle has now experienced his second Boyle meltdown game in as many weeks. Last season, the Buffs were cruising coming off a big win against SC, 21-6 overall and 10-4 & 1st place in the conference, when the Buffs suddenly lost five games in a row to finish the season, including to Cal, Utah and Wazzu -- all teams outside the KenPom Top 100. I don't get the sense that Colorado will quite collapse like that this season; but .... the Arizona schools are coming to town this week and ... well ... there are reasons to think the Buffs may drop each game.

    Speaking of Arizona, the Wildcats are sitting at 7-4 in conference with home games against Oregon State, Washington and Washington State remaining on the schedule. The Cats have already ruled out the postseason, but don't be surprised if they finish with the second highest total of wins in the conference.

    There are only a couple other teams which really warrant discussing, but one of those is certainly Stanford. The Cardinal have 10 games left on the schedule, including two against Cal, two against the Washington schools and Oregon State at home. Stanford also has the LA schools back in Maples for the first time this season. Stanford has looked like a very strong team on occasion, having notched wins against Alabama, UCLA and twice against Arizona. On the other hand, the personnel situation is so odds; it's tough to know which Stanford team will even be playing.

    The only other school I think worth mentioning is ASU. The Sun Devils have quite a bit of talent, and can still definitely make some noise with 12 games (supposedly) to play. Four of those 12 games have not yet been scheduled, while three others are home games against Oregon State and the Washington schools.