3/27/2014 1:59:38 AM
This week’s games (# = ISR)
An example ballot would look like this:
- #27 UW at #49 USC
- #35 ASU at #28 UCLA
- #6 Ore at #38 Stan
- #9 OSU at #168 Ariz
- #129 Utah at #55 Cal
- #161 San Jose State [XSJ] at #106 WSU
- #20 Tennessee [XT] at #3 South Carolina [YSC]
Week 7 Series
- USC 2-1
- UCLA 2-1
- Stan 2-1
- OSU 2-1
- Utah 3-0
- XSJ 2-1
- YSC 2-1
- This week’s top series features upstart Washington (17-5, 5-1), one of three teams tied for first, on the road against a gritty USC (12-10, 3-3). The Trojans took two of three from Stanford last week and the first of three from Oregon the week before, so they can put up a fight. This is their first home conference series. UW proved they can win on the road in warm weather, taking the series from ASU in Tempe opening weekend.
- We have another pair of good, evenly matched opponents in ASU (13-10, 3-3) at UCLA (15-8, 5-1). The Devils grabbed the last two games in Corvallis and look to have quality arms to match with the Bruins as well. UCLA struggled mightily against Wazzu at home last weekend but came away with two wins. ASU could provide a stiffer challenge.
- Oregon (18-6, 5-1) makes its first road trip in conference, taking on Stanford at Sunken Diamond. The Ducks won both their first two series, against USC and Utah, but they had difficulty scoring runs against the Utes, winning by a combined score of 8-2. They might need to score more than that to beat the Cardinal, who hit and pitch better than Utah. Stanford lost its opening conference series at home last week, after a week off for school stuff, but I’d guess they might have the kinks out of their system by Friday.
- After a disappointing home series loss to ASU, Oregon State (19-5, 4-2) travels to Tucson to try to move their all-time record against the Arizona Wildcats (11-16, 1-5) out of negative territory. (They are within three games of doing so, I think.) This looks like our upset special, as Arizona is playing terribly. Their ISR is the lowest of the conference, and they are five games below .500 overall. They do have a convincing win over Mississippi State, however, and still lead the league in batting, so they are not without some pop. OSU nearly matches them in the offensive categories; moreover, the Beavers’ pitching is superior. (I will probably go to one of these games...Saturday, most likely, if Rowdy or anyone else is going to be there.)
- The winless wonders play each other, and at least one of them will come away winless no more. Utah (9-14, 0-6), hardluck cases who had the misfortune of opening against OSU and Oregon, travels to the Bay to face Cal (11-12, 0-3), losers of three straight to UCLA on opening weekend. This could be a good close series. Despite Cal’s remarkably high ISR, their team numbers are in the cellar...with Utah’s. In fact, they are neck and neck in BA (10, 11), slugging (9, 11), OBP (11, 10), runs (9, 11), and hits (10, 9). Cal’s pitching numbers are slightly better than Utah’s, but not enough to warrant high hopes. Well, they are playing at home.
- Our OOC series has San Jose State (7-18, 4-8 MWC) traveling to Pullman to battle Wazzu (9-12, 3-3). The Cougars, after a disappointing start in nonconference play, put the wood on Arizona in Tucson and clawed at UCLA, nearly taking that series as well. This could be their tune-up series before welcoming California the following weekend. The Spartans have a few quality wins (SDSU, UCSB, Nevada, New Mexico, UNLV), but those are lost within lost series, so maintaining the winning way is not their easy for them.
- For our non-Pac series, we head back to the SEC. The East Division features a FIVE-WAY TIE for first, and two of those teams are Tennessee (19-4, 3-3) and South Carolina (21-3, 3-3). Former Fullerton coach Dave Serrano looks to be finally getting the Vols where people expected, as Tennessee opened the season with 12 straight wins before losing on to ASU. They lost the series to Auburn on he road last weekend. The Gamecocks started with their own unbeaten streak of 16 games and were once ranked first in the country by many polls. They too lost their series last weekend, at Kentucky. But they host the Vols this weekend. [BTW, many call SoCar USCe (for “east”) and Southern Cal USCw (for “west”), but I can’t do that. SoCar in my book. However, for abbreviations, I thought YSC would be appropriate. USC stands for “University” and YSC stands for “Yallniversity”. ]