Ranking Pac-12 Football Games In 2012, 70 To 61: Oregon State And Cal Check In

PASADENA CA - NOVEMBER 06: Head Coach Mike Riley of the Oregon State Beavers on the sidelines during a 17-14 loss to the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 6 2010 in Pasadena California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Previous parts of the list: 90-81, 80-71

We're getting to that part of the lineup where games are merely less interesting than others, but can be just as competitive as any other game given the right conditions. Based on the quality of opponent and overall matchups, it might not be as compelling as your regular run-of-the-mill Pac-12 game, but it'll at least be exciting.

70. Colorado at Fresno State, Sept. 15: This game could be a bit of a muckfest between two teams that aren't really threats to do much of anything next season. So it's compelling in the sense that the game could be close. Doubt you'll be circling this one on your calendar, unless you're really into ugly afternoon football in Fresno. If that's your thing, though, I'm totally cool with it.

69. Colorado vs. Colorado State, Sept. 1: Like Colorado-Fresno State, except this is a rivalry game. Not much else to it.

68. Utah at Oregon State, Oct. 20: A middle-of-the season game that for some reason doesn't thrill anyone. The fact that it's in Corvallis should give the Beavers hope, but Utah's defense only surrendered eight points against them last season in a forgettable affair. Even if it's close, it's probably a defensive-minded contest. You'd have to be a purist to really enjoy this one.

67. USC vs. Hawaii, Sept. 1: The Trojans and Rainbow Warriors were involved in a very competitive contest when Lane Kiffin began his tenure and USC started the good old sanctioned life. Hawaii was hanging against the Tampa 2 and torched USC for 36 points.

It'll be compelling to see Norm Chow coach on the sidelines at SC for once, but his offenses haven't done much against the SC front when he was at UCLA and Utah as the OC. Hawaii's scheme might give USC trouble for awhile, but not likely the whole game.

66. Utah at Utah State, Sept. 8: There is some trap game potential here--Utah State can be a feisty team enough on the road, as they nearly beat Auburn last season. Utah is familiar with the Aggies though, and they have generally pummelled them every season. Remote chance of an upset, even if it is on the road in the underrated Merlin Olsen Field.

65. UCLA at Cal, Oct. 6: A new coach should make this contest most interesting, but it's been a long time since the longstanding UC rivals have played a compelling contest. The Bruins won by 17 last year, Cal won by 28, 19, 21 the three years previous. Cal has won by an average of three scores the past four home contests against UCLA.

This is still a pretty great matchup on paper though. And we're still at 65!

64. Oregon State at Arizona, Sept. 22: See? Even this game is exciting!

Oregon State sent Mike Stoops out of the Pac-12, and now their punishment will be getting an offense akin to a prototype of the terror Chip Kelly unleashes on the Beaver defense in the Civil War. Because it's the first month, there is no guarantee what you'll get from either offense, so it could get pretty sloppy in the desert night. It should still be capable of producing a very entertaining match.

63. Cal at Oregon State, Nov. 17: A hangover game where neither team will probably be quite into it, as Cal is coming off their monster game with Oregon and Oregon State has to prepare for the Civil War the upcoming week. The Bears will be playing their twelfth straight week of football, so you'd imagine they'd be pretty ragged going up to Corvallis to conclude the regular season. OSU and Cal have rarely produced memorable contests as of late (the average margin of victory has been three/four scores the last three seasons)

62. Colorado at Washington State, Sept. 22: This was one of the most exciting meaningless games on the schedule last season, as Washington State won with a crucial last minute touchdown. This'll be a crucial bridge to determine how much each of these teams have grown as they both start the Pac-12 season together. What does Mike Leach bring, and can Jon Embree hang with these guys?

61. Cal vs. Nevada, Sept. 1: The Bears return to Memorial Stadium, where they will likely flatten the Wolfpack. Cal did have trouble with the Pistol the last time the played, but that was with Colin Kaepernick and the contest took place in Reno. Nevada has proven they can stay competitive against solid OOC competition on the road though, but there is also the possibility of getting rolled (like they did against Oregon last season).

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