Mosher’s Pac-12 Football Poll:


  1. Washington State
  2. Washington
  3. Utah
  4. California
  5. Oregon
  6. Arizona State
  7. Stanford
  8. UCLA
  9. USC
  10. Oregon State
  11. Arizona
  12. Colorado


It’s been a crazy conference football season, to say the least. Traditional giants like USC and UCLA have slipped down the scale and the almost annual poster-child for mediocrity is riding high and fast at the top. Washington State’s unexpected rise is being led by graduate transfer Gardner Minshew II, the quarterback with the mustache and an arm that appears to be golden. He threw a school record seven touchdowns Saturday in an utter destruction of Arizona and is poised to lead the Cougars to victory in the Apple Cup over Washington that will be viewed on Fox at 5:30 p.m. this week on Friday from Pullman. The seventh-ranked Cougars are favored for the first time since 2006. The opening-line has them favored by three points, but I’m here to say that they will win by more than that. I don’t see how the Huskies can get enough pressure on Minshew to slow the Air Raid offense down and the Huskies are not as explosive as they were last year when they bolted to a 34-0 lead after three quarters and won 41-14. The winner of the Apple Cup wins the conference South Division and will play Utah, the unexpected champion of the North, for the overall championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl. The Pac-12 championship game will be played Nov. 30 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. at 5 p.m. and will be shown on Fox TV. There already been one coaching firing stemming from this wild conference season. Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre was let go after his team lost to Utah, the sixth straight defeat by the Buffs. The next to go will likely be Clay Helton of USC. Helton did the unthinkable, losing to UCLA last Saturday. Should Washington State win out, which is probable, I would expect coach Mike Leach to get big-time offers from big-time schools, and he’d be a fool not to take one. As for Washington, it loses 22 seniors and will be doing a serious rebuild next season, although with the young talent it has the Huskies may not surprise if they continue to win. If Washington loses to Washington State, I would expect the Huskies to go to the Holiday Bowl that will be played Dec. 31 in San Diego and be televised on Fox.