We're taking a look at the can't-miss games of the 2013 Pac-12 season. The Ultimate Road Trip continues.
Welcome to Week 6.
Thursday, Oct. 3
UCLA at Utah
Saturday, Oct. 5
Arizona State vs. Notre Dame (in Arlington, Texas)
Oregon at Colorado
Washington at Stanford
Washington State at California
My choice: Washington State at Cal
Why: Variety is the spice of life. And it's time to make this road trip a little spicier by going to a stadium we haven't seen yet this season.
Is Arizona State-Notre Dame the best game of the week? Maybe. And yes, going to Cowboys Stadium would be cool. Maybe it's Stanford hosting Washington, a pair of teams that have traded body shots the last couple of years.
But we're going to switch things up for a couple of reasons. 1) We've seen ASU in consecutive weeks. If the Sun Devils are undefeated, then this game is a lot more compelling and clearly we have made the wrong choice (angry ASU fans can start commenting in 3, 2, 1 ... go). If they have one loss, it's still compelling. If they have gone 0-3 against Wisconsin, Stanford and USC, then it can be bypassed.
And we already made a trip to Stanford in Week 4. Look at a calendar. I promise, we'll be there again.
So we'll go to the East Bay instead. While we can't hit every Pac-12 city on the road trip, we always want to pick a compelling game, and this provides us a good opportunity to swing through Berkeley for what has the potential to be a thrilling, high-scoring affair. It's possible that kickoff times will allow for a Cal/Stanford double-dipping -- a rare feat accomplished last year with Oregon State at Stanford and Oregon at Cal. And if you're really big time, you could start off with Thursday's UCLA at Utah -- the Utes no doubt still relishing their Holy War victory after a bye in Week 5 -- and make the 11-hour drive on Friday to Cal.
But back to this game. There's something to be said for the teacher vs. student storyline: Air Raid vs. Bear Raid. Sonny Dykes has repeatedly said that his offensive philosophy was forged during his time at Texas Tech under Mike Leach.
Five years from now, is this going to be the new guard of the Pac-12 North? Maybe. Both teams have -- potentially -- very exciting offenses. Both teams have deep and talented, though youthful, wide receiving corps. Both teams are going to chuck the ball around. A lot.
For kicks: Predictions on the over-under for combined passing yards and passing attempts? 900 passing yards? 100 passing attempts?
This may not be the most impactful game of the week. And other than bragging rights in the brutal north, it probably won't have too much bearing on the division's outcome. Are there higher-stakes games this week? Sure. But if you're a fan of offense, this one could be a back-and-forth track meet. And it should be a lot of fun.
You can see the rest of the road trip here. So far, six weeks, six different cities. (Fair warning, we've got some repeat cities coming up).