My Pac-10 roundup in the Wednesday paper will sort of unavoidably jump in on the controversy that arose after Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy used a weekend press conference to unleash screaming criticism at Daily Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson, who had written that Zac Robinson taking the starting quarterback job from Bobby Reid was "less about Robinson's play and more about Reid's attitude."
Interestingly, Pac-10 coaches were all over the map in their opinions of how much their players -- all amateurs, some teenages -- should be subject to public criticism.
Turing to the actual playing field, every Pac-10 team plays another league member this week, highlighted by No. 6 California at No. 11 Oregon. The other games match No. 23 Arizona State at Stanford, UCLA at Oregon State, Washington State at Arizona and No. 1 Southern California at Washington.
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Notes from around the league:
ARIZONA: The Wildcats are allowing an average of 29.5 points per game, a figure coach Mike Stoops said could remain higher than usual because "this is probably the most talented group of offensive players in the Pac-10 ever assembled."
USC: Coach Pete Carroll hinted that his school is about to make a major announcement regarding improved facilities. He conceded the obvious: USC's relatively outdated facilities haven't notably stunted his program's success. However, he added, "It's most important to take care of the athletes in the best way that's possible."
UCLA: Coach Karl Dorrell announced that Ben Olson will start at quarterback this week. Olson had sat out the Washington game due to concussion-like symptoms. However, he will return to the job this week, replacing Patrick Cowan, who suffered a knee ligament tear against the Huskies.
OREGON: Coach Mike Bellotti expressed "great pride" in former Oregon coach Rich Brooks' success at Kentucky, which is 4-0 and 14th ranked. "He did that here at Oregon," Bellotti said. "He took a program at the bottom and brought it up." … The Ducks lead the Pac-10 in scoring offense and total offense. Bellotti divided the success between new offensive coordinator Chip Kelly and the players, saying Kelly inherited "a tremendously talented group" and has "taken it to another level."
CALIFORNIA: For two offensive teams, Cal and Oregon have combined for only 85 points in their last two games at Autzen Stadium. Cal coach Jeff Tedford said rainy Oregon weather is partly responsible. However, the forecast for this weekend calls for clear skies and temperatures around 70. … ESPN GameDay will originate from Eugene on Saturday, and Tedford said that is a good thing for the conference, adding that he hopes the show also visits the Cal campus soon.
OREGON STATE: Coach Mike Riley said sophomore quarterback Sean Canfield was far better in the loss this week to Arizona State than he had been in an earlier loss at Cincinnati. "We've just got to help him," he said. "We've got to coach him, and he has to make better throws." Riley said the offense went nowhere in Cincinnati while it moved against Arizona State until "turnovers killed us."
ARIZONA STATE: New coach Dennis Erickson was pleased but cautious about his team's ascension to No. 23 nationally. "We've only played four games, so it's just so hard to tell," he said. "The thing that has happened is the players are buying in to what we're doing offensively and defensively and on special teams."
WASHINGTON STATE: Coach Bill Doba noted that in the Cougars first four games, they "won the ones they were supposed to (San Diego State and Idaho), but didn't compete as well as I hoped in the other two (Wisconsin and USC)." WSU's game Saturday at Arizona is the first where neither team rates as a significant favorite.