Oregon and Stanford face their most significant road tests so far this season, going on the road to face Washington and Utah in pursuit of breakthrough conference wins. Taking into account the quality of the quarterbacks on display in those games, no result would be a surprise.
Here are all the games involving league teams this week, ranked from worst game to best:
5. California at UCLA, Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Rating: 1.5 stars
The skinny: The Golden Bears delivered one of last season's most confounding results with their 43-17 pummeling of UCLA, but most of the main contributors that delivered the upset -- notably, running back C.J. Anderson and wide receiver Keenan Allen -- will not be playing this time. Even without left tackle Torian White (broken ankle) and with running back Jordon James (ankle) questionable, quarterback Brett Hundley and the Bruins should decimate Cal's decimated defense.
4. Colorado at Arizona State, Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Rating: 1.5 stars
The skinny: The Buffaloes actually played well last week against Oregon, showing the aggression and fearlessness necessary to compete with the Ducks, but they still lost, 56-17. If Colorado can channel that energy into this week's game, it can cause real trouble for Arizona State. Watching freshman linebacker Addison Gillam (49 tackles, six tackles for loss with two sacks) versus Sun Devils running backs Marion Grice and D.J. Foster will be a sneaky entertaining matchup.
3. Stanford at Utah, Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Rating: 3 stars
The skinny: The Cardinal didn't play particularly well on offense in its 31-28 win over Washington, with quarterback Kevin Hogan looking uncharacteristically rattled. Hogan and running back Tyler Gaffney will have to get back on track to hold off the Utes, who nearly overcame six turnovers against UCLA. Utah wide receiver Dres Anderson has topped 100 receiving yards in four straight games but faces an underrated group of Stanford cornerbacks, including Usua Amanam in the slot.
2. Arizona at USC, Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
Rating: 3 stars
The skinny: Ed Orgeron is the first interim head coach in the history of USC football but will probably have to pursue his first win without wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee) and outside linebacker Morgan Breslin (hip). Both teams will load the box to make the suspect passing games win the contest: The Trojans must contain Arizona star running back Ka'Deem Carey, and the Wildcats must contain the trio of Tre Madden, Justin Davis and the returning Silas Redd.
1. Oregon at Washington, Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
Rating: 4 stars
The skinny: Against Stanford last week, Washington's defense showed signs it might be able to slow down the prolific Oregon offense, tackling very well in space. But the biggest key will be capitalizing on quarterback Marcus Mariota's propensity to start slowly. If Mariota is not accurate early and the Huskies can take advantage, how will the Ducks respond if they're dragged into a four-quarter affair? Oregon buckled in its last two close games, against USC in 2011 and Stanford last season, and both games were at home. With Husky Stadium sure to be raucous and UW quarterback Keith Price and running Bishop Sankey playing the best ball of their college careers, that's a proposition Oregon can't afford to test.