Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney sends Washington linebacker Travis… (Stephen Lam / Getty Images )
Unbuckling the mailbag:
Question: (In last week's Washington-Stanford game) What did you think of all the injuries on defense? And how Stanford's medical staff healed them so quickly?
Answer: We've already been through this. Stanford Coach David Shaw said Stanford would never fake injuries.
"We don't condone it, we don't teach it, we don't allow it," Shaw said.
Huskies Coach Steve Sarkisian basically accused Stanford players of faking injuries to slow down his team's up-tempo offense. Sarkisian even called out Stanford assistant Randy Hart, which he should not have done.
Shaw was so peeved, he called the Pac-12 Conference office to complain but no reprimands are expected.
I don't know if Stanford players were faking. I do believe Stanford players have faked injuries. There is video of a Cardinal player obviously feigning at Oregon in 2010. You can see Oregon Coach Chip Kelly telling the official the hobbled player would be back on the very next play. And he was.
Jim Harbaugh, not Shaw, was the head coach then and some Stanford fans have insisted Shaw was talking about present-day Stanford. But that doesn't wash.
Shaw said, "How we play has led to three BCS bowls and a 100% graduation rate."
Problem: Shaw led Stanford to only two of those bowls. He was a Harbaugh assistant on the 2010 team that won the Orange Bowl.
That was the same year Stanford played at Oregon.
Q: How many votes does USC get in next week's polls?
A: USC won't crack my top 25 unless 10 programs drop football over the weekend, but the Trojans could possibly receive some votes in the Associated Press or USA Today polls.
If you look at the order of the "others receiving votes," USC just defeated the No. 34 team in the USA Today coaches' poll. Yippee!
Arizona and Arizona State each received four points in the poll.
USC defeated Arizona and lost to Arizona State while giving up a total of 93 points in the two games.
USC could also pick up some points from Rutgers, which garnered eight points in the poll but lost Thursday at Louisville.
I doubt Trojans fans are going to throw a party if this happens. I can remember a time, in 2003, when USC was included in the category of "Others receiving national championships."
Q: Sark is making you look smart. Many Trojans aren't sold on him and I don't know why.
Warren Bo Daniels Jr.
A: Some USC fans see Sarkisian as a slightly better version of Lane Kiffin; they were co-coordinators on Pete Carroll's staff.
I always thought Sarkisian had more of an "it" factor because he was better suited to the public relations aspect required of a head coach.
I do not think Sarkisian helped himself last week with his postgame remarks after the Stanford loss. It's one thing to fight for your team after a tough loss, but Sark went over the top with his fake-injury allegations and refusal to accept that final instant replay call.
Sarkisian is still young and learning on the job.
Q: Are you saying Oregon's up-tempo will out-duel another team's up-tempo?
A: The Oregon at Washington game intrigues me more than any game on the Saturday schedule.
They say styles make fights in boxing and maybe it's true in football. I'll be fascinated to see whether Washington can keep pace with Oregon.
I wrote this week that trying to keep up with Oregon in football is like getting in a hot-dog-eating contest with Kobayashi. I have since been informed that Joey Chesnut years ago displaced Kobayashi as the hot-dog-eating king of Coney Island.
I told the guy who emailed me he should be ashamed for knowing that.
Baylor is Joey Chesnut because it is averaging 70 points per game to Oregon's 59.
Back to styles make fights: My guess is Washington is much better equipped against a conventional team like Stanford than it is against a school that revolutionized the up-tempo. I'm not sure I would want to try to play faster than Oregon, but I sure want to watch any team that is determined to try.
Q: As a Ducks fan I'll admit to being worried about UW for the first time in nearly a decade.
A: Be comforted by these final scores from the last nine games against Washington, all Oregon wins: 52-21, 34-17, 53-16, 43-19, 44-10, 55-34, 34-14, 45-21, 31-6.
Q: Do we know that (Condoleezza) Rice knows the game, aside from "she aspires to be NFL commish?"
A: Yes. She used to play electric football as a kid but could never get that little foam football to stay on the kicker's foot.
And when she turned on the buzzer, all her players raced off in 22 different directions no matter how well she set up those football figurines on the metal field.
OK, enough of this. Contrary to some blowback from people such as former Auburn coach Pat Dye, it appears Condi Rice knows a lot about football.
She was the only child of a father who was a high school football coach and athletic director in Birmingham. The first thing Kid Condi saw was the football her father had placed in her crib.