Here are some news and notes from around the Pac-12 title game:
Teams meet twice in a season all the time in the NFL, but it rarely happens in college. So does a second meeting benefit the winner or the loser of the first game? Stanford SB Nation site Rule of Tree asked that question and came up with this interesting, if inconclusive fact: since 1999, teams that won the regular season meeting are 15-9 in conference title game rematches.
Stanford will be hoping for SEC-type results, where the regular season winner is 5-1 in the title game rematch. On the other hand, UCLA will be hoping for ACC-type results. In that conference, the loser of the regular season game is 2-2 in the rematch.
Another plot line to consider is that UCLA coach Jim Mora comes from the NFL, where playing a team twice happens every season with divisional opponents. Mora doesn't think that gives him an advantage. "I don't know that it benefits either team or is hard on either team," Mora said. "Any familiarity we'll have with them, they'll have with us. It kind of negates each other."
For the record, when Mora's teams played twice in a season during his NFL career, they swept four times in 13 tries.
UCLA LB Anthony Barr will be on tight end patrol against Stanford
UCLA LB Anthony Barr is usually terrorizing quarterbacks, but against Stanford on Saturday, he was assigned to stop the tight ends. Barr can expect more of that in the Pac-12 title game, according to the Los Angeles Times. "That's what they've asked me to do, so that's what I'm going to do," Barr said. The Stanford tight end duo of Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo has combined for 10 of the Cardinal's 18 touchdown catches this season, but they were kept out of the end zone in Stanford's 35-17 win over UCLA on Saturday.
Barr's secret for stopping the duo? "I just try to trail them. They are not going to outrun me. I just stay close and don't let them push me around."
Cal coaching news
In other Pac-12 news, the Cal coaching search has intensified. A Cal rep has reached out to an intermediary of Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, according to CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler. Although he hasn't been contacted by Cal, Hue Jackson, the former Raiders coach and current Bengals assistant coach, told the San Jose Mercury News that he would be interested if offered the job. "I'm sure I would -- I see no reason not to," Jackson said when asked if he would welcome a call from Cal.