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Mr Pac-10’s Weekly Review

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Sep 12, 2010


Collegefootballnews’ Matthew Smith Reviews all the Pac-10 Games, Week Two

Rising:
Stanford: They showed up huge, winning a blowout on the road against UCLA.
Cal: They just took Colorado behind the woodshed all game long.
Oregon: They struggled for a half, but in the end won in dominant fashion.
Washington: They struggled for a half, but in the end won in convincing fashion.

Hovering:
Arizona: Solid showing, against a AA team.
Washington St: Well, they won…

Falling:
Arizona St: Struggled way too long against NAU. The competition is about to get a LOT harder for the Sun Devils.
USC: A very poor showing by the Trojans against a Virginia team they should have been much better than.
UCLA: Just a totally awful effort by the Bruins.

Stanford (-6) 35, @ UCLA 0
my pick: Stanford 31, @ UCLA 17

What to take from this:
If you’re Stanford:
Given Stanford’s road woes over the past few years, even a nail-biter win at UCLA would have been cause for celebration. Instead the Cardinal annihilated the Bruins, moving the ball at will on offense and basically shutting UCLA down on defense. This was the win that served notice to the league that this is a real Rose Bowl contender.

If you’re UCLA: If last week’s Kansas St loss was worrying and cause for alarm, this one was cause for absolute panic. Bad enough simply to have lost, with a brutal set of games left to play and bowl hopes slim. Far worse was the way they lost, getting dominated in all phases of the game. There is not a single meaningful thing I can say positive about this effort. This was a truly awful showing by the Bruins, who now look like the Pac-10’s clear #9 team. Other than Washington St, there isn’t a single team that they can beat unless they find a way to start playing a whole lot better.

Oregon (-11.5) 48, @ Tennessee 13
my pick: Oregon 34, @ Tennessee 13

What to take from this:
The final score looks fantastic, and to be honest this game shows that even if the Ducks don’t play well for a whole game, they can not just win but dominate while only really getting on track for a quarter to a half when things are going well. And that’s a very good thing.

But it also showed that they can be vulnerable to a power running team, that their offense can be slowed or stopped by a good defense (which Tennessee looked like at times), and that overall this team can definitely be beat. All things considered, winning a blowout in their first road game of the year in very hostile territory was a good achievement, but it still showed some vulnerabilities. The Ducks remain the Rose Bowl favorite, but there are some chinks in the armor. A repeat league title won’t be easy.

@ Cal (-10) 52, Colorado 7
my pick: @ Cal 28, Colorado 20

What to take from this:
Colorado really wasn’t as bad as Cal made them look in this game. Cal blew the doors off of the Buffaloes, tearing things up on offense and forcing five turnovers on defense. There are some things to nitpick, like Vereen getting less than 60 yards on less than 4 ypc, but overall this was an extremely dominant showing against what ought to be at least a mediocre opponent. We’ll learn more about this Cal team next week when they travel to a possibly good Nevada team (who still hasn’t played anyone decent and who may or may not have a competent defense). But for now, this was a very nice step in the right direction.

@ USC (-19.5) 17, Virginia 14
my pick: @ USC 35, Virginia 13

What to take from this:
It’s time to worry in Los Angeles. This was a home game against a Virginia team that had to travel cross-country, play a very late kickoff, and that was supposed to be the ACC’s worst team. And the Trojans barely held on to win. Week one struggles against Hawaii can be written off due to the travel, young players learning their roles and playing their way into the system, or a flat-out fluke. Doing it again in week two, when USC still hasn’t played a top 60 opponent, is a real problem. This isn’t a team that can just turn it on and dominate, and they’re going to lose a couple (maybe more) this year. This is not the Pac-10’s best team… and they may not even be close.

@ Washington (-13) 41, Syracuse 20
my pick: @ Washington 28, Syracuse 17

What to take from this:
This was a game that the Huskies absolutely, positively had to have, and they got it done. They also looked sharp in the second half, ultimately pulling away and winning by a comfortable margin. However, they also struggled quite a bit in the first half, going into the locker room with only a 3-point lead (which could have been a deficit had Syracuse gotten points from their two second-quarter drives that made it into Husky territory). Given that this was one of the easiest games on Washington’s schedule, that has to be worrying. If they can play all four quarters against Nebraska like they did in the second half here, they have a legitimate shot at the upset. But they can’t afford the sort of up and down play they showed all game against BYU and in the first half against Syracuse. If they want to make a bowl game, they will need to start playing better football.

@ Washington St (NL) 23, Montana St 22
my pick: @ Washington St 35, Montana St 21

What to take from this:
No matter what else happens, the Cougars won’t go 0-12. Which is good, because the way they’ve played the past two weeks, it’s hard to see another particularly competitive game the rest of the season, much less an actual upset win. This looks like the start to the third straight horrific season in Pullman. I could be wrong, but I’d guess another 1-11 mess with a boatload of blowout losses will mark the end of the Wulff era.

@ Arizona St (NL) 41, Northern Arizona 20
my pick: @ Arizona St 45, NAU 3

What to take from this:
It’s just a AA opponent, so it’s really not that big of a deal. But ASU couldn’t put NAU away until the fourth quarter, which isn’t a good sign given that the schedule is about to get a lot tougher. It’s also not a good sign that the defense got moved on a number of times and gave up 20 points. Maybe it was just playing down to the opponent’s level, but it’s at least potentially a sign of trouble. We’ll know more about this team after they play at Wisconsin.

@ Arizona (NL) 52, Citadel 6
my pick: @ Arizona 45, Citadel 3

What to take from this:
Nothing. No injuries, not a close game, it’s all good.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 8-0 SU, 2-3 ATS
Season: 16-2 SU, 5-7 ATS

National Games of the Week:

@ Ohio St (-8.5) 36, Miami 24
my pick: @ Ohio St 31, Miami 17

@ Alabama (-12) 24, Penn St 3
my pick: @ Alabama 24, Penn St 17

@ Oklahoma (-7) 47, Florida St 17
my pick: @ Oklahoma 28, Florida St 14

Michigan 28 @ Notre Dame (-3.5) 24
my pick: @ Notre Dame 28, Michigan 27

@ South Carolina (-3) 17, Georgia 6
my pick: Georgia 21, @ South Carolina 17

National Games Record:
This Week: 3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS
Season: 6-2 SU, 4-3-1 ATS

Bad Lines

Duke +6 @ Wake
Pushed

Bowling Green +17 @ Tulsa
Covered by 4 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 1-0-1
Season: 1-2-1

Mr Pac-10's 2010 Blog

Questions, comments or suggestions? Email me at cfn_ms@hotmail.com

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