Mr Pac-10's Weekly Review

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Oct 7, 2010

Collegefootballnews' Matthew Smith Reviews all the Pac-10 Games, Week Five

Oregon: A great game from a team that should now control their national title destiny.
Washington: Huge bounce-back performance by the Huskies.
Washington St: A surprisingly competitive game.

Oregon St: Didn't look great, but they won.
Arizona St: Didn't look that bad, but they lost.

Stanford: Had some good from the game, but still a 21-point loss.
UCLA: Really didn't look great, but at least they won.
USC: A really bad showing by the Trojans.

@ Oregon (-7) 52, Stanford 31
my pick: @ Oregon 35, Stanford 31

What to take from this:
If you're Stanford:

The Cardinal visited one of the best teams in the country, in one of the most hostile environments in the country, and came pretty darn close to pulling the upset. They suffered a surprise onsides, a devastating injury to Owusu, substantial team fatigue (they really faded late, especially on the line), and yet the game wasn't over until around the middle of the fourth quarter. Obviously they wanted the win, but this was still a quality performance for three quarters (not really so good in the fourth), and a sign that this is still one of the league's best teams. That said, this was still a 21-point loss. They can't afford to let things collapse late again like they did in this game.
If you're Oregon:

To be honest, I think this is the game that really vaults the Ducks into obvious national title contention. I could be wrong, but I think they control their own destiny. Yes, Alabama is #1 and will stay there until they lose, but they should eventually jump Ohio St (down Big Ten, three cupcake non-conference game), and they've already jumped everyone else. Oh yeah, they also played really well, and showed great toughness when faced with the adversity of being down 21-3. Chip Kelly made a fantastic call with the surprise onsides. And once again, this team only got better as the game went on.

@ Oregon St (-3.5) 31, Arizona St 23
my pick: @ Oregon St 31, Arizona St 23

What to take from this:
If you're Arizona St:

Once again the Sun Devils were their own worst enemy. This was a completely winnable game, but they blew it with penalties and especially turnovers. You can't beat anyone decent when you're -3 in turnover margin, especially on the road. There'll be a game or two when ASU plays mistake-free, or at least close to that, and they'll look fantastic when that happens. But the rest of the time, this is going to be a long, frustrating season. Threet is an interception machine, and they just don't have any other real options at QB.
If you're Oregon St:

The good news is that they won the game. The bad news is that ASU handed it to them more than they really won it themselves. The Beavers showed against TCU and Boise that they're good enough to hang with top teams, but they also showed against Louisville and now ASU that they're not good enough to put away teams that they're supposed to be better than. To be honest, this is looking more and more like a mid-level Pac-10 team to me as opposed to a serious Rose, or even Alamo Bowl contender.

Washington 32, @ USC 31 (-10)
my pick: @ USC 35, Washington 21

What to take from this:
If you're Washington:

This team is alive again. Locker had a great game, the defense did just enough, and the Huskies walked away with their biggest road win in a very long time. Certainly there are still issues, but they're light-years better than where they were against BYU and Nebraska. Time will tell how much of this win was them getting much better in the bye week, and how much was USC being overrated, but at the least a good chunk of it was the first one. True, it's too early to celebrate too much, but there's legitimate hope again for this season.
If you're USC:

This team is in trouble. A blowout win at Wazzu indicated that things might finally be getting a lot better, but this game proved that this team just isn't going to be elite, or likely anywhere close. This is most likely a 9-3 or 8-4 team, and possibly worse. The defense can't stop a decent offense, and the offense couldn't do enough in this one. Bradford is carrying this team as much as he can, but without a lot more help, it just isn't enough.

@ UCLA (-27) 42, Washington St 28
my pick: @ UCLA 38, Washington St 7

What to take from this:
If you're Washington St:

This was a small step forward. I'm starting to get the sense that this team is capable of competing against a mediocre opponent that doesn't bring the "A" game and that commits bad mistakes, which is a big upgrade over what I'd previously thought. They've now done this twice, against both SMU and UCLA. No, they're not likely to win another game, but they could have a couple more reasonably competitive efforts along the way.
If you're UCLA:

Blame this on the Prince injury, the letdown factor, and not taking the Cougars seriously. At least, that's the hope. Ultimately, this effort won't define the Bruins' season even slightly, though it is a worrisome sign, especially on defense. However, what matters most is the upcoming 4-game stretch against Cal, Oregon, Arizona and Oregon St. They absolutely must get at least one of those games to have any kind of reasonable postseason hopes. As long as Prince stays healthy and this defensive effort was an aberration, that seems doable.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 3-1 SU, 0-4 ATS
Season: 33-5 SU, 13-18 ATS

National Games of the Week:

@ Alabama (-8) 31, Florida 6
my pick: @ Alabama 21, Florida 17

Oklahoma (-3.5) 28, Texas 20
my pick: Oklahoma 28, Texas 27

@ Iowa (-7) 24, Penn St 3
my pick: @ Iowa 28, Penn St 17

@ Michigan St 34, Wisconsin (-2) 24
my pick: @ Michigan St 28, Wisconsin 24

National Games Record:
This Week: 4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS
Season: 13-4 SU, 8-8-1 ATS

Bad Lines

Virginia +7 vs Florida St
Missed by 13 points

East Carolina +14 @ UNC
Missed by 11 points

Army +6 vs Temple
Missed by 1 points

Hawaii -8 vs Louisiana Tech
Covered by 12 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 1-3
Season: 4-12-2

Mr Pac-10's 2010 Blog

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