Since I'm getting these off before the Thursday game, this week's previews will be shorter than usual.
Arizona St @ Cal (-3)
Preseason Pick: Arizona St
I thought this was a bad spot for Cal at the start of the year and I don't see much of a reason to change my mind. Certainly ASU isn't as good as USC, but they can bring the same sort of gameplan to the table: stop the run, pressure Riley and create turnovers on defense, and do enough on offense to win the game. If ASU wins this game, they're virtually assured of six wins (which could give them a bowl berth depending on how things shake out), and have a reasonable shot at seven. They're going to give this game their best shot, and to be honest I do think they pull off the upset. Cal does play better at home… but in this game it won't be enough.
Arizona St 28, @ Cal 24
UCLA @ Oregon (-24)
Preseason Pick: Oregon
Honestly, it's tough to see this game being competitive. Of course, that's what I'd have said before the Texas game, so you never know, but the Bruins pretty much look outclassed here, a problem that will only be worse if Prince is out for the game (which currently seems likely). However, I'm inclined to think this will be a bit lower-scoring than normal, since both teams had extra time to prep for the other, and since UCLA is going to want to run the ball and grind clock as much as possible (and Oregon hasn't been awesome at stopping that this year). The Ducks will go on a big run at some point, but I'm thinking the end score will look reasonably respectable.
@ Oregon 31, UCLA 10
Washington @ Arizona (-6.5)
Preseason Pick: Arizona
With Nick Foles in, the Wildcats would win this game handily. However, he's gone and Arizona will need to make things work with Matt Scott behind center. He's not bad, but he's also not Nick Foles. And he's up against a defense that has an enormous amount of practice dealing with running QB's, since that's Jake Locker's biggest strength. At home, and with more talent (especially on defense), the Wildcats should still win, but an upset is quite possible and the game should go down to the wire.
@ Arizona 31, Washington 28
Washington St @ Stanford (-35)
Preseason Pick: Stanford
There's not an enormous amount to say on this one. Wazzu is becoming more competitive but Stanford is good enough there's little reason to think this will be much of a game, especially in Palo Alto. Still, 35 points is a lot, so I'd guess the Cougs cover again.
@ Stanford 45, Washington St 13
National Games of the Week:
Oklahoma (-3) @ Missouri
This is a really interesting game. Oklahoma has been up and down, but appears to be getting better, though they're still pretty questionable on the road. Mizzou has been getting hot, but hasn't been tested by a high-level opponent yet, and still has the streak of getting dominated by Oklahoma to deal with. I'm guessing the Sooners pull it out, but it'll be a tough fight.
Oklahoma 28, @ Missouri 27
LSU @ Auburn (-6)
This should be a fun game. The winner proves they're a gutty team that just finds ways to win, while the loser proves they were a pretender just waiting to get tagged. It's at Auburn, so…
@ Auburn 24, LSU 21
Wisconsin @ Iowa (-5.5)
Iowa has been a really good team pretty consistently, while Wisconsin has been pretty mediocre other than that one shining moment last week. Perhaps that was the spark to set off a run for them, but I'm thinking not.
@ Iowa 28, Wisconsin 17
San Diego St -23 @ New Mexico
New Mexico has been utterly awful this year, and wouldn't have covered this line against four of their first six opponents (and UTEP came pretty close). Even with an extra week of prep time, there's little reason to think they won't get utterly crushed in this game
Toledo -11.5 vs Ball St
Toledo continues to look half-way decent, while Ball St is just a major mess. Should be at least two touchdowns, maybe more.
Ohio St -23.5 vs Purdue
Ohio St is going to be motivated to bounce back from last week, to revenge last year, and to be honest Purdue is about as good as Indiana, who Ohio St lit up by 28 a copule weeks ago.
UNC +6.5 @ Miami
Other than one great game at Pitt, I haven't seen enough from the Canes to justify basically a touchdown against a UNC team that is increasingly looking competitive.
Bowling Green +2.5 vs Kent
Both of these teams have been much better at home than on the road, especially Bowling Green, who beat Marshall pretty handily and nearly knocked off Buffalo at home.
Miami (OH) +3 vs Ohio
The other Miami is undefeated at home, and just showed some life in a road win at CMU. The only team Ohio has beaten on the road is Eastern Michigan (and it's not like Marshall is exactly elite), which makes me think Miami takes it straight up, and the three points are just a bonus.
Pac-10: 39-7 SU, 17-22 ATS
National: 14-10 SU, 10-13-1 ATS
Bad Lines: 8-18-2
Mr Pac-10's 2010 Blog
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