Washington: This was a game they desperately needed to get, and they found a way to get it.
Washington St: Another decently competitive game for the Cougars.
Arizona: The Nick Foles injury is likely to hurt them a lot.
Oregon St: They came about as close it was possible to do, but it just wasn’t enough.
Stanford: This was a tough loss to swallow, and now they have a must-win against ASU.
@ USC (-2.5) 48, Cal 14
my pick: @ USC 28, Cal 24
What to take from this:
If you’re Cal:
It’s another Cal face-plant on the road. USC dominated them in pretty much every aspect of the game. Just in case you thought the Nevada loss was just a fluke and this was actually a top 25 team… nope. It turns out that Nevada had the blueprint for beating Cal and USC did a great job doing the same thing. Have a good offense (UCLA couldn’t do this), stop the run, play them away from Berkeley (Cal is 0-3 on the road), and don’t get blown away by Cal’s speed (Colorado couldn’t do this), and you’ve got a great shot of beating them. Unfortunately for Cal, a lot of the teams left on their slate can do most of those things. It’s too early to overreact and say that they might not be a bowl team… but if they can’t beat ASU at home, it may be time to re-examine the issue.
If you’re USC:
Yes, it’s not the same USC team as usual… but it’s still an extremely dangerous group of players. They blew away Cal, they blew away Washington St, they won by double-digits at Hawaii (a win that’s starting to look better now), they very nearly won at Stanford… while clearly there have been hiccups (Washington loss, Virginia near-loss), overall this is looking more and more like a quite good team. Not top 15, but almost certainly top 25 (at least for those allowed to vote them in). For a team that has to deal with scholarship limits, the departure of a number of important players before the season, and everything else that goes along with their current situation, this is a surprisingly quality team. At Tennessee, I thought that Kiffin and company did a pretty good job with what they had to work with, and about halfway through the season I think the same about what they’re doing at USC. All of a sudden their games against the top teams in the Pac-10 are starting to look very interesting.
@ Washington (-1.5) 35, Oregon St 34 (OT)
my pick: @ Washington 31, Oregon St 28
What to take from this:
If you’re Oregon St:
Sometimes you win the wacky ones, and sometimes you lose them. The Beavers played reasonably well in this game, and had a one-play shot to win it, but fell literally inches short. Unfortunately for them, losing at Washington probably shuts the door on dreams of a Pac-10 title (with games to come against Oregon, Stanford, USC and Cal, they’re highly likely to lose again), but this is still a mid to upper division Pac-10 team. I suppose it’s possible that things fall apart and they don’t make a bowl, but I have a hard time seeing that happen. The last six games are easier than the first six (without TCU and Boise, it’s a small step down in competition, and they get four home games instead of four road games), so I would think they’re likely to go 3-3 or 4-2. As long as they go at least 2-1 in their next three (which seems extremely likely; even 3-0 is on the table), they should do no worse than a minor bowl game… and a run to something like the Holiday Bowl is still very possible.
If you’re Washington:
The Huskies absolutely, positively needed to get this game, and they did. At only 3-3 with a tough finishing six games (Arizona, Stanford, Oregon and Cal all are left, and UCLA isn’t an automatic win), it’s going to be difficult to find another three wins, but they’ve got a shot. They won at USC and found a way to hold off Oregon St. They need to avoid an upset against UCLA and Wazzu, and find a way to get one more from the other four games. It’s a tough road, but it’s doable, especially if they can take advantage of Nick Foles’ injury in their upcoming game at Arizona.
Arizona (-23.5) 24, Washingon St 7
my pick: Arizona 38, Washington St 10
What to take from this:
If you’re Arizona:
In terms of the result, they did what they needed to do. They got the win, it wasn’t incredibly close, and that’s good enough. However, the Nick Foles injury is very concerning. Matt Scott brings a different set of abilities to the table, and there are definitely good things he can do… but he’s not as good as Foles. It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks for the Wildcats, and they need to find a way to keep on winning without their best player. If he’s only out for Washington and UCLA, it may not be that bad, but if he’s gone for Stanford and USC, it’s going to be a lot tougher. Even a fully healthy team could have trouble in either of those two, and if Arizona isn’t by then, their Rose Bowl dreams, already on life support after Oregon St beat them, could be undone even before they have their big game at Oregon.
If you’re Washington St:
Once again, this team gets a bit better. Yes, it’s fair to be a bit skeptical since a lot of this game happened without Nick Foles, but the Cougars were still able to do some good things here. I don’t think they’ll pull off a Pac-10 win this year, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they give a couple teams as tough a test as they did UCLA.
Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS
Season: 39-7 SU, 17-22 ATS
National Games of the Week:
@ Wisconsin 31, Ohio St (-3.5) 18
my pick: Ohio St 28, @ Wisconsin 21
@ Auburn (-3.5) 65, Arkansas 43
my pick: Arkansas 31, @ Auburn 28
Texas 20, @ Nebraska (-9.5) 13
my pick: @ Nebraska 31, Texas 10
National Games Record:
This Week: 0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS
Season: 14-10 SU, 10-13-1 ATS
Army +7 @ Rutgers
Covered by 4 points
Florida St -21.5 vs BC
Missed by 16.5 points
Toledo -3.5 vs Kent
Covered by 9.5 points
Virginia +6.5 vs UNC
Missed by 27.5 points
Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 2-2
Mr Pac-10's 2010 Blog
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