Mr Pac-10's Weekly Review

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Sep 24, 2008

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

Arizona: They won.
Washington St: Ditto.

Stanford: Not great, but it was a win.

Oregon: Yeah, the QB situation was rough, but that was an awful defensive performance.
Arizona St: They got flat-out whipped by a much better Georgia team.
UCLA: Yep. They suck.

Arizona (-3) 31, UCLA 10
my pick: Arizona 38, @ UCLA 21

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

The Wildcats brought their B, maybe B- game and still won by three touchdowns. That says just about everything you need to know about this team. Yeah, it wasn't great football, but in a game they really needed they found a way to get it done with plenty of room to spare.

I'm sure some people will disagree, but to me this is the most important win of the Mike Stoops era. Oh sure, there have been plenty of noteworthy upsets, but how many of them really made much of a difference? This was a game against a team they were better than, but that they easily could have lost. And let's face it, their track record in such games has been awful (see: Washington 2005/2006, New Mexico 2007/2008, Stanford 2007).

Just as importantly, this gives the team hope they can win on the road, and since their easiest games are on the road, that's absolutely vital. Be honest: if they blew both New Mexico and UCLA, could you really see them winning more than one on the road the rest of the way? And if not, they'd probably be home for the holidays again. Now they've got some breathing room, and with a bunch of winnable games left, there's little reason to think they won't hit the magic number of six, with a realistic shot of approaching around eight and a nice bowl bid instead of a low-level one.
If you're UCLA:

Not to pile on, but this really looks like a bad team. Right now they can't seem to do much of anything right. Offense, defense, nothing is working. If Arizona hadn't literally handed them seven points, they're looking at three points total in two weeks against a pair of very mediocre defenses, and it's not like they can stop anyone either. Maybe they pull a couple more rabbits out of their hat, but at this point I'd be stunned if they even hit five wins, much less six and a bowl bid. And with Washington St showing faint signs of life, there isn't a guaranteed win left on the slate. The bottom hasn't fallen out of this team yet, but things are looking more and more desperate with every awful loss they suffer.

Georgia 27, @ Arizona St (+7) 10
my pick: @ ASU 28, Georgia 27

What to take from this:
What in the world happened to the Sun Devil offense? Yeah, the defense wasn't great, but after UNLV that was kind of expected. But Carpenter didn't do much, and there wasn't so much as a pulse from the running game. Now they're 2-2 with a week off before a brutal road trip to Cal and USC. Either they fix things very fast or they're in big trouble.

Boise St 37, @ Oregon (-10) 32
my pick: @ Oregon 38, Boise St 17

What to take from this:
This was a really tough loss to take. Yeah, they made a game comeback effort to make it look respectable, but the truth is that they were simply hammered for most of the game. They can't keep making bad turnovers, they can't keep giving up bunches of yards on defense, and they can't keep losing quarterbacks. Growing pains were expected from this group, but this is far beyond what can be considered acceptable. If they want to be near the top of the league, they need fewer turnovers and better defensive play. There's still plenty of talent here, but they have to show it on the field.

@ Stanford (-8) 23, San Jose St 10
my pick: @ Stanford 31, San Jose St 17

What to take from this:
Not the greatest game ever, but they won. San Jose St was in it for way too long, but the second half defensive performance was very good. Even better, there were small indications that the passing game might be coming along. There's a lot left to do, but between a 2-2 record and a boatload of bad performances by the teams left on their slate, 6 wins might actually be possible. Each of the next four games is very winnable, and if they can somehow make it to the bye 4-4, they'll have a shot (5-3 would be great but a definite reach). At the least, this team is officially not that bad, a big improvement from some of the past few years.

@ Washington St 48, Portland St 7
my pick: @ WSU 35, PSU 17

What to take from this:
The Cougars finally won a game, and actually looked pretty decent while doing it. There's a huge amount left to be done, but this was the game they needed to win to avoid the 0-fer discussion, and they did. That's a huge monkey off their backs. Now they have a homecoming game against a reeling Oregon team, and an "escape the cellar" game at UCLA after that. Split those (hard but possible), and this could be a respectable season yet.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 3-2 SU, 2-2 ATS
Season: 21-8 SU, 13-14 ATS

National Games of the Week:

LSU (-2.5) 26, @ Auburn 21
my pick: @ Auburn 17, LSU 14

Florida (-7.5) 30, @ Tennessee 6
my pick: Florida 24, @ Tennessee 14

Wake Forest 12, @ Florida St (-5) 3
my pick: Wake 28, @ FSU 20

National Games Record:
This Week: 2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS
Season: 9-5 SU, 6-7-1 ATS

Bad Lines

Arizona @ UCLA Over 52
Missed by 10.5 points

UCF +10
Missed by 17 points

Temple +29
Missed by 13 points

Miami -3
Covered by 15 points

Tulsa -10
Covered by 32 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 2-3
Season: 9-8

Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

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