Mr Pac-10's Weekly Review
Jacquizz Rodgers
Mr Pac Ten
Posted Oct 2, 2008

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

Oregon St: This one's a no-brainer.
Stanford: Solid win against a rested, desperate team.
Oregon: Nice bounce-back win.

Cal: Nice showing by defense and special teams, but the offense needs work.

UCLA: Not a bad loss, but they really needed to get a win.
Washington: The bottom is falling out of this team. Locker's injury is the final nail in their coffin.
Washington St: Flat-out awful.
USC: A massive blow to this team's national title hopes, and now there's reason to doubt they'll win the league.

Stanford 35, @ Washington (-3.5) 28
my pick: @ Washington 30, Stanford 27

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

This wasn't a fantastic performance, but it didn't have to be. The important thing was that they won, and now they're 3-2. Wazzu looks like a win, which means that they only need to go 2-2 against Notre Dame, Arizona, UCLA and Oregon. That's certainly not easy, but it's very possible.
The other point is that this was a tough situation for the Cardinal. Washington was a desperate team, off a bye, and really pulled out all the stops to try and win. And yet it was Stanford that prevailed, largely because they finally got a contribution from the passing game. Yes, the secondary is still lousy, but the rest of the team seems to be coming along nicely.
If you're Washington:

It's time to start thinking about Ty Willingham's successor, and the future. Bowl hopes are obviously dead, but more than that, even four wins looks like a big reach at this point. They've got some winnable games, but it's clear that without Locker this is a really bad team. Every game they've played, the defense has gotten shredded; running teams run all over them, passing teams light up the scoreboard, and without Locker the offense just isn't good enough to keep up.

Oregon (-21.5) 63, Washington St 14
my pick: Oregon 38, @ Washington St 20

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

This was an important bounce-back game for the Ducks after a close win against a mediocre Purdue team and a tough loss at home to Boise. The running game was absolutely fantastic, and it sure looked like they'll be able to cope with the QB injuries by just emphasizing the running game. That said, this was Washington St. The Cougars have been terrible against every single 1-A team they played, so you can't read too much into this game. We'll have to see them against a tougher opponent to really know if they've turned things around, and they'll get that test this coming Saturday at USC.
If you're Washington St:

If there was any hope that a win over Portland St was the start of a turnaround, the Ducks shattered it quickly and decisively. The Cougars can't seem to do anything right, on offense, defense, or special teams. This is going to be a very long season in Pullman.

@ Oregon St 27, USC (-24.5) 21
my pick: USC 35, @ Oregon St 13

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

This was a really bad performance by USC. Quite frankly, it was the epitome of everything that the program does poorly, as they once again didn't bother to take an opponent seriously, and once again put themselves in position to be upset by a big underdog. Yes, plenty of breaks went against them, and yes, they'd win if they played again, but that doesn't really matter. They simply aren't good enough to coast in games and always win. This is still a very good team, but they need to be consistent if they want to be considered great.
If you're Oregon St:

This was a great win for the Beavers. A team that was floundering and in real danger of going 1-4 is suddenly alive again and very much back in the bowl hunt. That said, this team still has issues. Moevao made a number of bad throws and was lucky that none were picked off. The offensive line generated a great push early, but was much less effective in the second half. You have to wonder how much of their early success was due to a lack of energy from the Trojans; if it was a lot, then that's not good.
And perhaps most importantly, this team still hasn't had any success on the road; with a number of tough home games left, to hit six wins they'll need to win at least one away from Corvallis, and quite possibly two. Things are a lot better than before the win, but there's still a lot of work left to be done.

Fresno St 36, @ UCLA (+7) 31
my pick: Fresno 31, @ UCLA 13

What to take from this:
This was a better performance than UCLA had in ugly losses to BYU and Arizona. That said, there is a long way to go. Some late scores made it respectable, but Fresno was in control for most of the game. That's the same Fresno that lost to Wisconsin, and that barely held off Toledo. With USC, Cal, ASU, Oregon, Oregon St and Stanford all on tap, the Bruins needed this win and couldn't get it. It's going to take a lot of magic for this team to reach six wins, as this loss means that they'll have to score multiple upsets in order to even make a run at six wins, much less actually hit the number.

@ Cal (-26.5) 42, Colorado St 7
my pick: @ Cal 31, Colorado St 10

What to take from this:
Cal made a number of fantastic defensive and special teams plays. The offense was off, but this was still an overall good effort. However, Best's injury is a concern, and the QB competition is officially open again. With neither Riley nor Longshore playing consistently well, the whole offense is a big open question. That's not good with a talented and rested ASU team in need of a win coming to town.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS
Season: 24-10 SU, 15-17 ATS

National Games of the Week:

Alabama, @ Georgia (-6.5)
my pick: @ UGA 24, Bama 21

@ Oklahoma (-18.5), TCU
my pick: @ Oklahoma 31, TCU 17

Virginia Tech, @ Nebraska (-7)
my pick: VT 24, @ Neb 20

National Games Record:
This Week: 2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS
Season: 11-6 SU, 8-8-1 ATS

Bad Lines

UConn +3.5
Covered by 8.5 points and outright upset

Temple +4

UNC +8.5
Covered by 12.5 points and outright upset

Maryland +11
Covered by 14 points and outright upset

Minnesota +18.5
Covered by 5.5 points

East Carolina -10.5
Missed by 27.5 points and outright upset

Auburn -6
Missed by 4 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 4-2-1
Season: 13-10-1

Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

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