Mr Pac-10's Weekly Review

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Oct 10, 2008

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

USC: Big bounce-back win for the Trojans.
Cal: A nice win against a good team.
UCLA: Yeah, it's just Wazzu, but a win's a win.

Arizona: They did what they were supposed to do against Washington.
Stanford: Tough loss to swallow, but not a bad loss.
Oregon St: Not a bad loss at all, but at 2-3 there's not much room for error for this team.

Arizona St: The loss was expected, but Carpenter getting hurt could be a huge problem.
Oregon: This was a very tough game to win, but they got beaten way too badly here.
Washington: The bottom continues to fall out of this team.
Washington St: Ditto.

@ Cal (-9.5) 24, Arizona St 14
my pick: @ Cal 31, ASU 14

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

Potentially losing Rudy Carpenter was a huge blow to this team. At 2-3 and soon to be 2-4, they desperately need him back by Oct 25th against Oregon or these guys are going to go from a team thought to have a shot at knocking off USC to a team that's going to be home for the holidays.
If you're Cal:

As usual, Cal's defense did a great job, and as usual, Cal's offense was up and down. The quarterback competition is alive and well, and right now the leader is the same guy who threw a pair of crushing picks against Michigan St back to back. When Jahvid Best comes back this team will be a lot better, but there are some concerning signs right now. Their bye week couldn't come at a better time.

@ USC (-16.5) 44, Oregon 10
my pick: @ USC 38, Oregon 13

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

This game made it abundantly clear the Ducks simply aren't in the same class as the Pac-10's best teams (USC and Cal). For a while, though, they competed in this game. Despite the end result, this is still a pretty solid team.
If you're USC:

This game once again made it clear just how good the Trojans are when they come in pumped up and ready for a game. If they can avoid the randomly bad performance (which is a pretty big if) there's no reason to think they can't win the rest of the games and be in the middle of the national title discussion once again.

@ UCLA (-17) 28, Washington St 3
my pick: @ UCLA 31, Washington St 21

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

I'm not sure if this is the worst Cougar team ever, but I'm pretty sure it's in the discussion. This team can't seem to do anything right, and quite frankly may well be the worst team in 1-A (though North Texas is probably worse).
If you're UCLA:

This was a nice performance by the Bruins. However, their two wins so far have come against a mediocre Tennessee team (that may be generous), and a terrible Wazzu team. This win made sure they don't hit the cellar of the Pac-10, but there's a long way to go to make the season respectable.

@ Arizona (-22) 48, Washington 14
my pick: @ Arizona 28, Washington 10

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

This team just keeps getting worse. They couldn't do much of anything right on offense, defense or special teams. It looks like UCLA and Washington St are the only real chances they're going to have to win a game this year, unless something big changes.
If you're Arizona:

The Wildcats did what they needed to do against Washington. With the easy opening stretch done, they're 4-1 and in great shape to make a bowl game. The next three games, at Stanford and home against Cal and USC, will show whether this is just a decent team that can ride an easy schedule to a bowl game, or a very good team that is a legitimate contender for a Holiday Bowl berth or better.

@ Utah 31, Oregon St (+11) 28
my pick: @ Utah 34, Oregon St 13

What to take from this:
This could have been a huge win for the Beavers. It very nearly was. But when push came to shove, Utah made big plays and Oregon St didn't. A lot of it was due to questionable coaching decisions (going for two and failing multiple times, and a short kickoff on Utah's game-tying drive), and a lot of it was due to a simply inability to close. All that said, this was still a respectable performance for the Beavers. Against a good team, in a very hostile environment, one week off of a huge win against USC, they gave just as good as they got and very nearly won. Even in defeat, they showed that beating USC was no fluke; this is a legitimately good football team.

@ Notre Dame 28, Stanford (+7) 21
my pick: @ Notre Dame 31, Stanford 27

What to take from this:
Let's see… Stanford got a bunch of bad breaks (tipped pass INT on first drive in Notre Dame territory, number of questionable calls led by the bad spot on ND 4th down that led to Irish touchdown), committed some bad penalties and turnovers, and basically everything that could go wrong did go wrong… and they lost by seven. Maybe Notre Dame isn't very good (possible), but this was still a pretty respectable loss. With a nasty ending three games, they're now in must-win mode for the next three, but a bowl game is still doable. When all is said and done, they'll probably regret losing this game, but if they can avoid bad turnovers and penalties, they're certainly capable of running off three straight.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 6-0 SU, 2-3-1 ATS
Season: 30-10 SU, 17-20-1 ATS

National Games of the Week:

Ohio St (-1) 20, @ Wisconsin 17
my pick: @ Wisconsin 21, Ohio St 13

@ UNC (-7) 38, UConn 12
my pick: @ UNC 24, UConn 21

@ Vandy 14, Auburn (-4) 13
my pick: Auburn 17, @ Vandy 10

National Games Record:
This Week: 1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS
Season: 12-8 SU, 8-11-1 ATS

Bad Lines

Pitt +13.5
Covered by 18.5 points and outright upset

NC St +9
Covered by 2 points

Texas Tech -7.5
Covered by 22.5 points

Illinois +2.5
Covered by 22.5 points and outright upset

Miami -2
Missed by 4 points and outright upset

Navy +6
Covered by 12 points and outright upset

Baylor +26.5
Missed by 5.5 points

Arkron -3.5
Missed by 0.5 points

Minnesota -6.5
Covered by 2.5 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 6-3
Season: 19-13-1

Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

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