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Mr Pac-10’s Weekly Review
AP - John Miller
Mr Pac Ten
Posted Oct 22, 2008


Collegefootballnews’ Matthew Smith Reviews all the Pac-10 Games, Week Eight

Rising:
Arizona: This was a huge win for the Wildcats, turning them from a maybe bowl team into having a shot at a Rose Bowl berth.
UCLA: This was an important step forward for this young Bruin team.

Hovering:
Oregon St: Washington isn’t a great team, but it was a convincing road win for the Beavers, which helps a lot.
USC: Wazzu may suck but it was still a 69-point shutout.
Washington: It’s not like they’re getting worse.

Falling:
Cal: Just not a good performance by the Bears.
Stanford: They really couldn’t afford to lose this game, yet that’s what they did.
Washington St: Even for the Cougars this one was awful.

@ Arizona 42, Cal (-2.5) 27
my pick: Cal 31, @ Arizona 24

What to take from this:
If you’re Cal:

Once again the Bears gag on the road. This is becoming a disastrously consistent trend with this team, and it’s keeping them from moving up into the elites. Mentally tough teams don’t buckle on the road when they get pressed, and this team buckled. Yes, turnovers and penalties hurt, but what really got them was that the Wildcats had more energy and wanted to win more than they did. If this continues, then their back to back road games against USC and Oregon St will turn into losses far more embarrassing than this one.

If you’re Arizona:
This was a mammoth win for Mike Stoops and the Arizona Wildcats. This was a pressure game against a good team, and even though they got into trouble early, they pushed back and turned a halftime deficit into a rout by the end of the third quarter. When this team is hot, they’re absolutely on fire. Now they need to find a way to bottle it and bring it out a bit more often, instead of just spurts.

It’s certainly a big if, but it nevertheless needs to be said: if they can play like they did in that third quarter even for most of the game next week against USC, they’ll have a great shot of winning. And if they can do that, they’ll be in the driver’s seat for the Pac-10 title. That’s an incredible turnaround not just from how they looked after the New Mexico debacle, but even from how they looked just last week at Stanford.

@ UCLA 23, Stanford (-2.5) 20
my pick: Stanford 28, @ UCLA 24

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

Turnovers and penalties. Once again, they cost this team dearly. The defense couldn’t step up on UCLA’s final drive, but it was mistakes that kept this game within reach and gave UCLA a chance to make the comeback. Now they need to find a win in their final three games, which will be a very tough task.

If you’re UCLA:
There’s a long, long way to go, but this was a positive sign. The offense didn’t do much until the very end, but that was when it counted. The defense made just enough plays on Stanford’s late drive to keep them to three points and give the offense a chance to win, and once again this team showed that if you let them hang around, they can make you pay. The closing stretch is too nasty to think they’ve got a shot at six wins and a bowl game, but this win keeps hope alive. This team isn’t quite dead yet.

Oregon St (-15.5) 34, @ Washington 13
my pick: Oregon St 31, @ Washington 17

What to take from this:
If you’re Oregon St:

This was what the Beavers wanted to see. The offense was strong in all phases, and the defense kept the other guys from scoring much and got four turnovers. Yeah, the yards allowed was a bit higher than they’d like, but a lot of it came in garbage time. On the road against a team desperate for any positive sign, off a bye, and on homecoming, the Beavers still dominated. They’ve got to be happy with how they’re playing right now heading into the bye week.

If you’re Washington:
The Huskies can’t even seem to slow down, much less stop, any offense with a pulse, and it’s obvious that they can’t score points in bunches either. Right now UCLA and Wazzu look like the only games they’ll have any kind of shot at winning.

USC (-42.5) 69, @ Washington St 0
my pick: USC 48, @ Washington St 10

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

No turnovers, no points allowed, no injuries. It’s all good. The only downside is that this is the sort of game that can lead to complacency.

If you’re Washington St:
It’s worth asking: is this team giving up? Injuries and a talent drain are obviously a factor, but to give up a boatload of points in the second half to a team that isn’t even trying very hard anymore, that’s a huge issue.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 2-2 SU, 0-4 ATS
Season: 36-12 SU, 20-24-2 ATS

National Games of the Week:

@ Texas (-4) 56, Missouri 31
my pick: Missouri 34, @ Texas 28

Ohio St (-3) 45, @ Michigan St 7
my pick: @ Michigan St 24, Ohio St 21

LSU (-2.5) 24, @ South Carolina 17
my pick: @ South Carolina 24, LSU 17

National Games Record:
This Week: 0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS
Season: 14-13 SU, 9-17-1 ATS

Bad Lines

UConn -1
Missed by 3 points and outright upset

Clemson +2.5
Missed by 1.5 points

Baylor +17.5
Missed by 10.5 points

Virginia Tech +3
Missed by 2 points

Syracuse +24
Missed by 8 points

Iowa -4
Covered by 18 points

Vandy +14.5
Covered by 4.5 points

Pitt -2.5
Covered by 20.5 points

Army +11.5
Covered by 8.5 points

North Texas +18
Covered by 6 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 5-5
Season: 31-20-1

Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

Questions, comments or suggestions? Email me at cfn_ms@hotmail.com

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