Mr Pac-10's Weekly Review

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Nov 21, 2008

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

UCLA: This was a very important win for the Bruins.
Arizona St: Sure, it was just Wazzu, but they still played very well.
Oregon St: They're one very big step closer to a Rose Bowl berth.

Oregon: They played great early, but the second half performance wasn't so hot.
USC: Meh performance @ Stanford.
Stanford: They really could have used a win, but they still played pretty well for three quarters against the Trojans.
Washington St: Well, they did cover.

Cal: Disappointing effort at Oregon St.
Arizona: They turned it into a game in the second half, but it was too little too late.
Washington: Another disappointing loss for the Huskies.

@ Oregon St (-3.5) 34, Cal 21
my pick: @ Oregon St 28, Cal 23

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

This isn't a team good enough to go on the road against someone good and win while losing the turnover battle. There were plenty of opportunities to pick off bad Moevao passes and they couldn't take advantage. Because of that, they couldn't eat into the Beaver lead, and eventually it was too late, once Oregon St tacked on a late touchdown. Yes, Cal is a good team, but it's becoming increasingly clear that they're not good enough to win when they don't bring their "A" game.

If you're Oregon St:
This was a very nice win for the Beavers. They played well on both sides of the football, winning the yardage and the turnover battle. That said, they really played with fire when Moevao threw a bunch of balls up for grabs. Arizona may be able to take advantage, and Oregon almost certainly will. That makes the next two games very dangerous. In other words, they're one big step closer to their Rose Bowl goal, but it's far from over.

@ Oregon (-6) 55, Arizona 45
my pick: Oregon 38, Arizona 35

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

Like their big upset win over Cal, the Wildcats played one half of bad football, and one half of good football. This time, however, the good half simply wasn't enough to make up for the bad half. Consistency is a HUGE issue for this team, who has showed themselves to be capable of beating anyone, but at the same time capable of losing to just about anyone. That means that both of their next two games (home against Oregon St and then Arizona St) will be tough tests. At 6-4, they'll be going bowling, but if they want it to be a good bowl, they'll need to start playing two halves of football.

If you're Oregon:
This wasn't a pretty game, but it was a win. Yes, they couldn't put Arizona away until the end despite building a truly massive first-half lead. And yes, that was a flat-out lousy second half defensive effort. But you know what? It was still a win, and it was the best team that they've beaten so far this year. And while they gave up way too many yards and points, they also did a good job forcing turnovers, which is a great sign going into a Civil War game against a quarterback very prone to chucking it up for grabs. With a week off to prepare, they have a very realistic chance of winning that game and putting themselves right back into the race for a good bowl.

USC (-24) 45, Stanford 23
my pick: USC 27, @ Stanford 10

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

The Trojans really only played one very good quarter of football. It was all that they really needed, but it's concerning that this was a seven point game after three quarters (especially since those seven came on a special teams play). They have a week off before their closing stretch against Notre Dame and UCLA; hopefully they'll be able to use that time to rest up and refocus, because if they don't, one of those two will push them very hard and maybe even pull off the shocker, like the Bruins did two years ago.

If you're Stanford:
Despite the final score, this wasn't a bad performance. For three quarters, they hung with a Trojan team that was obviously paying attention to the game after last year's big upset. That said, this was a one-dimensional offense, and weirdly enough, they really struggled on run defense, which has usually been good for them. Desperately needing a win next week at Cal to make a bowl game, they can't afford a repeat performance on the ground, and they'll probably have to get something from the passing game in order to pull the upset. Yes, it's possible, but they'll have to seriously up their level of play in order to have a chance.

UCLA (-7) 27, @ Washington 7
my pick: UCLA 31, @ Washington 20

What to take from this:

If you're UCLA:
Considering that the Bruins have been an utter disaster on the road so far this year, any win is a good win, even against Washington. Moreover, they played well in nearly all phases of the game. Yes, three turnovers is a problem, but other than that this was a good sign. No, they won't complete the run, but if they can continue to play at this level, that ASU game becomes very close to a tossup and they could very well give USC a tough game.

If you're Washington:
There's nothing positive that can be taken from this performance.

@ Arizona St (-36.5) 31, Washington St 0
my pick: @ Arizona St 49, Washington St 7

What to take from this:

If you're Washington St:
Yet another bad performance from the Cougars. They played well for one quarter, but after that it was a near-constant disaster. And for the third time this year, they've gotten shut out after a 280-game streak of scoring points. The only good news is that a Washington team that's almost as bad is coming to town for the Apple Cup, which will give them a reasonable chance to tack on a win.

If you're Arizona St:
Not exactly the toughest of foes, but this was still a win. For a team that's struggled to create any type of momentum, this is a nice step forward. UCLA will show whether any of the momentum is real or it's just a function of playing bad teams, but at least for now there's reason to believe things are getting good again.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS
Season: 53-13 SU, 32-30-2 ATS

National Games of the Week:

BYU (-4) 38, @ Air Force 24
my pick: @ Air Force 31, BYU 27

@ Maryland 17, UNC (-3) 15
my pick: UNC 27, @ Maryland 21

National Games Record:
This Week: 0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS
Season: 20-18 SU, 15-22-1 ATS

Bad Lines

Cincy -4.5
Covered by 3.5 points

Northwestern +3.5
Covered by 10.5 points and outright upset

Minnesota +13.5
Covered by 10.5 points

UConn -10
Covered by 15 points

Texas -13
Covered by 15 points

Georgia -9.5
Missed by 5.5 points

New Mexico St +17
Covered by 10.5 points

Rutgers +7.5
Covered by 40.5 points and outright upset

Troy +17
Covered by 6 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 8-1
Season: 55-32-1

Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

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