Washington St: This win doesn’t make all of the year’s pain go away, but it sure is a nice salve.
Oregon St: Only one more win and the dream season is complete.
Cal: They put the losses to USC and Oregon St behind them in a big way.
Stanford: In a game they couldn’t afford to lose, they got demolished.
Arizona: Their last chance for a good bowl just went bye-bye.
Washington: In a humiliating season, this was by far the lowest point.
Oregon St 19, @ Arizona (-2.5) 17
my pick: Oregon St 28, @ Arizona 24
What to take from this:
If you’re Oregon St:
No Lyle Moevao? No Jacquizz Rodgers? No problem. In this game, despite those important losses, despite a potentially huge missed extra point in the four quarter, the Beavers were the better football team. Somehow they keep on finding a way. Now they only need one more and they’ll be heading to the Rose Bowl for the first time in nearly forever.
If you’re Arizona:
This team really can’t close. At 6-5 with an incredibly soft non-conference schedule (that they still couldn’t sweep), it sure looks like the Wildcats’ bowl eligibility is a function of a lousy Pac-10 and a lousy set of teams in Idaho, Toledo and New Mexico (the Lobos are merely mediocre, but when they’re the best non-conference team… not so impressive). To make a fair comparison, Stanford would have hit six wins with Arizona’s slate, and UCLA would have had a decent shot (Idaho and Toledo would have been wins, and they would have had to add a road upset of ASU or New Mexico, challenging but possible).
In other words, 6-6 may have been the standard for Mike Stoops to hang around, but given how awful their schedule has been, I wonder if he could survive an upset loss to the Sun Devils, and if that were followed by a bad bowl loss, I really don’t know if he’d be back. I could certainly be wrong (I still don’t understand why he wasn’t canned after last year), but I think he’s still fighting for his job. It’s going to be a very interesting game against ASU, especially if the Sun Devils beat UCLA and are fighting for a sixth win and bowl eligibility.
@ Cal (-8) 37, Stanford 16
my pick: @ Cal 31, Stanford 17
What to take from this:
If you’re Stanford:
The third quarter blowout got the attention, but Stanford lost this game earlier, when down 10-0 with first and goal they couldn’t ram it in for a touchdown. Similarly, while this is the game that technically ended their chances of bowl eligibility, they really lost it earlier, with a lousy effort at Notre Dame and a choke job at UCLA. That said, despite two ugly losses to end the year, this was actually a pretty decent team that improved as the year wore on. With a recruiting class that looks a lot better than any that they’ve had for a while, they have a legitimately good chance of hitting the magic six win line next year. There’s a long way to go, but this program is getting better and better.
If you’re Cal:
This was a game that showed what the Bears can do when they’re at their best, playing very strong defense (fourth quarter garbage points aside), making big play after big play, and not making big mistakes. What they need to do now is put one of those games together away from Berkeley, which has been a massive issue for them the past few years. Whatever bowl game they end up in would be a very good place to start.
@ Washington St 16, Washington (-6.5) 13 (OT)
my pick: Washington 28, @ Washington St 24
What to take from this:
If you’re Washington:
One team really wanted to win and it wasn’t this team. This was the first time all year the Huskies played a team with inferior talent, but it still didn’t matter. The Cougars played with more heart and more desire, and that’s why U-Dub is still winless, and that’s why Willingham got fired.
If you’re Washington St:
The Cougars, from a talent standpoint, are a truly awful team. But they kept fighting, in game after game against teams much better than them, slowly but steadily improving. And when they finally played a team that wasn’t much better than them, that level of effort and desire paid off in a big way. There are massive issues with this team and program that will require a huge cleanup effort, but you can’t say that they aren’t fighting with all they have, and that they aren’t leaving everything on the field. They legitimately earned this win, not just in the comeback effort against Washington, but in the weeks and weeks of ugly blowout losses. Say what you will about the talent, but the heart is clearly there. That’s a legitimate starting point for the future.
Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS
Season: 55-14 SU, 35-30-2 ATS
National Games of the Week:
@ Oklahoma (-7) 65, Texas Tech 21
my pick: @ Oklahoma 38, Texas Tech 34
@ Cincy (-5.5) 28, Pitt 21
my pick: @ Cincy 31, Pitt 28
@ Penn St (-15.5) 49, Michigan St 18
my pick: @ Penn St 38, Michigan St 13
@ Utah (-7) 48, BYU 24
my pick: @ Utah 34, BYU 24
National Games Record:
This Week: 4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS
Season: 24-18 SU, 17-24-1 ATS
San Jose St +3.5
Missed by 11.5 points
Covered by 20 points and outright upset
Missed by 13 points and outright upset
Covered by 21 points and outright upset
Air Force +20
Missed by 14 points
Missed by 0.5 points
Missed by 49 points
Missed by 1 point
Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 2-6
Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog
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