Mr Pac-10's Weekly Review

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Oct 31, 2009

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

Stanford: This was the win they really needed, and boy did they get it.
Oregon: The Ducks add another big win to their resume.

Oregon St: They went into LA and very nearly came out with a win.
Cal: They played pretty well, but it was just Wazzu.
Arizona: There were some substantial issues, but it was still a convincing win for a team that is surging.
USC: They won but didn't play nearly as well as they'd like with a huge game at Oregon coming up.

Washington St: Another substandard effort by the Cougars.
Washington: They got taken to the woodshed in a game that they really wanted to get.
UCLA: Things keep on getting worse.
Arizona St: Just an awful performance by the Sun Devils.

Oregon (-10.5) 43, @ Washington 19
my pick: Oregon 31, @ Washington 28

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

It took a while for the Ducks to get going, but once they did they were unstoppable. This was a solid effort for them, on both sides of the ball, but it's worth wondering what would have happened without that huge blocked punt early in the second quarter. The Ducks are good at building momentum from big plays, but they're a bit more dependent on them than is normal. As the schedule gets tougher, if they want to keep winning they'll need to figure out how to do well without the key big plays, because they won't always be there.

If you're Washington:
That USC win is looking like more and more of a fluke. Yes, this team is still decent, but they're now 3-5 and a longshot to make a bowl game. They may be able to play spoiler to one of UCLA, Oregon St or Cal, but that's probably the max. The defense can clearly be had, and the offense just isn't good enough to bail them out. Next year ought to be better, but this game made it pretty clear that this year is a lost cause.

@ Arizona (-7.5) 27, UCLA 13
my pick: @ Arizona 31, UCLA 21

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

The team that found a way to go into Knoxville and beat Tennessee is gone. Replacing it is a defense that is still good but far from great, and an offense that is actually regressing. Their bowl chances are far from over, but unless they come up with a stunning upset in Corvallis next week, it'll be three straight weeks of desperation games. That's a tough mountain for this team to try and climb.

If you're Arizona:
Yes, they won fairly convincingly, and that was good, but five turnovers is simply unacceptable. UCLA isn't good enough to take advantage, but everyone else they'll play (other than Wazzu) will be. The effort needs to seriously improve if they want to make any kind of serious run to the upper end of the Pac-10.

@ Stanford (-6.5) 33, Arizona St 14
my pick: @ Stanford 27, Arizona St 13

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

ASU clearly wasn't the better team here, but they did a lot to undermine their efforts as well. They had a number of penalties, often at very bad times, but the really stupid thing came from above. Late in the 3rd quarter, down by 17, with a defense that was doing nothing to stop Stanford's offense, they had 4th and 1… and punted. Down by a boatload of points, with not a whole lot of time left, a coach is supposed to be aggressive and try to get back in the game. Instead Erickson sent the message that he was OK with how things were going, and he wasn't fazed by the loss about to happen. If he's also OK with losing to Cal this week, he'll probably have to be OK with another year without a bowl berth and a bunch of very angry fans. Good luck with that.

If you're Stanford:
This was put up or shut up time for the Cardinal, and they put up big time. They dominated ASU early, and never let them back in the game. The closing stretch is really tough, and there are no guarantees, but this should be a bowl team.

@ USC (-20.5) 42, Oregon St 36
my pick: @ USC 38, Oregon St 10

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

This was the sort of game that forces you to take the Beavers seriously. They went into LA and gave the Trojans everything they could handle before falling short. Yes, the defense needs a lot of work, but they have the ability to light up the scoreboard with anyone. This should be a seven or eight win team.

If you're USC:
This was the sort of game that makes you realize that USC just isn't where they want to be. There are times when they're great on offense, and there are times when they're great on defense, but they need to put it all together. And with a huge road game at Oregon coming up, they'd best do so quickly.

@ Cal (-35) 49, Washington St 17
my pick: @ Cal 45, Washington St 13

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

Another lopsided loss for the Cougars. That said, other than letting things really get away from them in the first quarter, the effort wasn't as bad as the score looked. They were able to move the ball reasonably well, and for a team that hasn't been doing much of anything right, that's a positive step forward.

If you're Cal:
They won, and in convincingly fashion, and that's all that really matters. That said, that was another crappy defensive performance, and it was against a team that isn't good at moving the ball, and at home no less. Cal has the weapons to light up the scoreboard, and they're going to have to do it, because pretty much everyone they've got left is capable of lighting up their defense. Despite the lopsided final score, this was not a game that would make anyone believe that the Bears have a serious chance at running the table.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS
Season: 38-12 SU, 18-26-2 ATS

National Games of the Week:

TCU (-2.5) 38, @ BYU 7
my pick: TCU 28, @ BYU 24

@ Pitt (-6.5) 41, USF 14
my pick: @ Pitt 28, USF 21

Oklahoma (-7.5) 35, @ Kansas 13
my pick: Oklahoma 34, @ Kansas 17

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

Bad Lines

Virginia +5.5 vs Georgia Tech
Missed by 19.5 points

Duke -4 vs Maryland

Indiana +4.5 @ Northwestern
Covered by 3.5 points

Michigan +4.5 vs Penn St
Missed by 20.5 points

Arkansas +6.5 @ Ole Miss
Missed by 6.5 points

Central Florida -10 @ Rice
Covered by 32 points

Boise St -24.5 @ Hawaii
Covered by 20.5 points

Idaho +15.5 @ Nevada
Missed by 9.5 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 3-4-1
Season: 29-14-1

Mr Pac-10's 2009 Blog

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