Oregon St @ Oregon (-9.5)
Preseason Pick: Oregon
Of all of the big Pac-10 games this year, the Civil War is now the biggest. After all the craziness, all the upsets, it now comes down to this game, for the first time in the history of the rivalry. Both teams have great offenses, and defenses that have had some good moments and some off moments. But it’s Oregon who has the truly potent offense, having scored over 40 points in an amazing FIVE straight games (and seven out of eight). It’s almost impossible to stop this offense, and the Beavers (who’ve twice given up more than 35 poins) probably aren’t the team to do it. Meanwhile, the Beaver offense hasn’t really been tested in a while, having played three straight games against sub-par defenses. No, Oregon’s D isn’t awesome either, but it’s better than what Oregon St has been seeing lately, and might provide more of a test than most people expect.
On the Other Hand:
Don’t look now, but the Beavers are actually playing some pretty solid D of late. Sure, neither Washington school is good, but 21 and 10 points are solid numbers. And right before that, they held a pretty good Cal offense to just 14. And while Oregon’s defense has had some nice moments, don’t forget about the crappy ones either, liking giving up 51 to Stanford, 41 to Arizona, and 21 at home to an ASU that hasn’t passed 30 since a September beating of a Sun Belt team. Do you trust this defense against a team with Jaquizz Rodgers? And an experienced quarterback? (which should help dampen the home-field edge) I don’t.
The defenses here are a touch underrated, but the offenses are just too good for this game not to be a shootout. The Ducks are better, and Autzen will be rocking and rolling. Unless the Beaver D plays out of its mind, Oregon wins this game.
@ Oregon 38, Oregon St 31
Arizona @ USC (-7)
Preseason Pick: USC
Is USC back? That’s really the only question here. If they are, they win pretty easily. If they’re not, it’s a down to the wire game that’s really about a pickem (though Arizona on the road is not exactly a pick to be comfortable with). I’m not really feeling USC these days; I think they’re fired up for this game, but I just don’t think they’re really that good this year. The Wildcats give them a game before folding in the end, like they did at Washington, like they did at Cal, and like they did at ASU before the Sun Devils gave it right back.
@ USC 28, Arizona 24
Cal (-7) @ Washington
Preseason Pick: Cal
Cal is playing to try to hit 10 wins, Washington is playing for some momentum towards next year. Cal is on a two-game losing streak and is off a bye, Washington just posted their first shutout of Wazzu in a very long time. Cal has had an extra week to have people tell them how good they are and not take U-Dub’s win seriously because it’s just Wazzu, Washington is probably feeling better than they should be after beating Wazzu. I don’t trust Cal on the road in a fairly unimportant game, I don’t trust Washington’s crowd to be particularly fired up for a fairly unimportant game. Ultimately, I could see an easy Cal win, I could see another surprising Husky upset, but my guess is that it’s a close game that Cal pulls out in the end.
Cal 31, @ Washington 28
National Games of the Week:
Florida (-5.5) vs Alabama
Florida is the better team, but I’m feeling an upset. Bama is very nearly as good, and you know that everyone likes Florida in this one. The Tide have a very good defense, and a realistic shot of containing Tim Tebow and scoring just enough points to win.
Alabama 28, Florida 27
Texas (-14.5) vs Nebraska
Texas could win 35-7 or lose 13-10. It all depends on how their offense does against a very good Husker D. The last time they faced a defense in this class, they squeaked by Oklahoma. It’ll be a little easier this time, but not by very much.
Texas 21, Nebraska 10
Georgia Tech (pick) vs Clemson
Tech is better, but Clemson has had some time to prepare (something tells me part of why they lost so ugly at South Carolina was that they started their option prep work a bit early). Teams with time generally seem to do well against the option attack, and the Tigers should definitely be able to move the ball on a soft Jacket D.
Clemson 31, Georgia Tech 27
Cincinnati (-2) @ Pitt
This is a tough game to call. Cincy is better, but Pitt is a solid team, and will have a solid home field edge. I think Cincy benefits from not having had to deal with a huge rivalry game last week, and has just enough weapons to pull it out.
Cincy 31, @ Pitt 27
Fresno +3 @ Illinois
The weather will be cold, a big edge for the home team. That’s about it, though. Fresno is a better team, off a bye, and is historically very good at finding ways to beat vulnerable BCS teams.
Hawaii +12.5 vs Wisconsin
The Badgers would have covered this line is precisely two of their 1-A games: home against Purdue and Michigan. On the road, they’re 2-2 with a pair of three point wins (one against Indy). Why would you lay over a touchown on them going on the road multiple time zones against a team which tends to do fairly well in late-year home games?
ECU +2.5 vs Houston
This started around a pickem and the line’s moving… in the wrong direction. Houston is a slightly better team, but they bear the favorite’s burden, and this game is really about a tossup.
Pac-10: 53-19 SU, 26-39-3 ATS
National: 23-16 SU, 18-20-1 ATS
Bad Lines: 38-31-2
Mr Pac-10's 2009 Blog
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