Well, it was a good week last week. I went 4-1 with my picks, and I was correct (for once) with my upset pick of the week. I struggled with my upset pick this week, and I really hope I'm wrong. The conference picture is clearing up a bit, and it is looking to have an effect on who will or won't be coaching in the conference next season. Neuheisel at UCLA likely did just enough to not get fired, again. Questions surround Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh, and where he will decide to coach next season. ASU's Dennis Erickson and WSU's Paul Wulff look more fire-able every week. We'll just have to wait and see, as I don't see any Pac-10 team firing a coach mid-season this year.
Ok, lets get started.
USC 21 - Arizona 27: Heading into this game, it's hard for me to see USC winning this one. I believe this game will come down to the defenses, and Arizona's defense is superior to USC's in points allowed, total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and rushing yards allowed. The numbers favor Arizona, as do the intangibles. Arizona is coming off of an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Stanford, and will be playing for respect, as opposed to looking ahead to Oregon. USC will be forced to play in front of the Zona Zoo, Arizona's 10,000+ member student section, stretching from endzone to endzone. And most importantly, Nick Foles will have had an extra week to prepare himself for the game. And while there have been many Arizona fans who criticised his play last week, including myself, I believe he will play at a much higher level against USC. Expect to see a greater emphasis on the passing game, with Foles spreading the ball around to multiple receivers while Juron Criner occupies USC CB Shareece Wright.
Washington State 21 - Oregon State 31: I like Washington State QB Jeff Tuel more every week. I think he'll have a great game here, with the 'Coug defense falling short.
Upset Pick of the Week: Stanford 24 - ASU 28: I really don't like picking the Sun Devils to win here. But I can't get over the feeling that they'll somehow pull it off. Maybe Stanford looks past the lowly Sun Devils to their game with rival Cal. Maybe ASU plays with their hair on fire, trying to get a little respect within the Pac-10. Not sure, but this game just feels weird, and I get the feeling that ASU pulls of the major upset here. Of course, that feeling could be nausea. I have been fighting a flu/ cold thing.
Oregon 37 - Cal 17: Oh, Cal, what happened to you? I had such high hopes for you this season. Oregon will win big here against a team that is, unfortunately, not as good as it should be. I imagine most of the intrigue surrounding this game will revolve around the performance of the backups for Oregon. For those of you unfamiliar with Oregon, that isn't a slight to Cal. Oregon subs players in and out much more frequently than most teams. With the final stretch approaching, this would be the time that any cracks start to show. Specifically, injuries.
As always, if you disagree with any of my picks, let me know and feel free to tell me how it will really go.