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Pac-10 week 5 games.

As a way to cope with the Arizona Bye week, I'm looking around the Pac-10 and picking each game.  Feel free to rail on me for the 'upset alert' of the week.

Game of the week: #9 Stanford @ #4 Oregon

This will be the first real test for both of these teams. Neither has faced the caliber of team they are about to square off against. Don’t misconstrue that statement. I acknowledge that both Stanford and Oregon are elite teams. Not based on the stats so far, although those are impressive, but on the ‘eyeball test’. Just watch these teams play football, and you know they are not good, but great. It remains to be seen what will happen when they face a similarly great team.

‘Fight for respect’ of the week: Arizona St. @ Oregon St.

The Sun Devils need to win this game if they want any respect in the Pac-10. They have yet to win against an FBS team this season, and per NCAA rule, must win seven, not six, games to be eligible for a bowl this season. (As a result of playing two FCS teams.) With games remaining against #9 Stanford, #18 USC, and #14 Arizona, the road will not be getting any easier. They must win this game.

Oregon St. needs to win this game if they want any respect in the Pac-10. Yes, they beat Louisville. Yes, the two losses on record for the Beavers were against ranked teams and away from home. They still need to prove that they can defeat a Pac-10 caliber team. The Beavers are still a dangerous team in my opinion, but they have earned no respect thus far.

I’m going with Oregon St. to win by two touchdowns or more here. The downward spiral will continue for Arizona St. for another week.

‘Bubble burst’ game of the week:  Washington @ #18 USC

Entering the season, there was a lot of hype about Washington, and its QB Jake Locker. Surely they will achieve that elusive bowl game. Maybe even compete for the Pac-10 championship! Eh, wrong-o moose breath. The hype machine is crashing down around Washington fans, and this game will likely be the reality check that finally stops all of the Locker for Heisman talk. I really enjoy watching Locker play. He is a great talent. But that team as a whole is not a bowl-caliber team, and you don’t win the Heisman if your team doesn’t go to a bowl.

I’ll take USC to win big at home. USC will likely win by three touchdowns or more, yet leave the media commenting on miscues and mistakes committed by the Trojans.

‘Upset alert’ of the week: Washington St. @ UCLA

Ok, stop laughing and work with me here. UCLA beat Texas. They didn’t get lucky. They out played the Longhorns in Austin. (Don’t be mad, Texas fans. This will pull your team together, not tear them apart.) All that said, my gut is telling me that the Bruins need to be worried heading into this one. If you believe in the curse of the ‘letdown game’, (No conference does like the Pac-10.), this is a nightmare scenario.

The Bruins just defeated Texas, at the time the #7 team in the nation, and any team would be walking on clouds after a non-conference win like that. Their next game? Washington St., the doormat of the Pac-10, at home. I don’t care what anyone tells me, there is no way I will believe that the Bruins players see this as a challenge. Add to the mix the fact that starting QB Kevin Prince hasn’t practiced all week and will be limited Saturday, if he plays at all, and the letdown alarm starts to go off.

I’m taking WSU to win a close one.

But don’t take my word for it, leave me a comment and tell me how you think this Saturday will shake out.

ESPN Pac-10 week 5 scoreboard and stats

I would usually give the edge to Oregon here with the home field advantage, but not this time. I’m picking Stanford to win a close game at Autzen, on the arm of QB Andrew Luck.