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Pac-10 Picks: Week 9

Week 9 is here, and the Pac-10 picture is starting to clear up a bit. So I’m feeling slightly more confident this week with my picks. Feel free to pile on me for my ‘upset of the week’ if I’m wrong. Also, don’t be afraid to let me know what your personal picks are for the upcoming Pac-10 games. Leave any criticisms or picks in the comments, and I’ll respond.

Arizona 34 - UCLA 10: While the upset is possible here, I just don’t see it. Too many lost playmakers for the Bruins. UCLA’s biggest strength is the run. Arizona’s biggest defensive strength is shutting the run down. And this won’t be the first time the Wildcats have faced an option-style offense this season. The defense will play disciplined football and force the Bruins offense to throw, and that will lead to turnovers.

Cal 24 - Oregon State 20: I’m taking the Golden Bears here. Oregon State is a very good team, and will certainly play spoiler this season, but not here. I just have more faith in the Cal defense than the Beaver defense. This game should help to expose any weaknesses of the two offenses, and to elevate Shane Vereen’s already high national profile. Should be a great game. Look for this one to come down to the last possession.

UPSET OF THE WEEK- Washington State 21 - Arizona State 17: This should be the game that finally shows how good Jeff Tuel can really be. Arizona State has been in a downward spiral, and I don’t see them stopping the ‘Cougs passing attack. I’m sure the defense will get a turnover, and maybe even a pick-6, but I don’t see them pulling this one out. ASU will likely look past the ‘Cougs, who are desperate for the win. And you’d better believe that this game, along with the UCLA game, has been circled on the calendar for WSU for a while now.

Stanford 41 - Washington 14: Stanford is better than Washington in every phase of the game. This will be a clinic, and a chance for Stanford to send a message to the pollsters. Best case scenario for the Huskies here is that Locker doesn’t get injured any worse than he already seems to be.

Oregon 27 - USC 34*: This one gets an asterisk. If the USC defense that dominated Cal shows up, USC wins this game. But it remains to be seen if USC can consistently be that good. If they play like they are capable of, it will be the toughest defense Oregon has faced so far. And I think that, coupled with an improving Matt Barkley, will give the Trojans the win.