Pac-10 picks

Well it’s that time of the week again. Time for me to pick the winners in this week’s games:

Cal 28, Stanford 13: Much is being made of the poor performance of Cal recently and the great performance of Stanford recently. But when you dig into what has ACTUALLY happened, a very different story emerges. The quoted stat is that Cal has lost 4 of its last 5 and Stanford has won 4 of its last 6. That’s all well and good, but it only reflects the nature of their schedules. 3 of those 4 loses for Cal comes from teams ranked in the top 12 in the nation. All one has to do is switch Stanford’s game against Oregon and ASU in their schedule and all of a sudden, Stanford has lost 3 of it’s last 4. Streaks don’t mean much, because they’re completely dependent on one’s schedule. Cal was 5-0 because each of the teams it played early were horrible. Stanford started 1-2 because it had UC Davis on the schedule… er… OK, it was Oregon. What’s far more important than the current streak is common opponents, of which there are 6: USC, UCLA, WaZoo, Arizona, OSU and Oregon. The short answer is that the only team against which the final result was different was OSU, where Cal lost at home 20-23 and Stanford won 20-17 on the road. OK, that’s definitely a point for Stanford, but when one considers Stanford was killed by Oregon 20-44 at home while Cal lost in overtime on the road, Stanford gave up 51 to USC while Cal only gave up 35 and Stanford barely squeeded out a 20-16 victory over Arizona while Cal crushed them 28-0 one can see why the comparison matchups don’t necessarily favor Stanford. With that in mind, I see Stanford as a team that, for the most part, has executed very well with minimal talent but is completely incapable of playing with the big boys and Cal as an underachieving team with the talent to win against the big boys, but with a serious QB problem. In fact, the only ranked team Stanford was competitive against was UCLA. I watched that game and it was quite clear that Stanford’s ability to hang in the game was because UCLA was in a deep funk and insistented on turning over the ball to Stanford at the most inconvenient times. Once the sleeping giant woke up and played football, even with the game at Stanford, it was no contest. Cal on the other hand gave UCLA the game of it’s life even in the hostile environment of the Rose Bowl. All of this just is a long way of saying that Cal is a better team and minus some bad QB play would be at least 8-2 if not 9-1 with just a minor improvement in that position. All Cal has to do is minimize the mistakes and they’ll win this one. Cconsidering that Stanford’s run defense SUCKS, Cal can win this game just by handing the ball off reducing the chance that our QB will sink us.

OSU 20, Oregon 31: OSU always comes to play in the “Civil war” game. I expect them to give Oregon everything they’ve got. Too bad that Oregon is just a better team even with its backup QB’s sharing time now that Clemens is lost for the season. Particularly with the game at Oregon, I expect this one to seem closer than it is but with Oregon handling the game for the most part.

Fresno St. 28, USC 48: Fresno is good this year and I give them a chance against any Pac-10 team, with the exception of USC. USC is just too good. I think the game will be close early with Fresno able to put enough points on the board to keep it close, but USC will control the ball in the 2nd half and running away with it.

WaZoo 24, UW 28: Talk about your toilet bowl. Who will escape being in the Pac-10 cellar by winning this game? WaZoo at 0-7 in the Pac-10 but with the better 3-7 overall record has to travel to Seattle to face 2-8 overall Washington who only has 1 Pac-10 victory. To try to figure out who was worse, I went and looked at their schedules. Boy, Washington’s schedule had a tough middle of the season: #6 Notre Dame, followed by #12 UCLA and #10 Oregon on the road, then #1 USC at home and back to ASU on the road. That’s about as rough as one could have it this season in the Pac-10. I’m sure their head was spinning so bad after that stretch that they didn’t even have chance to see straight against OSU at home two weeks ago. In any case, the real story in this game is that everyone has figured out WaZoo. After the WaZoo vs. Cal game where WaZoo was only in the game because of the long bomb, everyone realized that if you kept behind their wide receivers, WaZoo had no offense. Washington will have some confidence after beating up on Arizona last week and I expect them to win this one in the end. If we’re all lucky, it will include another 4th quarter colapse by the Zoo boys.

Well, that’s it folks as USC and UCLA have decided to buck the trend and play their rivalry game on Dec. 3rd and the ever trendsetting Arizona schools followed suit by scheduling their game for the 25th. Check in on Monday for updated metrics.

3 Responses to “Pac-10 picks”

  1. Ken's Brother Says:

    actually, the people in Arizona meant to play their game this Saturday, but got confused when they had to carry the one… people in Arizona are stupid…

  2. Ken Crawford Says:

    Are you writing comments from the phoenix airport again, Brian?

  3. Ken's Brother Says:

    Sure Ken, I was on my way to Tuscon where I’m getting interviewed to run the Arizona Board of Tourism lol.