Pac-10 picks

Well, I didn’t realize that two teams were playing on Thursday night to open the season, so my first week predictions are going to be sans Oregon St. (who decimated E. Washington) and Arizona St. (who started slow but finally put N. Arizona away).  But for the remaining games…

Cal 27, Tenn. 16: This game is going to start out fast and furious but the defenses will adjust.  I expect to see two touchdowns out of Cal in their first few possessions.  After that, they’ll grind out a hard fought victory as their defense is able to handle Tennessee minus a couple break-away plays.

Oregon 31, Stanford 17: This game has a lot of question marks in it… but not so many that the final outcome will ever be in doubt.  Expect that Oregon, particularly at home, will just overwhelm Stanford and the only reason that the game will be reasonably respectible is because the Oregon defense is young.

Washington 35, SJ St. 10: Washington seems to be one of those teams that takes care of business when it’s taking care of business time and a serious choking hazard when the opponent is more reputable.  Seeing as how SJ St. is… well… how best to put this… a team that even Holmoe didn’t want to schedule any more, I’m pretty sure that Washington will do OK.  But don’t expect them to bust out the big numbers.

UCLA 17, Utah 24:  I think Utah is going to be a very tough team for a VERY young UCLA.  My only qualm with my score is that Dorrell seems to be a very good coach and gets the most out of his mediocre teams.  However, he lost his QB, RB and start TE.  That’s going to hurt.  Utah, after a rebuilding year, is going to be back on their game and one of the better non-BCS teams this year.  This is the game they need to prove that they’re back and I expect them to come out with all cylinders firing.

WaZoo 6, Auburn 45:  OK, I used to make fun of WaZoo for always playing weak non-conference games.  I take it back.  We’ve got to make a rule in the Pac-10 that they’re not allowed to play big conference teams from the East Coast.  They’re just going to make the Pac-10 look bad.

USC 24, Arkansas 13: Alright, I’m the first to state that USC isn’t going to be any good this year.  Depending on how this game looks, you may even see me pick Nebraska over USC next week.  However, Arkansas is still Arkansas and I don’t see them having the fire-power to beat USC particularly considering their one offensive strength (a power run game) plays right into the one solid, question mark free part of the USC team: their run defense.

Arizona 28, BYU 24: I think this is going to be a tough game for Arizona, even if “Lunchbox” graduated from BYU and will no longer “grace” their offensive line (see the 9th paragraph).  I think the Arizona defense will be the difference in this game and keep a potentially dangerous BYU team under control.

OK, that’s my predictions.  Unfortunately I haven’t had time to finish my “prediction challenge” website.  I’ll do my best to get it finished by week #2.  In the meantime, anyone who wants to put their predictions can do so in the comment box.  Because of the moderation feature I use, nobody will see your predictions until after the games are done since I’ll be out of town from basically now until after all the games are finished.

Check back early next week for metrics on the games and my wrap up on the Cal vs. Tenn. game.

3 Responses to “Pac-10 picks”

  1. Michael Says:

    Hey Ken! I haven’t spoken to you since, well, since the end of last season. I just don’t know what to think about this Tennessee game. Is it just that they were really, really good? Or are we just really, really bad? I used to frequently denounce the idea that any particular conference, say the SEC, was always and tremendously better than another, say the Pac-10, but, uh, unless we go 2-10 (beating Stanford and Portland St), proving that it is WE who are overrated and not our conference, that seems to be the obvious case. U$C can claim to beat SEC teams regularly, but one can do that when they get all the top talent in the country.

    So…is it about talent then? Is Marshawn only good when compared against mediocre defenses? Is Tedford perhaps not the great offensive mind we credit him to be? (Where were the trick plays…the handoffs to Marshawn that he then threw downfield…heck, even some play action?). Or…are we a team that could have won that game but just let the crowd and the expectations and the humidity get to us?

    Considering how this game will definitely affect our recruiting and recruiting is the key to success in the long term, are we destined to be a mid range P10 team forever…when will be able to stop saying “next year will be our year!”

    Hopefully I’ll see ya at Memorial next Sat and we can watch the Bears wake up and dismantle Minnesota, although I’m not as sure of that as I was a week ago.

  2. Michael Says:

    PS – WSU making the Pac-10 look bad? Heh. Man I wish UCLA would have lost. Now I have to endure their arrogance until they play Cal again.

  3. Ken Crawford Says:

    Hey Michael. I’ll leave the comments about the specifics of the Tenn. game for a new post. But the first thing to remember is that one game is just one game, particularly a game early in the season. I’d really like to replay that game in a month or two in a neutral stadium. Although I don’t know if we’d win, it would at least be a game between equals: two experienced QB’s. Two experienced secondaries, etc. We were not on equal footing in any regard this past Saturday.

    And yeah, Cal definitely didn’t help the Pac-10’s image this week… althou in my defense, neither did WSU.

    But don’t worry about Cal’s longterm success yet. If they have a 10 win season, recruiting will be great.