Pac-10 picks

OK, here are my picks for this Saturday.

Cal 35, USC 24: I know this is a bold prediction but I think it is right.  When I matched up the 6 common opponents (ASU, UA, UO, OSU, UW and WSU) and saw that USC gave up just as many points as Cal did against them but outscored USC by 50%, I was convinced that Cal should win this game.  Don’t buy into the “USC is back after the last two weeks!” crud.  Stanford is, well, Stanford and we demolished Oregon just as badly as USC did.  In fact, I though Cal did a better job against Oregon because Oregon shot themselves in the foot more often against USC.  So why should USC get credit for the ordering of their schedule to suggest they’re “peaking”?  Additionally when one looks at the overall picture of those 6 games, Cal’s advantage becomes more clear.  The only game where USC did a obviously better job than Cal was Arizona and there were 3 games in which Cal did substantially better (OSU, WSU and ASU).  There’s no reason to think that USC has an advantage in this one, particularly considering how well Cal has played USC during the Tedford era.  Expect a key pick from Hughes or DeCoud to be the difference maker.

OSU 33, Stanford 13:  It sounds funny to say, but I think Stanford is going to come out flat after their “big win” last week.  OSU will be looking for revenge after their big UCLA let down.  This game could get ugly in Palo Alto.

Arizona 17, Oregon 27: Watch out Oregon, this game could be trouble.  However, being at home and looking for validation after the loss to USC, expect Oregon to win this one in an ugly game.

UW 17, WSU 24: Both of these teams are sinking quickly.  WSU looked like a contender after the Oregon victory.  It’s been downhill ever since, losing to both mediocre Arizona schools.  Washington, minus the strong performance against Cal, has had the wheels fall off the bus without Stanback, culminating with the laughable loss to Stanford.  If I were a prune company, I’d be looking to get sponsorship rights for the “Apple” cup.  WSU prevails on the Frosen Potato Patch (not to be confused with the Frozen Tundra).

UCLA 24, ASU 27: This is probably the game of the week.  UCLA needs to win either this game or against USC to be bowl eligible and ASU wants to keep out of the Pac-10 cellar.  I think ASU is finally starting to put together some good football and will win this one despite it being close.

OK, tune in on Monday for updated metrics and my thoughts on the Cal vs. USC game.

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