Saturday is almost here and that means we’re looking at every game to be played by PAC-10 teams. Yesterday we gave you our thoughts on the Stanford-Oregon Game of the Week, so we now turn our attention to the other 6 conference teams that play this week. Arizona and Cal both have the week off. This week, we’re differing from 3 of our 4 preseason predictions, but if history means anything, you should trust us. On the year, we’ve picked 82% of PAC-10 games correctly.
- Washington State at UCLA: UCLA should be vulnerable to being upset this week. After the big win last week at Texas, the Bruins are riding high and probably do not have the appropriate level of focus heading into a home game against a weak opponent. Plus, UCLA has been particularly unpredictable this year. After poor showings at Kansas State and against Stanford, the men from Los Angeles stormed back to beat two ranked teams–Houston and Texas–in consecutive weeks. However, Washington State is below any level of football respectability. This team is so bad that the administration should completely change the school’s athletic persona after the 2010-11 school year. I’m thinking new colors, new uniforms, new name, everything. UCLA wins handily.
- Washington at USC: The Trojans finally blew out a team last week, and guess who it was. Washington State. Quarterback Matt Barkley is running the offense nicely, especially for a kid who graduated from high school fewer than a year and a half ago, and the home crowd in the Los Angeles Coliseum should give USC a little extra boost. Before the season, we thought that the Huskies would upset an overrated Trojan squad that was high on itself. Though USC will certainly lose several games during PAC-10 play, Washington will not hand Troy its first loss of the year. The Huskies have played very disappointing football thus far, and former Heisman frontrunner Jake Locker has completely fallen out of the conversation for not just the Trophy, but also elite college quarterback status. Unless Locker returns to form–and we don’t think that he will–the Trojans Fight On and grab the win this week.
- Arizona State at Oregon State: Without a doubt, Sun Devils-Beavers holds the second-most intrigue of any of the games on the PAC-10 slate for Week 5 (obviously Stanford-Oregon trumps all). Arizona State looked pretty darn good, especially offensively, against Oregon in Tempe last week. With almost 600 yards of offense, the Devils proved that they are a really, really good offensive squad. Conventional wisdom and Vegas say that Oregon State is the favorite, and in the preseason we picked the Beavers to win the PAC-10. But Mike Riley’s team has been even more disappointing than Washington. Though we and everyone else picked the Beavers to lose to TCU and Boise State and stand at 1-2 at this point in the season, Oregon State barely beat Louisville in between their two losses. With the talent of the Rogers brothers and one of the nation’s best coaches, it’s hard to see Oregon State not salvaging the season and going to a bowl. But they don’t look anything like a Rose Bowl contender, and Arizona State appears to be on the rise. Look for the Sun Devils to pull off the upset and send Corvallis into panic.