The conference plays 4 games this weekend (Oregon State and USC take the week off) and one is already over. Considering that we would have predicted Oregon to win anyway, we’ll just take the liberty of counting that one as a win. Seriously: did anyone think that UCLA would upset Oregon on a nationally televised, Thursday night game in Autzen Stadium? The preview of Stanford and Washington State can be read here, which means that we only have two more conference games to preview for you. Nonetheless, that’s two more than none, so here are your Week 8 PAC-10 previews.
- Arizona State at California: This is a battle of two teams that show frustratingly rare flashes of brilliance. Arizona State played #1 Oregon, #11 Wisconsin, and Oregon State close before eventually losing all three games, and ASU beat Washington by 10 two weeks ago before taking a bye week last Saturday.The Sun Devils also put up a lot of points (nearly 33 per game) and have a national top-20 passing attack. Cal looked great two weeks ago against UCLA in beating the Bruins 35-7 in Berkeley, and nearly beat a then-unbeaten Arizona team the week before that. But last week in the Coliseum, Cal got thumped by USC and the Bears looked terrible against Nevada on September 17th. While neither team is consistent enough to bank on, Arizona State should be able to use the bye week to narrowly edge Cal in Memorial Stadium, but the upset (Cal is a 3.5-point favorite) is definitely not a lock.
- Washington at Arizona: Arizona quarterback Nick Foles won’t play this week after hurting his right knee against Washington State last week, and the loss of their quarterback will be detrimental to the Wildcats in this game. Backup Matt Scott is good enough to help the Wildcats win games, but Washington had a good chance to win this game even if Nick Foles had been at full health and took every snap. After Washington’s impressive offensive showing last week against Oregon State, the Huskies look like the kind of team that can upset almost any team in the conference (except, perhaps, Oregon). With a backup quarterback and a streak of disappointing performances, Arizona will fall to Jake Locker and Washington. Vegas is giving Arizona 6.5 points in this one. A wise man may not gamble, but he’d bet on Washington if he did.