Once again, the conference sends all ten of its football teams to battle this weekend. Unfortunately, only one of the five contests should be fun to watch, and that’s the Stanford-Arizona game, which gets a slot in national primetime on ABC. Keep an eye on Arizona State at USC, as well, because the Sun Devils have shown that despite their disappointing record, they have the talent to compete in games against even the best opponents. The game from the Coliseum kicks off at 7:30 Pacific, so you’ll be able to catch most of the action after the conclusion of the Stanford game. We’re keeping this week’s conference picks article short, because most of these games are predictable, and we know that all you Stanford fans are focusing on Arizona, not Oregon State-UCLA. And remember that you can check out how all of these teams fit into the conference’s power hierarchy here.
- Washington at Oregon: Washington will not have (pseudo-)star quarterback Jake Locker, who’s sitting out after his various injuries worsened last week against Stanford. Oregon, on the other hand, is looking to blow out the Huskies and prove that they belong at the top of the polls and the BCS standings. The Ducks have the added benefit of being at home in Autzen Stadium, but they won’t need it. Oregon will blow Washington all the way back to Seattle.
- California at Washington State: Cal plays well at home and stinks on the road, but Washington State hasn’t proven to be a formidable opponent at any point this year. Expect Cal, even without quarterback Kevin Riley, to take care of business and notch its first road win of 2010.
- Oregon State at UCLA: Like the previous two games, this one features two teams that simply are not evenly matched. Oregon State has a ton of offensive firepower and a defense that should be able to take care of UCLA. Beaver quarterback Ryan Katz has shown that he’s soon to be one of the conference’s premier quarterbacks, and even though he hasn’t reached the elite level, he’s got a cannon for an arm and lots of talented skill players that can take the ball for big gains after the catch. With the momentum that Oregon State gained after shellacking Cal last week, look for the Beavers to run away with this game.
- Arizona State at USC: USC should win on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean that they will. We say it every week, but Arizona State can knock off a very good team, and USC isn’t even very good. ASU is the only team that’s given Oregon a game this season, and the Sun Devils only narrowly lost to Wisconsin, which might be the class of the Big Ten. That said, USC’s offensive skill should allow them to outpace ASU. If USC’s defense can do even a decent job against Steven Threet and the Sun Devil offense, the Trojans should end the night with a win in this match-up of 2-3 PAC-10 squads.