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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 17, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Pac-10 picks, week three

I’m realizing again why I don’t gamble much anymore (well, aside from the angry glares from my wife).
After two weeks of the football season, I haven’t had much trouble figuring out which team is going to win in the Pac-10, going 14-4 straight-up.
But against the spread I’m a Clipper-like 5-8-1 (the two records don’t match because some games haven’t had spreads), meaning I guess I’ll have to keep working for a living.
And the games only get tougher as the season progresses and the Cupcake Tech exhibitions begin to disappear.
In fact, lots of interesting matchups this week that will go a long way toward determining the national perception of the Pac-10 this year. So on with the picks.
CAL AT MINNESOTA (Bears by 14): Here’s why I like Jeff Tedford. After losing last year at Maryland when his team made the cross-country trip on the day before the game, he decided to leave for this one on Thursday, even though he doesn’t really think that’s why his team lost at Maryland. “I don’t want to be stubborn about it,” he said this week in explaining why he’d give it a try leaving a day early to see if it would make a difference. In other words, he’s admitting he doesn’t know everything and being flexible, traits not all coaches share, but ones that help make Tedford a good one. CAL 38, MINNESOTA 21.
UTAH AT OREGON (Ducks by 4.5): This line has dropped two points this week, some people jumping on a line that seemed a bit too high. But frankly, Utah hasn’t looked all that great with unimpressive wins over Utah State and San Jose State so this could be an early season Overrated Bowl. Here’s thinking Utah’s defense gets it done. UTAH 24, OREGON 17.
ARIZONA AT IOWA (Hawkeyes by 4): Here’s another line that’s come down a couple points, gamblers apparently realizing Iowa needed a miracle to not lose to Northern Iowa at home. I’ e been bullish on Arizona all along and their stats to date have looked a lot better than their scores, so I’m not going away from the Wildcats now. Plus, Pac-10 teams usually look a little faster playing those from the Big Ten. ARIZONA 27, IOWA 21.
SMU AT WASHINGTON STATE (Mustangs by 6): I remember reading my Lindy’s season preview one nice summer day and perusing the receiver ratings and being caught off-guard to see SMU ranked as having the ninth-best WR corps in the country. The magazine cited senior Emmanuel Sanders and junior Aldrick Robinson as two guys each “on NFL draft boards.” Considering the state of WSU’s secondary, each may compile a complete highlight film Saturday in Pullman against a reeling Cougar team. Each is off to a nice start combining for 27 catches andn 340 yards in the first two games. The QB move there this week reeks of desperation for a program that seems in a lot of trouble. SMU 38, WSU 27.
CINCINNATI AT OREGON STATE (Cincy by one): This might be the biggest game of the week for the Pac-10 as a solid Cincy team comes to Corvallis, the first ranked non-conference foe to make that trek since 1977. The line has come down 3.5 points this week with gamblers also worried about the state of Jacquizz Rodgers’ health. I have OSU ahead of Cincinnati in my AP poll this week so this will seem hypocritical, but after thinking about this one a little more, I like the visitors. CINCINNATI 28, OSU 24.
SAN JOSE STATE AT STANFORD (Cardinal by 17): Cardinal needs to bounce back from a loss at Wake Forest that it sounds like it really should have won. Stanford also is kind of peeved at the Spartans for backing out of a game next year and there are rumblings this could be the end of the series for a while. If so, Stanford will end it on a winning note. STANFORD 31, SAN JOSE STATE 13.
LOUISIANA-MONROE AT ARIZONA STATE (Devils by 20): It’s tempting to think Earl Monroe, even at his current age, would be more competitive. But that’s what Alabama fans probably thought in 2007 before losing to this team. ASU should win but don’t be surprised if it’s a little closer than you think. ASU 41, OLM 20.
KANSAS STATE AT UCLA (Bruins by 12.5): A memorable coaching rematch of the 1999 Holiday Bowl featuring the same KSU coach Bill Snyder, who seemed really ancient then but just recently signed a five-year extension, and Rick Neuheisel. Snyder got the better of Neuheisel then but he won’t in this one, even though the Bruins have an uncertain QB situation UCLA’s defense will be enough to pull out an ugly one. UCLA 21, KANSAS STATE 10.

SEASON TO DATE:
Straight up — 14-4.
Against the spread — 5-8-1.
And as always, I’ll pick the UW game in a separate entry later.

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