I’d start off by bragging about how I almost got a direct hit on the UW game last week — my pick was UCLA 24-21 and the final was 24-23 — but I know no one wants to hear I got it right on a UW loss.
Also, me getting a pick right is kind of like George Costanza telling the truth — it’s bound to happen every once in a while just by accident.
Because even though I got that one, it was another middling week — 3-2 overall, 2-3 against the spread (I picked USC to win but the Trojans could only score as many points on ASU as Washington State did and didn’t cover and I flat out missed on OSU winning at Cal and Stanford beating Oregon).
Anyway, on this week’s picks:
UCLA AT WASHINGTON STATE (Bruins by 17-and-a-half): The line has actually gone down a half-point on this one and I’m thinking either Jim Moore is really betting big this week or there are some really desperate gamblers out there. You’d have to be, you’d think, to put your money on WSU right now in any capacity. Then again, the weather can obviously be tricky this time of year in Pullman and I guess you never know. But if the Bruins throw the ball even close to the way they did last week, this one should be easy as their defense should really make life difficult for the Cougs. UCLA 31, WSU 9.
STANFORD AT USC (Trojans by 10.5): Another line that’s come down, though this one in favor of the Cardinal — it started at 11.5. Pete Carroll said this week that the rest of the Pac-10 is beginning to catch up to USC. This feels like a game that would really indicate that. USC has lost twice and not looked great a few other times. But it also has played four of its first six Pac-10 games on the road, and six of nine overall — no other Pac-10 team has played so few home games. And despite it all, the Trojans still lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense. Toby Gerhart could just about sew up Pac-10 Player of the Year honors if he can lead the Cardinal to a win in this one. And he’ll be key so that Andrew Luck doesn’t have to do too much. But while I’ve been wrong a few other times thinking USC was due to break out, for some reason, I think returning home will finally do the trick for the Trojans. USC 31, STANFORD 17.
ARIZONA AT CAL (Bears by 2): Are the Wildcats really a contender for the Rose Bowl? This game will tell. Arizona’s kind of had the opposite schedule of USC so far — five of eight at home, including three straight Pac-10 games. But now comes a tough finishing kick of three of four on the road, with Oregon at home in between. Arizona, though, has proven tough on the road so far, losing a fairly tight one at Iowa before they had committed to Nick Foles at QB, winning at Oregon State, and losing a game to the Huskies it dominated statistically. And who knows how Cal reacts after the OSU loss and the injury to Jahvid Best. I’m riding the hotter hand here. ARIZONA 34, CAL 28.
ARIZONA STATE AT OREGON (Ducks by 18): This line moved two points in Oregon’s direction this week, probably spurred by the decision of Dennis Erickson to go with true freshman Brock Osweiler at QB. He looks like he’ll be a good one, but a QB getting a first start at Autzen isn’t really a thing to bet on. ASU has the defense to make this one interesting if Oregon isn’t ready. But you figure an Osweiler mistake or two could lead to the floodgates opening. OREGON 35, ASU 14.
LAST WEEK — 3-2 straight up, 2-3 against the spread.
SEASON — 42-17 straight up, 23-31-1 against the spread.