Hey look! A winning week all the way around last week, despite what might have been one of my worst picks of the season, thinking Cal could beat Stanford.
So much for that. But I got all the other games right, and missed only on the spread of the Arizona-UW game.
So with that momentum in hand, on to this week’s picks. As always, the lines are from the Seattle Times and I’ll save the UW game for a later entry.
UCLA AT ARIZONA STATE (Devils by 6.5): Arizona State, at 3-1 in conference play, remains the most serious threat to USC in the South — the Trojans are 4-1 with every other team in the division having at least two conference losses. ASU’s bubble was burst quite a bit with the big loss to Oregon. But it’s also beginning to look like Oregon may just be that much better than everyone else in the conference. UCLA seems to have leveled out a little bit after its fast start to the season. In a battle of promising freshman QBs, I’ll go with the one playing at home. ASU 31, UCLA 24.
COLORADO AT OREGON (Ducks by 45.5.): Bud Withers of our staff determined this week that this is the largest spread for a conference game in Pac-12 history. And for good reason — it’s hard to envision any scenario where the Buffs keep this close, let alone win. The tricky part is obviously the spread — the Ducks figure to build a big lead early and might not bother trying to do much from there with a trip to USC on tap next weekend. On the other hand, Oregon has the BCS computers to satisfy, as well. OREGON 59, COLORADO 6.
USC AT ARIZONA (Trojans by 6.5): UW’s last two foes meet in an intriguing battle in the desert — based on what we saw of the two, there’s no reason to think Arizona can’t win. USC under Monte Kiffin’s defensive coordinator-ship has often struggled with running quarterbacks. So if Matt Scott plays well, the Wildcats should stay in this one. Figure USC to try to do what UW wanted to do but couldn’t, though — go at Arizona’s corners and take a lot of deep shots. If Matt Barkley and the Robert Woods-Marqise Lee duo are on their game, the Trojans should be able to pull this one out. USC 41, ARIZONA 34.
WASHINGTON STATE AT STANFORD (Cardinal by 24.5): Stanford appears to be finding itself — for all the talk of UW’s schedule, it probably played the Cardinal at just the right time. Stanford’s defense looked dominating as expected last week against Cal and its offense seems to be playing to its strengths better. In WSU’s last game, it got beaten pretty soundly by the same Cal team the Cardinal just thrashed in Berkeley. No real reason to think there’s be an upset in the offing here. STANFORD 38, WSU 13.
CAL AT UTAH (Utes by 1): UW’s next two opponents meet in Salt Lake City. And the game looms as something of a last stand for the Bears — now 3-5 — to salvage their season, and maybe to save Jeff Tedford’s job. Utah is 2-5, but after this it hosts WSU and also still has Washington and Colorado on the schedule. So Utah is also surely thinking if it wins this one it still has a chance to get to a bowl. I picked Cal last week. I won’t do the same here, as I think the Utes’ defense will do enough to get the job done. UTAH 21, CAL 13.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: 3-2
AGAINST THE SPREAD: 20-34.