For some reason, I have yet to make my picks known. Probably because I’ve rarely posted since the season begun. As conference games are pretty much underway, starting this week I’ll select winners in each game involving a Pac-10 team.
UCLA 20 Fresno State 17 (Fresno State by 7): Pat Hill should win this game. The Bulldogs are more physical and are senior-laden. Yet, Slick Rick has a way of getting his team up for one game. The Rose Bowl will have an estimated 25,000 Fresno State fans in attendance and even the UCLA athletic department seems to think the Bruins are in trouble. While Hill has a motto of “Anyone, Anywhere” that hasn’t really translated into consistent 10 win seasons, even in its non-BCS conference. The Bruins force some turnovers, play well on special teams, and sneak away with an upset victory, for the second time this season.
Oregon 38 Washington State 9 (Oregon by 20.5): Oregon has absolutely no luck at all when it comes to quarterbacks. But, that running game is still dominant and against Wazzu, that’s all you need, ask Cal. As incredible a victory as Oregon State over USC, this would by far be the biggest upset thus far in the Pac-10.
Stanfurd 23 Washington 20 (Washington by 4): Until they prove otherwise, the Huskies are the seconde-worst team in the conference. At least the Furd has beaten USC, and, according to the transpositive theory of college football, Ohio State. I expect a pretty competitive game and I’m actually interested in seeing if Jake Locker can finally get something going this week against a decent Furd defense.
Cal 45 Colorado State 14 (Cal by 26): The Bears will break the conference’s losing streak against the Mountain West and will recover from their disappointing loss at Maryland. This is still, in my non-expert opinion, the second most talented team in the conference lacking only experience. Last year, Cal played a fairly avrage contest against the Rams, even letting them back into the game late while backups played soft. This time, the Bears know how to close. Cal’s second’half play is much improved and it seems to be where Riley shines. That said, the key to Cal winning this game is running the ball, doing so early, and not giving up even if the Rams load eight in the box. With Calvin recovered, the passing game should be able to take advantage of the stacked front and finally start connecting on deep routes.