Last week the Pac-10 predictions were a little rough on me. I picked more than one upset - one of which did not pan out at all, thank you Mr. Jake Locker for skipping the Nebraska game - but some did. I ended up going 7-3 on the week, which was a nice recovery considering Cal and Washington gave up the ghost in the first two games of the weekend. That puts me at 23-5 on the season with my picks.
Did we learn anything last week? I think we did - we learned Pac-10 teams are always unpredictable. I did not see ASU keeping up with Wisconsin or Cal getting run over by Nevada. I didn't come close to predicting UCLA would run over Houston, but then again when your Heisman candidate quarterback (Houston's Case Keenum) has his season ended and you are a minor conference team, there aren't always quality replacements to fill the gaps.
But, what really stood out, is how good Arizona and Stanford have become. All along people have talked about how amazing the Oregon Ducks have been and how dominant they have looked, but I can't honestly say I think they look better than Stanford or Zona. In fact, next week when Oregon and Stanford play that could end up being a game that determines the course of the Pac-10 in 2010.
Right now I see the Pac-10 groupings, according to all factors, coming together like this:
Tier 1 - Oregon, Stanford, Arizona
Tier 2 - USC, Oregon State
Tier 3 - Arizona State, Washington, California
Tier 4 - UCLA
Tier 100 - Washington State (yes, well, they are that bad)
ASU moved up one tier last week, while Cal dropped one. As Pac-10 play begins with a vengeance this weekend this is bound to change.
One final note for the week: I am picking Oregon State to beat Boise State. Now, that's not saying I feel 100% good about it or that I'll be shocked if it doesn't happen. What it means is they are capable of doing it if they play their game. Will they do it? Will the defense step up? Will whomever has the ball last win, because the offenses are going to go crazy? Either way, it will be entertaining.
On to this week's schedule. As always, all game times are Pacific time, followed by the network and the pick. Also, the network and whether or not it's on TV is for Portland - some games may be televised regionally, so if you live in a home market, check your local listings. Rankings are in parentheses (AP, USA Today).
12pm - USC (20, *) at Washington State, Fox Sports Northwest - USC
12:30pm - Stanford (16, 17) at Notre Dame (41t, NR), NBC - Stanford
12:30pm - UCLA at Texas (7, 4), ABC - Texas
5pm - Oregon State (24, 28) at Boise State (3, 3), ABC - Oregon State
7pm - California (38t, NR) at Arizona (14, 16), Fox College Sports Pacific - Arizona
7:30pm - Oregon (5, 6) at Arizona State (38t, NR), Fox Sports Northwest - Oregon
* USC is not eligible for the USA Today Coaches Poll because of NCAA sanctions.
Perhaps one of you is wondering where Misaki's picks are, since I made a big deal out of promising them. Well, those shot glasses I mentioned having in a box? That box is apparent MIA. Missing In Action. I know it's around here somewhere, but I'll have to do some looking. The odd thing is we don't have piles of boxes to look through - our garage is clean (well, organized, not clean) - so I'm at a loss as to where they are.
In the meantime, know Misaki will also take the Beavers over the Broncos. Hey, she is 1-0 so far this year.