Pac-10 Week 5: Early Season Showdown

With last week's predictions I felt very strongly about five of the six picks, with choosing Oregon State over Boise State the one most likely questionable. As it turns out that was true, but I couldn't have been more wrong about choosing Texas over UCLA.

Apparently it's time to re-think the position that UCLA is going to be a doormat. Either that or Texas was way overrated to begin with - likely some of both.

The end result is I went 4-2 last week, putting me 27-7 on the season.

This week there are only four games - Arizona and California have the week off - but there is a doozy. Stanford is visiting Oregon in a matchup between the two teams who look like the class of the conference so far (it's hard to tell, since Oregon hasn't actually been challenged yet - ASU did a little, but turning the ball over seven times gave the game away) in Eugene. It's also a serious mismatch in styles. Stanford is a smash-it-down-your-throat team who controls the tempo and mixes it up with deep bombs from stellar quarterback Andrew Luck, while Oregon's spread offense is all about scoring as fast as possible.

Can Stanford contain Oregon's speed? Can Oregon answer Stanford's power?

It's really too bad this game is happening in Week 5 - it just feels like the game that could go a long way in determining the race for the Rose Bowl should be a little later in the season.

Just up the road in Corvallis the Beavers will be looking to get well against the ASU Sun Devils. How good are the Beavers? Do we know after their tough early schedule? And what of the Devils? The hung around for a bit against Oregon after almost beating Wisconsin on the road.

Once again, I can't wait.

I'm rethinking my tiers also - this week they look like this:

Tier 1 - Oregon, Stanford

Tier 2 - Arizona, USC

Tier 3 - UCLA, Oregon State

Tier 4 - California, Arizona State, Washington

Tier 100 - Washington State

UCLA goes up, Zona drops a tad, and so does Oregon State and California. A win by the Beavers this week would put them back in Tier 2.

One more thing I want to say about the Beavers, now that they have played both TCU and Boise State. The Broncos are without a doubt a much, much better team than TCU. There is no way the Horned Frogs should be part of any BCS bowl conversation as long as the Broncos remain unbeaten. But do we really know what the 2010 Beavers are about? They haven't turned the ball over, Ryan Katz has been solid if inconsistent, Jacquizz Rodgers hasn't busted loose yet, and the defense hasn't shown the ability to enforce their will. But then again, they've played two top-five teams. Should there be concern at 1-2? Or has their schedule just been that difficult it's hard to guage?

And as for the Broncos, I really feel the winner of this week's Oregon-Stanford game should knock them from their third-ranked perch.

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).


12:30pm - Washington State at UCLA (33, 37), Fox Sports Northwest - UCLA
3:30pm - Arizona State at Oregon State (34, NR), Fox Sports Northwest - Oregon State
5pm - Stanford (9, 13) at Oregon (4, 4), ABC/ESPN2 - Oregon
5pm - Washington at USC (18, *), ESPN2/ABC - USC

* USC is not eligible for the USA Today Coaches Poll because of NCAA sanctions

One quick note on the game of the week pick: I'd be picking Stanford if that game was in Palo Alto. I think Oregon lucked out on the scheduling this year.


No dice on finding the shot glasses for the Misaki picks. Might have to do some research into coming up with something else. If anyone has a suggestion, feel free to leave it in the comments below.

She'll take OSU over the Devils too.

And I know about the time I spend money on something, the shot glasses will magically appear like they have been right under my nose every time.

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