If Arizona State had come up with a score on their final drive last week the NWX blog could have posted a very rare perfect week. That was not to be, so instead I'll take a 9-1 record to push me to 27-5 on the season.
Now it gets hard. Starting this week the Pac-12 teams will be playing almost all conference games and there is quite a bit of parity. Home field is huge in this conference and really only Stanford and Oregon have shown they should be favored in any game.
Speaking of those two schools, how about Arizona's schedule? Two weeks ago they played Oklahoma State, then last week Stanford, and this week Oregon. Three top-10 teams in a row...that's tough.
This is a make-or-break week for the UCLA Bruins and Oregon State Beavers. A loss by either team could pretty much end any bowl hopes, but the game is being played in Corvallis AND the Beavers should be much improved. They didn't get freshman running back Malcolm Agnew back, but they will have redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Mannion taking all of the snaps AND seniors James Rodgers (WR) and Joe Halahuni (TE) will be making their season debuts. You can see my pick below, but I don't think it's very close.
I'm happy to see the conference opted against bringing in Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. While all of those universities would bring great traditions, I get the distinct impression both UT and OU felt they would be able to come in and control the conference, to run it the way they see fit. Texas doesn't want to share it's TV network and OU simply thinks they know better than everyone else, as evidenced by their assertion they would only stay in the Big 12 if commissioner Dan Beebe were replaced (among other demands). Today word leaked there will be a new commissioner.
Thank you, Larry Scott - I'm sure you want to deal with prima donnas like that less than I want them in the Pac-12.
On to the games! (Rankings in parentheses (AP, ESPN). All times Pacific.)
(Time - Matchup - Network - Pick)
12:30pm - UCLA at Oregon State - CBS College Sports Pacific - OREGON STATE
12:30pm - Colorado at Ohio State (32, 26) - ABC/ESPN2 - OHIO STATE
12:30pm - California (t42, 32) at Washington (NR, t42) - ROOT - CALIFORNIA
7:15pm - Oregon (10, 13) at Arizona - ESPN2 - OREGON
7:15pm - USC (23, NR) at Arizona State (36, 35) - ESPN - ARIZONA STATE
Utah (t30, 34), Washington State and Stanford (5, 5) are off this weekend.
Who do you pick?