Pac-12 Football: Week 11 Predictions

11 11 2010

Another great week of football on the West Coast with an underdog coming out on top, Oregon continuing to be the most fashionable team in the conference, and another dramatic finish for the Trojans.

What was supposed to be the best game of the weekend quickly turned into a snoozefest between Arizona and Stanford. Insider reports are claiming that Jim Harbaugh brought in some sheriffs to ask the Arizona players for their immigration papers. Many of the long-haired Wildcats couldn’t provide their documents which led to some lengthy cavity searches that left the players distraught.

The California Golden Bears actually got away from their cave known as Strawberry Canyon! They only get half-credit since it was Washington State.

The Huskies are playing like they were recently neutered, but they came out and fought hard. If they would have beat the 34 point spread it would have been as good as a victory.

USC Knows Drama – should be the new tagline for TNT this season.Lane Kiffin is quickly turning into our version of LSU’s Les Miles, except not as lucky. For the third time this season the Trojans were facing an opponent kicking the game winning field goal and for the first time, they missed.

No. 1 Oregon at California: Cal’s Brock Mansion has the perfect name for the porn industry, but the big man on the screen will Darron Thomas. Size matters, Ducks roll 41 – 20

Washington State at Oregon State : Oregon State has no room for error with the back end of their schedule including USC, Stanford, and Oregon. Beating Washington State is a must-win if the Beavers plan on heading to a bowl game. Beavers 33 – Cougars 17

USC at No. 18 Arizona: The Wilcats have played well against USC in recent years, but how will they fare after flopping in Palo Alto? If Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed can pressure Matt Barkley, they should get the win. Pussy Cats 27 – Condoms 24

No. 6 Stanford at Arizona State: This matchup pairs the ugliest coeds in the conference against the licentious ladies of ASU. The Sun Devil defense has the speed and strength to slow down the Stanford offense, but they always find a way to lose the close game. Trees 27 – Demons 23

Utah at Notre Dame: Utah gets its second religious institution in a row, but who’s side will Jesus be on this one? The Utes get saved 30 – 24

Iowa State at Colorado: The Buffs fired their coach Dan Hawkins this week, but I don’t think they’re better for it. Iowa State will take advantage of their opportunity. Cyclones 27 – Buffs 20

2010 Prediction Record 58-16

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Pac-12 Football: Week 10 Predictions

4 11 2010

After picking three upsets last week and watching all three of them turn into blowouts we’re playing this week conservatively. Before we get to the picks it’s time to update our fans on the state of the Pac-12 Union.

In case you haven’t heard about the Oregon Ducks, there’s a pandemic amongst their fans this season. Apparently all of the high-fiving in Euguene after touchdowns has led to a substantial increase in carpel tunnel in the camouflage clad fans.

Some insider information out of Los Angeles is saying that the NCAA is looking into imposing more sanctions on USC for treating their match up with the Ducks as a fictitious bowl game. The reasoning being that the Trojans are banned from bowl games until 2012.

I spoke with Jeff Tedford’s psychiatrist this week and he’s recently been diagnosed as agoraphobic. This explains the awful road performances and their third blowout this year.

Texas continues to prove that they were not a good fit for the Pac-12. UCLA served them up a can of whoop ass in non-conference play, but even more embarrassing is the back-to-back home losses to Iowa State and Baylor.

Oregon State’s orange and black uniforms were the perfect Halloween costume…

On to the games

California at Washington State: The bipolar Bears will try to give this one away, but Washington State is playing to keep their conference losing streak alive. Bears 34 – Cougars 20

Washington at #1 Oregon: The Huskies are giving up 212 yards per game on the ground, expect the Ducks to triple it if they want to embarrass their uncompetitive rival. Ducks 63 – Huskies 6

Oregon State at UCLA: The Beavers have hit their midseason stride and will continue to run right over the helpless Bruins. Baeaves 30 – Baby Bears 20

Arizona State at USC: Let’s see if the salesman Lane Kiffin can get the troops to buy into another “this is our bowl game” motivational speech. The stands should have some amazing talent on display from the coeds. Trojans 28 – Sun Devils 23

Colorado at Kanas: Now that basketball season has started the Kansas fans will start disappearing from the football stadium. Cody Hawkins should have more success than his 17 of 44 performance last week. Buffs 27 – Jayhawks 21

#15 Arizona at #13 Stanford: In the game of the week the winner will move to number two in the conference power rankings. The Wildcats should be able to spread Stanford’s secondary out in space and make plays, but they’ve struggled in the red zone. Stanford will try to run the ball early and wear down the two defensive ends Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore. Trees 37 – Cats 33

#3 TCU at #5 Utah: The game of the week nationally and the spot for ESPN’s College Gameday heads to watch two unbeatens square off. The Utes have played great defense this year and I’m expecting them to contain the Andy Dalton and the option offense. Utes 27 – Horny Frogs 24

2010 Prediction Record 54-13

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Pac-12 Football: Week 9 Predictions

28 10 2010

Arizona at UCLA: The UCLA defense should have more success against Arizona’s spread than they did with the Ducks, but they’ll have trouble scoring points against Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore. Wildcats 27 – Bruins 17

Cal at Oregon State: Tedford has the schizophrenic Bears playing with confidence after the beat down they handed Arizona State. They haven’t played well on the road, but have had some success in Corvaillis. The Bears stop the run and Katz fails to deliver. Bears 27 – Beavers 24

Washington State at Arizona State: Vontaze Burfict had two personal fouls last week, the over under this week is 1.5. Devils 33 – Cougars 20

Stanford at Washington: Like I’ve said before, every other game is a must win for the Huskies. Stanford’s secondary is weak enough to keep an inconsistent Jake Locker offense running. Dawgs 33 – Cardinal 31

Colorado at Oklahoma: The Sooners were caught looking ahead to the Colorado game and slipped up against Missouri. Stoops is now working for style points to get back into the championship picture. OU 41 – CU 20

Utah at Air Force: This is a tough road test for the Utes with the triple option Air Force offense. I’m guessing our flying military comes out strong, but fizzles in the second half. Utes 30 – Pilots 24

Oregon at USC:
The Trojans have had two weeks to prepare for this game and when you compare coaches this is really no contest, but the Trojans are better at quarterback. The Trojans offensive line doesn’t give up too many sacks and the over-aggressive Ducks secondary will pay in this game. Trojans in a shootout 37 – 34

2010 Prediction Record 50-10

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Pac-12 Football : Week 8 Predictions

21 10 2010

Washington at Arizona: Every other game is a must win for the Huskies, and since they won last week they will probably come out flat. Zona will spread out Washington and get their players in space to make plays one on one. Wildcats 30 – Huskies 27

UCLA at Oregon: The Bruins pistol offense was firing blanks the last time we saw it, and even if they’re successful in this game they won’t be able to stop the Ducks for a full 60 minutes. This UCLA defense will need to stack the box and rely on their secondary to not give up the big plays through the air. They will be in the game as long as they stop the run, about 1/2 a quarter. Ducks 44 – Baby Bears 17

Washington State at Stanford: The Cardinal are going to cruise in this game, but Harbaugh needs to know when to pull the starters and keep the team fresh heading into the back-end of the season. Trees 47 – Kittens 17

Arizona State at California: Instead of playing to win, Jeff Tedford has the Bears playing not to lose. This Sun Devil defense is good enough to stop the Cal running game and force Riley to throw the ball. If the fighting Tedford’s can’t get their passing game clicking in this one, then they will lose the game. Cal is a great home team though. Bears 31 – Sun Demons 24
Colorado State at Utah: The Utes haven’t been able to force many turnovers this year, but luckily they won’t need them against CSU. Look for the best name in college football (Shaky Smithson) to be the X-factor in this game. Utes 44 – Rams 14
Texas Tech at Colorado: The Buffs were whipped by Missouri’s spread offense and Tubberville has the Red Raiders playing with confidence. This game means a lot more for Dan Hawkins, so I’m expecting them to come out fired up. Buffs 27 – Raiders 24
2010 Prediction Record 45-9

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Pac-12 Football Playoffs Part 2

13 10 2010

I despise the BCS system, and we’ve already showed how exciting it would be to have the Pac-12 Playoffs. If commissioner Larry Scott would flip the bird to the NCAA and start his own playoff system it would impact the rest of the country and be the first step towards overthrowing the BCS.

I would love to see the Pac-12 scrap the traditional eight or nine game conference schedule and do a full round-robin with only a single non-conference game. This would eliminate the need for the conference to come up with separate divisions or figuring out complex schedule issues.

At the end of the season we would have an eight team playoff with the first two rounds being at the higher ranked team’s home field. The championship game could either rotate annually around the geography of the conference or be played at a centralized and neutral site like Las Vegas.

Since the round-robin schedule is probably unrealistic for the next couple of years, my next favorite proposal of the divisions is on Pac12cooler.com which splits the teams by the geography zipper, but also follows the visible color spectrum.

Here’s where it gets a little confusing. The conference would have two divisions (yet to be named), but within them would be three separate pods (pictured below), California (Cal, Stanford, UCLA, USC), Northwest (Oregon, OSU, Washington, WSU), Rockies (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, ASU).

Every year each team plays the other three teams within their pod, the rest of the teams in their division, and two more games from the other division, one from the two pods. Playing the teams in your pod would maintain the traditional and geographical rivalries. Pictured below is an example of Washington’s nine game schedule. The teams that they would play annually are circled, and the other games from the other pods would alternate so they never go longer than one season without playing a team.

I know that the conference is planning to have a conference championship game with the top team in the zipper divisions facing off. This has worked terribly in other conferences like the BigXII which typically has the top two teams of the conference in the same division. In the ACC and SEC it has often produced a rematch of a game earlier in the year, which doesn’t typically draw much excitement. As you can see from this image, both teams in this match up wear warm colors so wherever you see a blue it’s an empty seat.

What the conference should do is start its own playoff system. The geographical pods set it up perfectly to take the top team from the three pods and one wildcard team (the team with the next best record). Starting a four team playoff would be revolutionary in the NCAA and would take the entire country closer to a playoff system. When the conference is ready for expansion it would be easy to combine with another conference and form a six or eight team playoff. If the Pac-12 teamed up with the Big Ten (+2) here’s how it would pan out if the season ended today based on rankings.

Pac-12 Ranking BigTen
Northwest #1 Oregon #1 Ohio State
Rockies #2 Utah #2 Nebraska
California #3 Stanford #3 Michigan State
Wildcard #4 Oregon State #4 Iowa

Here’s how the match ups would stack up

 

I’ll do a series to figure out how the games of the Pac-12 vs BigTen playoff would play out, but here are the early lines.

#1 Oregon vs #4 Iowa – (Ducks -13)

#1 Ohio State vs #4 Oregon State (Ohio State -7)

#2 Utah vs #3 Michigan State (Utah -3)

#2 Nebraska vs #3 Stanford (Nebraska -4.5)

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NASPAQ : Pac-12 Stock Report – Week 6

12 10 2010

At the midway point of the season we can now see that 9 teams will be competitive in the conference this season. Although Washington State is making great strides, they’re still a year away from winning a couple games in conference play.

Quarterbacks

According to Chinese Zodiac week six is the week of the quarterback and based on the performances this week that holds true. Ryan Katz (KATZ) had his coming out party by torching the Arizona defense with the long-ball and an accurate, strong-armed, intermediate passing game. The Beaver quarterback finished the day with 22 completions on 31 passes for 393 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. We thought that Katz would struggle after James Rodgers (JROD) went out with an injury, but he didn’t miss a beat. Every year Oregon State gets blown off the line of the race to the championship, but Mike Riley is a long-strider that picks up his pace in conference play.

The top three quarterbacks of the NASPAQ all had big days. Nick Foles (FOLE) threw 35 of 46 for 440 yards with 3 touchdowns, one interception. In Palo Alto Stanford’s Andrew Luck (Luck) (20-24, 285 yards, 3TD’s) and USC’s Matt Barkley (BARK) (28-45, 390 yards, 3TD’s) saw two of the worst secondaries in the country and capitalized on their opportunities. This game felt like the last team with the ball would win the game, and for the second straight week USC went down to a game winning field goal. If you’re a fan of big time passing games, then the other Bay Area game between UCLA and Cal would have put you to sleep. Kevin Riley (RILE) just hasn’t made the improvements he needed to this season and Kevin Prince (PRNC) has a lot under achieving potential at wide receiver.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Andrew Luck Stanford LUCK ↑ 25 16% $175.00
Nick Foles Arizona FOLE ↑ 20 14% $160.00
Matt Barkley USC BARK ↑ 20 15% $150.00
Jake Locker UW LOCK ↑ 10 10% $110.00
Jordan Wynn Utah WYNN ↑ 10 15% $75.00
Kevin Riley Cal RILE ↓5 7% $65.00
Darron Thomas Oregon DARR ↑ 10 18% $65.00
Tyler Hansen Col HANS ↑ 5 11% $50.00
Ryan Katz UCLA PRNC ↑ 25 100% $50.00
Jeff Tuel WSU TUEL ↑ 5 14% $40.00
Steven Threet ASU THRE ↑ 15 300% $20.00
Kevin Prince OSU KATZ ↓10 40% $15.00

Running Backs

With all the great performances we saw at quarterback this week one would expect the running back numbers to drop, but the top three guys keep on going over the 100 yard mark. It should be noted that no roster has both a top three quarterback and running back on their roster. LaMichael James (LMJ) continues to set the pace each week and playing Washington State was another opportunity for him to climb on the Heisman ballots. James had 142 yards and 2 TD’s on 25 carries and added an 84 yard touchdown reception on a wheel roue where he blew right by the defending linebacker. Shane Vereen (VERE) had almost identical rushing numbers with 25 rushes for 151 yards and 2 TD’s against the Bruins. A surprisingly poor performance came from USC’s tandem of Allen Bradford (BRAD) and Marc Tyler (MARC). The duo combined for 16 carries and 44 yards. Kiffin has always favored the passing game, but their offensive line is stacked with five star offensive lineman and they’re not running the ball with consistent success.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
JacQuizz Rodgers OSU JQR ↑ 5 4% $130.00
LaMichael James Oregon LMJ ↑ 10 6% $160.00
Shane Vereen Cal VERE ↑ 10 10% $105.00
Chris Polk UW POLK ↑ 5 5% $90.00
Johnathan Franklin UCLA FRNK ↓10 20% $40.00
Allen Bradford USC BRAD ↓5 11% $40.00
Stepfan Taylor Stanford STEP ↑ 5 20% $30.00
Deantre Lewis ASU DEAN ↓10 28% $25.00
Kenjon Barner Oregon BARN ↓10 40% $15.00
Nic Grigsby Arizona GRIG ↓5 40% $15.00
Marc Tyler USC MARC ↓10 40% $15.00
Derrick Coleman UCLA COLE ↓10 40% $15.00
Cameron Marshall ASU MRSH ↓10 50% $10.00

Wide Receivers

For the second straight week the highest wide receiver stock has moved around on the NASPAQ. Juron Criner (CRIN) took back his number one position with a 12 catch 179 yard, 1 TD performance and former #1 – Jermaine Kearse (JERM), has been battling drop like symptoms the past few weeks. True freshman Robert Woods (WOOD) had the best game of the year for Pac-12 receivers with his 12 reception 224 yard, 3 touchdown performance. Perhaps even more impressive than his numbers is that the majority of the youngster’s yards came against Stanford’s senior corner back- Richard Sherman. The Ducks Jeff Maehl (MAEL) also had a big game with ten receptions for 119 yards and a TD.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Juron Criner Arizona CRIN ↑ 15 21% $85.00
Ronald Johnson USC ROJO ↑ 5 7% $70.00
James Rodgers OSU JROD ↑ 5 7% $70.00
Jeff Maehl Oregon MAEL ↑ 15 27% $70.00
Jermaine Kearse UW JERM ↓10 13% $65.00
Robert Woods USC WOOD ↑ 30 100% $60.00
Marvin Jones Cal MARV ↑ 10 22% $55.00
Doug Baldwin Stanford BALD ↑ 20 80% $45.00
Devin Aguilar UW AGUI $25.00
D. Christopher Utah DEVO ↑ 10 66% $25.00
Jared Karstetter WSU KARS ↑ 5 25% $25.00
Keenan Allen Cal KEEN ↑ 5 33% $20.00
David Ausberry USC BERY ↓10 50% $10.00

Defensive Players Market

Our top defensive player, Akeem Ayers (AYER) finally saw his stock take a hit  with only three tackles in the loss at Cal, but the other two UCLA linebackers (Westgate & Larimore) combined for 21 tackles. The biggest defensive star in the game just happened to be on Cal’s roster as Darian Hagan (HAGN) had five tackles, two sacks, and an interception to be the conference’s defensive player of the week.  Delano Howell (HOWL) at Stanford was jarring the ball out of receivers hands and forced a fumble. While the USC defense looked terrible, at least their cheerleaders destroyed the Stanford cheerleaders. If Stanford has another game on TV this year I think their coeds might crack my television set.

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Akeem Ayers UCLA AYER ↓5 4% $120
Rahim Moore UCLA MOOR ↑ 5 5% $105
Mason Foster UW FOST ↑ 10 10% $105
Jurrell Casey USC CASE ↑ 5 5% $100
Omar Bolden Arizona St BOLD ↑ 5 11% $100
Vontaze Burfict Arizona St BURF ↓5 5% $95
Casey Matthews Oregon MATT ↑ 10 11% $95
Kenny Rowe Oregon ROWE ↑ 5 $90
Stephen Paea Oregon St PAEA ↓5 5% $85
Mike Mohamed Cal MIKE ↑ 5 6% $85
Brooks Reed Arizona REED ↑ 5 6% $85
Mychal Kendricks Cal MYCH ↑ 5 6% $80
Delano Howell Stanford HOWL ↑ 15 23% $80
Trevin Wade Arizona WADE ↓5 6% $75
Tony Dye UCLA DYE ↑ 5 7% $75
Spencer Paysinger Oregon PAYS ↑ 5 7% $75
James Dockery Oregon St DOCK ↑ 5 7% $70
Darian Hagan Cal HAGN ↑ 20 40% $70
Cliff Harris Oregon CLIF ↑ 10 18% $65
Malcolm Smith USC SMIT ↓5 9% $50
Shane Skov Stanford SKOV ↑ 10 25% $50
TJ McDonald USC TJMC ↓5 10% $45
Owen Maracic Stanford OWEN ↑ 5 12% $45
Richard Sherman Stanford THOM ↓10 20% $40
DJ Holt Cal HOLT $25
Michael Thomas Stanford THOM ↑ 5 25% $25
Patrick Larimore UCLA LARI ↑ 5 25% $25

Defensive Units

You know how the saying goes when you face the pistol, “You shoot me once, shame on you, you shoot me twice…..” well the Bears weren’t fooled this time. After giving up nearly five hundred yards to Nevada they held UCLA to a paltry 144 total yards and only 26 yards on the ground. Mychal Kendricks was outstanding at linebacker for the Bears and he’s now tied for the most sacks in the conference with 4. In the USC vs Stanford game both teams looked like they were playing touch football in the secondary. The Trojans are athletic, but undisciplined and lack fundamentals in their tackling. As previously discussed about Stanford, they are slow and with the exception of Delano Howell, they’re poor tacklers. Arizona State had the best defensive performance going on the road and shutting down the Husky offense. Holding Jake Locker to just 14 points at home is impressive and Vontaze Burfict seems like he got the message of cutting back on his penalties, but that could be because he played less. And although she’s not in any UCLA apparel, we need more Rachel Lorraine.

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Oregon Defense ORED ↓ 5 4% $120
Arizona Defense ARID ↓ 10 11% $75
Utah Defense UTAD ↑ 5 6% $85
ASU Defense ASUD ↑ 15 18% $95
Cal Defense CALD ↑ 20 30% $85
USC Defense USCD ↓ 5 8% $55
Stanford Defense STAD ↓ 5 8% $55
UCLA Defense UCLD ↓ 5 16% $50
OSU Defense OSUD ↑ 5 11% $50
Colorado Defense COLD ↓ 5 12% $35
UW Defense UWD ↓ 5 12% $35

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Pac-12 – Week 6 Predictions

7 10 2010

If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend you can get your ultimate fix of Pac-12 football by taking in the UCLA vs Cal game at 12:30, then head south to Palo Alto and watch the USC vs Stanford game at 5PM.

 

UCLA at Cal 12:30 PM: Is Cal going to let the baby bears feed off of the momentum they’ve gained the past three weeks? With Kevin Prince missing a couple of days of practice combined with the Bears having already played Nevada’s pistol offense earlier in the year, I’m giving them the major edge. UCLA hasn’t won in Berkeley since the 90’s. Papa Bear 31 – Baby Bear 23

#3 Oregon at Washington State 2:00 PM: The forecast predicts Oregon Reign starting at 2:03 PM on Saturday. The Ducks could probably hang a hundred on the Cougars if they wanted to, but expect the 2nd and 3rd strings to play about half of the game. Mighty Ducks 65 – Pussy Cats 10

Oregon State at Arizona 3:00PM: The Beavers are tough to get a read on with their inconsistent offense. Will they have the Road Ryan Katz who’s inaccurate or the home Ryan Katz that delivers? With two weeks to prepare for this game Mike Stoops should have his boys ready to play. Wildcats 34 – Wood Choppers 27

USC at #18 Stanford 5:00PM: Stanford went from contender to pretender in the second half of the Oregon game, but USC is in an even worse situation with poor coaching and inconsistent play from quarterback Matt Barkley. Jim Harbaugh loved nothing more than knocking the smugness off of Pete Carroll’s face, but he might have some pity for Lane Kiffin. I like the Trojans for the upset, because I still don’t like Stanford’s running game to control the clock like they did last year. Stanford also has one of the worst home field advantages in the conference and I’m expecting Trojan fans to outnumber the Cardinal. Condoms 30 – Bonzais 27

Arizona State at Washington 7:00 PM: We haven’t had the Vontaze Bufict over/under on the number of unnecessary penalties he’ll commit in the game since week 1, but if you missed his head butt last week of Ryan Katz last week we’re bringing it back for week 6 and it’s set at 1.5. Arizona State’s defense is fast, but we like Jake Locker to build on the momentum of last week’s game. Puppies 27 – Sun Angels 21

Colorado at Missouri 4:00 PM: The Buffs are coming off a big win, but Missouri is jealous that they’re coming over to the Pac-12 and they’re going to try to spoil the party for them. The Tigers will spread out the Buffaloes and I don’t expect them getting much pressure on Blaine Gabbort. Tigers 31 – Buffs 20

#10 Utah at Iowa State 4:00 PM: Jordan Wynn is rested after the bye week and looking to get in sync with his wide receivers. Iowa State is 84th in total defense this season so the Utes shouldn’t have trouble moving the ball. I tried to find a respectable picture of Iowa State fans or cheerleaders, but they don’t have any on the interwebs. Utah 33 – Cyclones 24

2010 Prediction Record 37-7

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