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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NASPAQ – Pac-12 Stock Report : Week 4

1 10 2010

Someone once said “To be the best you need to beat the best” and that’s precisely what the Pac-12 did with the non-conference schedule. If anybody saw the BigTen last week you would notice that they didn’t play a single compelling game. There were no ranked teams, and zero BCS opponent on the BigTen schedule. Meanwhile, the Pac-12 has beaten top ten teams in back-to-back weeks.

On to the action!

Defensive Players Market

Starting with the defense this week, if you purchased stock in Akeem Ayers (AYER) like the Week 1 NASPAQ suggested then you should feel pretty good about yourself. He sacked Garrett Gilbert so hard that it looked like a level 5 tornado hit him which forced a fumble. Ayers later had an interception to help the Bruins upset then #7 Texas. Another Bruin that contributed the biggest momentum shift in the game was Sean Westgate (WEST). His forced fumble on special teams gave UCLA the ball at the three yard line and they were much more confident after getting on the scoreboard. Stanford’s Owen Marecic (OWEN) had a moment during the Notre Dame battle that was reminiscent of Reggie Miller scoring 6 points in 4 seconds against the Knicks. Marecic scored on a one yard dive play, but since he starts at both linebacker and fullback he was right back on the field intercepting Dayne Crist and returning it 20 yards for a defensive touchdown.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Akeem Ayers UCLA AYER ↑ 20 21% $115
Rahim Moore UCLA MOOR ↑ 10 11% $100
Vontaze Burfict ASU BURF ↑ 10 11% $95
Jurrell Casey USC CASE ↑ 5 5% $90
Mason Foster UW FOST $85
Omar Bolden ASU BOLD ↑ 10 13% $85
Mike Mohamed Cal MIKE $80
Trevin Wade Arizona WADE ↑ 5 6% $80
Brooks Reed Arizona REED ↓ 5 6% $80
Casey Matthews Oregon MATT ↑ 10 14% $80
Tony Dye UCLA DYE ↑ 10 18% $65
Richard Sherman Stanford SHER ↑ 5 10% $55
Malcolm Smith USC SMIT $50
TJ McDonald USC TJMC ↑ 15 50% $45
Cliff Harris Oregon CLIF ↑ 10 33% $40
Owen Maracic Stanford OWEN ↑ 15 75% $35
Shane Skov Stanford SKOV ↑ 10 40% $35
Michael Thomas Stanford THOM ↑ 5 25% $25
Patrick Larimore UCLA LARI ↑ 5 25% $25
DJ Holt Cal HOLT ↑ 5 25% $25

Defensive Units

A week after Cal was lit up for 500 yards and 52 points against Nevada, they look like the best defensive team in the conference by holding Arizona to ten points. The Bears were dominant for the first 57 minutes of the game before giving up a 51 yard pass to Juron Criner that set up the game winning score. If their offense and defense ever click during the same game they could be a great team. We’ll find out more about Oregon’s defense this week, but they looked porous against Arizona State as they gave up 600 yards of offense. The seven turnovers are an indicator that this an aggressive unit, but they may be prone to giving up big plays.

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Oregon Defense ORED ↓ 5 3% $130
Arizona Defense ARID ↑ 10 13% $85
Utah Defense UTAD ↑ 10 14% $80
ASU Defense ASUD ↑ 15 23% $80
USC Defense USCD ↑ 10 16% $70
Stanford Defense STAD ↑ 10 16% $70
Cal Defense CALD ↑ 15 30% $65
UCLA Defense UCLD ↑ 15 30% $65
Colorado Defense COLD ↓ 10 $35
OSU Defense OSUD ↓ 5 12% $35
UW Defense UWD $35

Quarterbacks

This was an off week for our quarterbacks based on the numbers, but that could have been a result of the competition this week. Matt Barkley (BARK) has looked great in the box scores, but he could easily have thrown 10 interceptions this season. His style reminds our analysts of the Chicago Bears Jay Cutler in that he has too much confidence in his arm strength and tries to squeeze the ball in tight spots. His stock continues to rise, but we see this as a bear market after the game against Washington. Down in the desert Steven Threet (THRE) had better numbers than Nick Foles (FOLE), but their teams are headed in opposite direction. The Sun Devils have played top ten opponents each of the past two weeks and can’t seem to pull it out at the end, while Arizona has been clutch with game winning drives in their last two. Jordan Wynn (WYNN)  is back from injury and looks like he’ll be competing for top quarterback in the conference next year. The coaches across the conference should fire their recruiting coordinator’s who were in charge of his area.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Andrew Luck Stanford LUCK ↑ 5 3% $145
Nick Foles Arizona FOLE ↑ 5 8% $140
Matt Barkley USC BARK ↑ 5 4% $125
Jake Locker UW LOCK 20% $80
Kevin Riley Cal RILE ↓ 5 6% $70
Jordan Wynn Utah WYNN ↑ 10 18% $65
Tyler Hansen Col HANS $40
Darron Thomas Oregon DARR ↑ 5 16% $35
Kevin Prince UCLA PRNC ↑ 5 25% $25
Ryan Katz OSU KATZ ↓ 5 33% $20
Steven Threet ASU THRE ↓ 5 33% $10

Wide Receivers

There weren’t too many big performances this week, but Jared Karstetter of Washington State might be showing up on the IPO’s next week after his 8 receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns.  Mike Williams of Arizona State had a big game against the Oregon Ducks secondary hauling in 5 receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns, but his teammate Kerry Taylor had the best catch of the weekend. James Rodgers (JROD) didn’t have much success catching the ball, but his punt return for a touchdown boosted his stock by 22% after a couple off weeks.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Juron Criner Arizona CRIN ↑ 5 7% $75
Jermaine Kearse UW JERM $65
Ronald Johnson USC ROJO ↑ 5 9% $60
James Rodgers OSU JROD ↑ 10 22% $55
Marvin Jones Cal MARV $50
Jeff Maehl Oregon JEFF ↑ 5 12% $45
Robert Woods USC WOOD ↑ 5 20% $30
Doug Baldwin Stanford BALD $25
Keenan Allen Cal KEEN ↓ 5 25% $15
DeVonte Christopher Utah DEVO ↓ 5 25% $15
Devin Aguilar UW AGUI $15

Running Backs

LaMichael James (LMJ) continues to rip off highlight reel runs to separate himself from the rest of the running backs in the conference while JacQuizz Rodgers (QUIZ) is struggling to gain yardage. The Oregon State offense needs an accurate quarterback for their pro-style offense to be effective, but Ryan Katz (KATZ)has struggled with his consistency. The Arizona State offense has impressed me with their running back by committee. It seems like every week a new player emerges with a hundred yards on the ground and this week it happened to be Deantre Lewis with 11 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. Stanford continues to be impressive in the red zone and Stepfan Taylor (STEP) looks like he’s going to be the one to carry the load for the Cardinal. We’ll see how they do this week against the Oregon defense. This matchup last year was a coming out party for Andrew Luck as the Ducks were stacking the box to stop Toby  Gerhart.

Team Symbol Δ Δ % Total
LaMichael James Oregon LMJ ↑ 10 19% $140.00
JacQuizz Rodgers OSU QUIZ ↑ 5 4% $115.00
Shane Vereen Cal VERE ↑ 5 5% $100.00
Chris Polk UW POLK $75.00
Kenjon Barner Oregon BARN ↓10 18% $35
John Franklin UCLA FRNK ↑ 10 50% $30
Nic Grigsby Arizona GRIG ↓10 28% $25.00
Allen Bradford USC BRAD ↑ 5 33% $25.00
Cam Marshall ASU MRSH ↑ 5 33% $20.00
Marc Tyler USC MARC ↑ 5 33% $20.00
Stepfan Taylor Stanford STEP ↑ 5 50% $15.00

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Pac-12 – Week 4 Players of the Week

28 09 2010

We are a quarter of a way through the season with the most challenging non-conference schedule behind us. Some teams came out losers (Oregon State & Washington) some teams came out winners (Arizona & UCLA) and the jury is still out on a few teams (Cal, ASU, USC).

Players of the Week

Starting with the Leader of the Pac MVP this week, Johnathan Franklin finally made the UCLA offense worthy of being called the pistol. Franklin carried the ball 19 times for 118 yards and a touchdown against the former #1 ranked rush defense in the country. He did a great job of using his blockers, finding the gaps, breaking tackles, and extending plays with his tough running style. The special teams and Bruin secondary will be good enough to keep them in most games, but back-to-back wins against ranked teams is a great sign for a young team still searching for its identity. Kevin Prince had a a beautiful 38 yard touchdown run and he passed for another. A UCLA cheerleader deserves to be here on the blog today, but I’ll take the last opportunity to post a Texas girl this season.

The other big performance from a running back came from Stanley Havili of USC. Full backs don’t usually have the type of impact that this guy does, but his 59 yard rushing touchdown looked like something I do in Madden. He also caught the ball four times for 88 yards and a 58 yard touchdown. From a day when Matt Barkley was inconsistent Havili gave them the spark they needed on offense. From the defensive side of the ball Nickell Robey looks like a future Pac-12 star. He picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown.

One of my favorite players of the conference is back with Jordan Wynn returning from injury. Utah is one of the most exciting teams in the country with this guy slinging the ball around and his hand doesn’t look to be bothering him as he completed 14 of 18 passes and two touchdowns.

Bust of the Week

The Cal versus Arizona game looked more like the BigTen than the exciting brand we love in the Pac-12. To play that style of game you need to minimize mistakes , play strong defense, and capitalize on special teams play. Cal was in control of the game for 57 minutes and as they were driving down field up 9-3 they got into the field goal range. The Italian imported kicker, Georgio Tavecchio lined up on his money spot – the right hash. The kick went up and sailed wide right with two minutes and some change to play. On the next play Nick Foles connected with Juron Criner for a 51 yard pass the put them in a position for the go-ahead score.

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Pac-12 – Week 4 Predictions

24 09 2010

UCLA at #7Texas 12:30PM: UCLA had a gutsy win last week against #23 Houston and the Bruin secondary is designed to slow down a spread offense like Texas’, but look for Mack Brown to take advantage of his size up front by relying on the ground game. Longhorns 34 – Bruins 17

#20 USC at Washington State 12:00PM: Lane Kiffin is addicted to two point conversions, the Trojans haven’t played a complete game, and they have dropped in the rankings after all three of their victories. This should be the game where they put it all together and finally cover the spread for the first time this season. Trojans 42 – Cougars 20

#16 Stanford at Notre Dame 12:30PM: As we know from The Big Lebowski “Nobody F#cks with The Jesus!” Except maybe Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck of Stanford. Notre Dame’s defense will need extra prayer this week if they plan on slowing down the Cardinal offense. Trees 27 – Catholic Kids 23

#5 Oregon at Arizona State 7:30PM: ASU looked good against the big slow white guys from Wisconsin, but the Ducks have as much speed as any team in the country. The main advantage for Oregon is that they get to train with this guy. The side story for this game is the amazing talent at cheerleader that should be on display. Ducks 41 – Sun Devils 17

San Jose State at #13 Utah 7:30PM: The Utes haven’t missed a beat with the reemergence of Terrance Cain at quarterback. San Jose State doesn’t have the athletes to contain DeVonte Christopher and Jereme Brooks. A win here will bring them closer to the top ten. Utes 44 – Spartans 13

#24 Oregon State at #3 Boise State 5:00PM: This looked like a marquee game before the season started, but don’t expect it to be a close one. The Beavers might have a chance if Stephen Paea can disrupt Kellen Moore, but they haven’t been able to get to the quarterback much this year. Boise is balanced offensively and Chris Peterson should exploit the inexperience at linebacker by utilizing the tight end more. Broncos 38 – Beavers 21

Cal at #14 Arizona 7:00PM: The Bears are coming off a disappointing loss and the Wildcats just knocked off a top ten team last week. If Juron Criner doesn’t play look for Arizona to use a shorter passing game. If Cal plays to their potential and Arizona has an emotional letdown, this could be an upset. The Zona Zoo is wild at night and the Bears have struggled in Tuscon. Wildcats 31 – Bears 27 Here’s a great preview of Bears vs Housecats

2010 Prediction Record 28-4

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Pac-10 vs SEC Non-Conference Schedule

27 07 2010

As everyone on the west coast already knows, the paradox of the SEC being the top conference in the country should be questioned when you take a look at their non-conference schedules. Even without looking at the other conferences, I would be willing to bet that the SEC would be at the bottom when it comes to strength of schedule and comparing them to the Pac-12 is not even fair, but here’s the information in an excel chart.

*Rankings were determined from espn.com and nationalchamps.net

**Two different SEC opponents were ranked 25th in each poll, but unranked in the other.

Looking at the Pac-10 it looks like they typically follow a format to include one A game (BCS conference team), B game (mid-major), and C game (easy win). There are exceptions to this rule, but even the worst schedule in the Pac-10, which I would give to Arizona State for playing two FCS schools – has the Sun Devils traveling across the country to play a top ten team on the road.

In contrast, the SEC’s 48 non-conference games includes the Sisters of the South and a bunch of teams from Louisiana that they want to beat up on (Louisiana Lafayette – twice, Louisiana Monroe – three times, and Tulane). I’ve been able to deduce that either the Bayou is a recruiting hotbed, or the SEC is recruiting these teams to join the conference when they expand. How would fans react if the Miami Heat were playing 27 games a year against the D-league, or the Yankees playing 54 games a year against Triple-A teams?

Instead of playing four non-conference games, the SEC should borrow a page from the Pac-10 and do a full nine game conference schedule. The Leader of the Pac should reveal to the rest of the country what the standard is when it comes to schedules and the rest of the country is looking West to see where the standard is set. Even the two teams that are joining the conference next year are already playing strong schedules. I should also note here that the Utah Utes are the last team to beat the defending national champion Alabama Menstruating Periods also known as the Crimson Tide.

It’s not all negative when it comes to the SEC schedules with some good traditional rivalries outside of conference play in Florida-FSU, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and Clemson-South Carolina. The Tennessee Volunteers also deserved to be praised for their fortitude in regards to scheduling perennial powerhouses every season. They play against a top ten Oregon team this year, and have had UCLA, Cal, Miami, and Notre Dame on the schedule in the decade.

Top schedules in the Pac-10

Oregon State – @ #6 TCU, Louisville, @ #3 Boise State

UCLA – @ Kansas State, Houston, @ #4 Texas

Washington – @ BYU, Syracuse, #7 Nebraska

Top schedules in the SEC

LSU – #21 North Carolina, #25West Virginia, McNeese St, Louisiana Monroe

Tennessee – Tennessee Martin, #10 Oregon, UAB, @ Memphis

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