Pac-12 Football: Week 12 Predictions

18 11 2010

Week 11 delivered more exciting story lines with Cal players faking injuries like WWE superstars, Chip Kelly getting frustrated with sideline reporters, and Auburn’s Cam Newton still collecting cash payments to play at Auburn.

Cal’s marketing department had a brilliant strategy this past weekend. They convinced all the hippies in Berkeley that they were having a prop 19 rally at the stadium and when they showed up to the football game they spewed their venomous chants at the Oregon Ducks and almost guided their team to the upset. The infamous New York Jets reporter Ines Sainz is all-in on the Ducks this year and she loves the highlighter jerseys.

It’s safe to say that Arizona’s performance this year parallels the premature ejaculation that affects 25-40% of men in the United States. Getting revenge against Iowa, climbing to the top ten in the rankings, and now finding themselves on a 2 game skid in November leaves their gorgeous coeds as disappointed as they are in the bedroom.

Oregon State has been relegated to the doormat of the conference after getting thumped by Washington State this past weekend. The Cougs haven’t won a conference game since 2007 and there’s nothing more embarrassing than having the loss come on your home turf. Everybody should take home a cougar this week and show them some love.

On to the games

UCLA at Washington: This is a must win for both teams if they want to make it to a bowl game. If the faculty and fans  show up with the same energy that they’ve expressed about the parking and traffic situation on a busy Thursday in Seattle then the fans should be a factor in the game. Gore-Tex 27 – Flip Flops 20

Utah at San Diego State: Utah felt the wrath of Jesus at Notre Dame last week while San Diego State gave TCU all they could handle. Which Indian tribe will go Apacalypto on the other? Utes 28 – Aztecs 24

USC at Oregon State: Lots of double entendres when the Beavers and Trojans face off this weekend, but I’ll let your imaginations run wild with it. I’m guessing the Beavs were looking ahead to this weekend, but they love crapping on USC when they come to town. Beavers 27 – Trojans 24

Stanford at Cal: Cal fans took over Stanford’s stadium last year after upsetting them in Palo Alto, and look for them to rejoice again in Strawberry Canyon. Mike Mohamed and Mychal Kendricks will be all over Andrew Luck and the Bears come away victorious 24 – 20

2010 Prediction Record 61-19

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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 Divisions and SEC Bias

26 10 2010

Larry Scott has finally decided how to divide the conference and they went with a North-South split to make it easier for novice fans to understand the alignment of teams. I liked the zipper plan if you were only going with two divisions, but maybe this one will grow on me. Here are some great pictures of the teams in their divisions from Pac12Cooler.com

It was widely known that Utah or Colorado had negotiated a deal to be in the same division as the So. Cal schools, which should boost their ability to recruit the hot bed of Los Angeles. Colorado has had recent success recruiting in the Golden State, and in 2008 they signed the top rated running back in the nation, Darrell Scott out of Los Angeles.

From a competition standpoint, I think the better division will alternate on an annual basis. USC will be down throughout their probationary period, but they’ll be back after Kiffin is fired in a couple of years. If the season ended today, here’s how the divisions would be split and I don’t think you could ask for a more competitive balance.

North South
#1 Oregon #2 Utah
#3 Stanford #4 Arizona
#5 Oregon State #6 USC
#7 Cal #8 ASU
#9 Washington #10 UCLA
#12 WSU #11 Colorado

The changes that happened were necessary, but these incremental changes don’t do much to shape the landscape of college football. The Pac-12 is the most balanced conference between academics and athletics, and the rest of the country relies on us for answers. Our conference is set up perfectly to be the first to have three divisions based on geography. We spoke about this in our playoff article, but it’s worth reiterating that the Pac-12 is unique in its geographic landscape and the natural rivalries in six regions. The three divisions for the conference should have been California, Northwest, and Rockies.

What would have followed the three divisions is the real breakthrough, a four team conference playoff which includes the top team in each division and a wildcard team. At some point one of the conferences decided to have a championship game. Eventually one of the BCS conference commissioners is going to have to make changes that differentiate itself from the rest of pack. Once the conference has success with the four team playoff, it’s easy to expand with another conference like the BigTen (which will have 12 teams after Nebraska joins in 2011).

The current system is designed to have an SEC team in the BCS Championship Game every year. ESPN is the main media outlet and they have a $2 billion dollar media contract with the SEC. You don’t need a degree from Harvard to realize that  an investment of that magnitude needs to be protected. The evil four letter network spends almost half its time covering the SEC to provide more exposure to the conference. The entire BCS system is completely backwards and driven by ulterior motives outside of competition.

In psychology they call this the exposure effect, a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle. In studies of interpersonal attraction, the more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be. What other sport has journalists as a component of which team plays in the national championship? Which other sport has computers with a secret formula that determines who plays in the championship? What kind of system has coaches vote on who gets to play in the championship? It seems blatantly obvious that they would overrate the teams in their own conference to boost their strength of schedule.

The Harris poll (which is composed of former players, coaches, administrators, current and former media) accounts for one third of the BCS equation, so naturally ESPN will want to show off their $2 billion child in the SEC. On an annual basis the Spring games are equivalent to recording your baby’s first steps. The twenty times Alabama and Florida were recorded during their summer practices were the first days of school. The start of college football season is the teenage years – teams trying to form an identity and be independent. The overprotective parents (ESPN) won’t let them fall without pumping them back up. Every time one of their teams lose a game (Florida), ESPN is right there plugging another SEC team (Auburn). The exposure effect continues the vicious cycle of SEC familiarity and guarantees one of their teams a shot at the national championship.

If Larry Scott doesn’t realize that the change needs to come within the conference, then the Pac-12 is right where it was with Tom Hansen – failing to have the foresight to be the Leader of the Pac.

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2010 Midseason All Pac-12 Team

18 10 2010

Time for our first annual Mid-Season team and you can already see some shakeups from our preseason team, most notably Jake Locker getting cut from the team. Locker’s numbers would probably look better if Jermaine Kearse didn’t lead the Pac in drops with 9, but you take the good with the bad and he’s been productive when he holds onto the ball. The tight ends in the conference haven’t been used as much as they have in the past, but Coby Feleener of Stanford has been consistent catching the ball and solid in run blocking.

1st Team

Offense

QB Andrew Luck Stanford
RB LaMichael James Oregon
RB Shane Vereen Cal
WR Juron Criner Arizona
WR Jermaine Kearse Washington
TE Coby Fleener Stanford
OL Bo Thran Oregon
OL Adam Grant Arizona
OL David DeCastro Stanford
OL Butch Lewis USC
OL Ryan Taylor UCLA

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the first team defense is the freshman Justin Washington making the team. He benefits from playing alongside two of the best defensive ends with Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore, but he’s taken advantage of his opportunities. Mason Foster will lead the conference in tackles this year, because the Husky defense will struggle to get off the field, but Akeem Ayers plays a bigger role in the success of UCLA. Sophomore Cliff Harris of the Oregon Ducks leads the conference with 4 interceptions and has a couple punt returns for touchdown this year so he makes the list as a corner back and punt returner.

Defense

DL Brooks Reed Arizona
DL Jurrell Casey USC
DL Justin Washington Arizona
DL Kenny Rowe Oregon
OLB Mason Foster Washington
MLB Vontaze Burfict Arizona St
OLB Akeem Ayers UCLA
CB Cliff Harris Oregon
CB James Dockery Oregon St
S Rahim Moore UCLA
S TJ McDonald USC
PR Cliff Harris Oregon
KR Travis Cobb Arizona

For the 2nd team, Matt Barkley got the nod over Nick Foles. Barkley has been impressive in his last few games and absolutely torched a solid Cal defense yesterday. Leaving JacQuizz Rodgers off the list might surprise some people, but he just hasn’t produced like the team needs him to. Part of the problem is the offensive line and combined with an inconsistent passing game, opposing defenses can stack the box. Robert Woods makes the list over his teammate Ronald Johnson and he’s quickly becoming one of the top wide receivers of the conference.

2nd Team

Offense

QB Matt Barkley USC
RB Johnathan Franklin UCLA
FB Stanley Havili USC
WR Jeff Maehl Oregon
WR Robert Woods USC
TE Joe Halahuni Oregon St
OL Zane Taylor Utah
OL Carson York Oregon
OL Chase Beeler Stanford
OL Mitchell Schwartz Cal
OL Colin Baxter Arizona

2nd Team Defense

DL Ricky Elmore Arizona
DL Brandon Bair Oregon
DL Travis Long WSU
MLB Shane Skov Stanford
MLB Mychal Kendricks Cal
MLB Casey Matthews Oregon
OLB Sean Westgate UCLA
CB Omar Bolden Arizona St
CB Darian Hagan Cal
S Delano Howell Stanford
S Lance Mitchell Oregon St
PR Ronald Johnson USC
KR Kyle Middlebrooks ASU

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Pac-12 Football : Week 7 Predictions

15 10 2010

Utah vs Wyoming 3:00PM: Wyoming’s plan of having the ugliest uniforms in the NCAA distract the opposing team will not work this weekend. Jordan Wynn and the Utah offense are too powerful for the Cowboys secondary. Wyoming typically has a home field advantage with the high elevation, but it won’t factor in this game because the Utes also train at high altitude. Utes 41 – Cowgirls 20

Cal at USC 12:30PM: I was surprised that Lane Kiffin didn’t attempt a 2 point conversion at the end of that Stanford game. USC’s passing defense is among the worst in the country, but Tedford doesn’t trust Riley enough (and with good reason) to put the game in his hands. Cal hasn’t won at the Coliseum since 2000 and the streak extends this weekend. Trojans 27 – Bears 23

Arizona at Washington State 4:30PM: What’s the difference between a wildcat and a cougar? The Wildcats have looked complacent since climbing into the top 10 against Iowa. The Cougars are fighting for their dignity every weekend, but they won’t find it this weekend. Cats in the Wild 41 – Old Chicks at Bars 20

Oregon St at Washington 7:15PM: The Beavers are hitting their stride and the Huskies are more unpredictable than dogs with heterochromia of the iris (two different colored eyes). When everybody is picking against them, I’m sticking with these loyal mammals. Dawgs in an upset 31 – Rodents 30

2010 Prediction Record 41-9

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