After going undefeated in my conference picks (8-0), I was shown up by Oklahoma in my "Next Best 3" picks. I had the Seminoles with the upset, and as we all know, that couldn't have been further from the truth. The Sooners dominated that game and my doubts about Oklahoma have been silenced... for now. I went 2-1 in my "Next Best 3" bringing my overall record to 10-1.
Anyways, this week isn't nearly as action packed as week 2 in terms of big time matchups, but I think we should all be excited none the less.
The Pac-10 had a great week last week, getting big wins from Oregon over Tennessee, Washington over Syracuse, Cal over Colorado, and I guess you could call USC's performance vs Virginia win. The Trojans have a lot of work to do and fortunately for them, they have one of their easiest non-conference schedules in recent years. They have one more week to prep before the vicious Pac-10 season arrives.
Here, are my Pac-10 picks for the week:
No. 5 Oregon over Portland State
Shield your eyes folks, this one could get ugly. If they wanted to, I have no doubts Oregon could get to 100 points. But for obvious reasons, I think they will have their starters pulled by the middle of the 2nd quarter.
No. 18 USC over Minnesota
Minnesota is horrible, abysmal. I don't have the vocabulary to accurately describe just how bad they are. And even with USC's struggles early on this season, there is just no way they lose this game. USC get's another chance to prove to us all that they are ready for what will be a grueling Pac-10 schedule.
No. 19 Stanford over Wake Forest
Stanford lost to the Demon Deacons last season in North Carolina. At one point they were up 17-3, but they lost, partially due to a questionable call. But none the less, blowing a 14 point lead in the second half was painful, and Jim Harbaugh should have the team fired up for revenge this season at home. Stanford will take this game with Andrew Luck having a career day.
No. 9 Iowa over No. 24 Arizona
This is tough for me to do. Arizona has played phenomenally this season. Even if it has only been against Tulsa and Citadel, the team has looked great all-around. And with this being their home opener, the Wildcats should be fired up. But I think Iowa will be too much to handle. Arizona hasn't seen a defense of this quality in quite some time and unless Nick Foles and the offense can adapt quickly and score a lot of points, the Cats will lose.
No. 25 Oregon State over Louisville
Even as a Pac-10 homer, I'm dumbfounded that Oregon State (0-1), was able to jump into the top 25 despite not playing last week and having a loss on their record. But the way I see it, this makes up for the fact that Cal was robbed of a top 25 slot. Anyways, Riley will have his team ready to go as always and as with most Pac-10 teams, their offense should be too much to handle for a Big East defense.
Cal over Nevada
A lot of people are picking Nevada in this game, and I can see why. Cal hasn't played on the road yet this season and Nevada will be the best team they play prior to the Pac-10 schedule. But this team, similar to Arizona has looked great on both sides of the ball. Freshman Athlete Keenan Allen continued to impress last week with another receiving TD and Kevin Riley has run the offense to perfection so far, something all Cal fans have been waiting for ever since he arrived on campus. Cal takes this one.
Washington over No. 8 Nebraska
Yes I did just write that. Yes I am the biggest Pac-10 homer on the face of this earth, but hear me out. Jake Locker is a man amongst boys in the NCAA. He alone can win games for his team, but against Nebraska, he's gonna need a lot of help. He got that help last week vs Syracuse. And this game being at home in Seattle, will be the difference. It's the best kept secret in the west, winning in Seattle isn't easy. After a pretty poor passing performance last week from Nebraska, how will they handle the Huskies crowd? Can they rely on their run game and defense again to pull out another "W"? And if we get the usual Seattle treatment of cloudy skies and rain, how will that affect the Huskers? It's unlikely if all these things fall in place, and I'm going out on a win here, but I think if there is going to be an upset this week, this is the game.
No. 11 Wisconsin over Arizona State
Don't worry guys, I'm not gonna try to convince you that the Pac-10 team will pull through in this one. I think Wisconsin is one of the best teams in the country, even if they didn't have a very impressive win over San Jose St (28-14).
No. 23 Houston over UCLA
Anybody who watched last week's Stanford/UCLA game doesn't need an explanation for this pick. UCLA would be by far the worst team in this conference if we didn't have to put up with Washington St.
SMU over Washington St.
Washington St. barely beat Montana St. last week (23-22). If they are competitve with D-1AA schools, I don't care who you are in 1A, you should beat this team. Plus, I love June Jones and his offense should run over the Cougars.
As you guys can see, the Pac-10 has a pretty difficult schedule this week playing 4 top 25 teams including 3 of the top 11. I think the Pac-10 should go 5-5 this week (that's assuming Nebraska beats UW, but I just had to pick an upset), and anything better than that would be a plus.
Now, for the Next Best 3:
No. 10 Florida over Tennessee
Florida is one of a few teams that no matter how bad things look, they are and should be the favorite. I'd say that puts them in a class with Ohio State, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, and maybe even Boise State. That's a pretty good list to be a part of and with that said, I like them over the Vols even on the road. Tennessee showed signs of brilliance against the Ducks last week, and even though they got trampled, I think they have a lot to take away from that game. But even then, the Gators should win this.
North Carolina over Georgia Tech
Two of the many ACC teams to dissapoint thus far this season collide. It will be interesting to see what the Tar Heels can do at full strength and with their homefield advantage, I'm giving them the edge.
Michigan State over Notre Dame
Notre Dame for the second season in a row lost to the Wolverines on a long, late drive. Michigan State, similar to Michigan has a great running game and as we saw, Notre Dame's defense had difficulty stopping it. In fact, they didn't stop it as Denard Robinson rolled. I think that, combined with the homefield advantage gives the Spartans a win.
Alright guys, there you have it. Til next time.