Offensively Minded's Blogs

Whew! What a week we had in the Pac-10! Week 11 was filled with wild games all across the board. From an 83-20 onslaught, to Oregon only scoring 15 points, week 11 may have been the strangest of any to this point in the season. My record for Pac-10 play was 3-1.  

The Washington State Cougars got their first Pac-10 win since 2007; on the road, in Corvalis against the Beavers none the less. Mike Riley has to be questioning the character of his team after two very poor losses in a row. A bowl game is now looking like a longshot for the 4-5 Beavers. Meanwhile, for Washington State, it appears as if they have finally turned a corner.

USC beat Arizona as I predicted, Stanford came out on top of Arizona State in an ugly one, and Oregon beat Cal in one of the most interesting games of the week.

Week 12 has a lot of bowl implications. Our first game of the week, is this Thursday, the 18th at Husky Stadium in Seattle. Washington (3-6) plays host to UCLA (4-5). This is where our week 12 journey begins.

Game 1:

UCLA Bruins vs Washington Huskies

With the return of Jake Locker for this game, the Huskies hope to keep their bowl hopes alive. The Huskies final 3 games of the year are all very winnable ones and if they can find a way to win all 3, they would be bowl eligible. UCLA also has bowl hopes however their final 3 games are a bit more difficult with among others, USC on the slate. UCLA on the other hand only needs to win 2 of their final 3 games.

Verdict: With Locker's return, and the homefield advantage in Seattle, I have to give the edge to the Huskies.

Final Score: Huskies 31 Bruins 24

Game 2:

Stanford Cardinal vs California Bears

The "Big Game"! While Stanford is ranked 6th in the nation, the Bears have dominated this rivalry of late, winning 8 of the last 9 "Big Game's". Andrew Luck's worst game of his career came last season at home vs the Bears (5-5), so I expect him to be seeking redemption. As the nation saw in last week's game vs Oregon, the Bears are a totally different team at home. With Shane Vereen, the Pac-10's second leading rusher, Cal has a very good shot at pulling off the upset.

Verdict: Cal's been great at hme thisyear, and even with history pointing towards Cal as the winner, I think Stanford is just too good for the Bears to handle this time around.

Final Score: Cardinal 41 Bears 31

Game 3:

USC Trojans vs Oregon State Beavers

Not exactly the matchup the Beavers were looking for coming off the team's most embarassing loss in years. USC is surging with 2 straight wins including a win over Arizona. Matt Barkley has looked great all season long, however, the reason the Trojans find themselves back in the top 25 is Marc Tyler who rushed for 160 yards and two scores vs Arizona. Jacquizz Rodgers has been his usual self this year, but without his brother injured, the offense hasn't looked the same.

Verdict: USC's offense is really starting to come around, just in time for a bowl season they can't participate in. However, I must give Kiffin credit for keeping this team motivated. Trojans win, ending Oregon State's 7 year bowl game streak.

Final Score: Trojans 38 Beavers 23

With only 2 Pac-10 games being played on Saturday, I will be paying especially close attention to the following 3 games.

The Next Best 3

Mississipi Rebels vs LSU Tigers

Last week, I had an absence of an SEC game in my "Next Best 3". I certainly rattled some cages in doing such, but I assure you it was just to keep things fresh. This game however intrigues me. Why you might ask? Because I believe this will be an upset. LSU has looked great of late, but I believe they might overlook the Rebels at home. With a game on the road vs Arkansas coming up, I think this game will be the upset special of the week.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Texas A&M Aggies

Ever since replacing Jerrod Jefferson, the preseason Big 12 All-American, with Ryan Tannehill, the Aggies have looked like a different team. A better team. With this game being at home, I like their chances. I'm taking the Aggies here.

Utah Utes vs San Diego State Aztecs

Was Utah just a fluke? There highest quality win came in the first week of college football vs Pitt, a team that has turned out to be a bust. After a 40 point blowout out at home vs TCU and an embarassing loss to Notre Dame, Utah needs to get back on track. A game on the road vs the Aztecs will be a tough test. Let's keep in mind, San Diego State nearly beat TCU in a close battle, 40-35. However, I think the Utes will get back on track on the road vs a tough Aztecs team.

That's all I've got for this week guys. Hope you enjoyed the read!

November 18, 2010  03:03 AM ET

Nice read as usual, OM....

November 18, 2010  04:27 AM ET

Great work OM.
Well written!

November 18, 2010  05:07 AM ET

Will def be watching the Huskies vs the Bruins tonight. And I too give UW a good chance of winning at home. I believe UW will lose at Cal next week however, and finish 5-7 on the year... If UCLA can pull this 1 out they greatly improve their bowl chances with a winnable game at ASU next Fri.

Stanford at Cal should be 1 of the top games this wkend. Stanford is arguably the best 1 loss team, and Cal is #10 in total defense (301 yds/gm) is arguably a top 10 team at home. This 1 should go down to the wire with Luck being the difference maker... Should be interesting to see if any Cal linemen suddenly develop 'cramps' and fall to the ground after looking over to the sideline!... I think Cal finishes 6-6 and gets a bowl.

OSU has had USC's # as of late. But this is a different coach and as you said, USC's offense is looking like the USC offenses of old (averaging 35 pts/gm and have scored 31 or more in all 3 of their losses). And Kiffin is starting to prove himself as a quality coach... Should be USC fairly easily at Reser Stadium. ... Unfortunately for the Beavs, I think they finish 4-8 (and after such a promising first 5 games) ... Just imagine if they had scheduled 2 cupcakes instead of TCU and Boise - they'd be bowling.

November 18, 2010  05:30 AM ET

Agree that LSU vs Ole Miss should be very interesting. Ole Miss has a lot to play for and LSU may not be taking this game completely seriously. Plus it's a 2:30 pm kick-off. So Tiger fans will not be as.... toasty as usual - most will likely still be hung over!
(At LSU, Miles is something like 30-2 in home night games, and 6-5 in home day games - and would be 5-6 if Tennessee could count!)
Last week Miles started buttering the voters up (in the event of an Auburn loss, I'm assuming) by saying that the top SEC team should automatically be in the title game. I guess he figured it worked in 2007, so why not try it again. Of course they have to beat Ole Miss 1st.

The line on this is LSU by 16, but I think it will be closer than that.

November 18, 2010  05:50 AM ET

Neb at TAMU should be fun. A&M is much improved under Tannehill and RB Cyrus Gray has stepped it up as well. Gray now has 4 consecutive 100 yd games.

Nebraska has got to be pulling their hair out now - looking back to that TX loss. If not for that 1 game they'd be in the thick of NC race. As it stands now, their best bet may be playing an unranked Big East team in the Fiesta. So we'll see how they handle the pressure.

A few weeks ago I would have picked Nebraska easily. Now I'm not so sure. The oddsmakers may agree - they have Neb by 3.

November 18, 2010  06:02 AM ET

I think 7-3 SDSU is a little underrated.
They lost at 8-2 Missouri by 3, at BYU by 3, and at TCU by 5.
That's pretty impressive, even more so for a Mountain West Team.

Can Utah possibly have 3 'dud' games in a row??

Hopefully they'll put up a fight. Whoever wins, it should be a good game.

November 18, 2010  08:04 AM ET

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Who did you predict? USC or OSU?

November 18, 2010  09:13 AM ET

Nice blog, OM. The A&M upset is a real possibility. I agree with most of your picks but don't think LSU will lose to Ole Miss. Don't know what to think about the Utah game but am leaning toward S.Diego St. Oregon St. is in a slide and USC will keep them sliding and I like your UDUB pick as well and think they will win tonight, but like CR said, they will probably lose next week at Cal.

November 18, 2010  10:08 AM ET

I like Cal at home. Should be a good one.

November 18, 2010  10:55 AM ET

What, no Ohio State versus Iowa commentary? You might be hearing from some Buckeyes on that one. Good picks and analysis, although I tend to suspect that Utah will lose to SDSU. The Aztecs are certifiably good this year, having lost by 5 or fewer to BYU, Missouri and TCU. Both teams beat Air Force in a close game, so they could be quite evenly matched.

November 18, 2010  02:17 PM ET

What, no Ohio State versus Iowa commentary?

Everybody's a critic... ;)

November 18, 2010  02:55 PM ET

(At LSU, Miles is something like 30-2 in home night games, and 6-5 in home day games - and would be 5-6 if Tennessee could count!)

Just more proof to what I said earlier. You've always got the best stats rabbit.

November 18, 2010  03:02 PM ET

Sadly, I think you are right about the USC-OSU game. Last week's game was just horrible and so unlike Riley and staff. They were just plain out coached. While I don't think Kiffin is a genius or anything, the Beavers see their season slipping away from them and I don't know if they can pull themselves upright enough to get the win.

Losing James Rodgers was the beginning, none of the other receivers really stepping up will be the ending.

November 18, 2010  07:10 PM ET

Losing James Rodgers was the beginning, none of the other receivers really stepping up will be the ending.

I totally agree.

When he went down in the UW game, I knew it would hurt the team's offense, but I had no idea it would be to this extent. They've been a different team since then, a much worse team.

November 18, 2010  07:24 PM ET

I think 7-3 SDSU is a little underrated. They lost at 8-2 Missouri by 3, at BYU by 3, and at TCU by 5.That's pretty impressive, even more so for a Mountain West Team.Can Utah possibly have 3 'dud' games in a row??Hopefully they'll put up a fight. Whoever wins, it should be a good game.

I agree. But I feel like Utah is too good to lose 3 straight games.

I think SDSU should be a top 25 team. As you point out, two of their losses have come on the road to top 25 teams, in very close games, and their other loss was on the road in a close one as well.

SDSU is just another team adding to the depth of the MWC. And just another team adding to their case to take away the Big East's automatic bid.

November 18, 2010  07:42 PM ET

Tough calls on the upsets-I can see any of them coming thru though but all of them may a bit much.

November 18, 2010  07:43 PM ET

Oh and SDSU should win this one at home-in Utah I would expect the Utes to carry the day.

November 20, 2010  06:09 PM ET

Stanford! Wow! Beating up on Cal at home, scoring that many points in the rain--very impressive.


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