Pac-10 picks, Week 7

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Sometimes the difference between being a winner and being mediocre is an odd bounce.

Went 2-2 last week and the season record now stands at 27-13. Pffft.

USC 31, Notre Dame 20: It seems unlikely we're in for another blistering, but USC should extend its winning streak in the rivalry game because of one main reason: The Trojans have better players. The most engaging curiosity is whether Matt Barkley can upstage his buddy Jimmy Clausen on this big stage.

Arizona 28, Stanford 24: Arizona should be healthier this week and the Wildcats are tough at home. Also, part of the reasoning here is logical: Arizona won at Oregon State; Stanford lost there. That sort of logic, however, rarely holds in the Pac-10, so take it for what it's worth.

California 24, UCLA 20: You know that old girlfriend or boyfriend you kept going back to even though he or she did you wrong? Oh, Cal, will this time you be true? On a substantive level, it's a concern for UCLA that linebacker Reggie Carter is nursing a sprained knee when Jahvid Best is coming to town, and the Bruins' offense seems further away from a transformation to efficiency than the Bears. Of course, Cal never wins in L.A., so feel free to disagree with this one.

Arizona State 24, Washington 20: The winner here greatly bolsters its bowl hopes, while the loser faces a long-shot campaign to find six victories. Washington has a huge advantage at quarterback with Jake Locker, but the Sun Devils have a huge advantage on defense. Seems best to go with the home team here, not to mention that the Huskies are coming off consecutive emotional games -- an overtime loss at Notre Dame and a miraculous victory over Arizona. They may be spent. As for the Sun Devils: Will Danny Sullivan help his case to retain the starting quarterback job?