Thursday, September 2, 2010
Pac-10 predictions: Week 1
By Ted Miller
I was freaking brilliant last year. And that's just me being modest.
I went 60-21 (74 percent) picking games last season. The Pac-10 went 2-5 in the bowl season. I went 5-2 (though that Arizona over Nebraska pick didn't exactly go my way -- any Nebraska fans want to chime in because I'm sure I haven't heard from ALL of you?).
I know what you are thinking, though: Well, let's pin a rose on your nose and stop living in the past.
So here we are. New season. Everyone has a 0-0 record. And my little episode of braggadocio here is likely to ruin my prognostication karma.
Where's my voodoo gear?
USC 40, Hawaii 9: You know what I think? I think assistant Ed Orgeron is going to whip these guys into a pre-game froth, and I think the Trojans are going to open up a can of whup-butt on the Warriors. And Matt Barkley is going to play well enough that some commentators will start throwing around the "H" word.
Arizona 42, Toledo 28: First of all, let's just celebrate me getting the day of this game right for the first time! I suspect you'll see some defensive growing pains vs. a solid Rockets offense. But I don't think the Rockets will be able to stop Nick Foles and company.
Oregon 50, New Mexico 10: Quarterback controversy? What about a running back controversy when Kenjon Barner goes all ludicrous speed on the Lobos with LaMichael James serving a one-game suspension?
UCLA 27, Kansas State 24: Almost flagged an upset special here: The Bruins are beaten up on the offensive line and QB Kevin Prince has seen very little action during the preseason due to a nagging back injury. But UCLA has enough playmakers on both sides of the ball to, you know, make enough plays to win.
California 55, UC Davis 11: I love picking scores. Double-nickels and legs-11! An FCS school doesn't move the needle much on the interest meter.
Stanford 44, Sacramento State 11: See how I did that? I've given Stanford fans something to grouse about. It's for their own good. Now that your team is competitive again, Cardinal adherents, you need to adopt the irrational paranoia that infects all great fan bases. As in: "I can't believe Miller picked us to only score 44 on Sacramento State while he picked Oski-U to score 55 on UC Davis. He's clearly biased towards Cal!"
Washington 33, BYU 28: This is a tough road test for the Huskies. And it should be revealing. After an offseason of hype about QB Jake Locker and the program's resurgence under Steve Sarkisian, it's time to walk the walk.
Oklahoma State 31, Washington State 24: At some point in the first quarter, the Cowboys are going to look at each other in the huddle and go, "I thought these guys were supposed to be terrible." This might fit a pattern all season for the Cougs: Competitive close calls.
Arizona State 38, Portland State 10: This one should operate as a preseason game and confidence-builder for the Sun Devils new spread offense and QB Steven Threet. It will be interesting to see how much -- and how well -- backup Brock Osweiler plays when he gets the call.
Oregon State 27, TCU 24: Cool-as-a-cucumber Ryan Katz caps a late fourth-quarter drive with a 32-yard strike to James Rodgers for the winning score. Of course, Oregon State fans, my record picking your games through the years isn't great...