Thursday, September 24, 2009
Who's going to win? Week 4 Pac-10 picks
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Went a mediocre 6-3 for the second consecutive week, and the season record stands at a tepid 19-7.
The Pac-10 is presently 19-6 in all nonconference games. It's 15-6 vs. FBS schools and 6-4 vs. other BCS conferences.
Only the SEC has been better thus far --14-2 vs. FBS and 5-2 vs. BCS conferences.
Arizona State, by the way, visits Georgia on Saturday in the rubber-game of the conferences' three-game series.
To the picks.
California 30, Oregon 24: A big game for both teams with season-long ramifications. Cal is the new Pac-10 front-runner. Oregon would put the inglorious game at Boise State completely behind it with a win. The difference here is a mature quarterback Kevin Riley managing the game for the Bears -- and at least one big play for running back Jahvid Best.
Georgia 27, Arizona State 17: The Georgia offense has taken off of late with quarterback Joe Cox, but the Sun Devils will counter with the best defense the Bulldogs have seen. The bigger question is can the Sun Devils score on the road Between the Hedges? Even though the Bulldogs defense has been porous early, the guess here is those mental mistakes will get corrected and the crowd will make things tough for the young crew from Tempe.
Oregon State 24, Arizona 21: Switched this pick twice. Final verdict: Go with the home team. That said, the Wildcats' defense will give the Beavers loads of trouble. Curious to see if Arizona's passing offense will advance much after the switch from Matt Scott to Nick Foles. Probably some but just not enough.
Stanford 31, Washington 28: Another tough one to get a feel for. Now Washington is the team on let-down alert, while Stanford probably feels a sense of urgency with a game that looked like a gimme for its bowl hopes during the preseason. Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck, plus running back Toby Gerhart plus the Huskies making their first road trip will make the difference.
USC 44, Washington State 10: Both teams have injury issues, but the Trojans are just a wee bit deeper. And they should be angry about how things went last week at Washington. Still, doubt this one will be anything close to the 69-zip Coug nightmare in Pullman last year.