Posted on: October 28, 2009 3:57 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2009 3:57 pm
California @ Arizona State
We still don't really know if Cal is "back" after beating UCLA and Washington State... they've been burned on defense, especially through the air. But the Sun Devils just aren't that good, and if Kevin Riley has his confidence back the Bears should win.
UCLA @ Oregon State
With Sean Canfield's emergence, the Beaver's offense has gone from good to explosive. The defense has prevented them from contending for the conference, but that won't be a problem against the stagnant Bruins, who in 4 Pac 10 games have 0 passing touchdowns.
Washington State @ Notre Dame
After 5 straight barnburners, the Irish and their fans can finally go a week without the heart meds.
USC @ Oregon
I've been struggling with this one. On one hand, the Ducks have been unstoppable, averaging 38 points a game in their 6 game winning streak, Autzen is always tough, and USC's defense has looked vulnerable the last 2 weeks. On the other hand, no team in the country has been tested on the road this year like the Trojans, and with Ronald Johnson back at receiver, they've looked pretty solid with the ball as well. It appears to be a very even matchup and I think it'll be a field goal game either way. So, since I'm dressing up as 2-Face for Halloween, I flipped a coin....
Posted on: October 21, 2009 3:47 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2009 3:48 pm
Oregon @ Washington
The dawgs have already picked off 2 favored opponents at home, but this matchup doesn't seem to favor them. They'll will be hard pressed to slow down the spread-option with Jeremiah Masoli returning from injury, and UO's strength on defense (the pass) matches UW's. Barring some fluky plays, the Ducks shouldn't have much trouble.
Washington State @ Cal
The Bears bounced back at UCLA last week and will continue on the right path here.
UCLA @ Arizona
Right now, Nick Foles is the best quarterback in the conference, and the Wildcats look like they could make some noise. UCLA still doesn't have an identity under Neuheisel.
Oregon State @ USC
Jacquizz Rodgers is playing great and could give the Trojans trouble again, and Sean Canfield has quietly had a very efficient season. But Matt Barkley is progressing well, and has too much at home.
Arizona State @ Stanford
The Cardinal D has been exposed on the road the last 2 weeks, but aside from last-second Hail Marry's, ASU doesn't have enough firepower to test them. At home, Toby Gerhart leads them to a win.
Posted on: October 15, 2009 5:25 pm
2009-2010 Pac 10 Hoops Preview
The Pacific Ten has been arguably one of the top basketball leagues in the nation the past few years, but on the eve of another winter campaign, it does appear that the conference will take a step back this year. Most of the star players have either graduated or left for the fame and fortune of the NBA, and 3 programs will try their luck with new head coaches. Nevertheless, there are some great storylines ready to written as new players make names for themselves and teams look to surprise.
Projected Standings (with Postseason Predictions)
Year 1 under Mike Montgomery was very successful, and Year 2 should be even better. The Bears return nearly every important player from last year, including underrated PG Jerome Randle. They’re prolific from beyond the arc and have good size. The one issue for them may be depth.
The Huskies boast a very deep and versatile backcourt, led by highly touted freshman Abdul Gaddy and last year’s conference freshman of the year Isaiah Thomas. The productivity of Jon Brockman must be replaced, but they have a deep bench that should be able to contribute. Don’t be surprised if the dawgs switch to a more up-tempo pace and look to wear out their opponents.
Nearly all of the players from the 3 Final Fours are gone now as Ben Howland tries to assemble a new cast of winners in Westwood. Nikola Dragovic is the only regular back, so he’ll have to rely on a lot of talented but inexperienced youngster such as Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt.
Things weren’t looking good in Tucson last spring, until Sean Miller arrived. He quickly put together a strong recruiting class and convinced guard Nic Wise to stick around another year. It may be rough at first, but once they figure out what they’re doing, expect the Wildcats to be solid as always.
5. Oregon State
The first brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, had excellent success with his 1-3-1 zone and Princeton offense last year, and parlayed that into a solid recruiting class. Calvin Haynes and Roeland Schaftenaar both had break-though seasons and look to continue that this year. The Beavers limitation is their athleticism; they were exposed by teams that could simply out-run them.
6. Washington State
After Tony Bennett left for Virginia, the Cougs turned to Portland State’s Ken Bone. This surely means a transition from the plodding, defensive style wazzu fans are used to to a fast-paced temp like their cross-state rivals. Sophomore Klay Thompson should thrive in this new system, but he’ll need some of his young teammates to step up as well.
Ernie Kent, the conferences’ longest-tenured coach, is firmly on the hot-seat after finishing 2-16 last year. The Ducks certainly have talent and plenty of scoring options led by Tajuan Porter and raw but talented big man Michael Dunigan. They’ll have to get tough and play better on defense though to really improve.
No one had a worse off-season than the Trojans (well, maybe Memphis, and Rick Pitino). Tim Floyd resigned, and nearly all the players worth mentioning left with him. At least they found an experienced replacement in Kevin O’Neill as they try to make their mark at the defensive end of the floor.
9. Arizona State
No team in the league relied so much on one player last year, and now that James Harden (as well as Jeff Pendergraph) is gone, role players such as Derek Glasser, Rihards Kuksiks and Ty Abbott will have to step up into leadership roles for the Sun Devils.
You have to feel for Johnny Dawkins, not a lot has gone right for him since he left Duke for the farm. The Cardinal will face another drop-off this year after losing most of their scoring form last year. Talented youngster Jeremy Green is worth mentioning, though.
Jerome Randle (Cal)
Isaiah Thomas (Washington)
Klay Thompson (Washington State)
Quincy Pondexter (Washington)
Michael Dunigan (Oregon)
Nic Wise (Arizona)
Tajuan Porter (Oregon)
Patrick Christopher (Cal)
Theo Robertson (Cal)
Nikola Dragovic (UCLA)
Player of the Year: Jerome Randle
Freshman of the Year: Solomon Hill (Arizona)
Coach of the Year: Sean Miller (Arizona)<!--EndFragment-->
Posted on: October 14, 2009 3:22 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 3:23 pm
USC @ Notre Dame
Unlike in past matchups, the Irish may have the advantage on offense here with Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate. But USC's front 4 has been tenacious so far and will likely make it a rough day at the office for Clausen. Don't bet against Pete Carroll with extra time to prepare.
California @ UCLA
This is a bit of a test for both teams; for Cal, to show they can bounce back after getting crushed in their first 2 conference games (albeit against the Pac's 2 best teams right now) and for UCLA, to show that they can score. This will come down to whether Jahvid Best can bounce back against UCLA's solid run defense. They'll slow him down, but not enough to win.
Stanford @ Arizona
The question here is whether the Wildcats' Nic Grigsby is healthy after being slowed by a shoulder injury the last few weeks. It's tempting to pick Arizona at home anyway, but you have to wonder if their confidence is shaken after the heart-wrenching loss in Seattle.
Washington @ Arizona State
After the Immaculate Interception propelled them to a 3-3 record, a bowl is now a realistic possibility for the dawgs. The Sun Devils may even have a quarterback controversy on their hands after Danny Sullivan's spotty play. But their defense will test Jake Locker, and Sarkisian hasn't quite gotten his team to play consistently well week to week.
Posted on: October 7, 2009 4:07 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2009 4:08 pm
OREGON @ UCLA
This one could be interesting as the Ducks hit the road for the first time since Boise, and we've seen how the conferences top teams have fared away from home so far. UCLA's defense is pretty solid, but Stanford did quite well against them last week, perhaps showing their early dominance was more a product of weak competition. And let's not forget, the "D" in Ducks has been back as well. Oregon stays on track for a return visit to Pasadena.
STANFORD @ OREGON STATE
The Cardinal are playing very well and finally getting some national attention after a 3-0 start in conference... which of course means they'll lose this week. This is a pretty even matchup, 2 offenses that run the ball very effectively and 2 defenses that stop the run. Home field swings it in the Beaver's favor.
ARIZONA STATE @ WASHINGTON STATE
I'm starting to feel a little sorry for the Cougars (just a little, though).
ARIZONA @ WASHINGTON
With Jake Locker at the helm and Chris Polk emerging at tailback, UW has one of the top offenses in the Pac. But they showed again, to their detriment, the lack of talent on defense. Husky Stadium will be an intimidating environment for Nick Foles, but unless the dawgs magically develop a pass rush, it doesn't matter how loud it is.
Posted on: September 30, 2009 4:47 pm
UCLA @ STANFORD
Two teams who are heading in the right direction. The Bruins are coming off a bye, but I'm impressed by Stanford after they physically dominated my dawgs. They look like an 8 or 9 win team to me, and UCLA still has questions to answer on offense.
WASHINGTON @ NOTRE DAME
The Huskies hit their first pothole on the road back to winning, and there will be more to follow. Jake Locker should rebound against a lackluster Irish defense, but USC aside, the defense hasn't really done much this year and will get torched by air or ground, whichever Charlie Weis prefers.
NOTRE DAME, 35-28.
OREGON STATE @ ARIZONA STATE
Well, the Beavers are off to their patented slow start. No one besides the Rodgers brothers has done much of anything. Now that the calendar has turned to October, will they pick it up again? We still don't know much about the Sun Devils, but at home, I think they take a close one.
SOUTHERN CAL @ CALIFORNIA
This game no longer resonates nationally after each teams Pac 10 opening loss, but it's still of vital importance in the Pac 10 race, where you'd think 2 losses would put a team out of reach of the Rose Bowl. The injuries are starting to pile up for the Trojans after Stafon Johnson's horrifying weight-room accident, and Cal has been just as good at home as they are bad on the road, but I have a hunch the Trojans rise to the occasion (again).
WASHINGTON STATE @ OREGON
The quarterback carousel keeps spinning in Pullman, this week it's Jeff Tuel. The Ducks are flying high once again, and they'll make it 4 in a row at Autzen.
Posted on: September 23, 2009 3:55 pm
The in-conference slate is almost in full gear, with one notable cross-country matchup on the final Saturday in September...
CALIFORNIA @ OREGON
While the Ducks haven't been as sharp as they'd like to be, they have won 2 straight now at home. The Golden Bears look like the conference's best team right now, but just aren't a very strong road team. The Boise debacle is completely forgotten as the Ducks announce their intentions to contend for Pasadena.
ARIZONA STATE @ GEORGIA
While this is a big game for the Sun Devils, it might be even bigger for the Pac 10, who can claim a winning record over the SEC if the Sun Devils can win between the hedges. But Joe Cox and the Bulldog offense is soaring right now, and ASU will be hard pressed to keep up.
ARIZONA @ OREGON STATE
Both teams look to rebound after deflating performances last week. While AZ has a solid defense, quarterback has been a struggle so far without their tight end Gronkowski, which spells doom on the road.
WASHINGTON @ STANFORD
The winner can claim first place in the conference, for now at least. The Huskies will look to avoid falling in the same trap as the Trojans did last week. While Toby Gerhart is a horse for the Cardinal, Andrew Luck has also been quite efficient as a passer, and that balance should lead them to victory.
WASHINGTON STATE @ SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Luckily, the Cougars won last week, because it may be awhile until they do so again. The Trojans will take out their frustrations in full on Paul Wulff and co.
Posted on: September 16, 2009 12:33 pm
A solid slate of games this week....
CALIFORNIA @ MINNESOTA
At least the Golden Gophers don't play in that awful Metrodome any more... after struggling with Syracuse and Air Force, Minnesota will get an introduction to real football.
UTAH @ OREGON
A very intriguing matchup. After their magical run to the Sugar Bowl last year, the retooling Utes haven't been tested yet this year. Oregon snuck by Purdue, but is still trying to find the level of consistency they hoped for in the preseason. Dual-threat QB Terrance Cain will try to lead Utah to another win over a Pac 10 opponent.
USC @ WASHINGTON
This game is looking like a potential upset for the Huskies. After a tough win in Columbus, the Trojans make another road trip to Seattle, with stars Matt Barkley and Taylor Mays nursing injuries. But UW doesn't have the beef on D to slow down Tailback U. or get enough pressure on whoever does end up starting at QB.
ARIZONA @ IOWA
Another game featuring two good teams who haven't really been tested yet. First road game for Matt Scott, and Kinnick Stadium is not an easy place to play.
CINCINNATI @ OREGON STATE
A very under-the-radar matchup featuring two teams on the periphery of the top 25 rankings. Each side starts solid slingers in Sean Canfield and Tony Pike. The difference is Reser Stadium and Jacquizz Rodgers. The Beavers get revenge for for the thrashing in Cincy 2 years ago.
SAN JOSE STATE @ STANFORD
This has been a pretty good rivalry the past few years, but Toby Gerhart and co. and moving on to bigger and better things.
SOUTHERN METHODIST @ WASHINGTON STATE
After struggling mightily with June Jones' old team last week, they go up against his current one, which has already doubled last season's win total. If the Cougars don't win here, it could get very bad, very fast.
LOUISIANA-MONROE @ ARIZONA STATE
Last year, the Sun Devils were surprised by UNLV the week before the Georgia game, and it started the season into a downward spiral. Can they avoid the same fate this year?
KANSAS STATE @ UCLA
Kevin Prince is out for the Bruins, and Richard Breihaut is apparently in. But they showed last week that QB play is not necessary to secure a big win. UCLA, 21-12.