Huskies Insider Blog

Pac-12 picks: First-rate football analysis of the Oregon-Stanford game.

Gameday music is Lunatic Fringe from the Red Rider. If you never seen the movie "Vision Quest," rent it. Now. Why? For lines like this ...

"That's right, I start crying. Because another human being, a species that I happen to belong to, could kick a ball, and lift himself, and the rest of us sad-assed human beings, up to a better place to be, if only for a minute... let me tell ya, kid - it was pretty damned glorious. It ain't the six minutes... it's what happens in that six minutes."

Arizona (-13.5) at Colorado

It’s a battle of two teams that one cares about. Honestly, the most interesting thing about Arizona is who it will hire to be head coach. Right now, everyone from Mike Leach, to Chris Petersen, to Mike Bellotti, to Kevin Sumlin, to Pop Warner have been linked to the job.

Regardless of who gets it, they will be playing second fiddle to Sean Miller and the basketball team. It’s not going to change unless there would be sustained championship level success, and we know that Arizona can’t recruit the type of athletes to reach that level. It also doesn’t help that they are in USC’s division.

What can I say about Colorado? Hmm, well, at least ski season starts in a few weeks.

While I have never put skis on my feet (and yes I’m from Montana), I still love this movie.

The pick … The Buffaloes secondary is awful. The one thing Arizona can do is pass. Nick Foles will throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns – two to Juron Criner.

If I were a betting man ... Yep, give all those points. You saw what USC and Matt Barkley did to the Buffs last weekend. Foles won’t have that type of production, but the Wildcats will win by 25.

Oregon State at California (-9.5)

If the Bears win this game, they become bowl eligible and my good buddy Mike Curto can stop staring longingly at his poster of Jorge Gutierrez and book travel arrangements to the New Mexico Bowl.

This game will feature two quarterbacks that have destroyed my picks record and gamblers’ savings accounts – Sean Mannion and Zach Maynard. They might be the two most inconsistent quarterbacks in the Pac-12 and yes that includes the Division II quarterback that Utah is forced to play.

This game is truly a toss-up. Maynard is so unpredictable. One game, he looks like an anorexic Boomer Esiason, the next game he looks like a malnutritioned Scott Mitchell. He drives me insane. He drives Curto to long trips into the Blue Mountains. He often looks confused on the field like when Cal alum Larry Stone got his first blackberry and kept firing off one-letter tweets.

At least Mannion has an excuse - he’s a first-year quarterback. He has all the tools – size, strength, huge arm. Sure it seems like he’s color blind at times and has the touch of a freshman Jake Locker. He looked really good against Washington State – then again, who doesn’t.

The pick … Against my better judgment, I will go with California. I don’t know why. I’d feel better about it if they suited up Gutierrez at quarterback. And for those of you, who don’t know who Gutierrez is, just google Curto +  man crush + Cal basketball.

If I were a betting man ... I’d find a way to tease down the points. But I still think Cal covers at home. OSU will have a letdown after playing Stanford much better than most people predicted.

UCLA at Utah (-7)

I’ve been wrong about these two teams for the last three weeks. And I’m not the only one. If the Cal-OSU game features two of the most unpredictable quarterbacks, then this game features two of the least entertaining quarterbacks. Kevin Prince of UCLA has been so bad that UCLA just decided to run with him instead of letting him throw. Utah is winning games in spite of Jon Hays. They’ve won two games where he’s thrown for less than 100 yards. He makes Charlie Whitehurst look like Tom Brady.

Both teams want to run, and actually have decent running games.  Hey, at least that might make the game go by faster, which means people can get to The Pie Pizzeria or The Red Iguana postgame  - Go to either if you are in SLC.

The pick … I will take Utah at home, if for no other reason than it’s easy to get to the media parking at Rice-Eccles Stadium and the tailgate setup features great scenery. Some people even gave me free hot wings.

If I were a betting man ... Give the points, and hope that Hays doesn’t have to throw more than 20 times in the game because John White is running so well.

Arizona State (-12.5) at Washington State

Dennis Erickson returns to the Palouse in a homecoming of sorts. Well, he has a lot of homecoming situations since he usually only stays at a place for about an hour. It’s supposed to be cold and windy in Pullman, so the ASU players won’t exactly be highly energetic.

The pick … ASU had its bad game against UCLA. The

If I were a betting man ... I’d give all those points. Every time I think WSU is going to be competitive, they stink. I’m tired of picking them. I’m tired of listening debate as to whether or not Paul Wulff will be fired – he will. And since I have nothing else, listen to the unintentional comedy stylings of Jim Walden from a few weeks ago.

Oregon at Stanford (-3.5)

It’s THE game. And I really am totally torn in this game. I like Stanford being at home. But it’s not like that place is a great home field advantage. I like Oregon because of De’Anthony Thomas and David Paulson, but Darron Thomas isn’t exactly playing well.

Here’s my top-rate analysis.

  • Stanford is really physical.
  • Oregon is really fast.
  • Their styles contrast.
  • It should be a good game.

The pick … I have no idea. When all else fails, I will take the team with the better quarterback. That would be Andrew Luck. Regardless of what Steve Sarkisian says, Luck is the best player to put on football pads today. He will find a way to win the game.

If I were a betting man ... 3.5 isn’t many points. Give them and hope Stanford wins by a touchdown. Man I wish I could watch that game with an ice cold beer and a barbecue chicken quesadilla from the Ram.