Thursday, October 6, 2011

Looking For Cover in the West: PAC-12

Watching college football and the PAC-12, in the nation's most popular gambling city, Las Vegas, has changed the way I view wins and losses in today's games. Some would say this nice Midwestern Boy has been corrupted. I say I've been enlightened. Normal folks say, "we got the W" or "a win's a win" or "we came to do what we needed to do", I find myself shouting at the 12 TV's in front of me, exclaiming "Seriously? Why can't you cover?".

This takes on different meanings for different games. But in the's simple: Learn how to cover somebody...and feel free to get a defensive stop once in a while. Last week's winners were once again victorious because of the offense explosions, while the defense took the field solely to give the offense some time to rest. And because of this, none of the "favorites" covered their spreads.

WEEK 5 Results:

Arizona 41 @ USC 48
As predicted, USC "got the W"...but didn't cover the 13.5 points.

Washington St 31 @ Colorado 27
At the end of the night, who would you rather take home? A Cougar or a Buffalo? I chose Cougar...and the Cougar chose me.

Washington 31 @ Utah 14
It was my impression that Utah had a good defense. Turns out, they don't. And the Huskies' D came out to play. I've liked Washington all season...especially when they covered against Nebraksa...and now they're taking down money lines.

Oregon St. 20 @ Arizona St. 35
Thanks for not covering Sun Devils. Neither in the book or on the field...

UCLA 19 @ Stanford 45
Luck's offense puts up a big number...but not big enough to cover the 20.5 point line. I'll accredit the loss of Skov for this one.

Week 6 Preview: (all times eastern)

California @ Oregon -24 (Thursday 9p)
The line opened at Oregon -20.5...and now it's Oregon -24. The Ducks score the most points in the FBS with 47 ppg. But the Bears have a good rush defense, right? They haven't seen LaMichael James yet. Can Oregon post 50+ in four straight? I say so!...But the defense is going to give up a few scores...because they'll be on the field a lot. Duck and cover...52-24.

Arizona -1.5 @ Oregon St. (3:30p)
Both teams are desperate for a win this week. Arizona has faced 3 top 25 teams in the past 4 games...with conference foe USC as the unranked. As stated weeks ago, I believe the Wildcats are on the right track. UA coach Mike Stoops continues to have struggles...but nothing like the Beavers. Oregon St. needs this one...especially at home. It's just not gonna happen.

Arizona St. -4 @ Utah (3:30p)
No matter what I say or do here...the opposite WILL happen. Why? Because the Sun Devils choose to spite me week after week. And this week's match up against Utah, on paper, seems to be a head-scratcher.

Yet again.

As I discussed last week, Utah's D is supposed to be their strength. Giving up only 1 rushing TD all year...they have the potential for stops. But ASU and QB Brock Osweiler have the ability to take it to the house via the air. Osweiler does have the potential to turn it over though...posting 6 interceptions already this season. That's 5 to 3 on the TD to INT ratio. Not that great.

Defense won't be the only thing Utah has to figure out this week. Replacing injured QB starter Jordan Wynn, who's out with a shoulder injury, back up QB Jon Hays will get his first career start. This means more shotgun and spread offense for the Utes.

See where I'm heading with this? A potentially more dynamic Utes' offense...combined with the passing-focused Sun Devils...and two PAC-12 defenses...we're looking at a barn burner. ASU by 6...38-31.

Colorado +29.5 @ Stanford (7:30p)
If Stanford QB Andrew Luck wants to stay the leader in the Heisman race...he better pick it up. Yes, Stanford's playing well. Winning. Controlling games. "Doing what he need to do" to get the win. but where is the excitement? Did you see his one-handed reception on Saturday? That's what I'm talking about. So far the Cardinal defense hasn't proven to be shut-down. Stanford -29.5 is too much in my book.

"Dear Buffaloes"...

Washington St. +3.5 @ UCLA (10:30p)
Washington St. is banged up on D. But backup QB Marshall Lobbestael is feeling great. And so is once-starter QB Jeff Tuel. But Lobbestael is getting the nod, continuing to lead the nation's 4th best passing offense. UCLA is still hopeful for a decent season, having team meetings of the "leaders" and trying to find something to propel them through conference play. They have 3 unranked conference opponents (2 at home)...and rely heavily on a great performance against the Cougars. But while UCLA is hoping...Washington St. is doing. I like the Cougar attack...especially as the underdog. I'm talking Money Line...

Bye Week: USC, Washington

Dear Utes,
In lieu of me needing you to drop back-to-back games at home, I'm giving you my best "Pappas" from Pointe Break. "Utah! Gimme two!"

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