This week's picks

Due to a computer glitch I couldn't post the picks for last week, but for all of those who read last week's Cat Tracks know that I did okay. This week's games have a few great showdowns. Kansas State and Oklahoma square off for a National Championship elimination game. While the Wildcats and Sooners fight for postseason glory Notre Dame is trying to win for the first time.

Arkansas vs. Georgia

The Razorbacks have played ugly, but they've been in every game. Georgia is proving there is life after Quincey Carter. Both teams are trying to prove that they belong in the upper division of the SEC and this game could separate the contenders from the pretenders.

Georgia 21, Arkansas 13

Michigan State vs. Northwestern

The Wildcats are running the spread in fine fashion, while the Spartans two-headed monster at quarterback has TJ Duckett to hand off too. The Spartans are coming off of a good win against Notre Dame. The Wildcats appear to be still feeding off of the emotion from the loss of Rashidi Wheeler.

Northwestern 21, Michigan State 28

Kansas State vs. Oklahoma

The defending national champions face their first stiff test of the season. The Wildcats look like they could be a force on the ground, grinding out over 300 rushing against USC. This game has national championship implications. If the Wildcats prevail they can probably look forward to Nebraska; if it's the Sooners who win then their showdown with Texas could be the game of the year.

Oklahoma 31, Kansas State 21

Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M

The Domers brutal schedule continues with a trip to College Station. The Aggies are getting their first challenge of the season. Notre Dame has more talent on offense than in the past few years, but will it be enough? Former Arizona offensive coordinator Dino Babers now calls the offense for Texas A&M. The Irish need a win to avoid going 0-3 for the first time.

Texas A&M 20, Notre Dame 13

San Jose State vs. Arizona State

The Spartans have had success against the Pac-10 in seasons past, but this is ASU, not Stanford. The Devils are looking good in Dirk Koetter's first season. The offense is clicking under Krohn, Flowers and O'Neil, while both lines are solid. San Jose State has a terrific rushing game, but that could struggle against the ASU front seven.

ASU 33, San Jose State 20

Oregon vs. Utah State

The Ducks are an elite Pac-10 team. The Aggies are not. The Ducks have Joey Harrington, Maurice Morris and Keenan Howry. The Aggies boast Jose Fuentes, Emmit White and Tony Newson. Who? Precisely. Collect your check Aggies and try to find a conference.

Oregon 41, Utah State 14

Washington vs. California

A must win for Cal who can't afford to get buried in the Pac-10. Kyle Boller may have a tough time passing if Larry Triplett is breathing down his neck. The Husky offense needs to be careful because the Bears do have some playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. After last week's thrashing the Bears need something to go right.

Washington 44, Cal 20

Stanford vs. USC

Both teams have shown flashes. This could be a quarterback duel as Randy Fasani and Carson Palmer try to pick apart a pair of good defenses. Big plays and turnovers could make the difference in what should be a very competitive Pac-10 showdown.

Stanford 27, USC 14

UCLA vs. Oregon State

UCLA gets two OSU's in a row. Last week it was the Ohio State Buckeyes and this week it's the Oregon State Beavers. Bruin quarterback Cory Paus must be drooling over the Fresno State game films after watching David Carr torch the Beaver secondary. Jonathan Smith and Ken Simonton have something to prove in conference play. A two-week layoff could make the Beavers a bit rusty, but they need this one to start off conference play in good fashion.

UCLA 31, Oregon State 24

Washington State vs. Arizona

Last season this game went three overtimes before the Wildcats finally prevailed. Both teams appear to be better than last year. Jason Gesser is among the conference's best signal callers, while Jason Johnson has been very steady. Doug Minnich and Clarence Farmer appear to be a wash, so this one may come down to which defense makes more plays and which special teams unit doesn't make mistakes.

My original prediction in the Scouting Report was written before last week's games. I'll stand by the winner, but I'll adjust the score.

Arizona 31, Washington State 28.


Okay, so I padded some of my stats on preseason cupcakes, but I'm not apologizing. For the season, 29-8.

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