This Week with the Toe

Arizona football in trouble, Cougs on the rise, and Oregon hanging with the Wolverines. Plus the power poll and predictions for all the Pac-10 games this weekend.

Week in Review

Last week should be considered a success for the Pac-10. Washington State and USC posted impressive victories over Colorado and Hawaii, respectively, while the rest of the conference took care of their business.

Oregon thumped Arizona in Tucson to open conference play while in the Beehive state Cal lost to Utah in a heartbreaker that came down the final plays of the game. It was quite similar to the Beavers’ loss at Fresno, except the Bear’s poison was fumbles instead of interceptions.

Washington State’s wide receiver Sammy Moore was player of the week after returning a kickoff 97-yards for a touchdown after bobbling it. It often seems that a little patience or delay at the beginning of a return can be almost be a blessing. Often, players over pursue and give up their coverage responsibilities when they see the opportunity to make a big play and set the other team back with a big loss. Moore’s return was definitely a turning point in WSU’s road blowout at Colorado.


Desert Mirage

I have to admit that I almost keep getting tricked into believing Arizona could be a decent football team at some point this season. They have a solid veteran offensive line, which is probably the most underrated part of successful program in football.

I figured that the people who could not work with head coach John Mackovic would have moved on and there would be a change in attitude. Maybe the attitude is better, but the players who can win are gone. Running back Clarence Farmer has been held in check much of this season, because opponents are forcing quarterbacks Ryan O’Hara and Nic Costa to beat them. Unless something drastic happens, I don’t see Mackovic keeping his job much longer. Mackovic’s entire stint as coach has seemed like Bob Toledo’s last three years at UCLA. We are all just waiting for him to go.


Pac-10 Power Poll

1) USC
2) Washington State
3) Arizona State
4) Washington
5) Oregon
6) Oregon State
8) Cal
9) Stanford
10) Arizona


This Week’s Picks brought to you by

Cal 27, Illinois 23 (Illinois favored by 4)

Both teams are coming off tough road losses at Utah and UCLA and will be looking for a way to get things moving in the right direction. Cal is 1-3, but could easily be 3-1 if a couple breaks went their way. Illinois has also had some tough luck. Something’s got to give, and I think it will fall the Bears’ way.

Toe’s Pick Against the Spread - Cal

Purdue 38, Arizona 10 (Purdue favored by 26)
The Boilermakers got beat in their season opener by Bowling Green, but then rebounded to knock off Wake Forest on the road. We’ve already discussed Arizona’s problems in regard to their coaching situation. Purdue is a much better team than Arizona, but I don’t know if they can put up enough points to cover the spread. Arizona is not as bad as they have played this year. They may win a game against a good team this year, but it will not be this week.

Toe’s Pick AGS – Arizona

Oklahoma 45, UCLA 13 (Oklahoma favored by 18.5)
UCLA won a shootout against Illinois last week 6-3 and will take its terrific defense to Norman. But their defense will not even be the best on the field this weekend as they play the Sooners. Bob Stoops’ team didn’t lose much talent off lost year’s Rose Bowl team and UCLA just doesn’t have the offensive firepower to make this a game. I think Oklahoma easily will cover.

Toe’s Pick AGS – Oklahoma

Michigan 35, Oregon 34 (Michigan favored by 7.5)
In what is the most anticipated match up of the week in the Pac-10, Oregon will host Michigan. The Wolverines are coming off an impressive win at home against Notre Dame. There definitely might be a letdown for the Wolverines, but I don’t see how the Ducks will stop quarterback Chris Perry. But I think Oregon will hang around in this one and make it interesting. Mike Bellotti understands the importance of this game. If the Ducks can find a way to pull it out, they might emerge as a favorite in the Pac-10 race.

Toe’s Pick AGS – Oregon

Washington State 40, New Mexico 20 (WSU favored by 16.5)
The Cougs have some serious momentum on their side. Next week’s game at Oregon is shaping up to be an important one, which wasn’t expected a few weeks ago after it took Washington State most of the game to take care of Idaho. Matt Kegel is performing as expected and the rest of the team is coming together. Look out for the crimson soldiers.

Toe’s Pick AGS – WSU

Oregon State 28, Boise State 17 (OSU favored by 6)
The Beavers offense is talented, despite not putting together a complete game this season. At least last week’s game gave Beaver Nation hope. Anderson has had several tough moments this year already, but luckily at this point he can only learn from them. Boise State is bringing a tough team to town and is fortunate that the Bronco strengths match up with the Beaver strengths.

Fresno State is a better defensive football team than Boise State, which is why they were able to give the Beaver offense so many problems. Expect to see a much more fluid performance by the Beaver “O.” The Beaver defense hasn’t given up more than one touchdown in a game this year, which could change Saturday with a high-powered BSU attack. Look for Derek Anderson to have his best game of the season thus far. And remember, even when the Beavers have struggled on the road, they’ve come through at home, winning 24 of their last 27.

Toe’s Pick AGS – OSU

Arizona State 35, Iowa 31 (Iowa favored by 7.5)
Iowa comes into this game on a roll as they’ve picked up where they left off at the end of the regular season last year. Their defense is probably better than it was a year ago. Arizona State on the other hand has struggled thus far with lesser opponents, cruising through 10-point home victories against Northern Arizona and Utah State. Arizona State will be test but will show that they are a Pac-10 contender.

Toe’s Pick AGS – Arizona State

BYU 31, Stanford 13 (BYU favored by 7)
The Cardinal (why do broadcasters still not know they are a color and not a bird? It’s a ridiculous mascot, but it should still be known) travel to Provo to take on a BYU team that has shown it has the ability to challenge top-notch Pac-10 teams. Top-notch is definitely not the way I’d describe Stanford. Look for BYU to run away with this one.

Toe’ Pick AGS – BYU

Washington 47, Idaho 10 (Washington favored by 27.5)
Washington is the model for how to put together a non-conference schedule. Play one big game, and then fill the rest of your schedule with cupcakes. No one brings criticism for playing a terrible schedule when Ohio State is on the bill. This one is another blowout.

Toe’ Pick AGS – Washington

The Toe joined during the first Mike Riley era. His predictions can be read every Friday. The Toe can be reached at

(Betting Lines and picks are strictly for entertainment purposes. We remind you that these are merely one person’s opinion, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or TheInsiders.)

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