In case any of you were asleep for last weeks college football games, the MBOC 'Double Down Special' delivered handily. To recap, University of Washington and Arizona State football game, two weeks ago, turned into a push. You got your money back, and were probably questioning my ability to choose games. Then we came back with the 'Double Down Special', encouraging you to throw the balance of your checking account on the Michigan State vs. Iowa game. Well, if you watched the game....you were biting your knuckles wondering where next week's groceries were going to come from. Well friends, we delivered and you splurged and bought the 2-ply toilet paper and organic grapes. With one minute and thirty-eight seconds left in the game, unbeaten Iowa put together an impressive two-minute drill and scored on a 4th and goal situation, with two seconds on the clock. It doesn't get any more, down-to-the-wire than that.....but I felt Iowa was destined to go longer as an unbeaten. They'll have a bit of a rest this week with a home game against Indiana. Iowa will eventually lose to Ohio State on November 17th, in Columbus, and this will be foretold by Lee Corso putting a Iowa Hawkeyes Mascot hat on during GameDay, thus enacting "The Jinx".
On to this week's pick...and there are a lot of them this week. I've spent a decent amount of time calling games out in the Big Ten, but this week, we'll go back to my favorite conference, the Pac 10. Anyone who isn't aware of a surging Oregon team, should be. In the last 5 games, Oregon has outscored opponents 192-62. Oregon has considerably tightened up a defense that looked lacking at the beginning of the season against Purdue and a decent Utah team. Oregon's only loss was the first game of the season to Boise State, and featured the infamous "sucker punch" heard round college football. Since that incident, the team has come a long way. Last week's special teams efforts from Oregon looked strong, as a blocked punt turned into a touchdown, and a fake punt helped setup a later Duck Score. The jury is still out on Masoli, he didn't have too impressive of a game at Washington, but stars are made in big games like the one he'll face this weekend against Southern California.
USC's defense looks sloppy right now. Anyone watching the USC vs. Oregon State last week remembers the game was like sitting at center court watching a tennis match go back and fourth. USC's defense allowed Oregon State to score 36 points, and put together almost 500 yards of turf-tearing offense. But the Beavers could not stop USC's high powered offense, which eventually won the day. Matt Barkley, USC's Freshman wonderchild, has thrown 5 picks this year so far, and he goes up this week against a Duck defense which has 19 picks, which leads the Pac-10. Parlay this fact with the game is being played in Autzen, and anyone could tell you that a few big plays could turn the environment seriously in the Ducks favor.
The ducks aren't just flapping their way through the 2009 season, they're out to take a Pac-10 title. The Trojans will come marching into Autze, looking for a key win they need to have to make an argument that they are the Pac 10's best team.
Autzen Stadium-- Oregon's Special Teams & Defense-- and a surging Oregon offense will combine into a triple threat that USC cannot overcome.
Oregon wins by a field goal!