2011 Pac-12 Football Predictions: Which Teams Win in Week 9?

Michael TierneyAnalyst IAugust 8, 2011

2011 Pac-12 Football Predictions: Which Teams Win in Week 9?

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    The Week 8 predictions.

    The Week 7 predictions.

    The Week 6 predictions.     

     The Week 5 predictions.     

    The Week 4 predictions.

    The Week 3 predictions.     

    The Week 2 predictions.    

    The Week 1 predictions.

    This slideshow is Pac-12 Conference "Week 9" game predictions. This slideshow is a continuation of the predictions above.

Stanford at USC

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    Stanford at USC

    Saturday, Oct. 29, 5:00 PM (PST), on ABC


    Game Prediction: USC 35, Stanford 24

    This is one of the most important predictions of the season (OR/Stanford and USC/OR are the other two). Because these three teams are the most likely to win their Pac-12 divisions with reasonable odds (according to prognosticators, Pac-12 media, and Vegas odds). The other teams in the Pac-12 are not nearly as close.

    Offense: USC should have the best offensive line in the Pac-12. Stanford is in the middle of the Pac. Andrew Luck is a slightly better quarterback than Matt Barkley, but these two are the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12 (along with Darron Thomas). Stanford has the edge in tight ends, but USC has a bigger margin with wide receivers and running backs. Both offensive lines are replacing three, but USC is replacing with three more talented blockers.

    Stanford's offensive line will be facing a much more daunting task in staving off USC's ravenous defensive line than USC's O-line will have to face against Stanford's unit. ESPN analysts are questioning Stanford with "Andrew Luck and who?" I don't buy that—Stanford will still score plenty of points. The offensive edge is going to USC by a small margin.

    Defense: Both teams have a strong linebacking crew; however, Stanford will miss Thomas Keiser and Owen Marecic. USC's defensive line is superior to Stanford's, who recently lost Sione Fua and Brian Bulcke. Stanford also will be adjusting to new defensive coordinator Derek Mason, who replaced Vic Fangio when he followed Jim Harbaugh to the San Francisco 49ers. USC also has the edge in the secondary where Stanford will miss cornerback Richard Sherman. The defensive edge goes to USC by a medium margin. 

    Coaching Staff: USC already went through the growing pains of adjusting to a new staff. Now it is Stanford's turn. This edge is a large margin for USC.

    Home field advantage: USC

    Winner: USC by 11.

California at UCLA

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    California at UCLA

    Saturday, Oct. 29, 7:30 PM (PST), on FSN (probable)


    Game Prediction: California 28, UCLA 27

    This is a tough game to predict, but Cal seems to have UCLA's number. The last time they met at UCLA, the Bears handed it to UCLA 45-26. And that was after Cal's two embarrassing losses to Oregon and USC. Last year Cal won 35-7—in fact, Cal has won four of the last five meetings. Coach Rick Neuheisel has not beat Cal since he has been at UCLA, and 2011 will be where he closes the gap. This game will be close, but Cal does it again.

Arizona at Washington

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    Arizona at Washington

    Saturday, Oct. 29, 4:00 PM (PST), on FSN (probable)


    Game Prediction: Arizona 34, Washington 21

    This is another tough game to predict. Washington lost last year 44-14 at Arizona. Now, without Jake Locker, Washington has to rely on Chris Polk, and everyone, including Arizona's defensive line, knows this. The Huskies have more rebuilding to do this year than Arizona, despite the questionable offensive line of the Wildcats. Arizona still will come into Huskie Stadium and the Nick Foles-to-Juron Criner "all day long" helps to take the win. 

Oregon State at Utah

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    Oregon State at Utah

    Saturday, Oct. 29, TBD PM (PST), on TBD


    Game Prediction: Utah 28, Oregon State 24

    Now here is another tough game to predict. I'm calling it for Utah, but if Jordan Wynn has a bad game and Ryan Katz breaks out, I may end up looking silly. If Jacquizz Rodgers, Alex Linnenkohl and Stephen Paea were still playing for the Beavers, this prediction would go the other way, even at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Both teams have some rebuilding to do in 2011 but, as it is, this close game will be a win for Utah. 

Washington State at Oregon

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    Washington State at Oregon

    Saturday, Oct. 29, TBD PM (PST), on TBD


    Game Prediction: Oregon 56, Washington State 13

    Oregon, arguably the strongest team in the Pac-12, plays perhaps the weakest team in the Pac-12 this week—and this game does not even need an evaluation. I say arguably, because Oregon did lose 21 seniors from last year's team. Scholarship juniors and seniors are hard to find on the practice field. There are only 11 seniors on scholarship; however, there are 69 freshmen and sophomores on scholarship for the 2011 team.

    Some prognosticators are calling for an 80-plus-point blowout of Washington State. After playing Colorado and Washington State back-to-back, Oregon can ramp up at Washington before moving on to play their biggest games at Stanford and then USC.

Colorado at Arizona State

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    Colorado at Arizona State

    Saturday, Oct. 29, TBD PM (PST), on TBD


    Game Prediction: Arizona State 24, Colorado 17

    Yes, Colorado did visit Sun Devil Stadium back in 2007. They opened the first quarter with 14 unanswered points and then went to sleep. Arizona State put up 33 in the second and third quarter, and that is how it ended. Different players at a different time.

    In 2011, it will be the same place with nearly the same result. Brock Osweiler isn't Rudy Carpenter, but he will improve as the season wears on. Sun Devils by a touchdown. 

Week 9 Projected Pac-12 North Standings

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    Projected Pac-12 North Standings After Week 9
    Team P-12 North P-12 Conference Overall
    Oregon 2-0  5-0  7-1 
    Stanford  2-0  5-1  7-1 
    Oregon State  1-0 2-3  3-5 
    California  1-1  2-3  5-3 
    Washington  0-2  1-4  3-5 
    Washington State 0-3  0-5  2-6

Week 9 Projected Pac-12 South Standings

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    Projected Pac-12 South Standings After Week 9
    Team P-12 South P-12 Conference Overall
    USC  3-0  5-0  8-0 
    Arizona State  2-1  3-2 5-3 
    Arizona  1-1  3-3 4-4
    UCLA  0-1  1-4  2-6
    Colorado  0-1  1-4  2-7 
    Utah  0-2  3-2  5-3