Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a very special edition of Football Friday on a Thursday. It is “very special” because we have a guest picker who is going to kick things off for us this week. Joining us on his whirlwind tour of the internet after getting a little front page time on ESPN.com for calling our seniors a bunch of empty corpses, please welcome head coach Mike Leach! Coach Leach, go ahead and give us your picks in this weekend’s Pac-12 matchups...
Arizona State @ Colorado
Well this is the Devil against, basically, a big mean cow. I guess I'm not sure if it’s “the” devil, or just “a” devil, but either way I think with the pitchfork and the fire its probably going to be able to take care of that buffalo.
Utah @ UCLA
So here we have a Native American tribe against a bear. What you gotta ask yourself is this... how many bears have you seen wearing a Native American? Gotta think the Utes are gonna come out on top against a bear.
Oregon State @ BYU
So here we have a beaver against a Cougar. Both these guys bring a serious set of teeth to the fight and the beaver basically has the world’s deadliest fly swatter for a tail, but then the Cougar, see, he has claws and he’s bigger, so I am going to go with the Cougar. Plus I met my wife at BYU, so there’s that.
Stanford @ Notre Dame
Ok, I don’t know how anybody is supposed to be afraid of a color. I mean unless its a real ugly color like periwinkle, or mauve, I guess. But you’d still be more grossed out than scared. Here we have “Cardinal” which is a fancy name for red, so we’re not talking anything real threatening here. But then we’ve got this Leprechaun who is probably drunk and can’t see straight anyway. Who knows, I guess lets give the nod to the Leprechaun since he can probably throw a punch at least.
USC @ UW
This might be the easiest one. I mean a Trojan is a warrior with armor and a sword, and a Husky is a furry dog that pulls sleds. This should be a pretty lopsided win for a Trojan. Now these guys aren’t the smartest warriors since they fell for that damn horse trick, but they should still be smart enough to stick a sword in a dog and twist it once or twice.
Cal @ Wazzu
A lot of people think that a bear maybe has some advantages over a cougar with size and strength and stuff, and thats just what we want them to think. Truth is the bear may be bigger and stronger, but he is slower and the Cougar can just get a lot more shots in with his claws and teeth without the bear being able to lay a paw on him, just by being quicker and sneakier. This one goes to the cougar all the way.
Thank you coach and good luck this weekend! Click the jump if you wanna see how the blogfather’s picks stack up this week...
We are halfway through the season and I am at a loss to predict what this Coug team is going to show us on Saturday. On the one hand they have been very consistent, unable to score on any defense with a pulse and unable to score on even bad defenses in the 2nd half. Against Cal this should lead me to predict a comfy win for the Bears. However, I just can’t help but think (hope?) that this offense is going to click any minute now and with a defense that is coming around some team is going to take a beating. Is it Cal? Im going to say no. I have learned not to predict something that the team has yet to show me.
Cal 33, Cougs 24
ASU 44, Colorado 17
We keep hoping for that game where Colorado makes us feel better about losing to them. It just ain’t coming Im afraid.
UCLA 38, Utah 21
UCLA needs a bounceback win after last weeks loss at Cal. Lucky for them, Utah does not have an offense.
Oregon St. 24, BYU 21
Both these teams just lost their QBs, but BYU hand things over to an experienced senior. Still, the Beavs defense rallies to hold off the Cougars scoring a touchdown of their own to help a Mannion-less Beavs offense get past a very good defense in Provo.
Notre Dame 28, Stanford 24
A thriller in South Bend as Nunes has shown he’s not so reliable in a tough road environment.
USC 35, UW 33
The Dawgs with a deja vu chance to upset the Trojans and make the Clink the official tomb of top 10 teams... but the field goal chance is wide left and the Trojans are spared.
Enjoy the games everyone, and GO COUGS!
So the other day at work I was excited something, and expressed myself with a Master P-sque "uhhhh" in an email to a co-worker who's half a decade younger than me. She didn't get it, even when I sent her this video. Which brings me to the fact that a lot of our readers might not even get "my picture" above these here picks. Anyways, let's take a look at our Pick Em Leagues, shall we?
SeanHawk continues to play with house money and blaze the trail, leading across both our leagues, with 161 points and followed closely by IAMWINNERS with 157. Tons of people appear to be tied in third place, so many, that I won't even list you here.
And without further adu, my Week 7 picks!
ASU 49 - Colorado 14: While not part of our Pick Em League since this game is tonight, any chance I get to take a pot-shot at Colorado (no pun intended, for the most doped up town I've ever visited). I am shocked ASU is the class of the Pac 12 South at this point in the season, but good for them. Buffs get steamrolled at home in-front of a national television audience.
Utah 24 - UCLA 17: I'm shocked Utah is getting 7 points in Pasadena this weekend, after the Bruins were steamrolled by a subpar Cal team last weekend. Too much defense for the Bruins to overcome in the Ute front seven.
BYU 17 - OSU 9: What a brutal loss the Beavs suffered when QB Sean Mannion went under the knife for a knee surgery. Not only that, but from what I saw last weekend, they are not a Top 10 team. They remind me a lot of the Seahawks. Great defense, one dimensional offense. Now that their one dimension on offense is out, expect the Beavs to struggle mightily.
Notre Dame 38 - Stanford 21: Every year it seems like some poor schmuck(s) predicts "this is the year Notre Dame finally returns to glory" and it just hasn't come to fruition. Aside from their 2001 Fiesta Bowl, I don't think they've been relevant on the national stage (see, BCS Bowl Game worthy) in nearly 20 years. But boy, do they have things looking up in South Bend right now. I just don't think the Cardinal offense has enough gas in the tank to pull this road one out.
USC 35 - UW 27: USC jumps out to an early, monster lead in this one, just like the Ducks did down in Hell last weekend, and the dogs get 10 on the board just before half. USC pushes the lead to 35-10 by the end of the third quarter and Benedict Bishop adds a pair of late rushing TDs, to make this game look closer than it appears.
Wazzu 28 - California 27: So this will be the fifth game of the year I've been to on the season, and crimson vodka drinking aside, I've seen some nice progress from this team. We've cut down drastically on the mental errors (aka penalties), our defense has somewhat come to life the last two weeks, and our Special Teams are fantastic in all aspects. After Leach called his seniors a bunch of lifeless corpses or fat little girlfriends or something earlier this week, I think we're going to finally get four quarters of all three phases of a football game. Cal is not a good team on the road, although they have won at least 3 games in a row in Pullman. The last one being a 20-13 defensive slugfest in 2010. The good news about us being sucky so far? I have decent odds at snagging a Mike Leach Bobblehead Doll this weekend.
Have a great rest of your week. Go Cougs!
Greetings my fellow Cougs. Hope you are all well as we wind down another week.
ASU 35, CU 17: Never thought ASU would be very good this year, like many others who looked at how much they lost from last year's team. But through the first half of the season, right along UCLA and OSU they have to be one of the biggest surprises of hte season.
UCLA 31, Utah 20: Mora gets them off the carpet quickly after last week's thrashing at Cal. And you know what? Utah just isn't very good this year.
BYU 16, OSU 14: I agree with Lucas here, I think BYU wins a close low-scoring street fight at home. Losing Mannion is huge, a total game changer for the P-12 North race, and the question is how much can they avoid taking on water before the ship goes down? I am like many who believe Mannion is a rising star in this league and not just another guy they can simply replace. The struggles start this week.
Stanford 30, Notre Dame 24: Not really sure how much of an upset this one will be, but Stanford figured out a hell of a lot on offense since their ugly loss in Seattle a few weeks ago. And while Notre Dame is playing well, I think Stanford might be the best defense they have seen yet this season.
USC 27, UW 20: Another game I see coming down to a close, last-possession type game. USC steamrolled UW last year in LA, but the Huskies have won two of the last three vs. the men of Troy. I have an odd feeling Matt Barkley and USC's offensive line will struggle, and the UW D will be fired up and flying around at home. They'll simply make a few more plays than UW, and Keith Price's passing struggles will continue for at least another week. USC holds on for a close win.
Finally, Wazzu - Cal. So after listening to our ridiculously long podcast from Sunday night, I kind of realized something earlier this week. I'm TIRED of the losing! And I can't recall being as frustrated as I am right now with the losing, given that I thought this was the year we could ALL TALK S*IT AGAIN ABOUT THE COUGS!
See, as a fan base we've been awfully quiet since, well, since Paul Wulff took over. While UW fans have popped their jerseys over a .500 record in the Sark era, but with two bowl games in the last three years, and likely headed for a third bowl in four years, it's been tough to take around the office/water cooler/message board/whatever. And I mean being a college football fan is all about the ability to talk S*IT on Monday, right?? So when Bill Moos made the splash hire and spent the offseason touting the new football facilities and an exciting new offense with a well paid head coach, I fell for the whole thing too. I read Swing Your Sword, I studied up on the Air Raid offense, and I too thought Leach would install his plug-n-play offense in 3 practices, and the Cougs would come out swinging with prolific offense from game one. And it just hasn't happened.
That said, I really believe the Oregon State game has screwed up my perspective. People have spent this week basically analyzing everything as a complete failure of a season, if not the entire coaching staff, based on the last game. But is that really fair? Aren't young teams with sophomore QB's expected to lay an egg here and there, especially on the road in Corvallis in front of 250,000 screaming fans in Orange against a Beaver team clearly on the rise? And while the offense was a disaster, what about the improvement we are seeing on defense with the new push by the D-line and the emergence of Travis Long, leading the country in sacks this season? Three weeks ago it seemed like they couldn't stop anyone, now the D is playing with fire and attitude that I can't even recall it's been so long!
And speaking of that offense, well, weren't many of us singing a little bit of a different tune just one week ago? Sophomore Connor Halliday threw for nearly 350 yards and a TD vs. Oregon, I mean is that really terrible and a complete failure? It had a feel WAY BACK THEN that the offense might be figuring some stuff out, and Halliday was starting to really hit the underneath stuff, similar to what he had shown in big parts of the Colorado game the week before that. But all that said, it's as if that last game vs. OSU has just made people jump off the Leach wagon in record time, and there are many out there right now who have declared this entire coaching staff a failure and Leach is some kind of BS artist who doesn't know what he's doing.
Anyway, I'm like anyone else. I bought the hype and I'm tired of the losing. I'm ready for the Cougs to go out and get a win, and sometimes in college football these kinds of things come out of nowhere. And that's my feel for this week.
In the face of people hating on Leach and giving up completely that this thing is a failure, the Cougs get up off the mat and fight like hell in front of the Martin Stadium faithful. It'll be close, but in the end the WSU D will make a huge stop on Cal late in the game, and the Cougs hang on for a wild 34-30 win.
Enjoy your Thursday, and of course, GO COUGS!
ASU 35 - Colorado 10: The Buffs' 7 minute miracle against us is almost certain to go down as the highlight of their season, which is really pathetic for both programs. To the national audience that may (or most likely will not) tune into this game, I apologize. It's going to blow.
UCLA 27 - Utah 20: What the crap happened to UCLA last week?! This will be a good test to see if Jim Mora can rally the troops. It's coming at a good time, with an opponent rolling into town that is facing some mental health issues of their own. It has to be something of a let down to follow-up electric atmosphere of a hard-fought game against the Trojans. With both teams figuring out how to bounce back, I'll take the more talented side.
OSU 24 - BYU 20: I actually kinda, sorta think BYU will win this one, especially with Mannion out, but I've just got the feeling that this is one of those wacky years for the Beavs where everything goes their way. Occasionally the football gods have more sway than the actual football players. I don't know what Mike Riley did to deserve such favorable karma, but it must have been awesome.
Notre Dame 20 - Stanford 10: I'm still mad at Josh Nunes for his "performance" in Seattle a couple weeks ago. Sure, he played better last week, but I didn't dedicate three hours of my life to watching that one so my image of him is that he stinks. Also, I'm one of the few people left on the planet who likes it when Notre Dame is doing well so I want to see them continue a rise to national prominence. Also, Manti Te'o.
USC 38 - Washington 13: Bow down.
Cougs 28 - Cal 17: Making a predicition on this game is haphazard at best. Cal might be as schizophrenic as we are. To look like doo-doo for weeks, then all of a sudden put a beat down on a UCLA team that had previously looked pretty good makes no sense. The only thing that makes less sense is that the WSU defense is somehow the strength of our team. We haven't played well for a whole game yet, so it's probably reasonable to assume that won't happen, but then again, it has to happen eventually, right?! I like the defense to continue their solid play and hopefully Connor Halliday can avoid enough honey boo-boo's to not throw us out of another one. Or something else totally unexpected will happen. Who knows at this point? Go Cougs.