I left the game early on Saturday.
It’s something I’m a little ashamed of, as I never leave early. I stayed for every second of every game during the Paul Wulff era (except Montana State for safety reasons), I watched Alex Brink’s thousand-interception performance in thirty degree weather in 2007; I can tell you which quarterback ended most games in the Birnbaum/Mencke era. Yet Saturday, as soon as Connor threw that pick-six, I had to get out to the parking lot and beat the rest of the cars across the bridge. Listening to Bob-Rob call two more Oregon touchdowns on my drive home didn’t make my decision much harder. I arrived home and turned on the television just in time to watch Jeff Tuel throw a meaningless touchdown and I could only think of one thing:
Does it make WSU any less horrible? Not at all. Does it make me any more confident about the season going forward? Of course not. But it does make me happy that the eight or so people who bet on the Cougs were able to cash in their WSU +31.5 tickets for real money. Now give Jeff Tuel his cut.
This week, I will not be leaving early, even if we fall behind by nine touchdowns, because our group landed club seats in Reser Stadium. By purchasing these seats, it came with a membership to the Beaver Athletics Student Fund, making me an actual OSU booster. Beavs, you are welcome in advance for your impending sanctions.
On to the picks.
USC (-14.5) at UTAH: The last time the Trojans visited Salt Lake City, Washington State was the defending Rose Bowl champion. For those who are still upset that SC made WSU play them in Spokane for so long, let that 95 year span sink in for a moment. SC has been an unimpressive road team so far this season, and while I believe SC will win, I think it’s only a ten pointer. Take Utah and the points.
ARIZONA (+9) at STANFORD: So we’re all in agreement that Josh Nunez is the worst quarterback in the Pac-12, right? The only other explanation is that UW’s defense was so good that it forced Nunez to throw at his receivers’ ankles the entire game despite being under virtually zero pressure the entire game. This is two bad games in a row for Nunez masked by a great upset win against USC. Luckily for the Trees, I do think Stanford’s defense, who limited UW to Field Goals and two big plays off missed tackles, will right the ship and stifle Arizona enough to win by ten.
WASHINGTON STATE (+15.5) at OREGON STATE: Oregon State is the last remaining undefeated team in the Pac 12 against the spread and they’ve won in every conceivable fashion (defensive struggle, shootout, etc). OS WR Brandon Cooks will be painting his toenails Crimson and Gray to continue his tradition of "stepping on his opponent." He’s going to look like an idiot when the Cougs show up in their anthracite uniforms. This game has backdoor cover written all over it. The Beavs will be up 22 late and WSU will get a meaningless touchdown in the closing minutes and lose by 15. Take the Cougs and the points.
UCLA (-2.5) at CALIFORNIA: After starting 1-4 and staring their second consecutive 0-3 season against the California schools square in the jaw, is Tedford coaching for his job, here? Cal will have the chance to rebound next week by coming and thumping the Cougs, but until then look for UCLA to win this by a couple touchdowns. I’d make it my lock of the week, but those are 0-5 so far. Screw it: LOCK OF THE WEEK.
WASHINGTON (+24.5) at OREGON: The Ducks are going for nine straight wins over the Huskies. A Duck win on Saturday would mean the twenty year old Oregon fan will be 16-4 against UW in their lifetime. It’s certainly no wonder UW fans don’t want to admit it’s a rivalry. It’s not. It’s time the Huskies recognized their place in the universe and just came back to the Apple Cup. Come back, Huskies! This game is going to be tied at halftime and Oregon will rattle off 28 unanswered in the 2nd half to cover. UW thinks they’ll be able to wear down the Duck defense, but little do they know that every forty-soemthing Duck fan wears a jersey to the game specifically so he can be put in for a few plays. Or at least that’s why I’m assuming that old Duck fans wear jerseys. Otherwise it’s just embarrassing for you. Take the Ducks, give the points.
Last Week: 3-2
So good luck to all of you and may your picks bring you a small fortune, provided you didn’t start with a large one.