Sedge Court Journal
Providing sports fans with expert analysis since 2004

Saturday, September 01, 2007

West Virginia -23.5 vs Western Michigan 100
VA Tech -27.5 vs East Carolina 100
Nevada +21 vs. Nebraska 100
Minnesota -14 vs. Bowling Green 100
USC -46.5 vs Idado 100
Penn State -38 vs Fla International 100
Texas -38.5 vs. Ark State 1000 Point Pick
UCLA -16.5 vs Stanford 1000 Point Pick

How is it that the Pac 10 figures how out to assure that all its teams play each other? Wake up Big Ten and figure out how to make this happen. The mighty little conference also does the best job of pushing itself out of conference. Outside of Arizona, every Pac-10 team plays a non-conference game against a BCS-league team or Notre Dame. And we're not talking about showdowns with Duke and Baylor here. While most of the Pac 10 teams will get get beat in their non-conference matchups (remember California vs Tennessee last year, WSU @ Ohio State in 2003, UCLA snatching defeat from the jaws of defeat at ND last year, etc), you have to give them credit for a.) scheduling the matchups, and b.) keeping these games close. Apart from the California vs. Tennessee game, Pac 10 non-conference matchups are usually good contests.

With all of this said, stay away from WSU vs. Wisconsin. This is a matchup on a few levels. As a Seattle Times reporter wrote: "Washington State, where a party could break out in an animal-science lab, visits Wisconsin, a place with even greater renown for getting giddy." The Cougars aren't used to being underdogs on two fronts.WSU finished the season 6-6 last year after losing 3 of its last 4 games. They return a lot of their offense. They kept USC close last year and had a chance to win that game. They beat UCLA at UCLA and were generally playing to win in the fourth quarter of most of their games. Wisconsin is good. Very good. They are returning too many starters on an already great defense. Wisconsin's O line will allow them to grind out a running game against an overmatched WSU defense. WSU is also a bit weak at the corners. However, beyond Alex Brink, I think WSU battles back after a slow start but doesn't close the gap to win. I think this is the best matchup in college football today and the oddsmakers probably put more thought into this one than some of the other games. So my advice to you: stay away. If you must gamble, take Wisconsin. As much as it pains me to say it...


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