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Pac-10 picks

New Mexico marching into Tucson and winning last Saturday caught us by surprise, even more so than the Utah thrashing of UCLA. At least the Bruins had the excuse of being on the road.

UCLA’s performance last week makes its game with Washington the hardest to figure, although the up-and-down nature of Oregon State makes Saturday night’s game in Tempe a head-scratcher as well.

Washington at UCLA

(UCLA by 6.5)

The Bruins are beat up, missing five starters. Right now that doesn’t include QB Ben Olson, who is suffering from headaches. If he can’t go, Patrick Cowan will be under center, and that might be a good thing for UCLA. UCLA 24-21.

Oregon St. at Arizona St.

(ASU by 11.5)

The Sun Devils have looked almost unbeatable, but their schedule hasn’t been challenging. The Beavers’ game at Cincinnati was tough, but the experience pays dividends here. Oregon State 35-31.

Arizona at California

(Cal by 16)

If the Wildcats hadn’t surprised the Bears last season, this would have been a good spot to pick an upset. But Call will bear down thanks to the memories. Cal 35-10.

Oregon at Stanford

(Oregon by 17)

Remember how slow the Michigan defenders looked against the Ducks? They were regular Tyson Gays compared to how Stanford will look. Oregon 45-7.

Washington St. at USC

(USC by 25)

In Pete Carroll’s tenure at Southern California, his ranked teams have never lost to an unranked opponent in the Coliseum. This year’s Trojans are No. 1 – and possibly his best team. USC 42-21.

Last week: 8-2 overall, 5-4 vs. spread; Season: 21-6 overall, 10-15 vs. spread.