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Pac 10 Betting – With USC Down, Who Steps Up?

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/16/2010 4:32:29 PM
pac 10 betting

After a hellish offseason for the two most prominent programs in the Pacific time zone of the United States, the Pac-10 will have a different feel, and NCAA football betting commentators can’t deny it.

Oregon, the defending champion, couldn’t stay away from law enforcement after losing the 2010 Rose Bowl to Ohio State. USC, long the king of the Pac-10 Conference but then deposed last season, cannot go to the Rose Bowl if it wins the league in 2010. The two-year bowl ban handed down by the NCAA earlier this month will cause scholarship reductions and lead to at least some transfers from the Trojan program. Perhaps USC is still a favorite to win the league, but for all intents and purposes, we should be focused on who will gain the Rose Bowl bid. We might as well treat the Pac-10 as the Pac-9 before it becomes the Pac-12 in the coming year with the additions of Utah and Colorado.

Team On The Rise:

If you’re looking for a team to pull off a shocker on the West Coast, there aren’t many options in this league. Stanford surprised a lot of pundits and online betting analysts in 2009, but the Cardinal won’t sneak up on foes in 2010. Oregon caught many college football observers off guard last season, but the Ducks are now a more known commodity. In terms of picking a team that will pleasantly exceed expectations, it’s impossible to find a team that will really wow the rest of the nation. One must be conservative, then.

Oregon State has steadily overachieved in this league, and coach Mike Riley steadily extracts more from his available talent than any other coach in the Pac-10. OSU regularly finishes in the upper division of the Pac, but with Oregon having some off-field issues and Stanford losing Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart, the Beavers are ready to go all the way and make their first Rose Bowl since the 1964 season, which culminated in the 1965 Rose Bowl Game against Michigan. In a narrow and strict sense, that scene – Oregon State playing in Pasadena on January 1, 2011 – would indeed be a surprise, a sign of an ascendant Pac-10 powerhouse.

Team On The Decline:

If you want to keep tabs on a team that might be overrated, well, that category could be viewed in multiple ways. Washington might be receiving a little too much hype in quarterback Jake Locker’s senior season, but no one’s making the Huskies a title contender, so that really wouldn’t fit. Stanford might be a legitimate choice, but everyone knows Gerhart is gone.

It’s weird to say this for a team that has had a brutal offseason, but one should tab Oregon as the team that’s about to take a severe downward plunge in this conference. Sure, the Ducks are no longer a slam dunk choice to win the league in the eyes of sports betting junkies, but they might finish fourth or fifth instead of second or third, and that possibility needs to be given much more credence than others are willing to allow at the moment.

One must first acknowledge that Mike Bellotti left as the athletic director. Then, multiple players were involved in unsavory off-field incidents, with running back LaMichael James being arrested for domestic violence and quarterback Jeremiah Masoli being arrested in conjunction with a burglary. Masoli was not allowed to play for the 2010 season, but then, when he was found in possession of marijuana on June 7 and was also discovered to have committed driving infractions, he was kicked off the team for good by coach Chip Kelly.

Oregon still has a lot of talent, but it’s hard to see how these many distractions – plus the loss of UO’s best player – won’t affect this team when the season starts. The Ducks were the Pac-10 favorite when the 2010 Rose Bowl ended. Now, they’re not even the second choice (maybe third at best).

Best Player In The Conference:

Jake Locker of Washington – provided he stays healthy and performs appreciably close to expectations – will likely be the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Locker owns a gun for an arm, can run like the wind, and has the linebacker-like toughness of a Brett Favre or a John Elway. Sure, Locker is far from a polished product and has not yet become a complete quarterback on campus in Seattle, but he has all the makings of an elite signal caller. If he can stay away from the interception bug in his senior season, Washington will put together a winning record and return to a bowl game after several seasons of misery in the Pacific Northwest.

Who Will Win The Conference:

Want to pick a champion for the Pac-10 this season? Go with Oregon State. Every other team in the league has a key deficiency or two, with the Beavers being the most consistent and reliable team on the West Coast. They’ll make the Rose Bowl a Black and Orange stadium on the first day of 2011.

Pick: Oregon State



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