(7-1, 5-3 ATS)
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(7-1, 4-4 ATS)
Two of the best teams in the Pac-10 battle it out to move into second place in the conference on Saturday night, as the Arizona Wildcats try to scratch the Stanford Cardinal.
Though Arizona is the one team of these two that controls its own destiny for a spot in the BCS for certain, the Wildcats don’t feel like the better team in this game. Their win against the Iowa Hawkeyes has been diminished just a tad, and the loss to the Oregon State Beavers at home is still suspect. A huge road win would go a long way in helping the Cats get back into the Top 10 in the country where they would probably rightfully belong if they could win this duel. The good news is that QB Nick Foles will be back under center. However, QB Matt Scott really didn’t perform that poor in his two games having to call the shots. Scott completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 772 yards with four scores and two picks, but most importantly, he picked up two wins and two covers. Foles though, is the undisputed leader of this team. He has thrown for 1,600 yards and nine TDs against five picks and has one of the best completion percentages in the country at 75.3 percent. The defense for the U of A has been great this year, averaging holding teams to just 286.9 yards and 14.4 points per game. Teams are only averaging 2.6 yards per carry against the Cats.
Stanford presents a challenge of the likes the Wildcats haven’t seen all season long, though. This offense operates quickly and isn’t afraid to throw everything at its foes. The Cardinal have two superstars operating in the backfield, as QB Andrew Luck is a certain Top 5 draft choice in the NFL Draft, while RB Stepfan Taylor has five straight 100+ yard performances and is emerging as one of the best running backs in the Pac-10. HC John Harbaugh knows that he has a ton of talent, and has been capitalizing on it to the tune of at least 31 points in all eight games this season. The Trees have been superb both through the air and on the ground. Averaging 243.1 yards per game in the passing game is good enough for No. 42 in the land, while 223.8 rushing yards per game is No. 12. No wonder why this team is the fifth best scoring offense in the country at 42.4 points per game! The question is the defense, which was absolutely wrecked by the Oregon Ducks a few weeks ago in the game that really took command of the Pac-10 out of Stanford’s hands. Still, one would like to think that winning out in four games in which they should be favored, should be enough to send the Cardinal to the BCS.
Arizona is nothing but fool’s gold this year, and the Cardinal are going to prove it. Don’t be shocked if this starts a bad tailspin for the Wildcats, as they know that they have to play the three most brutalizing teams in the Pac-10 one right after the other in these next three weeks. Luck and the Cardinal will roll to an easy victory to make a big statement to the BCS committee looking for a good at-large bid to potentially the Fiesta Bowl.
College Football Free Pick: Stanford Cardinal -9.5
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