Let's assume for a moment, that you, the intrepid sports fan, absolutely loves to root for a team that wins. The thrill that comes with the taste of victory is all you need to satisfy that inner, primal hunger. Now I know this is a far-fetched scenario, but maybe, just maybe, there is somebody out there that understands this sentiment. Well, then perhaps Arizona isn't your best option. Apparently, we don't believe in that kind of hoodoo-voodoo trash around here. ‘Win', ‘Victory'; those are just words. Who needs ‘em, right?
...I just made myself sad. Let's move on with the picks.
Arizona State +2.5 @ Washington
Just as soon as I jump on the bandwagon, the front axel breaks right off. Honestly, I can't believe the Sun Devils tricked me again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me for twenty-one years straight and I'm an idiot. I must say though, ASU always finds new and interesting ways to let me down. Last week's failed comeback against the Beavers was just one more entry in the long list of disappointments the Sun Devils have written throughout my life.
They got beaten by a quarterback named Katz. Katz. If I didn't know better it sounds like ASU got whipped on by a supercool feline from the early 90's who wears wraparound-shades and plays by his own rules (by the way, I absolutely love that this is what came up when I google-searched Katz).
Stupid jokes aside, 5 games into the season I think we are starting have a large enough sample-size to somewhat understand the Sun Devils. They're better than one team in the conference for certain (Washington State), and they are definitely worse than five teams (Oregon, Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, USC). That's about all we know right now, but that's the Pac-10 for ya. UCLA, Washington, California, and ASU are all just trying to find their place amongst the mediocrity.
As such, this week should provide some illumination on the middle/lower-middle tier of the conference. Washington is fresh off an upset win at USC, and the Heisman train of Jake Locker is back on the tracks. The Huskies quarterback has passed for 936 yards and 7 touchdowns while rushing for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. The man is the definition of dual-threat, even more so now that he has started to remember what made him successful in the first place.
That being said, ASU has to win sometime. At a certain point, doesn't all the frustration boil over and result in a statement win? The Huskies are going to have a huge upset-hangover after last week's game, giving the Sun Devils an opportunity to sneak up and steal one in Seattle.
Intern Prediction: Arizona State 32, Washington 24
Arizona -7.5 vs. Oregon State
Ahhhh, the Wildcats; the only team in Arizona to bring respite from the toxic strain of lose-itis that is spreading across the state like wildfire. After their nail-biter against California, U of A assumedly thanked the schedule-makers and took advantage of a perfectly timed bye week.
Now the Cats have some much needed rest and hope to regain their momentum against Oregon State on Saturday. The Beavers are aiming to complete the "Arizona Sweep" as the Rodgers Brothers come storming into Tucson, looking to avenge last year's 37-32 loss.
The Arizona defense has been monstrous the whole season, covering for the suddenly sputtering offense. Justin Washington and Brooks Reed lead a dominate defensive line that has been owning the line of scrimmage and has amassed eleven sacks through four games. As a whole, the unit is only conceding a microscopic eleven points per game, good for third in the entire FBS. If either Nick Foles or the running game can get back on track, the Beavers are in for a long day.
Prospects look good, as the Tucson faithful will once again ignite Arizona Stadium and carry the Wildcats to victory.
Intern Prediction: Arizona 31, Oregon State 14
And so we reach the end of an era. The age of Derek Anderson lasted a sum total of four spectacularly inconsistent weeks, and now that it is behind us, I think we can safely say it was fun while it lasted (and by ‘fun' I meant it was a frustratingly underwhelming nightmare. Ah, see what I did there). No longer will we have the pleasure of watching erratic throws sail miles over the intended receiver's head; nope, instead we get to watch fifteen yard hitch routes bounce-pass their way to the target. Isn't being a Cardinals fan just awesome?
Let's contrast our last six months with the last six months of our opponent. New Orleans absolutely crushed the Cardinals in the playoffs, bested Peyton Manning to win its first Super Bowl, crowned their Hall of Fame quarterback as King of Marti Gras, and won three out of the first four games of the 2010 season.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals got rocked by the Saints in the playoffs, watched the Super Bowl from home, had their Hall of Fame quarterback retire to join ‘Dancing With the Stars', and lost two (should have been three) of their first four games of the season.
Not only that, but our heir-apparent quarterback was cut before opening day (quickly laying claim to the hallowed third-string job in Houston), opening the door for the last-place-Cleveland Brown's discarded signal caller, who was benched twice before finally giving way to an undrafted rookie. Sounds great.
To be honest, I haven't heard any person give the Cardinals a chance this week. Not a single one. I ask you, who's going to step up and have some guts? Who's going to man up and pick the Cardinals? I was going to, but... er... I just love conformity.
Intern Prediction: Saints 42, Cardinals 17 (wooooo they scored some points!)
Last week's record: 1-1
Total record: 6-2