Well, last week they finally did it; they completed the reverse-trifecta. Every single major football team within the state of Arizona lost on the road. One bizarre defeat on an extra point return, one miracle comeback by a football legend, and one soul-crushing massacre. Just another weekend in the Valley baby.
But alas, today is a new day. Everyone has had seven days to lick their wounds, enjoy some family time, and prepare to dominate in front of a rabid home crowd. Right? Let's take a look.
Arizona State +5.5 vs. Stanford
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Arizona State continually finds new ways to lose. I thought I'd seen everything, but a blocked extra point being returned for a two-point conversion? That's low even for the Sun Devils. The life of an ASU fan is ridiculous. You go into every game with the lowest expectations humanly possible, yet somehow by the second half they have you thinking they just might pull it off. But alas, it eventually crumbles in the most obscure way possible, leaving you wondering how the hell you fell for it again. Ugh. Moving on.
I've been looking at this spread this whole week. I just don't get it. Is it a trap? Is there something Vegas knows that I don't?
Granted, Arizona State has a tendency for losing close games that they really shouldn't even be in, as previously mentioned. But still, only giving five-and-a-half points against Stanford? Personally I think Stanford is one of the best teams in the nation, and a lock to destroy whoever they play in the Rose Bowl (barring some sort of Oregon quackery - oof that was really bad).
Last Sunday a combination of future multi-millionaire Andrew Luck and the Stanford rushing attack picked apart the Wildcats in the most dominating fashion imaginable. It was over by halftime. Who says they can't repeat it against the Sun Devils?
This line worries me much more than it should, but honestly, come Saturday I'm sure I'm not going to be able to resist it (gambling is a horrible habit children; you shouldn't partake in it, besides you'll most likely lose anyway).
Oh yeah, and Stanford steamrolls Arizona State.
Intern Prediction: Stanford 35, Arizona State 13
Arizona -4.5 vs. USC
I'm still a little shocked how easily the Wildcats rolled over last week. Bringing Nick Foles back so soon may have been the wrong move. He looked a little rusty and Matt Scott had been playing lights-out. Still, I can't fault Mike Stoops for wanting to play his star quarterback in a pivotal game.
That being said, USC is no Stanford. The Trojans have been up-and-down all season, getting upset by Washington and barely beating lowly Arizona State. They have lost to every ranked opponent they have faced since Halloween of last year. At this point, the Trojans' reputation far outweighs the quality of their team.
On the other side, the Wildcats know how to rebound from a tough loss. The two games directly after Arizona's defeat to Oregon State, they outscored their opponents 68-21.
Stoop's squad still has an outside shot at the Rose Bowl if they can run the table. This team just doesn't seem like the type the quit.
Arizona cruises past USC in Tucson.
Intern Prediction: Arizona 38, USC 29
Cardinals -3 vs. Seattle
I'm not going to lie, dear readers, I'm starting to get worried that the Cardinals are morphing back into the "Old Cardinals". You know exactly what I'm talking about. The team that blows a twenty point lead against an undefeated Bears group on Monday Night without even allowing an offensive touchdown. The team that lets a 49ers squad amidst an eight game losing streak, led by Trent Dilfer of all people, win in overtime on a fumble recovery in the end zone.
The team that gives games away in the most heartbreaking fashion possible.
We've seen this two weeks in a row now, anymore and it becomes official: the "Old Cardinals" are back.
So needless to say, this is as close to a must-win game nine weeks into the season as there is. A loss puts the Redbirds at 3-6, and two games back in the divisional standings.
The thing is, the Seahawks are almost exactly like the Cardinals. Formidable at home (except for the absurd egg they laid last week), and patsies on the road. The last time these teams met, the Cardinals and rookie quarterback Max Hall seemed visibly shaken by the Qwest Field atmosphere. This time the home crowd will be out in full support of the Redbirds.
This week will probably be extremely similar to Week 7's matchup. Lots of field goals, lots of mistakes, and the home team coming out on top of what will surely be an ugly game.
Intern Prediction: Cardinals 26, Seahawks 19
Last week's record: 3-0
Total record: 14-7