Is Herm Edwards Done At ASU? Plus, Predictions For All PAC-12 Games In Week 10

In the PAC-12 . . .

If your team is playing at home, celebrating homecoming, looking to avenge an inexplicable cave-in loss the game before, has an extra bye week to prepare, and playing an opponent of lesser renown, you would expect your team to play well and probably win, right?

You wouldn’t expect your offense to fumble the ball away on its second play and then do it again on the very first play after that.  Your head would likely be shaking from seeing the futility of your team behind by 21 points at the half, celebrating a successful field goal only to have it wiped off the board by a penalty and the subsequent attempt missed altogether, gasping as your defense gives up six plays of 15 yards or more, and sighing with a third quarter that had all of your drives end in either interceptions or punts.

Welcome to Tempe.

Or as the Arizona State Twitter storms say:  Goodbye Hermie.

According to Doug Haller of The Athletic, “The calendar says it’s too early to suggest a team has quit on its head coach, but make no mistake, this is what such a thing looks like.”

And, he may have a point when we consider that Arizona State gave up 28 straight points to end the Utah game the week before, then gave up 28 points in the first half of last week’s Washington State game.  That’s 56 points in four quarters given up by a defense that returns ten players with three years of experience.  

Once again, Edwards blamed the players. He called them out for five turnovers rather than calling himself out for a rash of other problems that tell us the team was just not at all prepared.

This week doesn’t show relief as USC (4-4; 3-2) comes to town, and the Trojans are just one-half game behind Arizona State (5-3;  3-3) in the PAC-12 South standings.  The South Division won’t care who wins because Utah has already beaten both of them, and the Utes will finish undefeated against South Division opponents.

Our system (Savvy Index) favors Arizona State 30-27 while oddsmakers set the margin at eight.

Utah (5-3) will have no trouble with Stanford (3-5), losers of three straight in other South Division action.

Ute quarterback Cameron Rising continues to prove he is one of the best in the nation as the 6’2”, 220-pound star from my hometown (Ventura, CA) is completing 64% of his passes, throwing one-half the national average for interceptions, and averaging nearly eight yards per carry on the ground.     

Our Index shows Utah as a 34-24 favorite.

California (3-5) has finally found some offense and has won two in a row.  The problem for the Bears is that they travel to Tucson, where that fans are uncommonly frothy for their winless Wildcats.  

Although Cal is a double-digit favorite in our system and in betting lines, I lean toward Arizona (0-8) because:

1)  Arizona has trend lines that say it is ready to win, and

2)  California has yet to win a road game in 2021

3)  Those frenzied and frothy fans.

Oregon State (5-3) will bounce back from a tough loss at California by stampeding the Colorado Buffaloes (2-6) by at least eight points. The Buffs have found gold in freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis. CU coaches haven’t been willing to trust Lewis with the long ball, but I believe that is beginning to change.  

Washington (4-4) started the season with two losses, then won two games, then lost two, then won two. This is the start of the two-loss cycle as the Huskies host #8 Oregon (7-1) and will come out on the short end of a five-point loss.

UW has a strong group of running backs but ineffective blocking by an underperforming offensive line. That may lead the Huskies to passing the ball more, which will trigger yet another problem: Washington quarterbacks like to serve up interceptions (7th nationally) as much as Oregon d-backs like gobbling them up (10th nationally).  

Washington State and UCLA have the week off.

For the season, our system is slightly behind the oddsmakers in predicting point spreads, slightly ahead in predicting game-winners, and an impressive 38 games ahead in projecting total points.

Best predictions last week were:

Ohio State over Penn State 34-22             (final was 33-24)

Clemson over Florida State 27-20             (final was 30-20)

Boise State over Colorado State 28-19     (final was 27-21)

North Texas over Rice 30-27                      (final was 30-24; Vegas said Rice by 2.5)

San Jose State over Wyoming 25-19        (final was 27-21)   

Our worst prediction was Buffalo over Bowling Green by 18.  BGSU won by 12.

To see all of our predictions this week, please visit us at savvygameline.com.

Around the Nation . . .

If you’re a college football coach and you have a choice, then don’t schedule Kansas State.

It’s not just that Gary Patterson of TCU was fired yesterday after losing to the Wildcats or that Matt Wells of Texas Tech was fired the week before for the same thing. Still, it seems to be some cultural thing –- like Oklahoma and Texas losing in Ames, Iowa.

Frank Solich was on his way to the Big 12 Championship in 2003 before losing to Kansas State and was subsequently fired.

Paul Rhodes had his Iowa State team up by 21 points at the half before K-State came from behind to win.  Rhodes was fired the following day.

Larry Smith was fired immediately after losing to K-State in 2000.

Terry Allen coached Kansas in 2001, and Kliff Kingsbury coached Texas Tech in 2018.  Both were fired within days of losing to Kansas State.

There are 61 games involving FBS teams scheduled this week but only matches two currently ranked teams. Nineteenth-ranked Texas A&M (6-2) seems to be everyone’s choice to take down #21 Auburn (6-2). Although there are plenty of reasons to agree with those predictions, I think Auburn quarterback Bo Nix is reason enough to disagree.

Nix came to Auburn as a five-star with the bloodlines of former All American Auburn quarterback Pat Nix. At that time, I wrote about Bo’s history and recruitment, which can be seen here.

Our Index goes against oddsmakers three times this week:

Rhode Island (FCS 5-3) 30-28 over Umass (1-7)

Tennessee (4-4) 28-27 over Kentucky (6-2)

Boise State (4-4) 28-26 over Fresno State (7-2)

About Bobby Albrant 100 Articles
Bobby Albrant is a former journalism major at the University of Oregon, creator of Savvygameline.com for college football predictions and rankings, former analyst for Southern Mississippi football games, and twenty years coaching girls basketball for all ages through CIF high school. He has three grown children with his youngest daughter playing on the Ventura (Ca) High School basketball team that defeated Dom Lugo High School and was the last high school game ever played by Diana Taurasi. He can be reached at bobbywildcat@gmail.com.

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