Pac-10 takes a hit

Sep 14, 2008 7:37 PM

by Mark Mayer | Pac-10 fans believing the league in football is USC and everyone else cashed big at the betting window Saturday. Aside from the Trojans and Oregon State, the rest of the league went 0-8 against the spread. And many of the results were ugly.

• Arizona State, a 25½-point home favorite, loses to UNLV in OT.

• Washington, a 21-point home underdog, loses to Oklahoma by 41.

• Arizona, a 10-point road favorite, loses to New Mexico by 8.

• Stanford, a 15½-point road underdog, loses to TCU by 17.

• UCLA, an 8½-point dog at BYU, loses 59-0!

• Washington State, a 3-point road dog, loses by 28 to Baylor.

• California, a 13½-point road favorite, loses by 8 to Maryland of the struggling ACC.

• Oregon does win at Purdue by 6 in OT, but dodges a game-winning field goal miss and fails to cover as a 7-point chalk.

It was just one bad week for a proud conference, but the four favorites that failed to cover tipped the overall ATS record (63-62-4) for the first time this season to the underdogs. The ever so slight edge just shows how volatile betting and trends can be in college football. A number of prominent handicappers had made UCLA one of their best bets.

At least for Pac 10 supporters, Southern Cal lived up to all the buildup and then some in rolling over Ohio State. It wasn’t that great a day for the Big Ten either as Michigan and Purdue went down, while Illinois and Minnesota were substantial favorites that came nowhere close to covering the spread.

As for this coming week, here a few teams to note:

• Penn State posted its third straight blowout win and hosts hard luck Temple as a probable 20-point plus favorite.

• Vanderbilt, off to a 3-0 start and 1-0 in SEC play, figures to be a live dog at Ole Miss.

• UNLV, off its unbelievable win over Arizona State, could go 3-1 at home this week with a victory over Iowa State.

• West Virginia, with two weeks to mend from the East Carolina loss, travels to unfamiliar ground at Colorado in a Thursday night ESPN game.