The Wiz, filling in last week for pigskin prophet Mark Mathis, correctly predicted an easy victory for Ohio State over Iowa. Then late Saturday, Mathis' email arrives on our doorstep. The Fearless Forecaster also had the Buckeyes in a romp. Unfortunately, the news came too late to meet our stringent deadlines. But trust us, the former scout team quarterback for Baylor is a picture of perfection and his record stands 5-0. This is pressure folks, and one week in that cooker was enough for the Wiz. Thankfully the man is back this week. (By the way, check out Mathis' latest video by clicking here). Now there are several games of note this week, but with USC suddenly looking vulnerable, Oregon at California has taken on added importance. The winner will be in position to end the Trojans' run of Pac-10 titles. It's our game of the week, so without further delay, let's hear from the man:
"OK, for the record: My 'column' got lost last week somewhere in cyberspace. Maybe the Grand Wizard can fill you in on the details. Let's just say that I not only gushed at how great each and every one of the beat writers and columnists in the audience are, but I also belittled myself. The reason for my gushing was my apparent lack of really knowing the teams while you guys are in the trenches each and every week, talking to coaches, going to practices and visiting with the players. Plus, I was starting to get it in the neck. I was getting nervous with my 4-0 record. But, if the Grand Wizard would like to tell you, I did predict an Ohio State victory.
"So, I will take my 5-0 record into this week's Pac-10 matchup. Pac-10!? Give me the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC. I am great with those teams. But, the Pac-10! Come on. Real men don't eat quiche and real football is not played in the Pac-freakin-10! So, let me see, should I pick the soft team or the softer? I will go with the soft team. But, back to my singleness of purpose — weather. Game time temperature will be 67 degrees. Look for sunny conditions in Berkeley with a west wind.
"California will win because they got the dog poop kicked out of them by Tennessee — a real football team in a real football conference. California 28-17. Peace out!"
Anthony Gimino, Tucson Citizen: Cal can't shake that hangover from the loss to Tennessee. Pac-10 notebook.
Jake Curtis, San Francisco Chronicle: Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon has never gotten over losing his mom to breast cancer in 2004.
Aaron Fentress, Oregonian: Oregon's defense is coming off its best game, a 48-13 victory over Arizona State, but how much of that was because of the Sun Devils' inept offense?
Ron Bellamy, Eugene Register-Guard: Oregon, which doesn't cut corner on facilities, is at it again. An $8 million project to expand and update the treatment center for athletes could begin in mid-November.