It’s a huge week for the Pacific-12 Conference as three football games take place between ranked teams, and the outcome of these games are going to go a long way toward determining what happens both in the league and in the nation this season.
The Stanford Cardinal remain the best conference hope for a national championship in many ways, although certainly the Washington Huskies are not far behind. The game between those two schools later in the season will be even bigger if both manage to win their games this weekend.
So far this season, our predictions have produced a 30-8 record. Can we keep it going? We hope so! Here’s a quick look at the four games coming up in Week 5 as the Conference of Champions tries to crack the College Football Playoff again.
UCLA at Colorado (6:00 pm Friday): The Bruins are 0-3 and have looked terrible this season so far. The Buffaloes are 3-0 and have looked much better. Colorado is also at home, so this season like a game that is easy to pick. On paper, the Buffs should win by at least two touchdowns, but our prediction will be a little more conservative than that as UCLA may be getting better and/or desperate. Colorado 31, UCLA 24.
Utah at Washington State (3 pm Saturday): The Utes had a bye last week, and they should be very ready to play a disappointed Cougars squad that had a late field-goal attempt blocked last week which ended up costing them their perfect record. How will WSU react? It’s Homecoming in Pullman, and that will give the Cougs a bit of a lift. Look for Utah to play a very good game but come up just short. Washington State 31, Utah 28.
No. 7 Stanford at No. 8 Notre Dame (4:30 pm Saturday): It is a lot for the Cardinal to handle, coming off that crazy win in Eugene last Saturday, now going to South Bend for this matchup. The Irish are looking very good right now, and Stanford is bound to have a bit of a letdown. If the Cardinal played this one at home, it might be a different story. Notre Dame 34, Stanford 24.
No. 20 BYU at No. 11 Washington (5:30 pm Saturday): Ignore the Cougars’ ranking. They lost to Cal at home, and for some reason, the Golden Bears are ranked below BYU. This game isn’t going to be close. The Huskies, playing at home, will disappoint the many Cougars fans who travel well to BYU road games. Washington 41, BYU 20.
Oregon State at Arizona State (7 pm Saturday): The Sun Devils are reeling after two straight losses, and reality is going to continue to hit them pretty hard once they discover Herm Edwards cannot coach his way out of a paper bag. That being said, the Beavers aren’t a very good team, and the heat in Tempe is going to send the OSU players to a place they aren’t familiar with at all. Arizona State 42, Oregon State 21.
No. 19 Oregon at No. 24 California (7:30 pm Saturday): We don’t know if the Golden Bears really deserve to be ranked, but they have wins over North Carolina and BYU. Cal is also coming off a bye and hosting the Duck, whose epic meltdown last week surely is going to have ramifications this week. If Oregon was playing this at home, the prediction probably would be different. California 48, Oregon 44.
USC at Arizona (7:30 pm Saturday): The Trojans pulled off the upset at home last week against Washington State, and now they have to be feeling a lot better heading to Tucson. It will be hot, of course, even for a night game, but the Wildcats may have their confidence back, too. In the end, this may come down to coaching and execution, and we think the Trojans have more talent to make that work. Barely. USC 28, Arizona 24.
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