With only four games on the schedule this week in Pacific-12 Conference football, it’s good to know two of them are pretty big games—and a third one could have long-term ramifications. Only one matchup is sort of blah, and that’s no offense to the University of California system.
Right now, we’re 40-8 this season with our picks in this space. We don’t want to brag, but we’re pretty sure even Lee Corso isn’t this good. Of course, we’ve spent a lifetime paying attention to the Pac-12, and he has not. There you have it: media bias!
Arizona at Utah (7 pm Friday): Both of these teams are lingering in the South Division behind Colorado, and the winner of this game could have an outside shot at the division title come November. The Utes are coming off that huge road win at Stanford last week, and they’re at home. The Wildcats have fought their way back to .500 this year after that rough start. But with Utah at home and riding high, look for the Utes to win this one by double digits. Utah 35, Arizona 21.
No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon (12:30 pm Saturday): This is the big game of the week in conference play, and it’s obvious why. Plus, throw in the fact these two fan bases hate each other, and it’s on at Autzen. The Ducks seem to have recovered from that disastrous loss at home to Stanford a few weeks ago, while the Huskies have been somewhat underwhelming lately. On paper, Washington is the better team, but it’s not easy to win at Oregon. However, the Huskies have one of the top-three coaches in the country running the show. They will find a way to win. Washington 38, Oregon 35.
UCLA at California (4 pm Saturday): It is telling the league did not schedule this game at the same time as the Washington/Oregon clash. The Bruins are 0-5 overall, and the Golden Bears are 0-2 in conference play. Something has to give, right? On paper, Cal has a slight edge, plus home-field advantage still counts for at least three points in college ball these days. Look for the Golden Bears to escape the humiliation of being the first team to lose to the Bruins in 2018, although it will be very close. California 41, UCLA 38.
No. 19 Colorado at USC (7:30 pm Saturday): This is going to be close one, and a victory here could give the Buffaloes a huge edge going forward in the South. A Trojans win here means the entire division is up for grabs. USC actually has been outscored this season, despite its 3-2 record. That isn’t good. Meanwhile, the Buffs haven’t lost yet. Colorado has never beaten USC as a member of the conference, so there’s a first time for everything. But it won’t be easy. Colorado 35, USC 31.
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