It’s getting to be crunch time in the college football world, and in the Pacific-12 Conference, that crunch is focused on one team right now: the Washington State Cougars, ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and No. 8 by the College Football Playoff committee.
Even if the Cougars win out, it would take a lot of upsets above them in the CFP rankings to get the Conference of Champions into the Final Four. We all know, though, that they play the games for a reason. You just never know what can happen once the teams hit the field.
This Saturday’s play represents the last of conference action for some teams, even though there is one more weekend of games after Thanksgiving. We are 57-18 in our Pac-12 predictions this season, so we hope that success continues for a little while longer.
No. 19 Utah at Colorado (10:30 am Saturday): The Buffaloes once-promising season has bottomed out with five straight losses now, and it’s hard to see Colorado rallying for this game against a Utes squad that can clinch at least a share of the South Division title with a victory here. Utah is the better team on paper, and the Utes have more to play for as well. Even on the road, that should be enough. Utah 31, Colorado 24.
USC at UCLA (12:30 pm Saturday): Nothing but pride on the line here for the crosstown rivals in Los Angeles. The Trojans are 5-5 and want to become bowl eligible, since they will probably lose to Notre Dame next week. The Bruins are 2-8 and … well, yeah. There is not a lot to say about this game, other than this rivalry has seen better days—and will do so again, in the near future. USC 28, UCLA 21.
Oregon State at No. 18 Washington (1:30 pm Saturday): The Huskies can still claim the conference championship by winning out, and controlling your own destiny for an opportunity like that has to mean a lot to Washington at this point. The Beavers are the worst team in the conference on paper, so this looks to be a big mismatch as the Huskies prepare for the Apple Cup next weekend. Washington 41, Oregon State 17.
Stanford at California (4:30 pm Saturday): There is some doubt as to whether this game will be played as scheduled due to the air quality in the Bay Area, as a result of the Northern California fires. The Cardinal are the better team, having won eight straight in the rivalry, but the Golden Bears have looked very good for the last three weeks in beating Washington and USC, while barely losing to Washington State. If the game is played, look for an upset. California 21, Stanford 17.
Arizona State at Oregon (7:30 pm Saturday): This may turn out to be one of the more entertaining games of the week in the conference. Both teams have six wins and are just fighting to keep momentum alive before heading into their state rivalry games next weekend. It looks to be pretty evenly matched, but the Ducks at home are a tough out. The Sun Devils are just 1-3 on the road. Oregon 34, Arizona State 31.
Arizona at No. 8 Washington State (7:30 pm Saturday): The Wildcats delivered a beatdown last year in Tucson when these two teams met, and something tells us the Cougars are going to be ready this time around to return the favor. Arizona has five wins and needs one more to be bowl eligible, but that sixth win is not going to come in the cold air of Pullman on Saturday night. Washington State 41, Arizona 21.
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