There isn’t much to see in the first game, the third game or the fifth game, but Washington State-Oregon and Stanford-Utah are staggered – at 5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. – so the casual Pac-12 fan can catch both.
We’ll be in Eugene, but here’s how we expect the games in Los Angeles, Boulder, Salt Lake City and Seattle to shake out.
Oregon State at USC
USC by 34 – Sam Darnold comes off the least productive game of his career against Washington State. Don’t be surprised if he has the most productive game of his career against Oregon State. The pick: USC 45, Oregon State 10.
Washington State at Oregon
WSU by 2 – Autzen Stadium is tough, but I’m not quite sure an Oregon offense led by Taylor Alie can outscore a Washington State offense led by Luke Falk. The Cougars are much better on defense, too. The pick: will be in Saturday’s paper.
Arizona at Colorado
Colorado by 6.5 – The Buffaloes haven’t been impressive, but the Wildcats have been less impressive. This one could be sloppy on both sides, but the superior team comes out on top. The pick: Colorado 37, Arizona 28.
Stanford at Utah
Stanford by 5.5 – Stanford can’t lose this game and expect to compete with the Washington schools in the North. Utah can’t lose this game and expect to hang with USC in the South. The pick: Stanford 27, Utah 24.
Cal at Washington
Washington by 27.5 – The first seven weeks for Cal? North Carolina, Weber State, Ole Miss, USC, Oregon, Washington and Washington State. Who’s had it harder than the Golden Bears? The pick: Washington 53, Cal 21.
Theo Lawson’s records
Last week: 5-0 straight up, 3-2 against the spread.
Overall: 36-7 straight up, 15-21 against the spread.