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Pac-12 picks: USC, Texas meet again but don’t expect another frenetic finish

University of Texas players Matthew Hofer (29), Matthew McCoy (13) and Rodrique Wright (90) celebrate around Southern California’s Ryan Kalil (67) after Texas’ 41-38 win over USC in the Rose Bowl. (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press)
University of Texas players Matthew Hofer (29), Matthew McCoy (13) and Rodrique Wright (90) celebrate around Southern California’s Ryan Kalil (67) after Texas’ 41-38 win over USC in the Rose Bowl. (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press)

Foolish of us to think the Pac-12 Game of Week would take in Los Angeles between the teams respectively ranked No. 4 and 16 in the country. Nope, USC-Stanford was rather anticlimactic as it turned out, Oregon-Nebraska wasn’t a whole lot better and Boise State was beating Washington State by 21 in the fourth, so this amounted to a pretty underwhelming day from the viewer’s perspective.

Or maybe you should’ve given Broncos-Cougars another chance…

Two weeks ago, UCLA and Texas A&M gave us the first submission for Pac-12 Game of the Year – and that one was nothing to scoff at – but the triple-overtime game in Pullman between the Broncos and Cougars set the new standard and nothing on this week’s slate looks capable of topping it, though the USC-Texas rematch could be fun just from a nostalgic standpoint.

The Week 3 picks…

Arizona at UTEP

Arizona by 24 – What’s that, again? Arizona by … 24? OK, maybe the Miners don’t look great, but I’m not sure a team has ever been punished so badly for losing to Rice. The pick: Arizona 28, UTEP 14.

UCLA at Memphis

UCLA by 3 – Here’s a golden opportunity for the golden boy to boost his Heisman stock. A noon game on ABC AND it’s in the south? You already know the voters will be watching. The pick: UCLA 27, Memphis 20.

Northern Colorado at Colorado

No line – One of the Colorados hasn’t given up a touchdown in two games this season. The other has “Northern” in front of it. The pick: Colorado 43, Northern Colorado 3.

Oregon State at Washington State

WSU by 21 – Cougars quarterback Luke Falk (16 TDs, 1,293 yds. in three games vs. OSU) puts Beavers in his omelettes, in his rice and in his stew. The pick: will be in Saturday’s paper.

Oregon at Wyoming

Oregon by 14.5 – There will be plenty of NFL scouts on hand to see what Josh Allen can do. When they leave, they’ll be in awe of what Royce Freeman just did. The pick: Oregon 55, Wyoming 35.

Arizona State at Texas Tech

Texas Tech by 7.5 – Mike Leach, one of the many who’ve called out Todd Graham for “sign-stealing,” would get great pleasure out of seeing former pupil Kliff Kingsbury smother the Sun Devils. The pick: Texas Tech 42, Arizona State 24.

Texas at USC

USC by 15.5 – Both of these teams dropped off quite substantially after playing in the BCS National Championship way back when. One has recovered. The other opened the yeat with a loss to Maryland. The pick: USC 36, Texas 20.

Fresno State at Washington

Washington by 33.5 – At least the Bulldogs are filling up their autograph books, with top-ranked Alabama on the schedule one week and sixth-ranked Washington the next. The pick: Washington 51, Fresno State 13.

San Jose State at Utah

Utah by 27 – This two-week stretch for San Jose State is pretty harsh as well. At Texas, then at Utah. The pick: Utah 35, San Jose State 10.

Stanford at San Diego State

Stanford by 9 – The Rashaad Penny kid from SDSU has already rushed for 413 yards … in two games. This is certainly no gimme for Stanford. The pick: Stanford 34, SDSU 23.

Ole Miss at Cal

Ole Miss by 3.5 – Justin Wilcox might already be in line for a contract extension if he can start his debut season 3-0 with wins over North Carolina and Ole Miss. Cal 27, Ole Miss 24.

Theo Lawson’s records

Last week: 9-2 straight up, 4-6 against the spread

Overall: 17-4 straight up, 5-11 against the spread