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Pac-12 picks: week five

While there is no official semifinal preceding the Pac-12 Championship Game, the emerging rivalries in the North and South divisions have effectively served the same purpose. Each year the biggest conference game is the matchup between North rivals Oregon and Stanford and it is all but assumed that the winner will be the conference champion.

The past two years, the South Division has had a similarly significant contest between Arizona State and UCLA, with the winner representing the division in the conference championship.

The two southern contenders have each had an extra week to prepare for their biggest game of the year, and it will have a worthy highlight as the only conference game played today.

All other games are on Saturday; all picks are for entertainment purposes only.

UCLA at ASU, UCLA by 4: Whether it’s nine starters off last year’s defense or quarterback Taylor Kelly, this will be the game that causes people to stop talking about the players the Sun Devils don’t have, and recognize Todd Graham’s program as an annual contender. ASU 35-27

Colorado at California, Cal by 14: The Golden Bears will celebrate their ascendance from the conference cellar by pummeling the only team that remains there. Cal 38-21

Stanford at Washington, Stanford by 8: The Huskies will finally put it all together and look like a team with one of the conference’s more talented rosters, or they’ll suffer an embarrassing home blowout against a team that doesn’t tiptoe around its opponent. We cautiously think UW will be up for this one and pulls it out. UW 24-20

Washington State at Utah, Utah by 14: The Cougars are getting more talented each week, but somehow they’re also getting younger. That’s not a recipe for success against a veteran team on the road. Utah 38-28

Oregon State at USC, USC by 10: Trust the timeless adage: “Give Steve Sarkisian an extra week to prepare and more talent at each position and he can win at home.” USC 38-21

Last week: 6-0 straight up, 5-1 against the spread.

Overall: 32-5 straight up, 13-16 against the spread.

Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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