After spending years as the Pac-12’s best and coolest team, suddenly the Ducks are looking up at the programs their fans used to sneer at with regularity. The Ducks’ reputation has fallen hard after last week’s 62-20 loss to Utah. In fact, the game between Colorado and the Ducks is the only Pac-12 contest this week that doesn’t feature a team ranked in the Top 25.
Things have gotten so bad for last year’s Pac-12 champion that Oregon is barely favored by a touchdown against a team that did not win a conference game last season. Perhaps the Ducks will remind everyone that great programs do not fall overnight. But if they should struggle or even lose to an upstart CU squad, then you can be sure that something is rotten in Eugene.
Washington State at (24) California (Cal by 19): This game, between teams in the third and fourth years of major rebuilds, will provide a telling measuring stick of the Pac-12’s two Air Raid programs. Cal, 41-31.
Arizona State at (7) UCLA (UCLA by 14): ASU is due for a good game and the Bruins are likely to have a letdown after last week’s big win over Arizona. Still, the gap between these two teams is too wide right now for the Sun Devils to pull the upset. UCLA, 28-21
Oregon at Colorado (UO by 7.5): Everyone enjoyed watching the king get knocked from his throne, but let’s be honest here, the Ducks don’t need Vernon Adams and Byron Marshall in order to beat up the Buffaloes. UO, 42-17
Arizona at (18) Stanford (Stanford by 14): One program is in disarray due to injuries and a shocking loss at home; the other is the Pac-12’s steadiest power. Let’s see how that turns out. Stanford, 38-21
Overall record: 31-9
Against the spread: 18-15
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