PULLMAN – If the Pac-12 can’t go undefeated against nonconference opponents this week, we may have to stop referring to it as a “power conference.” Only one team (Washington) is favored by less than a touchdown this week, and if one of the wealthiest programs on the West Coast can’t win at home against the third team in Utah, then what are we doing here?
While none of the games is expected to be particularly close, there is some intrigue. USC has wanted to put Stanford back in its place ever since the upstart Cardinal beat the Trojans, favored by 43 points, in 2007. California finally gets its chance for payback against Texas and UCLA hosts BYU in a matchup of ranked teams.
Here’s how I think the week will shake out. Please only use these picks for good.
New Mexico at Arizona St., ASU by 28: New Mexico shouldn’t be much of a challenge. Good game for ASU to work out its issues. ASU 56-14
Georgia St. at No. 12 Oregon, UO by 44 1/2: Georgia State won at New Mexico State, making it probably only the second-worst team in the country. Good game to rest Vernon Adams’ finger. UO 42-17
Utah St. at Washington, UW by 5 1/2: USU alum Bobby Wagner looks on as his Aggies drop to 0-2 against the Pac-12. UW 28-17
California at Texas, Cal by 6 1/2: The players weren’t even teenagers yet; none of the coaches remains. But you can bet some Cal fan will enjoy getting revenge for that time Texas kept the Golden Bears out of the Rose Bowl. Cal 42-21
Stanford at No. 6 USC, USC by 10: Stanford coach David Shaw scoffed when asked to compare Cody Kessler and Andrew Luck. Kessler is saving his smirk for the postgame press conference. USC 38-21
San Jose St. at Oregon St., OSU by 7 1/2: Oregon State should be able to send the Spartans packing, but will Storm Barrs-Woods play with his knee injury? Should he? OSU 28-24
Wyoming at Washington St., WSU by 24: Cougars get a second chance against an easy opponent in front of the home crowd and make the most of it. WSU 42-17
Northern Arizona at No. 20 Arizona, no line: No matter what type of offense and defense NAU runs, the Wildcats should prepare as if they’re playing next week’s game against UCLA. Arizona 55-21
Colorado at Colorado St., CU by 4: Mike MacIntyre’s hot seat becomes searing with another loss to the Rams. CSU 24-20
No. 19 BYU at No. 10 UCLA, UCLA by 17: Watch for the Bruins to debut bold new strategy to defend BYU’s winning Hail Mary: Be up by more than a touchdown on the last play. UCLA 31-17
No. 21 Utah at Fresno State, Utah by 14 1/2: The Bulldogs can rest easy knowing that, because of Utah’s pace and run-first style, they won’t give up 73 points this week. Utah 35-10
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