Last week’s headline proved to be anything but prophetic: “A smaller slate this weekend means a better chance for perfection.” Of the four Pac-12 games on the docket last weekend, we picked just two correctly and went 1-3 against the spread.
It’s a full schedule this weekend, with three Top 25 matchups: No. 7 Stanford at No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 20 BYU at No. 11 Washington and finally No. 19 Oregon at No. 24 California. We examine those games and three others taking place around the league.
UCLA at Colorado
➤Friday, Sept. 28: Bruins (0-3, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. Buffaloes (3-0, 0-0) at Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado, 6 p.m. PDT TV: Fox Sports 1
Colorado by 10 – After the Buffaloes, the Bruins have Washington, Cal, Arizona, Utah and Oregon on the schedule. This does appear to be one of UCLA’s better chances of picking up a win, but we wouldn’t go so far to say the Bruins have a “good” chance. The pick: Colorado 35, UCLA 21.
Utah at Washington State
➤Saturday, Sept. 29: Utes (2-1, 0-1) vs. Cougars (3-1, 0-1) at Martin Stadium, Pullman, 3 p.m. PDT TV: Pac-12 Networks
Utah by 1 – What gives when the country’s top passing defense meets its second-best passing offense? The Utes haven’t conceded more than 21 points in a game this season and the Cougars haven’t scored fewer than 31. The pick: will be in Saturday’s paper.
Stanford at Notre Dame
➤Saturday, Sept. 29: Cardinal (4-0) vs. Fighting Irish (4-0) at Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana, 4:30 p.m. PDT TV: NBC
Notre Dame by 5 1/2 – Not since 1925 have the longtime rivals met while both were undefeated. The winner keeps its position inside the top 10 of the AP rankings and retains its hopes of a College Football Playoff berth. The loser presumably forfeits both things. The pick: Notre Dame 28, Stanford 21.
BYU at Washington
➤Saturday, Sept. 29: Cougars (3-1) vs. Huskies (3-1) at Husky Stadium, Seattle, 5:30 p.m. PDT TV: Fox
UW by 17 1/2 – The Huskies are better than the Cougars, and should be able to beat them rather comfortably, but a 17 1/2-point spread against a ranked opponent? We’ll take UW and the under here. The pick: UW 38, BYU 28.
Oregon State at Arizona State
➤Saturday, Sept. 29: Beavers (1-3, 0-1) vs. Sun Devils (2-2, 0-1) at Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona, 7 p.m. PDT TV: Pac-12 Networks
ASU by 21 1/2 – Credit to anyone who stays up until 7 p.m. to watch Beavers-Sun Devils, because Manny Wilkins and N’Keal Harry should be done with Oregon State by about 7:30. The pick: ASU 45, OSU 17.
Oregon at Cal
➤Saturday, Sept. 29: Ducks (3-1, 0-1) vs. Golden Bears (3-0, 0-0) at Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California, 7:30 p.m. PDT TV: Fox Sports 1
Oregon by 3 – It’s been awhile since a game in Berkeley was this highly anticipated. The Golden Bears haven’t been ranked since 2015, when they beat Washington on the road to jump into the Associated Press Top 25 poll at No. 24. They beat Washington State at home the following week. Cal’s rank this week? Also No. 24. Time for some deja vu? The pick: Cal 31, Oregon 30.
USC at Arizona
➤Saturday, Sept. 29: Trojans (2-2, 1-1) vs. Wildcats (2-2, 1-0) at Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona, 7:30 p.m. PDT TV: ESPN2
USC by 3 1/2 – The Trojans kept their impressive home winning streak alive last Friday against WSU, but if they have any designs on claiming the Pac-12 South they’ll need to learn how to win outside of Los Angeles – something Clay Helton’s bunch hasn’t done yet. The pick: USC 45, Arizona 28.
Theo Lawson’s records
Last week: 2-2 straight up, 1-3 against the spread
Overall: 29-8 straight up, 13-15 against the spread
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