Pac 12 Predictions: Week 6
USC and Utah played to a first half thriller, before the game resembled what most anticipated in the second half. The two teams now have 8 days to prepare for the next opponent on the schedule, while others will bang heads on Saturday.
The Pac 12 boasts 6 schools present in the national rankings, tying it with the SEC. Two are in danger of falling from grace, with a loss possibly pushing them from the charts. Another will defend its top 5 ranking against a visitor seeking its second upset in as many weeks.
Washington State (2-3) vs No. 14 Oregon State (3-0)
The Cougars shocked Oregon State with a victory in Corvallis in 2010. It was the only FBS win for Wazzu, who will attempt a repeat on Saturday. Mike Leach was one of the biggest coaching names to accept a job in conference this year, and like fellow newcomer Rich Rodriguez, he is also 0-2 in the Pac 12. With the schedule offering little relief, WSU will continue to sit atop that conference goose egg, as the Beavers remain unbeaten in 2012.
All-Time series: WSU leads 46-39-3
Line: OSU -15
Prediction: Oregon State 34, Washington State 17
No. 25 UCLA (4-1) vs Cal (1-4)
Jeff Tedford sits on one of the hottest seats in America, and a loss on Saturday ignites his ass to flames. In a follow-up to the disappointing 7-6 season a year ago, Tedford has led his team to a 1-4 start. It’s been a different story for the upstart Bruins, now under the direction of Jim Mora. UCLA’s only loss came against Oregon State, a team that has surprisingly emerged as a contender in the north. The schools share much in common, including their fight song rhythms, and I’m picking the blue and gold Bears of the north to prevail.
All-Time Series: UCLA leads 50-31-1
Line: UCLA -2.5
Prediction: Cal 38, UCLA 21
No. 23 Washington (3-1) vs No. 2 Oregon (4-0)
Yes, it’s the underappreciated Pac 12, where the Huskies will face a second top 10 opponent in a stretch of 16 days. Washington managed to pull a miracle over Stanford behind that collapsible offensive line, but I doubt it can stand up to the Ducks for four quarters in their pond.
All-Time Series: Washington leads 51-37-4
Line: Oregon -24
Prediction: Oregon 47, Washington 16
Bye: Arizona State, Colorado
Arizona (3-2) vs No. 18 Stanford (3-1)
When we last saw the Cardinal, it was falling to Washington and from the ranks of the top 10. Now we have an opportunity to see how David Shaw’s team responds in a game that is critical to confidence, and may possibly dictate the program’s direction for the remainder of the season. Rich Rodriguez was the toast of Arizona in his first three weeks, but back-to-back losses would put a halt to the praise. The first year coach still hasn’t matched the Wildcat win total from last year, and is currently on the third game of a stretch that may place Arizona on the field with 6 consecutive ranked teams.
All-Time series: Arizona leads 14-13
Line: Stanford -9.5
Prediction: Arizona 28, Stanford 21
Pac 12: 3-1