Pac 12 Predictions: Rivalry Week
Be it intrastate or intersectional, the final regular season weekend brings us rivalry. And aside from the much coveted bragging rights and individual trophies, the thirteenth week also delivers three Pac 12 games with championship implications.
No. 5 Oregon (10-1) at No. 15 Oregon State (8-2)
It’s civil war in the state of Oregon, as the Ducks and Beavers collide with much at stake. Oregon, by virtue of last week’s loss to Stanford, no longer controls its BCS or Pac 12 destiny. The primary focus will be on the Beavers, as the Ducks seek to make it 5 straight victories over their instate rival. But an eye will also veer to the City of Los Angeles, where two games could inevitably determine Oregon’s postseason fate. Mike Riley’s team was eliminated from contention for the Pac 12 north, but remains in the hunt for a BCS at-large bid. A victory on Saturday would most certainly move the Beavers into a qualifying position. This weekend marks the fourth time in the rivalry that both teams enter ranked. The series dates back to 1894.
All-Time Series: Oregon leads 59-46-10
Line: Oregon State +9.5
Prediction: Oregon 42, Oregon State 38
No. 8 Stanford (9-2) vs No. 17 UCLA (9-2)
You won’t find the same rivalry in the Rose Bowl this week, as we did in the last, but what the Bruins and Cardinal present is a possible preview of the Pac 12 championship game. UCLA has already secured a seat as the south representative, while Stanford needs a win on Saturday to solidify the north and play host in the conference title game. A Cardinal loss, coupled with a Ducks win, would send the Bruins to Autzen Stadium next weekend. Jim Mora needs just one victory to become the most successful first-year coach in UCLA history.
All-Time Series: UCLA leads 45-34-3
Line: UCLA +2
Prediction: Stanford 20, UCLA 16
Arizona State (6-5) vs No. 24 Arizona (7-4)
It’s the Territorial Cup that is most at stake in this desert rivalry. Both teams are already bowl eligible, but the Sun Devils would love another victory to ensure selection.
All-Time Series: Arizona leads 47-37-1
Line: Arizona -2.5
Prediction: Arizona 45, Arizona State 41
No. 25 Washington (7-4) vs Washington State (2-9)
It’s another year of the rotten apple cup, which is a rivalry of sort. Washington State may consider Washington to be its biggest rival, but if the Huskies had their pick, it would be Oregon.
All-Time Series: Washington leads 67-31-6
Line: Washington State +13.5
Prediction: Washington 40, Washington State 21
Utah (4-7) vs Colorado (1-10)
Colorado and Utah are the newest additions to the Pac 12, and the hope is that the game will develop into a rivalry. The Buffs would much rather be playing Nebraska on turkey weekend, just as the Utes would prefer BYU. What we get is a matchup between two teams that have struggled in the new conference, and a game that most couldn’t give two shits about.
All-Time Series: Colorado leads 31-24-3
Line: Colorado +23.5
Prediction: Utah 28, Colorado 24
No. 1 Notre Dame (11-0) vs USC (7-4)
I like USC’s chances in this game, even with a backup quarterback making his first start. The reason behind it, aside from my undying loyalty to Troy, is that the Irish offense isn’t very explosive. Notre Dame averages just a little more than 27 points per game, and that’s a number I believe the Trojans can reach or possibly surpass. That would make for a tight ballgame, which has to favor the Trojans on their home field. Right?—- Full PREVIEW HERE
All-Time Series: Notre Dame leads 43-35-5
Line: USC +5
Prediction: USC 31, Notre Dame 28
Last Week: 4-3