Well, I suppose someone should probably stop me from releasing my Pac-12 picks to the public after this atrocious showing. I went 2-3. Theoretically, someone making picks with a blindfold on would have done better. I want to say that the unpredictable nature of this year’s Pac-12 is to blame, but I’ll understand if you roll your eyes.
Reality: Oregon State 27, #19 UCLA 20
My Pick: UCLA 20, Oregon State 17
Well, I was dead wrong on this one. It turns out that Oregon State is the real deal, having now knocked off two ranked opponents in exactly two tries. I’m not sure anyone outside of Corvallis really saw this one coming, but it’s time for us all to realize the Beavers are the opposite of an easy win this year. If Oregon State was headed up to CenturyLink next week instead of on October 27th, I have to say I’d pick them. Also, apologies to Ryan Katz, but the decision to start Sean Mannion this year sure is paying dividends now. 379 passing yards on the road against a ranked opponent, and he’s only a true sophomore. UCLA, on the other hand, may not be an undefeated darling anymore, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a talented football team capable of competing in the Pac-12 South.
Reality: Colorado 35, WSU 34
My Pick: WSU 45, Colorado 17
A tough day, and so far, a tough year for the Cougars. They lost a close one, but that close one was against a Colorado team that looked over matched against Fresno State. Colorado, on the other hand, apparently still has a pulse. I’m honestly glad to see it, not because WSU lost, but because a Pac-12 in which every team is competitive is better for everyone.
September 22, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) before receiving the snap against the California Golden Bears during the second half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Reality: #13 USC 27, Cal 9
My Pick: USC 31, Cal 17
Well, I expected a little bit more from USC’s offense, and especially Matt Barkley, but it is a win. Still, if Barkley wanted a break from incessant doubting, he will not get one after matching his two touchdown passes with two interceptions. Meanwhile, Cal continues to experience the negative effects of a clear shifting of power in the conference. Even if it seems a little bit surreal, it’s time for us all to accept that Oregon State is a much more imposing presence in the Pac-12 North.
Reality: Arizona State 37, Utah 7
My Pick: ASU 28, Utah 20
I picked the winner correctly, but I did not foresee such a resounding victory for the Sun Devils. Arizona State, along with Oregon State, Arizona, and UCLA, came into this week as one of the teams that has played surprisingly well this year, and this victory helps make clear exactly how these different football teams stack up. Apparently, Utah can join Cal on the sidelines and watch the parade of new contenders.
Reality: #3 Oregon 49, #22 Arizona 0
My Pick: Arizona 38, Oregon 35
Quite a few articles have been written about how underrated Oregon’s defense has been the past few years. It has been argued that given the high speed of Oregon’s offense, the defense will always yield an unfairly high number of yards and points because of how many possessions their opponent gets on offense as a result. Well, no need to bother with that school of thought, because regardless of the number of possessions the Wildcats got, the Ducks still held them scoreless. It’s time to give that unit some credit and some respect, and it’s also time for me admit I both underestimated Oregon, clearly the current king of the Pac-12, on both sides of the ball, and grossly overestimated Arizona. Matt Scott, you and your 3 interceptions did not have my back. At all.