Pac-12 Picks: Week Nine


Oct 19, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears linebacker Khairi Fortt (11) and defensive back Damariay Drew (27) defend the pass intended for Oregon State Beavers tight end Caleb Smith (10) during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium. The Oregon State Beavers defeated the California Golden Bears 49-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Utah (4-3) at USC (4-3) 1:00pm Saturday

The Trojans are so ravaged by injury that they are going to be playing walk-ons in this one. Utah, fresh off of a frustrating loss at Arizona, will be anxious to prove that the Stanford upset wasn’t a fluke. Coach O’s enthusiasm won’t stop Travis Wilson from shredding a weak USC pass defense.

Utah 31, USC 20

#12 UCLA (5-1) at #3 Oregon (7-0) 4:00pm Saturday

Oregon is playing in a College GameDay game for the second time this year. They had no problem overpowering Washington in Seattle amidst all the excitement, and now that momentum is at their backs with the hoopla taking place in Eugene. Not that the Ducks will need Lee Corso to overwhelm a UCLA team that looked a cut below Stanford in last week’s loss in Palo Alto. Fresh off of that sort of physically exhausting disappointment, it is simply not fair to expect Coach Mora’s Bruins to steal one at Autzen Stadium. Oregon’s defense is frighteningly versatile, capable of producing an overpowering pass rush while still shutting down the idea of a passing game via the best secondary play in the conference. Hundley will be lucky to manage a handful of scoring drives, while Marcus Mariota will have no such problem.

Oregon 52, UCLA 21

Arizona (4-2) at Colorado (3-3) 5:00pm Saturday

Arizona and Ka’Deem Carey both used the win over Utah to remind everyone in the Pac-12 that they are still dangerous. B.J. Denker is starting to get comfortable at quarterback, and the 4-2 record looks a lot better when you consider that both were road losses, one in Seattle and one at USC. Colorado is no longer a cupcake, but the Wildcats seem primed for a successful roadtrip.

Arizona 31, Colorado 21

#6 Stanford (6-1) at #25 Oregon State (6-1)

It’s now plain to see that we were wrong to dismiss Oregon State after the season-opening loss to FCS Eastern Washington. Meanwhile Stanford has already dropped a road game to Utah, a team that Oregon State beat in Utah earlier in the season. This is a bit of a cliche, but it’s plain to see that a ton will be learned about each team over the course of this game. Coach Shaw’s team can prove that the loss to the Utes was a one time slip-up. Meanwhile, Coach Riley’s Beavers can elevate themselves to a higher level of national respect, given that the rest of the nation probably hasn’t thought about Oregon State since laughing at the FCS defeat. In this wild and crazy conference, I’m expecting everything to get a little more chaotic with a Stanford loss, which would squarely put Oregon State second in the Pac-12 North.

Oregon State 27, Stanford 24