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Pac-12: Disappointing December for Arizona State

Published December 31, 2013 12:45 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Thanks to Arizona State's 37-23 loss to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl, Washington State is off the hook and the narrative of the Pac-12's bowl domination has changed. It also means that I have to stop picking the Pac-12 team to win every game. WSU's collapse against Colorado State is no longer the conference's most disappointing performance of December. And ASU's parlay of a Pac-12 championship game loss to Stanford and its lackluster showing in the Holiday Bowl certainly spoiled the Sun Devils' 10-2 regular season. Oregon, conversely, righted itself and properly sent defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti into retirement with a 30-7 win over Texas in the Alamo Bowl. So the league is 4-2 in bowl games with three contests remaining, including two Tuesday. On to the picks:Arizona vs. Boston College, AdvoCare 100 Bowl, 10:30 a.m., ESPNAs of one of the Pac-12's nine eligible teams, the Wildcats found a home in the former Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. This is an intriguing matchup between running backs Ka'Deem Carey of Arizona and Andre Williams of BC. Watch for them to rush for a combined 300 yards. The Wildcats needed a miraculous rally to beat Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl last December, so I'm making them my rare example of picking against the Pac-12. Boston College 28, Arizona 24. UCLA vs. Virginia Tech, Sun Bowl, noon, CBSHere comes another Sun Bowl and and another reminder that Utah has not played in a bowl since beating Georgia Tech two years ago in El Paso, Texas. UCLA is trying for a 10-win season and should perform better than in last year's Holiday Bowl. Call that reverse logic, based on the anti-Arizona pick, but I like the Bruins' chances of shutting down Virginia Tech's offense. UCLA 28, Virginia Tech 21.