Pac-12 picks: Stanford over Beavers; Huskies over Utah
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Today is a weird scheduling day in Pac-`12 football, with three games in the early afternoon and three in the late-night window. The better slate of games actually is in the earlier period. On to the picks:
Colorado at Arizona, 11:30 a.m. MST
The only real intrigue in this game involves how Arizona will play without quarterback Matt Scott, who's listed as doubtful with a concussion. Scott's absence simply would mean a bigger workload for running back Ka'Deem Carey. Arizona 42, Colorado 21.
Arizona State at USC, 1 p.m. MST
The circus that is USC football continues. This is a critical game for the Trojans, trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2001 and dodge the distractions of the deflated football controversy from last week's loss to Oregon. I'm giving the Trojans one last chance. USC 35, Arizona State 28.
Oregon State at Stanford, 1 p.m. MST
This is a fascinating game, matching OSU's capable offense against Stanford's imposing defense. There's also the weird convergence of two highly ranked teams that have changed quarterbacks recently. OSU is the trendy pick as an underdog, but I still like the Cardinal. Stanford 28, Oregon State 24.
Utah at Washington, 8:30 p.m. MST
While still trying to figure out why Utah is favored, I'm anticipating a good game in Seattle. It's a big test for Utah freshman quarterback Travis Wilson, who has looked comfortable in two home victories. Bottom line, it's tough to picture Utah doing what Oregon State and Stanford could not do in Seattle. Washington 17, Utah 14.
Oregon at California, 8:30 p.m. MST
Oregon is attractive, sure, but otherwise, I'm puzzled by ESPN would select this game. Cal is struggling and this one will be over early. Oregon 56, Cal 24.
UCLA at Washington State, 8:30 p.m. MST
UCLA rather quietly has moved into the Pac-12 South lead, while WSU is looking for its first conference victory. That's unlikely to come tonight. The Cougars' only hope is that UCLA is looking ahead to next week's game with USC. Even then, the Bruins should be in good shape. UCLA 42, Washington State 24.