Pac-12 picks: USC over Notrre Dame; Stanford over UCLA
The story of my first season of writing this Pac-12 blog and making weekly predictions is a case of overestimating USC. Of course, I’m the not only one. I came very close to picking UCLA over the Trojans last week, but couldn’t quite do it. So what I have learned. Not much, judging by my USC-Notre Dame forecast.
On to the final weekend of the Pac-12 regular season:
Utah at Colorado, 1 p.m. MST, FX
Someday, this may become a genuine rivalry. For now, there’s just one interesting historical note. The last time Utah played in Boulder, the Utes beat a No. 8-ranked Colorado team in 1961. All these years later, the Buffs wish they could just be No. 8 in the Pac-12. Utah 35, Colorado 17.
Washington at Washington State, 1:30 p.m. MST, Fox
Having watched the Cougars open the season at BYU in August, I was surprised they were not better then and I’m shocked that they didn’t improve. Washington, meanwhile, got better in the second half of the season. Washington 35, Washington State 21.
Arizona State at Arizona, 8 p.m. MST, ESPN
I wouldn’t have said this in September, but Arizona is the better team right now. Rich Rodriguez has done a terrific job in his first season with the Wildcats. Arizona 31, Arizona State 24.
Oregon at Oregon State, 1 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Networks
As much as I respect Stanford’s defense, I’m still very surprised that anybody could hold Oregon to 14 points. OSU’s defensive improvement is one of the big stories of the season, but the Beavers can’t do what Stanford did. Oregon 42, Oregon State 28.
Stanford at UCLA, 4:30 p.m. MST, Fox
This game will test the maturity of both teams, coming off huge, emotional wins. While declaring Jim Mora the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, I still favor Stanford’s David Shaw in terms of getting his guys to play at a high level again this week. And then there will be a rematch for the Pac-12 championship next week. Stanford 24, UCLA 21.
Notre Dame at USC, 6 p.m. MST, ABC
I believe the word here is "incorrigible" – for both me and the Trojans. Have we learned nothing this season? USC’s 2012 season may be the greatest waste of talent in college football history. But fill-in quarterback Max Wittek has persuaded me to go with the upset. USC 21, Notre Dame 17.</
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Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Arizona basketball: How long will the Wildcats hold on to No. 1?
» Arizona Wildcats in AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Running backs are the story
» Arizona football: Wildcats still have multiple bowl options
» My final regular-season AP college football ballot
Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU women's basketball get it done again in OT
» ASU football will play Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl
» Softball season still a way off, but ASU's new coach is already delivering big pitch
» ASU football falls in polls after loss to Stanford
California (East Bay Tribune)
» For Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett, a long strange trip
» Cal falls just short of College Cup, loses to Maryland
» College basketball: Cal men lose to Santa Barbara
» Missy Franklin helps Cal dominate Winter Nationals
Colorado (Denver Post)
» Bill McCartney keeps standing on the rock as life keeps changing
» CU Buffs men's basketball rank 21st, first time both teams in poll since '97
» Askia Booker hits buzzer 3-pointer for CU Buffs' win over Kansas
» Bill McCartney's next mission is in Detroit, his former home
Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Will the Pac-12 go 9-0 in bowl games? And which matchup is the best? (polls)
» Bowl game swag: iPad Minis for Ducks, sunglasses and aloha shirts for Beavers
» Oregon slips to No. 15 in AP college basketball top 25
» Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown is suspended for Alamo Bowl for role in campus snowball fight
Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU rugby: Men's, women's team both headed to National Sevens tournament
» OSU rugby: Alumni match set for Saturday
» OSU announces hire for compliance position
» OSU volleyball: Ducks have upper hand in season's 1st meeting between rivals
Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» For Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett, a long strange trip
» Wilner on college football: San Jose State's bowl snub should not have been a surprise
» Rose Bowl matches similar teams in Stanford, Michigan State
» Stanford Cardinal headed back to Rose Bowl
UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» College Football: Position coach Adrian Klemm says UCLA offensive line a work in progress
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'
Washington (Seattle Times)
» Video: Chris Petersen's UW press conference
» Chris Petersen guaranteed $4 million in final year of deal with UW
» Live chat: Chris Petersen's press conference
» Watch Chris Petersen's introductory press conference and join our chat at noon today
Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» It was a loss but it was not a bad loss
» Monday morning Pac-12 links
» New Mexico Bowl Tickets
» An early look at Colorado State
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