A little late here, but guess what? We’re going to start picking Pac-12 football because of a severe case of writer’s block. For the record, I picked Washington to beat Stanford 17-13. I swear. I. SWEAR.
ASU 38, Cal 14
As always, no one knows what to expect from Cal or Arizona State. Both are the poster boys of inconsistency in the Pac-12 — excluding UCLA, of course — and often look fantastic while looking downright awful just as often.
Of course, while we know ASU is really horrible at playing on the road — and Cal tends to show up more often at home — we also know that ASU is under new leadership and, so far, Todd Graham has done a fantastic job at the helm, and the team’s utilizing its talents well offensively: Through four games, ASU has averaged 41 points a contest and lit up a supposed-top-25 defense in Utah last week to the tune of 37 points.
Cal? They’re supposed to be the ying to ASU’s yang, and people keep throwing around the word “solid” in the context of Berkeley’s defense, because I guess letting up 31 points a game is something to be proud of.
So we can stop relying on their defense as much as we stopped relying on Cal QB Zach Maynard, right?
Cal is already 1-3, Jeff Tedford’s on the hot seat and although Cal doesn’t have that real 1-3 team-type feel, it almost seems like this thing’s going to come crashing down. An ASU blowout of Cal in Berkeley would seal Cal’s fate for the rest of the season.
UCLA 50, Colorado 13
This is the score UCLA fans should both hope for and expect. Colorado is so damn awful and UCLA has just as much talent as any football team in the nation. The key here is to get the offense back up to the pace it had been running at all season prior to Oregon State, where the Bruins ran just 70 plays, a stark drop off from the 94 plays UCLA ran against Nebraska and the 98 plays they ran against Houston.
Colorado’s defense sucks (much like the rest of their team) so it’s not as if Mazzone will struggle to get his team playing at that pace. Why UCLA slowed everything down with OSU is beyond me, but the Bruins’ offense — not the defense, even though Sheldon Price was total trash against OSU wide-outs — has concerned the hell out of me, so a solid offensive performance against Colorado should bring back some who have become skeptical of UCLA again.
Oregon State 21, Arizona 17
Arizona’s defense looked OK against Oregon for three quarters, but we know how that story ended.
That’ll be the key here, because it doesn’t look like Oregon State is letting any offense have it easy this season. After shutting down ex-Heisman candidate Montee Ball, while also holding the UCLA offense to just 20 points, Oregon State’s defense looks to be on par with just about anyone in the Pac-12.
Personally, I’m still not sure what to make of these two teams. Arizona looked fantastic before losing 49-0 to Oregon, and Oregon State has looked solid, but the offense hasn’t exactly been anything worth raving about, although it wasn’t a liability against our Bruins.
Oregon State has a chance to catapult itself into the Pac-12 North discussion and contend with Oregon for the first time since forever, and a win against Arizona — just a week removed from reaching a top-25 ranking — could make people believers.
Oregon 59, Washington State 12
Washington State freaking blows and Oregon’s the presumptive Pac-12 champ. C’mon, if you need analysis here, just go home.