With Colorado and USC each stepping out of conference this week, there are seven games involving Pac-12 teams, all of them on Saturday. Here are our weekly predictions, with the accompanying betting lines coming courtesy of VegasInsider.com.
As always, our pick for the UW game will be posted Friday.
Charleston Southern (7-0, 1-0 Big South) at Colorado (2-3, 0-3 Pac-12), 11 a.m. (no line) — Hey, Charleston Southern is undefeated. How about that? This is Colorado’s replacement for the Fresno State game that was cancelled due to flooding in Boulder back in September. Guessing the Buffaloes should have enough to get past the mighty … hold on … the mighty Buccaneers. There we go. The pick: Colorado 38, Charleston Southern 13.
UCLA (5-0, 2-0) at Stanford (5-1, 2-1), 12:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2 (Stanford by 6) — The biggest game of the weekend in the Pac-12, and it’s crucial for both teams. Stanford can’t afford another loss in Pac-12 play before its meeting with Oregon. And speaking of the Ducks, the Bruins play them in Eugene next week, so this could be a pretty brutal stretch for them. The betting line seems a little high. Regardless, we’re taking the home team. The pick: Stanford 31, UCLA 27.
USC (4-2, 1-2) at Notre Dame (4-2), 4:30 p.m., NBC (ND by 3) — Probably a game the Irish feel they should win, what with USC being between coaches and all. If Trojans’ offense can hang, it could be interesting, but Notre Dame should be able to handle them at home. The pick: Notre Dame 28, USC 17.
Utah (4-2, 1-2) at Arizona (3-2, 0-2), 7 p.m, Pac-12 Networks (UA by 4) — Utes are a couple of tough home losses away from being undefeated, and they’re a team you have to re-think a little bit after they beat Stanford last week. B.J. Denker showed last week that he might be a little better as a passer than he showed in that rain-soaked game at Husky Stadium, but I just think Utah is better than Arizona, and that will become apparent once this one is over. The pick: Utah 34, Arizona 27.
Washington State (4-3, 2-2) at Oregon (6-0, 3-0), 7 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (UO by 40) — Cougars have plenty to prove to themselves after that disastrous fourth quarter last week against Oregon State. They also need two more wins to assure bowl eligibility. Going to have to wait on that one. Might cover this spread, though. The pick: Oregon 56, WSU 20.
Oregon State (5-1, 3-0) at California (1-5, 0-3), 7:30 p.m., ESPN2/WatchESPN (OSU by 10.5) — Based on what Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks have done to opposing secondaries this season, a 10.5-point spread against the Pac-12′s worst defense seems a little low. The pick: OSU 55, Cal 31.
Last week: 4-2 straight up, 4-2 against the spread. Season: 43-9, 32-20
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple