Hello everyone! It's time for our weekly column where some of our writers pick Pac-12 games of the week. Let's see how last week's slate went.
I feel a little guilty because if I waited one more day to give everyone the form, Oregon/Utah would have had a real spread and it looks like based on the score predictions some may have picked Utah to cover. So I just threw the whole game out and gave no one points for score predictions.
A lot of our crew had a rough week, with Berkelium only getting one point and missing all 5 game picks. On the other hand, PerryScope picked 4 out of 5 games and gained some ground, after being in the cellar most of the season. So there's proof that anybody can still win this thing with a little bit of luck! Nam still has a big lead though.
This week there's only four games. Here they are!
CAL VS. WASHINGTON STATE
Cal is a 19 point favorite. Over/Under is 71.
This was a weird one to see Cal given such a high spread in Vegas. I sent this on Tuesday and today the line hasn't changed one bit. A couple of us think Cal won't be able to cover the 19 point spread but everyone sees a win.
Nik Jam: I doubted Cal last week and they proved me wrong. I will trust them this time. I expect the game to be scary early but Cal will slowly put it out of reach for the Cougars.
KWBears: I expect Cal alone to get at least 50 points this game. WSU is a bad team. This should be a walk in the park for our Bears unless they're caught looking ahead to Utah.
PerryScope: It's very tough to pick Cal -19 because I don't know what defense is going to show up. The one who forced 5 turnovers or the one who gave up 650 yards? I think regardless of the defense, Cal will win by double digits because no way that Wazzu defense can stand up to Goff and our weapons.
Andrew G Miller: This is the week everything clicks and the Bears give us lots of false hope before the meat of the schedule. Cal wins going away.
Ruey Yen: Wow, these lines are pretty high...I'm nevertheless going with the Bears winning big in a first half shootout.
Berkelium97: We can't seem to hold onto multi-TD leads. This won't be a one score game, nor will it be nearly a three-score game.
UCLA VS. ARIZONA STATE
UCLA is a 13.5 point favorite. Over/Under is 59.5.
A split decision with slightly more of us thinking UCLA will win and cover. We're also pretty split on how many points will be scored. Can UCLA keep their hot start to the season going?
Nik Jam: UCLA is on fire and Arizona State is a dumpster fire. UCLA delivers at home.
KWBears: I expect the Bruins to blow out the slumping Sun Devils. With their blitzing style, ASU will get their licks in on Rosen, but not enough to throw him off his game.
PerryScope: UCLA has been playing very well and I do not expect that to change as they are playing an ASU team that has underachieved beyond all reason this season. Their LA counterpart (USC) went into Tempe and absolutely manhandled them. So don't expect Rosen, Perkins, and that high powered offense to slow down at home against a team that gave up 35 points in the first half.
Andrew G Miller: ASU doesn't cough up the ball four times and is able to keep it close against the Bruins.
Ruey Yen: UCLA wins but doesn't cover as mediocre Rosen shows up for the Bruins.
Berkelium97: ASU has looked awful this season and a road game against UCLA is not an ideal time for a turnaround.
COLORADO VS. OREGON
Oregon is a 7.5 point favorite. Over/Under is 70.
Wow! Either it's blatant disrespect to Oregon after their blowout loss to Utah, or hella (not sorry) respect for Colorado based on their current 3 game win streak and the fact that the Buffs are at home. HOWEVER, none of our staff is buying it, seeing Oregon easily win and cover. Some of the comments are basically saying the same thing: WTF Vegas?
Nik Jam: I expect Oregon to rebound. They can't be THAT down this year. Right? RIGHT?
KWBears: Oregon should be pissed off right now. Oregon should want to destroy any team coming up on their schedule. Fortunately, they've got the Buffs this week. Even without a QB, the Ducks will find ways to embarrass Colorado because they just have that much more talent.
PerryScope: Oregon is going to come into Boulder, Colorado and quiet everyone who has been saying that the program is done and the season is over. Just shut up! The Ducks are going to play angry and win by in a sizable fashion. That CU defense is simply not athletic enough to stop playmakers Royce Freeman and Braylon Addison. But what about the QB position for Oregon?
Andrew G Miller: You know I'm a true Cal fan because Utah's win last week made me more scared of them but no less afraid of Oregon. Ducks bounce back big time.
Ruey Yen: I'm surprised by this line since as bad as Oregon lost last week, what has Colorado done other than beating a bunch of really weak teams?
Berkelium97: Oregon looked terrible last weekend, but only a touchdown favorite against Colorado? Vegas is overreacting to last week's loss.
STANFORD VS. ARIZONA
NO line was released until Wednesday, after I sent the form. Even with the line (Stanford -14, Over/Under 63.5), due to Arizona's QB Anu Solomon's uncertainty... I decided to do a straight up pickem and total score prediction instead. I gave our crew two scenarios and had them do different picks depending on the scenario.
IF ANU SOLOMON STARTS FOR ARIZONA
Some of our staff thinks Arizona has a shot against the red hot Lobsterbacks if Solomon plays.
Nik Jam: Stanford's looked unstoppable lately. I want Arizona to pull off the upset but I don't think they will.
KWBears: Solomon is not going to save the Wildcats against the Cardinal, he'll just help them keep the game closer.
PerryScope: Coming off a brutal division loss is tough as it is, but to come into the Farm lacking confidence is a scary thing. If Solomon plays that is imperative for the Wildcats' chance of victory. He had been brilliant through the first 3 weeks and is key for Arizona to put up points against a physical Stanford Defense.
Ruey Yen: I refuse to believe that Stanford is that good.
Berkelium97: I keep betting on the Lobsterbacks to regress to the mean. Maybe this week is the week.
IF ANU SOLOMON IS SCRATCHED FOR ARIZONA
No one thinks Arizona stands a chance against the Furd if Anu Solomon doesn't play.
Nik Jam: Unfortunately, without Solomon, Arizona doesn't stand a chance in my opinion. I would love to be wrong!
KWBears: Without Solomon, the Wildcats will get blown-out be even more than with him.
PerryScope: If Anu Solomon doesn't suit up, the game will be determined by whether Nick Wilson and the Zona running game can be physical and move the chains. Either way I like Stanford at home.
Ruey Yen: As much as Stanford is not that great, Arizona is worse without Solomon (yeah, one player like Scooby Wright being back couldn't help the D, but a QB is a different matter).
Berkelium97: Arizona can't catch a break.
Now there's only four games this week, and most of the time there's only going to be 4-6 games the rest of the way. Not a lot of chances for our staff in the back of the pack to gain ground (or for those in the front to pull away). So there's a new twist added! No, we haven't replaced TwistNHook. I mean I'm letting our staff choose Non Pac-12 games as well!
WILD CARD LOCK OF THE WEEK
I, commissioner Gustav, gave our staff a choice of 18 teams that are playing around the country and asked our staff to pick ONE to STRAIGHT UP win. All of the teams are either a 0-7 point favorite or a 0-7 point underdog. With so many choices, there's more of a chance someone can gain on the other staff if they pick differently from the others. Here's what they chose.
Nik Jam: Notre Dame makes a statement with a big road win.
KWBears: I think the Big Ten matchups hold the most promise to stay true to their Vegas betting lines. But, given that I do believe in home-field advantage, I'm picking the only Big Ten matchup where the home team is favored this week.
PerryScope: Coming into Death Valley (Clemson not LSU) and leaving with a win is a very difficult thing to do. Although Notre Dame has been fantastic up to this point in the year, their key injuries will be evident to when the Tigers pounce all over the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame can lose this game and still build their Playoff resume with games against Stanford and USC. This game is crucial for Clemson's playoff hopes because a loss at home means that they will have to go undefeated in ACC play to even have a shot at making it. Deshaun Watson, Clemson's QB will have a big game. In the preseason, experts were saying that he would contend for the Heisman trophy and he hasn't quite lived up to expectations. He will turn it around on Saturday on the big stage.
Ruey Yen: Clemson is overrated since they have not really played anyone
Berkelium97: Illinois barely scraped by Middle Tennessee State and was blown out by North Carolina. In true Mike Riley form, Nebraska will play at a much higher level now that they've finished stumbling through non-conference play.
WILD CARD UPSET OF THE WEEK
Now our crew can pick a game they think can/will end in an upset. I gave a list of more than 10 teams that are double-digit underdogs and asked the staff to pick ONE that will STRAIGHT UP WIN. THREE points will be awarded for a correct guess. There's no risk at all, but I gave the option to pick "NONE OF THESE TEAMS WILL UPSET" and get one point if they're right. Everyone picked an upset!
Nik Jam: One of the worst days of my life was when one of my cats died and then later that morning Cal lost at Maryland in 2008. Now that I've depressed you all, I'm thinking Maryland gives Michigan another reality check.
KWBears: I just don't see any of the other matchups coming out with an upset. This is probably the most likely, so I'll go out on a gamble here and pick the Wolverines to get intimated by the Terp's Block Ops helmets and bumble away this potential win.
PerryScope: I think if the Longhorn defense can contain Trevone Boykin and that high powered TCU offense just a bit and maybe force some turnovers, then they have a chance to be close in this game. Heard and the Texas offense had a really rough day after coming off that 650 yard game vs Cal. We all know how bad the TCU defense is and I think if Jerrod Heard can keep plays alive with his feet then the Longhorns will give the Horned Frogs another scare and potentially leave Fort Worth with the upset win.
Ruey Yen: Turtle power!
Berkelium97: Texas Tech has been feisty this season. I expect them to start strong and eventually hold off a Baylor team that hasn't played a single Power 5 team this year.
Saturday is going to be an exciting day as Cal looks to get to 5-0 and UCLA also looks to stay hot. Can Cal win and can Arizona and Colorado pull off upsets thus getting Cal fans even more excited about their Pac-12 North chances?