Welcome to Golden Blogs Week 7 Pickem! We're here to pick the Pac-12 slate for Thursday plus a few wild card games. First, let's take a look at the Week 6 results and the total standings (lower right corner in gold).
FIRST. I'd like to go back to that Cal/Utah game. All of us picked Utah to win and cover the 7 point spread. After that happened, the comments section was very unhappy with us. If I remember right, someone even suggested that if Cal won we had to wear Stanford shirts to Cal games and resign. So, when Cal lost but barely covered, I asked our staff if they had anything to say about that...
Nik Jam: I had a feeling Cal could win, but needed to go with my gut. Worst case scenario was Cal losing but covering and that's what happened. I'll believe in the Bears a bit more in the future. There really isn't a sure loss remaining on the schedule so picking UCLA and USC and Furd against us will be tough!
Nam Le: If our readers are celebrating the fact that Cal beat the spread...
Ruey Yen: It is hard to find the optimal way to support our Bears without jinxing them. If you look at my Pac-12 Power Ranking, I have done my sunshine pumping on those posts. Clearly, jinxing the Utes didn't quite work last week.
KWBears: Cal lost a game that they were supposed to lose. Yes, I'm not a homer - and I'm proud of that!
PerryScope: Bad Loss-Loss situation but I still stand by the decision because they were the home team, they were the favorite, and we hadn't played an opponent like this all season long.
Berkelium97: I've been wrong about most of these picks all year, so readers should take my picks with a boulder of salt
Andrew G Miller: I'LL NEVER APOLOGIZE I'VE BEEN WRITING FOR CGB FOR THREE WHOLE MONTHS SO I KNOW LOTS OF SPORTS THINGS PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT I MOSTLY JUST MAKE PUNS
OK, so. Enough with hating on our comments section. We love you and want you to keep commenting and reading our posts. You're appreciated, people. In return, please root for us (especially those of us near the bottom) to make better picks from here on out!
NOW TIME FOR THE GAMES! With Cal on a bye week, we can make our picks without fearing the comments section. Hooray! Er, wait, I just said I'd stop "hating" on you guys. Sorry...
Anyway... All over/under and lines are from TUESDAY using the ESPN Scorecenter app and are probably different today. See the poll for more current lines.
STANFORD VS. UCLA (THURSDAY 7:30, ESPN)
#15 Stanford is a 6.5 point favorite over #18 UCLA. Over/Under is 55.5
Nik Jam: I'm way down in the standings so I need to take some risks, plus Furd is due for a conference loss (and a loss to UCLA, it's been some time). Please make this happen???
Ruey Yen: Picking with who I want to win. Stanford with a loss here would make life easier for our Sturdy Golden Bears.
KWBears: Furd is the better team, from top to bottom. UCLA can have flashes of talent here and there, but over a 60-minute game, I expect Furd to tough this one out for a close victory.
PerryScope: UCLA plays better on the road and I think the final score will come down to the last drive of the game. Christian McCaffrey and Paul Perkins are two stud running backs featured in this game.
Berkelium97: The Lobsterbacks have a stout run defense and I do not trust Rosen to be able to do enough by himself to put the Bruins in a position to win.
Andrew G Miller: UCLA has had a week to reflect on their letdown against ASU. Josh Rosen takes the opportunity to scare us a bit.
WASHINGTON STATE VS. OREGON STATE (SATURDAY 1:00, PAC-12 NETWORKS)
Washington State is a 7.5 point favorite over Oregon State. Over/Under is 58.5
Nik Jam: Washington State notches a comfortable win at home. The team, coaches, and the fanbase start to feel good about themselves.
Ruey Yen: I'm surprised that Wazzu is not favored by more.
KWBears: A few weeks ago, this game would've been billed as the "battle of the Pac-12 bottom feeders." But, Wazzu has since dispelled the notion that they are horrible. The Air Raid is back -- too bad for the lowly Beavers.
PerryScope: Washington State is coming off an emotional win at Oregon and judging by what Arizona (and everyone) has down to Oregon State I like Wazzu by multiple scores.
Berkelium97: Oregon State's pass defense looked decent in the first few games, but that may be due more to lousy opposing QBs. I'll trust Falk to get the job done.
Andrew G Miller: Maybe this is me overvaluing WSU's last couple of weeks, but I'm surprised this line isn't higher.
USC @ NOTRE DAME (SATURDAY 4:30, NBC)
USC is a 7 point underdog against #14 Notre Dame. Over/Under is 61
Nik Jam: Trojans will figure it out. Hopefully it won't be against us, but it won't be against Notre Dame. Hey, Utah might be due because... (foreshadowing)
Ruey Yen: Unless Sark leaving is a huge addition by subtraction (maybe it is...but hopefully no), I'm surprised that Notre Dame is not favored by more.
KWBears: I expect U$C to put-up a real good fight for their new head coach. But, this team doesn't have the tools to match-up against a pretty good Notre Dame team this year. Plus, going up against Notre Dame in South Bend is a tall order for any team, let alone a wholly underachieving $C team that's a few steps away from turmoil status.
PerryScope: Low scoring, power football is what you will see in this historic rivalry game. This will be the first game without Sark as head coach with the Trojans and I think they'll be fired up. No more Playoff talk, no more Sark drama. Just focus on the Fighting Irish and they'll keep this one close.
Berkelium97: USC will either notch a big upset or get blown out. I'd rather see USC get blown out, so I'll vote for ND to cover the spread.
Andrew G Miller: I don't want to live in a world where USC runs the table after Sarkgate, so I'll use my powers of prediction to make sure that doesn't happen.
COLORADO VS. ARIZONA (SATURDAY 6:00, FOX SPORTS 1)
Arizona is an 8 point favorite against Colorado. Over/Under is 66.
Only one person (me!) has Colorado upsetting Arizona. Given that I'm near the bottom of the standings, this will either net me two points on everyone or pretty much prove why I've been so bad this year. I've put too much faith in bad teams to cover and then they don't.
Nik Jam: At home, a rare chance for Colorado to get a conference win. They will be hyped. Even if they lose, it'll probably be late so I think they'll cover.
Ruey Yen: Arizona is the better team, but Colorado does have that elevation advantage. Nonetheless, the Buffs may not win another game this year.
KWBears: The Wildcats are seemingly back now that Solomon has returned from injury. I expect UofA to pound Colorado, but also for Colorado to put-up a real good fight. This may turn out to be a low scoring affair.
PerryScope: Zona wins in a blowout. Colorado can't stop Anu Solomon and Nick Wilson.
Berkelium97: I have no faith in Colorado to win any of its remaining games.
Andrew G Miller: Colorado might be improved, but their remaining schedule isn't kind. Arizona rolls.
UTAH VS. ARIZONA STATE (SATURDAY 7:00, ESPN)
#4 Utah is a 6.5 point favorite against Arizona State.
After Utah held off a serious upset bid from Cal, they once again find themselves on ESPN's late night slot but this time there's no Gameday and this time it's Arizona State. Arizona State is red hot after wins over UCLA and Colorado, will they do what Cal could not and pull off the upset against Utah? Or will Utah keep raising their national profile as a serious playoff contender? Five out of seven of us have Utah.
Nik Jam: Utah is able to put a game they should win away. I think USC will be the ones that give them their first loss.
Ruey Yen: Utes at home is unlikely to have a slip up. I do think ASU will keep this one competitive until the 4th quarter.
KWBears: Utah is the better team here, plus they are at home. ASU till make it a great game, but they will still lose in the end.
PerryScope: Trap game for the Utes. They did not play like a Playoff team and they will be playing the best offense in the conference right now in ASU.
Berkelium97: Arizona State has looked good the past couple weeks, but Utah has looked strong all season. I don't expect a hangover from last week's narrow win.
Andrew G Miller: These two teams confuse me. I'll take a close one either way.
WASHINGTON VS. OREGON (SATURDAY 7:00, ESPN2)
Washington is a 1.5 point favorite against Oregon. Over/Under is 58.5.
Oregon has won 13 straight against Washington, an identical streak to USC's win streak over us. All of a sudden the Huskies are FAVORED to end that drought and more than half of us see them pulling it out. A fair amount of us expect Oregon to push it to 14. Would Washington ending their drought mean Cal will end theirs? Or will we find ourselves alone in having a long drought to a Pac rival? Would that make you root against a Huskies win? Lot of things to talk about in our comments section!
Nik Jam: Washington is due to beat Oregon and Oregon is just falling apart. I'm not even sure they will have a winning record at this point.
Ruey Yen: Only going with Washington here because it's a home game for them.
KWBears: It is now trendy to pick against Oregon - who would've ever those words would be spoken. I expect U-Dub to hang all sorts of points on that atrocious Oregon D.
PerryScope: Oregon has a chance to keep it close with their talented running backs and I think they will come out strong defensively. But they desperately need a QB!
Berkelium97: The negligible force meets the trivially movable object as UW's pass offense meets Oregon's pass defense. I think the Ducks bounce back this week with a strong performance by Freeman.
Andrew G Miller: I'm picking against my instinct here: The Huskies defense should dominate a reeling Oregon team, but it's still hard for me to picture the Ducks losing twice in a row.
WILD CARD: LOCK OF THE WEEK
Asked our staff to pick the (Straight-up) winner of one of the following seven games. No team is better than a 7 point favorite or worse than a 7 point underdog.
Auburn @ Kentucky
#17 Iowa @ #20 Northwestern
Pitt @ Georgia Tech
#10 Alabama @ #9 Texas A&M
#19 Oklahoma @ Kansas State
#7 Michigan State @ #12 Michigan
#8 Florida @ #6 LSU
LSU is the most popular pick, and with the situation at Florida that pick is easily justified. Nam and I have Michigan staying hot and we also have one pick for Oklahoma bouncing back from their loss to Texas.
Nik Jam: Michigan is a team of destiny right now.
Nam Le: Harbaugh.
Ruey Yen: The Florida QB just go suspended for PED makes this an easy choice.
KWBears: Oklahoma just got embarrassed by Texas in the Cotton Bowl. While Bob Stoops never seems to win the important big games, he also doesn't lose games that he's not supposed to lose. I expect the Sooners to be really fired-up and to destroy the Wildcats.
PerryScope: Florida will have to play without Will Grier who had been having a great year. The Gators have a great defense but I think Fournette and the Tigers put up just enough points to protect Death Valley (which they usually do).
Berkelium97: Florida's QB has been suspended for a year on the eve of their biggest game of the season (look at that weak schedule). This is an easy pick this week (famous last words).
Andrew G Miller: Yeah, I'll take a team with Leonard Fournette over a team with a midseason QB change. I'd take them against most teams, actually.
WILD CARD: UPSET OF THE WEEK
The staff can gamble and choose a double-digit underdog to straight up win and receive three points if they're correct. However, if all ten listed favorites win, those who don't opt to pick an upset receive one point.
Tulane (vs. #24 Houston)
Utah State (vs. #21 Boise State)
Memphis (vs. #13 Ole Miss)
West Virginia (@ #2 Baylor)
Purdue (@ Wisconsin)
Boston College (@ #5 Clemson)
Wake Forest (@ North Carolina)
Iowa State (vs. #3 TCU)
Missouri (@ Georgia)
Penn State (@ #1 Ohio State)
Nam and Kevin play it safe and choose NO UPSET. Meanwhile, two of us risk it with Penn State, two have Memphis and there's one more bet that Utah State will upset. Last week, no one listed pulled off the upset but Kansas State came close to knocking off TCU. Texas pulled off an upset but wasn't in my list because I just plump missed it when checking the betting lines. Whoops. I triple checked to make sure I got every possible big name upset this time. Anyway, here's the reasons.
Nik Jam: I need to take some risks, and Ohio State has had some dicey wins lately.
Ruey Yen: Utah State are at home and I do think Boise State are vulnerable.
KWBears: There will be upset from this list this week.
PerryScope: I think this game could turn into a shootout and Memphis has all the confidence in the world right now.
Berkelium97: Memphis has a solid QB and a stable of productive running backs. As the home team hosting someone from the big, bad SEC, you can bet they'll be highly motivated for this one. Plus, I'd love to see this upset happen, as the SEC's nonconference schedule has been so weak that it's tough to measure the quality of the conference.
Andrew G Miller: I don't know, I just need the extra points for picking an upset. Plus, Ohio State is going down at some point.
Here's to a competitive Week 7 and a nicer comments section. I really do love you guys! GO BEARS!
(Also, apologies if that David Shaw picture scarred you for life.)