There are two weeks left in the regular season, a season packed with wild finishes, upsets, and blowouts... some by Cal and some at the expense of Cal. This Pac-12 season has been wild, with favorites falling and underdogs rising... unfortunately Cal couldn't be one of the underdogs to rise.
With Cal's Big Game loss, the Pac-12 title is once again in sight of the evil Stanford empire. But who can stop them? The winner of USC/UCLA might... but that might be of little solace to Cal fans who don't enjoy seeing all this success by all of our California rivals. Plus, Furd whooped both SC and UCLA earlier this year. When will it be our turn? Who knows. Hopefully soon...
But I digress, what do YOU see happening in the Pac-12 race? Will USC end a three year Victory Bell drought, or will UCLA continue to lengthen it's streak to four? Will Oregon State fans, who've endured an even longer rivalry drought than Cal fans, be subjected to more pain? Who will take the Apple Cup? What about non-rivalry games, like the faux-rivalry matchup between Colorado and Utah? Our beloved Bears against Arizona State? There's also that whole playoff elimination game between the Cardinal and Notre Dame Fighting Irish taking place in the same battleground our Bears were trounced last week.
What's your picks? Answer in our poll below, but first: Here's our results from last week, followed by our picks for today (Friday) and tomorrow.
Man, that Nik Jam guy really stinks at picks. Whoops. How about Nam getting off the snide and picking nearly every game right? Berkelium nearly did too. They're both closing in on Perry who still has a seemingly insurmountable lead. Ruey has a shot, only 12 points back, but we'll need a huge shakeup this week and next week for there to be a comeback winner. Obviously all but one got Cal wrong, and those who trusted Colorado and Oregon State got left behind, but how about those who gambled on Michigan State?
Let's begin this week's picks now because it's 11am and the Pac-12 Friday rivalry games start in like an hour.
THE APPLE CUP: #20 WASHINGTON STATE @ WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, 12:30 FOX)
No line or over/under when we had to do the poll. Picks are straight up with the usual "within 10" score prediction. (Today, Washington is a 7.5 point favorite, Over/Under is 52.5)
With no Luke Falk for the Cougars, the majority of our staff has Washington winning straight up.
Nik Jam: Even if Luke Falk doesn't play, I think Wazzu should be fired up to beat their rivals on the road and get in better bowl positioning.
Andrew G Miller: The Cougs will miss Luke Falk if he is indeed out.
PerryScope: UW defense at home in rivalry game
Ruey Yen: Easy Wazzu win here if Luke Falk is healthy. Without Falk? Wazzu is probably still the favorite against a UW team that only looked good last week because they played Oregon State.
Berkelium97: I want to keep the dream of a 10-win season alive for Mike Leach, but I think Falk's injury is too much of an obstacle to overcome in a rivalry game on the road.
KWBears: Wazzu still puts up points on the Huskies, and gets the W.
THE CIVIL WAR: OREGON STATE @ #17 OREGON (FRIDAY, 1:00 FOX SPORTS 1)
Oregon is a 35 point favorite. Over/Under is 70 (70.5 today)
After Oregon State got blown out at home against Washington, no one sees Oregon State getting within 5 touchdowns today. Beaver fans must be feeling like Cal fans in 2013 on Big Game day.
Nik Jam: Oregon should easily get past 50... I'm not sure if Oregon State will get to double digits.
Andrew G Miller: If you thought Oregon State got dumped by Washington, just wait.
PerryScope: Ducks rolling too well
Ruey Yen: Ducks take their disappointment in not winning Pac-12 North on the Beavers.
Berkelium97: Oregon will destroy Oregon State, but they'd need to score at least 60 to break the over/under. I don't think the win will be quite that decisive.
KWBears: This will be the most lopsided Civil War ever.
COLORADO @ #23 UTAH (SATURDAY, 11:30AM PAC-12 NETWORKS)
Utah is a 16.5 point favorite. Over/Under is 49 (Still is today)
Slight majority with Utah getting the blowout while a few are giving Colorado a chance to keep it close.
Nik Jam: Utah's had some disappointing showings but no way they don't show up to this game, even if it's not really (OK, it's NOT AT ALL) a rivalry game.
Andrew G Miller: Utah clearly has problems, but Colorado has a lot more.
PerryScope: Utah hasn't been scoring too much and Buffs play up to opponents level occasionally
Ruey Yen: Disappointing finish to the season for the Utes, but they should still be able to handle the Buffs in the least exciting rivalry of the Pac.
Berkelium97: Colorado has been feisty all season and Utah no longer has anything to play for, now that their division title hopes are extinguished. If the Utes aren't careful, Colorado could win this.
KWBears: Utah is continually getting embarrassed lately. They will get their revenge against the Buffs.
FOR THE VICTORY BELL: #22 UCLA @ USC (SATURDAY, 12:30PM ESPN2/ABC)
USC is a 3.5 point favorite. Over/Under is 62 (Today, USC moved to just a 3 point favorite)
Despite USC being the favorite and the home team, the majority here have UCLA.
Nik Jam: I think UCLA's a bit more deserving and it'll show on the field, though I would think USC has a better shot at beating Furd in a rematch. At least they had a somewhat decent effort back in September.
Andrew G Miller: Who's excited for the Pac-12 Championship Game?
PerryScope: UCLA is banged up and I see the Trojans making the PAC 12 title
Ruey Yen: I really really don't want to see a USC-Furd Pac-12 Championship.
Berkelium97: Mora's teams always perform well against USC. This year should be another win for the Bruins.
KWBears: UCLA gets the best of their rival.
#9 STANFORD VS. #6 NOTRE DAME (SATURDAY, 4:30PM FOX)
Stanford is a 3 point favorite. Over/Under is 56. (Same line today)
Slight edge given to Notre Dame. How much of that is Cal fan bias? We still have some who think Furd will pull it out. Do you see them stealing a playoff bid?
Nik Jam: End those playoff hopes once and for all.
Andrew G Miller: They have to. They just have to.
PerryScope: Furd will get that ground game going at the farm and keep that slim playoff hope alive
Ruey Yen: As much as I like Avery Sebastian (don't think he's been playing for the Irish due to injuries), Pac-12 pride makes Furd the pick for me here. Definitely wouldn't mind if I'm jinxing the Furdies with this pick.
Berkelium97: I cannot live with myself if I pick furd two weeks in a row.
KWBears: Furd denies Notre Dame's CFB Playoffs hopes.
Finally, we get to the game that really matters...
CALIFORNIA VS. ARIZONA STATE (SATURDAY, 7PM FOX SPORTS 1)
Cal is a 4 point favorite. Over/Under is 68.5 (Today, Cal is a 3.5 point favorite)
The majority have Cal. Will our faith be rewarded?
Nik Jam: Because my Cal pick has been wrong every week, and I'd rather go 0-10 (we didn't do FCS or SDSU I think) than finally get one right but it's picking a Cal loss.
Andrew G Miller: By all means the Bears should win this game. I just wonder if the team is burnt out after a bunch of tough losses.
PerryScope: ASU blitzes frequently and Goff is great agains the blitz
Ruey Yen: Bears have won every game that they are favored, although they have not always covered.
Berkelium97: Both teams will come out flat and this game will ultimately be decided in the fourth quarter. Over the last two games, ASU scored 38 points in the fourth quarter to close out two critical games, and I think they'll do the same this week. Plus Graham is a better coach than Dykes, and that could play a role in this toss-up game.
KWBears: In a shootout, Cal finally wins a meaningful game again.
WILD CARD: LOCK OF THE WEEK
Choose the straight up winner in the following games... there's a lot of good ones this week!
Texas Tech @ Texas
Miami @ Pitt
#15 Navy @ #21 Houston
#4 Iowa @ Nebraska
#7 Baylor @ #19 TCU
Louisville @ Kentucky
#8 Ohio State @ #10 Michigan
#18 Ole Miss @ #21 Miss St.
#13 Florida State @ #12 Florida
#3 Oklahoma @ #11 Oklahoma State
(Because all picks are timestamped, I'm now allowing Thursday/Friday games to be included. I'll just disqualify anyone who picked a game during/after the fact)
With the temptation to pick Iowa (only a one point favorite at Nebraska) only three of us went that route. Baylor, Florida, Oklahoma, and Pitt also got some love. A lot of good games with EVEN, or one-3 point lines here.
Nik Jam (Iowa): Being the lame-o that picks the high ranked team over an unranked team. Mass respect to Nebraska by Vegas. Only a point point underdog. I've been wrong all but once in my Wild Card pick, so I may have just doomed Iowa.
Andrew G Miller (Iowa): How can you pick against the team of destiny?
PerryScope (Baylor): That potent offense will score more against the Boykin/Docston less Horned Frogs
Ruey Yen (Florida): I went to a summer program at UF back in the days when I was in high school. There was a bit of brainwashing about how they are much better than FSU.
Berkelium97 (Pitt): Pat Narduzzi has been solid in his first year at Pitt (I was hoping we'd hire him in 2012) and the Panthers should close the regular season with a win over Miami.
KWBears (Oklahoma): The Sooners are headed to the CFB Playoffs and the Cowboys surely aren't going to stop them.
UPSET OF THE WEEK
Not a whole lot of big name underdogs this week... but who will be tempted to pick a straight up upset?
Oregon State @ Oregon
South Carolina vs. #1 Clemson
SMU @ Memphis
Colorado @ #23 Utah
Auburn vs. #2 Alabama
Penn State @ #5 Michigan State
Vanderbilt @ Tennessee
UConn @ #25 Temple
Nevada @ San Diego State
Kansas vs. Kansas State
Almost half decide not to gamble. We have some variety in our upset picks though! What was our reasoning? There's a theme here...
Nik Jam (Kansas): Why the hell not... 0-12 is depressing. Find a way to get a win.
PerryScope (UConn): Why not
Ruey Yen (Auburn): Why not. More chaos!
Berkelium97 (All listed favorites win): After successfully picking upsets the last couple weeks, I'm having a hard time seeing one here. Colorado may be the best shot, but I don't think they'll end up winning that one.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend. Hope Cal basketball can rebound against Richmond. Hope to see you at the Cal Football regular season finale. GO BEARS!