Conference play is back! We had USC/Stanford last week but this time everybody except Colorado (hosting Nicholls State) and Washington State (bye week) are playing games against Pac-12 foes. As such, there's less chances to pick up points in our staff Pick challenge. However it's still anyone's game as the Week 3 results show.
Our old friend Nam has a growing lead against second place Ruey. The gap between first and last is growing, and those at the bottom will need a good showing this week. However, as said earlier, only 15 points are up for grabs today.
It goes without saying that we're all OK with getting the Cal pick wrong, because at least they won. Two people, including me, sold their souls and got two points for picking Furd over SC.
This was an odd week as for most of the week Stanford/Oregon State did not have an over/under. Oregon and Utah did not have a line at all until Wednesday. Problem is, I needed to send out the form on Tuesday. So I put my thinking cap on and figured out a solution. Oregon/Utah is a straight pick, and said game and Stanford/Oregon State have score predictions instead of over/under. After the game, I will use judgement and give one point to those with predictions somewhere in the ballpark of the final score.
Hopefully this disclaimer is clear and there's no "Well Actuallys" with people informing me that Oregon is favored by 11.5 points now. I know! I wish I sent the form just 12 hours later. I tried to see if my crew wanted a do-over but there wasn't a lot of interest in that. So here we are.
I used the ESPN Scorecenter App on Tuesday morning. Lines and Over/Unders may be different at this moment in time.
STANFORD @ OREGON STATE
Stanford is a 15.5 point favorite. Over/Under released too late (for those curious, it's 44.5)
Based on the final score predictions (I edited them to all be uniform, but it looks like everyone has Stanford as the top scorer) it seems that this is a "We all expect Stanford to win, but some expect Oregon State to keep it close" situation. Stanford had a huge win on Saturday, but have had letdowns before.
Nik Jam: I see a minor letdown for Stanford, but probably not enough for Oregon State to pull the upset
Ruey Yen: A bit of a letdown game for Furd (hey, Kevin Hogan is still their QB) as they beat OSU but doesn't cover.
PerryScope: Stanford's offensive line will take control of the game and the Beavers' inexperience won't help them either.
Andrew G. Miller: Assuming Kevin Hogan is out, I predict some quality #pac12afterdark weirdness on Friday night.
KWBears: The Cardinal are back after last week's definitive win over USC. Too bad for the lowly Beavers.
Berkelium97: Even though OSU isn't that good, I don't expect them to lose by more than two TDs. Hogan can't manufacture that kind of performance two games in a row.
CAL @ WASHINGTON
Cal is a 4.5 point favorite. Over/Under is 61.
Someone had to be the first person to go against our Bears, and I took the fall, but Berkelium97 would then have my back. The Texas game took a lot of out of me, and I remember EVERYONE in the media picked us to win. That may have even been my first thought as Texas appeared to score the game tying touchdown. Most of us still have Cal winning easily, let's see the comments.
Nik Jam: I might as well be the first person to pick against Cal this year. I'm just doing it to jinx the Huskies, but I'm seriously just too scared to pick a win.
Ruey Yen: A coin flip of a game, but we are due for a win against U-Dub.
PerryScope: I think both teams are gonna score and its going to come down to the wire. They can't stop us and I'm not sure we can stop them.
Andrew G. Miller: I'm not emotionally prepared to think about this game yet. Let's go with the good guys for now.
KWBears: Cal should get a nice win here, even though some defensive lapses will make the final score look closer than it really will be.
Berkelium97: As much as I want to be wrong, I think this one comes down to the wire. I hope your cardiologist is on speed dial.
UCLA @ ARIZONA
UCLA is a 4 point favorite. Over/under is 64
A solid split here with Arizona getting the edge at home. This is the featured game of the week as ESPN Gameday will be in Tuscon. How will things fare?
Nik Jam: Arizona hasn't been tested yet this season and UCLA has. I think that will be the difference.
Ruey Yen: UCLA wins by a field goal in a wild one.
PerryScope: This is Arizona's first test of the season and they're going to have their hands full with standout true freshman Josh Rosen and one of the best running backs in the nation Paul Perkins. On the other side Anu Soloman and Nick Wilson will most likely light up the scoreboard in which should be a very close game
Andrew G. Miller: Hopefully the Gameday crew gets all of this Rosen hype out of their system so that they can focus on Goff.
KWBears: I still believe UofA can be a darkhorse team in the conference this year. They will pull-off a few big upsets this season. I think this week's matchup against the Bruins will be their first one.
Berkelium97: Wildcats pull the upset as Rosen continues to struggle. UCLA will really miss Myles Jack against RichRod's offense.
UTAH @ OREGON
Line and Over/Under not released in time for inclusion. So in our league it's EVEN.
Everyone has Oregon straight up winning with various final score differentials. Given that Oregon is now an 11.5 favorite (Over/Under 64.5) I could have just factored those in using the final score predictions but that won't be fair. Does anyone think of unfair when they think of me? I hope not.
Most of the comments are based on Oregon's QB decision, which was the reason for the late line release.
Nik Jam: Regardless of who Oregon has a QB, they will score a lot of points.
Ruey Yen: Ducks score lots of points regardless of who is the QB.
PerryScope: Oregon's offense is going to have a breakthrough coming off their impressive performance last week. Either Adams or Lockie are fit well to succeed in the Ducks' system and the Utes' chances of winning this game at Autzen are slim
KWBears: Oregon is the better all-around team and will come out on top this game. But, Utah will give them one heck of a fight, for sure.
Berkelium97: Both these teams have shown promise and reasons to doubt them. I think Oregon wins in a moderately close game.
USC @ ARIZONA STATE
USC is a 6 point favorite. Over/Under is 63.
USC gets the edge in this evenly split picked match. Even the Over/Under isn't fully agreed upon. Which of the three games in the nightcap will be the most fun? We saw what happened between these two teams last year.
Nik Jam: USC will want redemption to the Stanford loss. They will also be motivated by last year's Jael Mary. They will find a way to get it done.
Ruey Yen: Going with the home team in an expected shootout.
PerryScope: USC knows a loss means elimination from the college football playoff and they won't lose 2 in a row.
Andrew G. Miller: I'm all in on #pac12afterdark this week.
KWBears: USC was embarrassed last week - they won't let it happen again. Too bad for the Sun Devils.
Berkelium97: #Pac12AfterDark breathes life into ASU, but I'm not convinced it will be enough for them to win. Maybe this one ends with USC winning on a hail mary.