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Golden Blogs Pick-Em Week 5: Who Will Be First Place in the Pac-12 North?

Washington and Stanford face off to be the only 2-0 team in the Pac-12 North. Cal can tie the loser of that game at 1-1 with a win over Utah. Who does our staff believe in?

Washington v Arizona
Washington HC Chris Petersen and Daniel Bridge-Gadd. Hoping for some happy Huskies tonight.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Pac-12 Play is fully under way and we have a lot of shakeups! Colorado upset Oregon last week, and the pressure is on between Stanford and Washington (both narrow winners last week) as they play for first place already this season in a Friday Night showdown.

Cal could not hold on in the fourth quarter against Arizona State as the home team Devils defense found magic in the end. Now Cal faces a pivotal game against Utah. While Utah is 4-0, Cal must see this as a very much winnable game, and potentially a must-win if the Bears want to be relevant in the Pac-12 North race.

Elsewhere you have USC, UCLA, and Oregon desperately looking for a win after not reaching up to expectations to start 2016.

We pick the Week 5 games now! But first, here are last week’s results.

Week 4 results and rankings

A shakeup! The buzzer beater Stanford touchdown took two points away from first place Ruey and allowed the rest of us to edge closer! No one picked up an upset win as no one picked Duke, who beat Notre Dame. Of course, everyone sadly picked Cal wrong. Will they still get love from our crew this week?

We start our picks with tonight’s Top 10 showdown between the really hated Stanford Cardinal and the mostly hated Washington Huskies.

Lines from as of Tuesday afternoon. All the lines except WSU/Oregon have since moved, all an increase of .5 or 1 for the current favorite.



Washington (home team) is a 3 point favorite. Over/Under is 44.
UW/Furd picks

I’m sure we all want Stanford to lose, but most of the staff doesn’t see that happening. Piotr and Nam do have the Huskies pulling it out.

Nik Jam: Prove me wrong UW.

PerryScope: Low Scoring, gritty game that Nerd Nation will triumph.

Piotr T Le: Wash will stop McCaffrey and will win this game in a 17-7 slog.

Nam Le: Furd out both corners, and I trust Coach Pete with my life.

Ruey Yen: My heart says Washington but they really haven't proven anything this year to me. Going with the Furdies.

Berkelium97: I want to believe.

But I don't think UW will pull it off. I'm expecting a furd victory with a margin in the low to mid teens.

KWBears: Never underestimate McCaffrey.

boomtho: I mean, Washington struggled vs AZ and Furd struggled vs UCLA, but I think UCLA is way better (which might prove wrong by the end of the year). I know Furd is banged up but Washington is going to have to prove it to me.


SATURDAY 11:30AM on Pac-12 Networks

Colorado (home team) is a 17.5 point favorite. No over/under was posted at the time, so I made one up at 60.5
OSU/COLO picks

There’s always those intra-conference spreads that are very high and you don’t know who really believes Oregon State will win, or if they just merely won’t be blown out. But we’re 50/50 on Colorado picking up the 18+ point victory and Oregon State merely losing by less than that.

Nik Jam: Colorado's defense will prevent Oregon State from being in the game.

Nam Le: 3 TDs seems a bit large. Colorado's better than expected but mostly size of line.

Ruey Yen: Even if the Buffs are not for real, Oregon State is just bad.

Berkelium97: Oregon State may be a little feisty in this one to prove they're not the worst team in the conference. Colorado should prevail by about 10, though.

boomtho: 17.5 is a lot of points and I think Colorado knows they're going to win this game, so expect a bit of a let down (still a win) from them.


SATURDAY 3PM on Pac-12 Networks

Cal (home team) is an 1.5 point favorite. Over/Under is 67.

Talk about subconscious bias and rigging the vote. I found out too late that in the Google Form I made, I didn’t list Utah as a choice at all! No one e-mailed me to tell me about the mistake, so I assume everyone meant to pick Cal for real. If any of them change their mind before Saturday at 3PM, I will flip their picks which will be shown in next week’s results graph.

Otherwise, lets just say its a second straight week where everyone picked Cal! Despite the ASU loss, we seem trusting the oddly favored Bears (the line is actually Cal -2.5 now, meaning a lot people have taken Cal in Vegas!) will topple another ranked team at home.

Nik Jam: Small sample size, but the offense seems to shoot themselves in the foot on the road. This is a home game. We'll be fine.

PerryScope: Idk why we're favored but I'm pretty sure everyone takes Cal every week including myself.

Piotr T Le: Whoever wins, my liver loses.

Ruey Yen: Don't like the line, but I BELIEVE that this will be a bounce back game for the Bears. Extremely small sample size but the Bears are 1-0 at home this year.

Berkelium97: This Utah team has shown flaws. San Jose St kept it close against them in the first half and the Utes barely beat mediocre USC and BYU teams at home. An opportunistic Cal defense should take advantage of Utah's tendency to turn the ball over (10 already this season, only 4 FBS teams have turned the ball over more). Bears win another nail-biter.

KWBears: Cal got embarrassed at ASU last week. I expect them to come out with something to prove.

boomtho: Utah hasn't played an offense quite like ours - and we've already had our share of potent rushing attack.



Utah (home team) is an 10 point favorite. Over/Under is 64.
ASU/USC picks

When was the last time a 1-3 team was a double digit favorite to beat a 4-0 team? (The line is actually USC -11 now) Vegas has done a good job at predicting games so far (just look at Cal) so we’ll see who’s correct. Most of us aren’t buying it though and are taking the Sun Devils.

Nik Jam: USC is slumping. Even if they win, it won't be double digits.

PerryScope: ASU will score enough to cover, maybe even win.

Piotr T Le: #QualityLossForCal

Nam Le: i don't get this line at all.

Ruey Yen: I see ASU winning a tight one here.

Berkelium97: This is exactly the kind of game USC will win in a blowout, just to infuriate everyone else in the Pac-12. I hope I'm wrong.

KWBears: USC will get back on track.

boomtho: USC has a pretty soft front 7 and I think ASU can run on them... and on the flip side, USC is starting a young QB.


SATURDAY 6:30PM on Pac-12 Networks

Washington State (home team) is a 2 point UNDERDOG. Over/Under is 72.
Oregon/WSU picks

A 5/3 split just leaning on Oregon to get back into Pac-12 relevancy. Both of these teams badly need this win.

Nik Jam: Washington State needs the win to save the season. Oregon needs a win to stay relevant. Oregon pulls it off.


Nam Le: oregon collapse continues

Ruey Yen: Who will be the new head coach at Oregon?

Berkelium97: This one hinges on which Oregon pass defense shows up, the one that stingily allows its opponent to accumulate many yards in small doses or the one that got lit up by Colorado last week. I'm inclined to pick against the Ducks, but Wazzu hasn't been impressive enough this year.

KWBears: Wazzu is going to get destroyed by the angry Ducks.

boomtho: Don't believe in WSU



AZ/UCLA picks

Another huge line as UCLA are two touchdown favorites (the line has since moved to -14) but most of us do think UCLA will win big and get to 1-1 after the rough loss to the Lobsterbacks.

Nik Jam: UCLA takes their frustrations of the first few weeks on Arizona.

Ruey Yen: UCLA nearly beat Stanford last week. Baby bears will take out their frustration on the Wildcats.

Berkelium97: Arizona keeps it close but loses as UCLA suffers a let down game after last week's loss.

boomtho: Mora and Rosen gonna show out in this game against a pretty bad team


#14 Miami (FL) -7 @ Georgia Tech
Oklahoma State -2.5 (vs. #22 Texas)
#4 Michigan -10 (vs. #8 Wisconsin)
#11 Tennessee -3 (@ #25 Georgia)
#3 Louisville -1.5 (@ #5 Clemson)
Oklahoma -3.5 (@ #21 TCU)
Wild Card: Lock of the Week

Wisconsin and Texas each get two picks. Four other teams get some love. Could this lead to a shake up in the rankings?

Nik Jam: (Wisconsin) I saw what Wisconsin did to Michigan State and I'm a believer.

Ruey Yen: (Texas) Texas will do their best to make the Cal win over them look good.

boomtho: (Wisconsin) 10 points is a LOT given how on fire Wisconsin looks.


North Carolina (11 point underdog @ #12 Florida State) [3]
Missouri (13 point underdog @ LSU) [3]
Marshall (14 point underdog @ Pittsburgh) [3]
Iowa State (16.5 point underdog vs. #13 Baylor) [3]
Oregon State (17 point underdog at Colorado) [3]
South Carolina (19 point underdog vs. #9 Texas A&M) [3]
Utah State (20 point underdog @ #24 Boise State) [3]
Kentucky (35 point underdog @ #1 Alabama) [4]
OTHER [3-5]
All of the above (and any others) lose [1]
Wild Card: Upset of the Week

Missouri getting the most love, a double digit underdog to LSU who just recently fired Les Miles. Remember they must win straight up for the four who picked them to get three points and shake up the rankings! Every week so far this season has had an upset choice win including Central Michigan, North Dakota State, and Duke.

Nik Jam: (South Carolina) Not sure about the Aggies.

Nam Le: (North Carolina) MITCH TRUBISKY

Ruey Yen: (Missouri) With Les Miles fired from LSU, they may be vulnerable to an upset loss.

Berkelium97: (Missouri) Perhaps the Les Miles situation will be too distracting for the Tigers.

boomtho: (Marshall) No idea haha


Show us your picks for Furd/UW, Cal/Utah and the other Pac-12 games of the week. Do you have an upset pick? Some great non-Pac games as well this week, anyone you would consider a lock? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter. Enjoy Cal tomorrow (provided they let you) and Go Bears!