Posted on October 14, 2021
Well look that. I didn’t do half-bad last week, going a surprising 3-1.
My only miss was a game that almost everyone whiffed on—Utah’s “upset” of the Trojans in the Coliseum. I put upset in quotes because USC’s losses are feeling more and more expected each week.
Anyway, if you combine those impressive picks with my not-so-impressive picks from the previous week, I’m a surprising 5-4 overall since launching this half-baked column.
This week’s pick are looking tougher, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can. Three of the games on Saturday figure to be close; in fact, I have each of them being decided by a field goal.
The other two, involving the highest-ranked and last-place teams from the North Division, and the two worst teams from the South, are much easier.
So let’s get on with it.
As always, my selections come complete with game scores and just enough commentary to keep me from snacking too much while I write them.
Oregon 38, Cal 14
This game could be the one that lands Head Coach Justin Wilcox firmly on the hot seat.
The Golden Bears have the unfortunate task of facing Oregon coming off a heart-breaking loss to Stanford. It also doesn’t help that Cal upset the Ducks last season.
The heartbreak will continue in this contest, with UO mollywhopping the Bears at Autzen.
Ducks by a lot.
Colorado 23, Arizona 13
For Arizona, this game may be their only realistic chance of winning this year.
The matchup is one of those you need to get, as no one wants to be that team that finishes a season without a conference win. Luckily for the Wildcats, the Buffs are just bad.
A team that can’t score, can’t win, and Colorado hasn’t scored more than 14 points in a game this year.
The real question is who’s worse? Buff quarterback Brendon Lewis or Arizona’s roster in its entirety?
I’m picking the Wildcats for that distinction, which means I’m picking the Buffs to win.
Colorado by 10.
Stanford 27, Washington State 24
The Cougs’ win against the Beavs last week was arguably the most important of the Nick Rolovich Era to date. It honestly may have saved his job.
On the other hand, the Cardinal enter this matchup with a chance to stay right in the thick of the North Division race.
Yeah, it’s that bad…
From a talent standpoint, the Cougars may be the better team, but Stanford needs it more. The Cardinal just survived a three-game gauntlet against UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona State, and they’re not gonna fall in the Palouse.
Stanford by three.
UCLA 33, Washington 30
This is a game where I want to pick Washington—and by that I mean the Dawgs we used to know—not the new, less-dependable Washington currently occupying Husky Stadium.
Five years ago, the Huskies felt stout, now they allow 180 yards per game and four-and-a-half per attempt.
This fact should work in UCLA’s favor as they enter this contest with a blistering rushing attack, averaging 217 yards per game.
In a classic case of a has been, verse a never was (at least, recently). I’m going with the has been.
Bruins by three.
Utah 23, Arizona State 20
Last week, many of us assumed this game wouldn’t matter much. But that was before Utah decided to become, well, Utah again. And in a place where the Utes hadn’t won in decades.
ASU has been looking hot, and is probably the better team, but I’m gonna speak for Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and guess that he doesn’t like cheaters.
Expect a couple of statement hits in the opening quarter, which may have the Sun Devils crying out to Elohim.
Utes by three.