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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

November 24, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Pac-12 picks, final weekend . . .

Friday

Colorado (minus 21.5) at Utah — This seems like a ton of points, but maybe not. Utah is trending upward, still in the hunt for the Pac-12 South title, while Colorado is still dragging around that 24-game winless streak away from Boulder and figures to be happy just to get the season over with. Pick: Utah, 33-10.

California (plus 5.5) at Arizona State — Not sure which team will be flatter here. Cal just came off a difficult, competitive 31-28 loss to Stanford, while Arizona State is sagging after three straight defeats, including a shocking, come-from-ahead defeat to Arizona. ASU still has the Pac-12 South title-game berth to play for, but I’m not sure that matters to this team. Pick: Arizona State, 34-26.

Saturday

Oregon State (plus 28) at Oregon — I wonder when the Civil War spread has ever been bigger. Again, it’s a tough read mentally and emotionally on Oregon; the Ducks need the win to get to the Pac-12 North title game, but they probably have a bit of a hangover in losing at the wire to USC. Beavers have playmakers, but their defense figures to have a long day against the Ducks. Pick: Oregon, 42-12.

Washington State (plus 9) at Washington — Although the teams have been trending in opposite directions recently — the Huskies simply not playing very well in recent weeks, the Cougars giving fits to the opposition — my sense is that the two revert back to where they were about a month ago. The Cougars, once again having to switch quarterbacks, may not be able to take advantage of the UW defensive weaknesses. Pick: Washington, 35-18.

Notre Dame (plus 7) at Stanford — Suddenly it’s become a bit of a struggle for Stanford — a bad loss to Oregon and a pretty good battle put up by Cal. By the time the Cardinal takes the field Saturday night, it will have a better idea whether it still has a prayer of playing in the national-title game (games like Virginia-Virginia Tech and Auburn-Alabama are important in that equation). Notre Dame is 8-3 and has won four straight. Pick: Stanford, 38-27.

UCLA (plus 14) at USC — This may be Rick Neuheisel’s last stand at UCLA, although the Bruins are headed to a bowl game at 6-5. The Trojans have completely had their way in the series of late, winning all but one of the past 12 meetings. I think UCLA acquits itself well, but it’s hard to see the Bruins winning. Pick: USC, 36-27.

Louisiana-Lafayette (plus 14) at Arizona — What do you say about this? It’s hard to believe Nick Foles won’t have a field day, but it’s just as hard to believe the Wildcats will play with any fury after their big upset at Arizona State. ULL is a solid third in the Sun Belt Conference at 8-3 and 6-2. The visitors will care more about this one, and could be a handful. Pick: Arizona, 33-30.

Last week: 4-2 (3-3 vs. spread). Season — 58-25 (39-36 vs. spread).

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