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Pac-12 Confidential

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

January 1, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Pac-12 picks: The Fiesta Bowl

Stanford’s workmanlike, 20-14 Rose Bowl victory Tuesday over Wisconsin did something the Pac-12 hadn’t done since 2008, hard as it is to believe: It gave the league a third bowl victory.

The record the past three seasons:

2011: 2-5.

2010: 2-2.

2009: 2-5.

This has hardly been a bowl season to remember for the Pac-12, which is now 3-4. But the Cardinal did save a little face, even as it had to sweat against an 8-5 team from the downtrodden Big Ten.

The finale of the eight games involving the league comes Thursday night, when Oregon meets Kansas State, a nine-point underdog to the Ducks.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been burned by the Ducks, underestimating their ability to blow open a close game and make it a rout. And if there’s a conventional wisdom to this game, it’s that Oregon has too much speed for K-State. That’s a theory that has gained speed with the Wildcats’ inability to quell Baylor’s rapid-fire attack in the 52-24 loss Nov. 17 (the same night Oregon fell out of the national-title race by losing to Stanford).

Although you hold your breath at what Oregon coach Chip Kelly might concoct with several weeks to prepare, he isn’t exactly going against a stiff in K-State’s Bill Snyder. I think somehow Snyder might have enough to keep it close in a lower-scoring game than a lot of people are anticipating (not low, however). The Wildcats will need big games from people like All-Big 12 defensive tackle Meshak Williams and the league’s defensive player of the year in linebacker Arthur Brown. Oregon 35, Kansas State 30.

Blog bowl record — 3-4. Against the spread — 4-2-1.

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