Four Pac-12 teams in bowl action on Monday and Tuesday, all of them big favorites. Oregon and Arizona State are two of the bigger favorites in the entire bowl season, in fact.
Oregon (minus 14) vs. Texas, Alamo — Part of me says Oregon has a big need to flush all the frustration of November and will want to show well on a national stage. And the other part says this is Texas’ last game, and the Longhorns will be trying to send Mack Brown out a winner. I’m guessing the ‘Horns have enough juice to make this interesting for awhile, but Oregon turns on the jets late. Marcus Mariota should be healthier than he’s been in some time. Oregon 47, Texas 31.
Arizona State (minus 14) vs. Texas Tech, Holiday — The Sun Devils can pick off a rare 11th win, while the Red Raiders haven’t won since Oct. 19. Good grief, that’s 10 weeks ago. ASU will be without Marion Grice, so that’s the disclaimer on what should otherwise be a decisive victory. Tech has shown some ability to score, even through its five-game losing streak, and in a likely offensive game, should keep it relatively competitive. Arizona State 42, Texas Tech 30.
Arizona (minus 7.5) vs. Boston College, AdvoCare V100 — This is the matchup of two of the nation’s leading runners, Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey and BC’s Andre Williams, who has 2,102 yards. BC had competitive losses to Clemson and Florida State, and Arizona’s B.J. Denker isn’t enough of a thrower to project a one-sided win. Here’s a weird stat: Despite a 7-5 record, BC surrendered 59 more first downs than it gained. Arizona prevails, but it’s close. Arizona 28, Boston College 26.
UCLA (minus 7) vs. Virginia Tech, Sun — No doubt Virginia Tech will have the motivational edge here as an underdog. But Tech has rushed for only 1,414 yards and QB Logan Thomas has a modest 16-13 TD-interception ratio. I think the Bruins come focused and ready, remembering how they were shamed by Baylor in last year’s Holiday Bowl. UCLA 30, Virginia Tech 14.
Record on Pac-12 bowl games — 2-2. Versus the spread — 2-2.