Needless to say, I haven’t had a banner season forecasting the Pac-12 this year. We’ll take one more stab at it in the league championship game.
Arizona (plus 14.5)-Oregon at Levi’s Stadium — The popular narrative is that Arizona has Oregon’s number, that Rich Rodriguez simply knows the spread-option offense inside and out and is one step ahead of the Ducks. We’ll see. It could be that (a) Arizona caught Oregon with a dinged-up Marcus Mariota last year, and (b) that the Ducks simply turned in a clunker in the 2014 game in Eugene, while they were enduring a lot of injuries up front. Indeed, the tape will show that Oregon’s Byron Marshall dropped a key early pass deep in Arizona territory, and on another play, a gulf opened wide for Mariota up the middle, and he promptly tripped over his own feet. As for the setting, here’s a worthwhile read from Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News on the move to Levi’s Stadium for the first of three games. The place may not solve the Pac-12’s fundamental problem of yawning geography and general inability of fans to drive to the site, something not prevalent in the other league championship games. At any rate, I’m taking Oregon to go into the game with a take-no-prisoners mentality, win big and clinch a spot in the first college playoff. Oregon 44, Arizona 20.
Last week — 4-3 (3-4 versus the spread). Season — 62-29 (36-46-1 versus the spread).