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Pac-12 Confidential

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

December 30, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Pac-12 picks: Foster Farms — Stanford-Maryland

The Pac-12 is off to a decent start in its bowl games. I say “decent,” rather than “roaring,” because the Saturday wins by Arizona State over Duke and USC over Nebraska became tenuous, and both were considerable favorites. So though both got victories, and that’s the main thing, they ended up being less than convincing.

Onward . . .

Foster Farms, Maryland (plus 14)-Stanford — The Cardinal is the biggest favorite of all 38 bowls this year, as the line has crept to 14.5 in some quarters. And for good reason — the Terps are three time zones from home, Stanford (7-5) is a short bus ride away, and all the statistics seem to favor the Cardinal. Maryland (also 7-5) was 108th in the nation in total offense, and the quarterback, C.J. Brown, has a meager 114.3 passer rating. That ought to be a sweet recipe for Stanford’s excellent defense. Nor did Maryland have a 600-yard rusher. What gives me slight pause regarding the big spread is that Stanford generally has been a team that plays it close, and its explosive receiver/return man Ty Montgomery is out of the game. It’s debatable how effective the Maryland version of Montgomery, Stefon Diggs, will be after not being on a field for two months because of a lacerated kidney but he has been cleared to play. Hard to see Stanford losing here, but I’m going to take the Terps to have a bit of a chip on their shoulders and hang around. Stanford 35, Maryland 24.

Bowl picks record — 3-0. Against the spread — 2-1.

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