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Pac-12 Confidential

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

January 2, 2015 at 8:52 AM

Pac-12 picks, the finale: Alamo, Cactus

It’s been a pretty productive post-season for the Pac-12, which bumped its bowl record to 5-1 when Oregon thrashed Florida State on New Year’s Day. You can minimize some of the Pac-12 performances as subject to factors like motivation and a matchup with a lesser team, but that Oregon-FSU game was a clear indicator that the Pac-12 of 2014 was a very good league.

Onward . . .

Alamo, UCLA (minus 1.5) vs. Kansas State — The line has moved all the way from UCLA as a 2.5-point underdog to the Bruins as a slight favorite, and I think that’s as it should be. UCLA has been a bit flighty this year (witness its rotten Thanksgiving-weekend performance against Stanford with the Pac-12 South title on the line), but it should be athletically better than Kansas State. It’ll be interesting to see how the Bruins run the ball against K-State, as they average 199 yards on the ground, while KSU allows a respectable 124. Preparedness will be worth watching: You know Bill Snyder’s KSU team will be; does UCLA and Jim Mora match that? This is Brett Hundley’s final game and you’d like to think he and and his teammates make it a good one. UCLA 30, Kansas State 23.

Cactus, Washington (minus 6) vs. Oklahoma State — Every good Oklahoma State opponent (save for Florida State) absolutely rolled the Cowboys, and I think Washington’s defense handles them tonight. Oke State doesn’t appear of the caliber of recent OSU teams; it rushed for a modest 135 yards a game, threw 16 interceptions, and the starting quarterback, Mason Rudolph, has thrown only 60 passes. I suppose the line is as low as it is because Washington’s offense hasn’t exactly been gangbusters. Still Cyler Miles got better late in the season, and Dwayne Washington proved a big threat at running back. I see a comfortable Husky win, and a fitting cap to what would be a glittering Pac-12 post-season. Washington 34, Oklahoma State 17.

Pac-12 bowl picks — 6-0. Against the spread — 3-3.

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