Pac-12 football is back and we at EDN Sports will do a weekly Pac-12 Pick’em. Each week we’ll give you our picks and track how we’ve done so far.
Season Pick’em Standings:
- Alex Shoemaker: 57-11 (4-0 last week)
- Ryan Beltram: 53-15 (3-1)
- Isaac Rosenthal: 53-15 (3-1)
- Corey Buchanan: 52-16 (3-1)
- Franklin Bains: 50-18 (2-2)
- David Saez: 50-18 (3-1)* editor’s note below
No. 3 Oregon (8-0, 5-0) at No. 5 Stanford (7-1, 5-1) 6 p.m., ESPN (Comcast 35)
All eyes will be on Palo Alto Thursday night for the showdown between the Ducks and Cardinal, two BCS experienced teams with huge national title game implications. The Ducks sit at No. 3 in the BCS standings behind Florida State and need a victory to stay in the hunt for the coveted crystal football.
X-factor: Trent Murphy vs. Byron Marshall. The rushing battle between these squads will determine the outcome. Both Marshall and Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney rank among the nation’s best ball-carriers, but with Stanford end Ben Gardner out, the task falls solely to Murphy who has possibly the tougher task in taking down the surging sophomore and his sturdy line.
Alex: Oregon Isaac: Oregon Corey: Oregon Franklin: Oregon Ryan: Oregon
USC (6-3, 3-2) at California (1-8, 0-6) 12 p.m., Fox (Comcast 5)
Following a disastrous start to the season, the USC Trojans are winners of three of their last four games and on the outside looking in at a potential Pac-12 title game appearance should they run the table. Meanwhile for the Bears, this season is lost beyond recovery. With the worst record in the conference, an upset win could spark some momentum for next season.
X-factor: Chris Harper vs. USC Secondary. The battle in the defensive backfield is Cal’s opportunity to strike as they are heavily overmatched in this one. The Bears will need freshman Jared Goff on point, but more importantly their receivers to work into open space, to have a chance against the Trojans that they haven’t beaten in nine years. There have been a lot of good Golden Bear teams in that time; Sonny Dykes and co. will need to take some chances in this one — this isn’t one of them.
Alex: USC Isaac: USC Corey: USC Franklin: USC Ryan: USC
No. 22 Arizona State (6-2, 4-1) at Utah (4-4, 1-4) 1 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Comcast 420)
Utah has been one of the difficult teams in the Pac-12 to figure out all season. With impressive performances against Stanford and UCLA, this team has shown promise of being one of the best second-tier teams. But bad losses to Arizona and USC the past two games, this team could be on the verge of crumbling. However, a bye week to prepare for the Pac-12 South leading Sun Devils could be exactly that they need to turn this season around.
X-factor: Utah Defensive Front vs. ASU O Line. Utah’s first seven on defense are a quality bunch and they can get some damage done up front, especially against an ASU line that hasn’t really been tested. Utah has been known to keep games interesting this season and that won’t change this week if the Ute linebackers keep spark plug Marion Grice in front of them.
Alex: ASU Isaac: ASU Corey: ASU Franklin: Utah Ryan: ASU
Colorado (3-5, 0-5) at Washington (5-3, 2-3) 5 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Comcast 420)
The Washington Huskies appear to have stopped the bleeding after three straight losses to Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State with last weekend’s win over Cal. Not that a win over Cal really says much at all. While it wouldn’t be nice to cal the Bu
X-factor: Keith Price vs. CU Secondary Depth. Colorado HB Michael Adkins and DB Kenneth Crawley have missed practice this week and early on it was unclear whether they would be able to play Saturday. They returned late Tuesday, but how much will that drama affect an already questionable Buffalo defense? Knowing Sankey will get his yards (look for him to outgain Byron Marshall’s 122 by a distance), Price and the receivers should take advantage of the second level.
Alex: Washington Isaac: Washington Corey: Washington Franklin: Washington Ryan: Washington
No. 19 UCLA (6-2, 3-2) at Arizona (6-2, 3-2) 7 p.m., ESPN (Comcast 35)
Besides Oregon at Stanford, this game is clearly the matchup of the week for the conference. Both UCLA and Arizona are a game behind ASU in the South and a loss will more than likely spoil any chances of competing in the Pac-12 title game, baring complete anarchy. Both of these teams have backloaded schedules. UCLA faces Washington, ASU and USC following this game while Arizona has games against Washington State, Oregon and ASU. Neither team can afford to lose again.
X-factor: Ka’Deem Carey vs. Anthony Barr. Can anyone stop Carey? If anyone, it’ll probably be Barr, one of the country’s best defensive players. In a battle between an unstoppable force and an immovable object, the immovable object that happens to wear the same colors as Brett Hundley will have an advantage. The Arizona rushing game is something else this year, but it likely won’t be enough against UCLA’s cabal of linebackers led by fearsome Anthony. But if they have a chance it all goes through Carey.
Alex: UCLA Isaac: UCLA Corey: UCLA Franklin: UCLA Ryan: Arizona
Note: David Saez is no longer with EDN and no longer participating in our weekly Pac-12 Pick’em. EDN is sad to see such a good writer go, but wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.