Posted on November 5, 2021
So how did I do? For the second-straight week, I went 4-2.
Sure, I missed on Washington State’s upset of ASU—I mean, who saw that one coming?—as well as on UCLA’s complete collapse at Utah. But I was right on the money with my upset special, only Cal won by one more touchdown than I projected.
That improves my overall record to 17-9 over the past five weeks. I would stand up and take a bow, but the people in this coffeeshop are already staring at me. (I should probably stop laughing at my own writing.)
Anyway, the past is the past, and these picks are all about predicting the future. And just so you know, I make them without tarot cards, a crystal ball, astrology, the I Ching, or any other fortunetelling method. (OK, I did flip a coin once.)
As always, my selections come with incredibly accurate game scores and just enough commentary to get me though a large coffee and three of these mini vanilla scones I’m munching on at Starbucks.
Utah 23, Stanford 17
In this contest we have two teams headed in entirely opposite directions. For Stanford, the loss to UW signifies this program is in complete rebuild mode.
If it wasn’t official already, it is now: The Cardinal are a joke.
For the Utes, last week’s dominant performance is indicative of a team geared toward a championship run. Ever since Cameron Rising got the starting nod this program has quickly returned to upper echelon status.
I don’t even have any jokes, so good work, Utes.
Utah by a half-dozen.
Cal 31, Arizona 13
The Arizona coaching staff and players probably think this is a winnable game. They’re playing a team with a losing record, at home, and have absolutely nothing to lose.
The only problem is, they’re still themselves.
Cal has a number of players on covid protocol, however, and that may effect the equation.
The Bears enter the matchup on a two-game winning streak and still have an outside shot to qualify for a bowl. The Golden Bears also feature the best quarterback in the Pac-12 in Chase Garbers.
As long as covid hasn’t knocked out too many key players, and Garbers doesn’t play like a Madden Quarterback on “Rookie” difficulty, Cal should cruise.
Bears by 18.
Oregon State 28, Colorado 14
We’re this deep into the season and yet I still have to talk about Buffs quarterback Brendon Lewis. But actually, at this point, it falls on Head Coach Karl Dorrell.
I understand building for the future but not in exchange for sacrificing the present. Minus the signal caller position, CU could actually hang with the Beavs; the talent gap isn’t that wide.
But when you have one team that believes in itself and one that doesn’t, the result has already been decided.
Beavs by two touchdowns.
Oregon 34, Washington 21
♪ Oh where oh where did my little Dawgs go, oh where oh where could they beeeee? ♫
We all knew entering the season that UW’s passing attack would likely struggle, but maybe what we didn’t account for is how porous their rush defense would prove to be.
The Ducks should be able to take advantage of a Husky defense that’s allowing 178.0 rushing yards per game. Expect consistent runs, Travis Dye touchdowns, and a play action attack that could loosen the Dawgs secondary.
Oregon isn’t necessarily playing good, but still good enough to beat the poodles.
Whatever the outcome, this is always one heck of a rivalry.
Ducks by 13.
[For a more on the rivalry, check out my Nick Bartlett Video Show.]
Arizona State 31, USC 28
Ever since Donte Williams took over for the Trojans, they’ve posted a 2-2 mark with their only victories coming against the dregs of the Pac-12.
Williams appears like a man who wants things to go right, rather than know they will, and that won’t take you far at USC…
For ASU, their coming off arguably their worst loss of the Herm Edwards era. It’s unlikely they’ll commit three turnovers in the first quarter again.
Their performance was so bad last week that I won’t even make a cheaters reference.
Devils by three.
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