Friday, November 30, 2012

Will the Real Pac-12 Champ Please Stand Up?

We now know that Stanford is officially the 2012 Pac-12 champion. They beat UCLA in the conference title game Friday. By the rules of the league, this win indisputably crowns them champs and gets them into the Rose Bowl.

However, is Stanford really the best team in the league? After all, they don't have the best record.

Also, the North Division, South Division divide gives us matchups for the league title that don't pit the best two teams by record.

Here's my ranking of the Pac-12 teams from one to 12...
  1. Oregon, 11-1. All 11 wins were beat downs of the competition. The one loss was in OT.
  2. Stanford, 11-2. To those who say, "yeah, but they beat Oregon...surely that means they are better" I say Stanford lost two games, Oregon only lost one. Also, any team that lost to UW is questionable.
  3. Oregon State, 9-3. Exceeded expectations season for the Beavs. 
  4. UCLA, 9-4. A good record, but they lost to Oregon State, so #4.
  5. USC, 7-5. Lots of tallent, but something went awry this season. Could have beaten any team in the league, but managed to lose four times.
  6. Washington, 7-5. The Huskies season can be summarized by saying: coulda, shoulda, woulda...didn't.
  7. ASU, 7-5. Ho-hum. Another so-so year for the Sun Devils.
  8. Arizona, 7-5. Same comment as for ASU. A lot of hype with the new coach and system coming in...same result as most years.
  9. Utah, 5-7. Utes were a non-factor in the league this year. Will they ever be?
  10. Cal, 3-9. Disapointment upon disapointment this season for the Golden Bears.
  11. WSU, 3-9. #11 with a bullet after beating UW in the Apple Cup. Still a long ways to go though.
  12. Colorado, 1-11. Sure, their one win was agains WSU, but...still only one win.
So there you go. I'd say that a more realistic matchup for the league title after all games are played is a re-match of Oregon vs. Stanford. What? You say that's lame becuase the two already played and Stanford won? Hogwash I say. Look at the actual title's a rematch of UCLA vs. Stanford  played only a week ago in which Stanford won.

Oh well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pac-12 Football Season Comes to End

Oh boy, the last weekend of the Pac-12 football season held many surprises and sobering conclusions.

Where to begin? Well, lets start with the biggest results and impacts.

First, Stanford beat UCLA. This means that Oregon - despite an 11-1 record and absolutely DOMINATING 11 teams and barely losing in OT to Stanford - is out (out!) of the Pac-12 title game. No Rose Bowl shot and certainly no National Championship game appearance. Wow.

At best, the 11-1 Ducks will appear in the Fiesta or Sugar Bowl - probably Fiesta. BUT...there are a couple scenarios out there in which Oregon would not even be picked for those games and might end up in the Alamo Bowl. Stunning.

It also means the league title game will be Stanford vs. UCLA this weekend. The winner of that game WILL be in the Rose Bowl...against either Nebraska or Wisconsin.

Moving on, the next biggest result in the Pac-12 was USC losing to Notre Dame. USC's season was pretty much toast anyway, but with the win ND nails their appearance in the National Championship Game...probably vs. the SEC title game winner (Alabama or Georgia).

From there, I'd say UW losing to WSU was a surprise. I mean, for all the frikin' talk of the Huskies "being back," this was a low point for their season. They just didn't show up serious and blew a 18 point lead to the lowly Cougars. Good for WSU, shame on UW. These are things that tell you that UW is NOT ready to compete for a league title any time soon.

Pac-12 BCS Bowl Situation

  • Oregon will probably be picked for the Fiesta Bowl (vs. Kansas State) or the Sugar Bowl (vs. Florida). I'd like to see the later but expect the former. And of course, as noted above, the Ducks could be playing a Big 12 also-ran in the Alamo Bowl.
  • Stanford or UCLA will be in the Rose Bowl. The loser of their game next weekend will probably be in a lesser, non-BCS bowl.
And that's it.

Final Standings
With the exception of the league title game, all Pac-12 football teams have completed their 2012 schedule. Here's how things turned out...


  1. Stanford (10-2 overall, 8-1 in league play). Sure, they lost two games, but only one of them was in league play (to UW) and they beat Oregon.
  2. Oregon (11-1, 8-1). Their one loss was to Stanford. And with that, they are aced out of the league title and National Championship.
  3. Oregon State (8-3, 6-3). "Exceeded expectations" season for the Beavs. They actually have one more game to play (vs. Nichols State) that had to be postponed from earlier in the season. No matter, they should get Alamo or Holiday Bowl.
  4. Washington (7-4, 5-4). Wishy-washy season full of "could have, should have...didn't" moments. Las Vegas Bowl or Fight Hunger Bowl await. 
  5. Cal (3-9, 2-7). Unexpectedly poor season. Coach fired. No bowl. 
  6. WSU (3-9, 1-8). Bad season full of controversy. But did you hear, they beat UW in the Apple Cup. All is good on the Palouse. 


  1. UCLA (9-3, 6-3). One of the surprises of the season. Still inconsistent, but the Bruins finally rose above the annual hype to deliver. Could easily be in the Rose Bowl. 
  2. USC (7-5, 5-4). Biggest disappointment of the league. One wonders if the team rolled over after a couple losses and having to put up with their coach.
  3. ASU (7-5, 5-4). Another year, another mediocre season from the Sun Devils. Mid/low tier bowl awaits.
  4. Arizona (7-5, 4-5). Same comment as ASU.
  5. Utah (5-7, 3-6). Second year in the Pac and another poor performance. 
  6. Colorado (1-11, 1-8). Why did the league take this team in?
One last league game before the bowls...

Stanford vs. UCLA for the Pac-12 title in Palo Alto. Stanford will win again and represent the league in the Rose Bowl. Trees 31-UCLA 24.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 Thankful List

With Thanksgiving 2012 upon us, below is a list of 10 things I'm truly thankful for. You can also see another expression of things I'm thankful for in pictures on my Flickr Photostream HERE.

Thankful List 2012
  • My wife Diane - this year we celebrated 15 years of marriage. I love Diane and being with her is the best and most important thing in my life.
  • My health and Diane's - this year offered a reminder that one's health is oh so important and can be a fragile thing. I'll spare you the details other than to say: 1) both of us are just fine and healthy, but 2) you should listen to/observe your body...and if something seems "off" go have it checked out.
  • Family - family is family and I'm thankful to have them.
  • Friends - old and new. Once again, our year was enriched by both continuing our cherished relationships with friends and by meeting new ones we hope we can stay in touch with and enjoy for years to come.
  • Where we live - Seattle is awesome. What's not to like? Sea, mountains, great food scene, great music scene, mild weather compared to 90% of the rest of the country, Canada nearby, WA and OR wine country nearby, San Juan Islands nearby, etc., etc., etc.
  • Our cat. That's right. Our cat...Josie P. Jones. She's 12 years old now and a central part of our everyday life at home. We love you Josie P.
  • That we have the interest, means and health to travel. We went to Peru this year and had a wonderful time, learned new things and saw spectacular sights. Check it all out HERE.
  • The fact that the 2012 elections are over - seriously. Regardless of which side any of us fall on (Republicans and Democrats, Obama and Romney, etc.) I am just glad that damn thing is over. It got pretty annoying and tedious...all too often showcasing the worst of our political system and media. 
  • New things. Nostalgia has its place, and like most people I enjoy things I am used to or that bring back good memories. BUT, I am thankful for new ideas, new music, new art, new places to visit, etc. It keeps you alive and in the moment. After all, if you're not looking forward people, you're just living in the past and that's pretty dang limiting.
  • Great work colleagues. Work is hard enough as it is, so I am thankful that the people I work directly with every day are so good at what they do, dedicated and willing to collaborate. Together, we might just get through this thing! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pac-12 Week 12 Predictions

Well, well, well...what a telling week in the Pac-12. After weeks of half guessing/half assuming we knew which teams were tops in the league, the truth came out finally this past Saturday. Oh how it was reveled...

Oregon lost in OT at home to a very tough Stanford team. We learned that no matter how good Oregon has been up to now, they are NOT as good as first thought and not the first or second best team in the land. Indeed...just like their experience with Ohio State in 2009, Auburn in 2010 and LSU in 2011...Oregon has difficulty with teams that field very big, very strong and fast offensive and defensive lines. Stanford has those. It was the difference in the game. That and, well, Oregon just does not have a place kicker it can trust to make normal field goals in the 35-45 yard range. If they did, they'd have won despite how everything else went. Oh well.

Meanwhile, the myth of USC's return to greatness came crashing down this weekend too as they were finally revealed for the middle of the pack (vs. just unlucky) team through their defeat to UCLA. That's right. UCLA. Sure, USC lost earlier in the season to Stanford and Oregon, but for sure they were going to and should have beat UCLA. They could not.

UCLA has put themselves into position to finally - FINALLY - move out of the "pretender" category and into contedor or champion category with a win vs. Stanford next week and an appearance in the league title game.

And finally, Stanford revealed that they may indeed be the best team in the league. Who would have thought that a few weeks ago when they were a mess and losing to UW?

Pac-12 BCS Situation

Oregon's loss to Stanford virtually eliminates any Pac-12 team from getting into the National Title game. There's a slim, slim chance that if  the now #5 Oregon finishes with just the one loss they may re-enter the running for the #2 spot in that game if others ahead of them lose. But that's really unlikely. Oregon could reach the Rose Bowl if they get some help from UCLA next weekend and the Bruins beat Stanford in LA. That would put the Ducks back into the Pac-12 title game (assuming UO can beat Oregon State next weekend too). Win that and their back in the Rose Bowl. And finally, if Oregon wins against the Beavers but does not make it to the Pac-12 title game because Stanford beats UCLA...the Ducks would still be highly ranked and with only one loss. It could be that one of the other BCS Bowls (Sugar, Fiesta, Orange) pick Oregon to play in their game. Not bad.

UCLA has already won the Pac-12 South. They are in the league title game Nov. 30. Win that and they are in the Rose Bowl. That's their shot at the BCS games.

Stanford can get into that Pac-12 title game if they beat UCLA next Saturday. Do that and then win the title game and they are in the Rose Bowl. That's their shot at the BCS games.

Pac-12 Week 12 Predictions
Games this week are spread across Friday and Saturday. The games Friday will serve as an appetizer for the big, league-defining games on Saturday.

Below, I've listed the Saturday games in order that they will appear on TV in Pacific time. You can see that if you have the day free, you can watch the conference standings finalize right before your very eyes.

Washington vs. WSU in Pullman (Friday). UW is playing well and they are clearly better than WSU. Like the Civil War in Oregon, the Apple Cup usually features weirdness. I think the only weird thing that will happen this year is the WSU will actually hang around in the first half, but in the end UW wins. UW 27-WSU 17.

Arizona vs. ASU in Tempe (Friday). Also-rans jockey for bowl position. Home team wins. ASU 41-UA 38.
Utah vs. Colorado in Boulder (Friday). Like a couple broken down old horses that need to taken back behind a barn and put out of their misery, the Utes and Buffs will wind down their 2012 season in this final game. Utah will win it. UU 27-CU 10.

Oregon vs. Oregon State in Corvallis (Saturday at 12 p.m.). First up on Saturday is the Civil War. Grab your lunch and a cold one and settle in for the first of three critical games. If the Ducks win, they still have a chance at the league title game and/or a BCS game at-large. If the Beavers win, the Ducks are out of the BCS mix completely. Hello Alamo Bowl. The Beavers are playing well and the game is in their stadium. They also have great wide receivers a la USC. But, the Ducks are coming off their one loss and should be angry and looking for redemption. And hey, they are still Oregon. I'm going to say that Oregon rebounds and pulls out a win 34-28.

Stanford vs. UCLA in L.A. (Saturday at 3:30 p.m.) OK, you just watched the Ducks win the Civil War (that's what I predicted afer all, right?), and now you're ready to see if Stanford can kill the Ducks chances for the league title and grab the glory for themselves with a win. Time to break out the mid-afternoon snacks.With the South already sewn up, will UCLA "show up" or roll over? Either way, I think Stanford is the better team and will be motivated to nail down their appearance in the Pac-12 title game. They win. Stanford 28-UCLA 21.   If things go the way I've predicted here, you'll then have a Stanford vs. UCLA re-match in Palo Alto the following weekend to determine the Pac-12 champ. The winner would go to the Rose Bowl. Oregon would then just have to wait a couple weeks to see if one of the other BCS bowl games picks them...and if they don't, again, hello Alamo Bowl.

USC vs. Notre Dame in L.A. (Saturday at 5 p.m.) And then finally, as the Stanford/UCLA game enters it's later stages, you can start to check in on this one to see if Notre Dame can stay undefeated and confirm their participation in the National Championship game or if they finally falter to a ticked off USC squad. I would have said "this is the game where ND loses." But, given how poorly USC has played recently, I now think the "Domers" will win this game. I say ND 22-USC 14.

NOTE: Cal has finished its season. They clocked in at 3-9 overall and 2-7 in league play. No bowl. See you in 2013.

Friday, November 9, 2012

More Post-Election Thoughts

As the 2012 elections start to slide into the rear view mirror, here are a few more post-election thoughts as we close out the week...

Healthcare Reform Affirmed. OK, the healthcare reform law - "Obamacare" - has now stood two MAJOR tests and been affirmed. First, the law was reviewed and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court - a court with a conservative majority mind you. Second, the American public had a chance to reverse course on the law by not re-electing Obama...choosing Romney instead. After all, one of Romney's big boasts was that on "day one" of his administration he'd start the process for nullifying the Obama healthcare law. But, the American public chose differently.

So there you go. While I am under no illusion that conservatives will attempt to undo the law going forward - and by that I mean for as long as it takes - for now it would appear that the law is here to stay.

Guns. I read today that stock prices for gun companies are going up in the wake of the election. Apparently this is because gun sales are expected (or perhaps are now) on the rise due to the re-election of Obama to the know, gun nuts thinking that they better get their guns now before Obama eliminates guns altogether. By the way, this happened in 2008 after Obama was elected the first time. Guess how much gun control the Obama administration doled out over the last four year? None. Gun nuts don't need much to get them all agitated that the "gov-mint" is going to "take their guns," and Obama's re-election is just a big flashy reason many react to. Prediction: no gun control in a second Obama term.

"The Right Wing Bubble." If you were to believe what the Romney campaign, Fox News and the conservative "super PACs" and pundits (I'm thinking of you Karl Rove) were saying right up to and into election day, Romney would have won this week by several points in the popular vote and by a nice margin in the electoral college. Sure, the race was pretty close, but how could they have been so wrong? Based on some of the commentary I've been hearing since Tuesday, one big reason is that the right really is inside their own "bubble" of beliefs.

Normally, the Republicans create, propagate and reinforce their own reality of things in hopes of swaying the public to vote for them or against their opponents. Facts are not an issue. That in and of itself is, well, kind of expected. Where I think they went wrong this time is that the candidates, campaign leaders, commentators, pollsters and agitators on the right actually started believing their own stuff as reality...and tuned out any other opinions or info that would contradict. So, they had a closed loop of sketchy info masquerading as the truth. They accepted their version of the truth as the only version of the truth. For example, polls showing Romney ahead in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Polls showing that Latinos would vote in decent numbers for Romney. Speculation that rage over the economy and what happened in Benghazi, Libya would drive conservative and moderate voter turnout sky high and in their favor...and stuff like that. Put together, it created a reality in which conservatives believed they would win.

But their bubble was popped Tuesday night as their reality collided with actual reality.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 10 Pac-12 Predictions

Well, well, well...things are starting to be clarified in the Pac-12 and nationally. Big wins by Oregon and Oregon State this week really show them off to be - along with USC - the class of the league.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame was expossed a bit as a pretender by barely beating a weak Pitt team at home in tripple overtime...and they paid the price for that by dropping in the national rankings behind Oregon.

Below is my Pac-12 BCS update and predictions for next week's games...

Pac-12 BCS Situation
Oregon is in the driver seat. Win out and they'll very likely be in the title game vs. either Alabama or Kansas State. And hey, even if they "only" win the Pac-12 title, they'll be in the Rose Bowl.

Oregon State is looking pretty good for a BCS game too. If they win out and win the league title game, that will mean they beat Oregon and the South champ. If that happens, the Beavers would at minimum be in the Rose Bowl. It's also possible that the Beavers win all the rest of their games except Oregon, finish at 11-1 and get picked up for BCS game anyway - Rose bieng the likely one.

USC, ASU and UCLA all have shots at winning the South and appearing in the Pac-12 title game...and hence, in theory, a shot at the Rose Bowl.

What I think will happen this week...

Oregon vs. Cal in Berkley. At Cal is usually a tough one for Oregon. Not this year. Yes, it's the road and yes perhaps the Ducks are suseptable to the letdown after beating USC. But I'm going to say that Oregon is just too good to lose to a depleated and demotivated Cal. Ain't going to happen. UO 31- Cal 21.

Washington vs. Utah in Seattle. UW wins this one at home to get their third in a row and become bowl eligible. I say UW 24-UU 13.

Washington State vs. UCLA in Pullman. Demotivated WSU vs. schizophrenic UCLA. The Bruins are the better team and I think they'll win. UCLA 28-WSU 17.

Oregon State vs. Stanford at Palo Alto. Hmmm. Interesting game here. I'd like to think Stanford would take care of business at home, but the Beavers are playing well. I say OSU 26-Stanford 21.

USC vs. ASU in L.A. USC has lost two in a row. But they're still USC while ASU is, well, still ASU. Talent kills hype in this one. USC 41-ASU 24.

Arizona vs. Colorado in Tucson. Arizona blew the momentum gained by beating USC by not showing up vs. UCLA last weekend and losing big. But, they're still better than Colorado and will win. UA 31-CU 9.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Election Thoughts

Here are a few "day after" thoughts on the national election results...


  • You lost the Presidential race and you need to move on. Sure, it was close in the popular vote, but you lost that and - more important - were clubbed in the electoral college. Your team has won a lot in the past (Reagan, both Bushes, Congressional majorities for the most part over the last 20 years)...but not now. Obama is the President. He is not a foreigner, a socialist, a communist or the anti-Christ. Cleanse yourself of that baggage. He is the twice elected President of the USA. Accept and move on.
  • You need to re-think how you approach national races. Your strategy of trying to win by maximizing voter turnout in areas you have an advantage (rural/suburban, white, male, older) in hopes that this counterbalances turnout in the cities and among minorities and women? It failed. It might have worked in 2000 or 2004, but the nation is changing demographically. It's becoming a more ethnically diverse and accepting place. Doubling down on right wing policies that appeal to middle age white guys in the countryside ain't cutting it and won't going forward. Reinvent your party and have a shot. Don't and really risk not seeing the White House for quite a while.
  • You need to legitimately work with Democrats to get things done rather than instantly go back to the "party of no" mode to spite Obama and try and set up a R win in 2016. You need to re-define your idea of compromise as something other than demanding the Democrats coming over to do what you want or "no deal." The nation is tired of all that and you are not serving the citizenry by doing that.


  • Go play the lottery right now. Why? You just got REALLY LUCKY. Recognize that Obama's victory is not some sort of massive mandate for his leadership and ideas. You should not gloat. 
  • It's time to get specific. A lot of Obama's campaign - and many Congressional candidates too - was more about not electing the opposition (and wow, the Rs sure put up candidates that were easy to target that way). You did not really run on a clear vision with specific ideas for the next few years. You need to get specific. Set a few clear goals and work to get them done. 
  • You too need to work with the Rs. You need to try and work with conservatives to achieve your clear goals. That should be your default first move. It's the right thing to do and will likely result in more things getting done. also need to know how to put pressure on the Republicans if or when they revert to simply obstructing everything you want to do. Figure out what will motivate them and exploit that. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

What You Will Be Thinking Election Night

Well, here we are...the day before Election Day 2012. Who will our next president be? What will the makeup of Congress and state legislatures be all across the nation. Ballot measures, governorships and dog catchers - all are in the offing on Tuesday.

I've already voted. Mail in ballots are the only way to vote in Washington state. But, for most Americans, they will still actually go to the ballot box on Tuesday and cast a vote for President for either Willard "Mitt" Romney or Barack Hussein Obama. (Side note: wow, perhaps the all time "name" match up for president?)

To supporters of each candidate, below are a couple thoughts about how this is all going to go down and what I think you'll be thinking election day...

To Romney supporters I say: deep down in your heart of hearts, you know Romney is going to fall short. Sure, it'll be close, and sure he's within striking distance and sure in your mind you believe that his election is essential. But, you also know that Romney is at best tied in the national popular vote and is at a disadvantage in the electoral college. You know that even if Romney eeks out a popular vote win, it's unlikely that he will win enough big states to put him over 270 in the electoral college...especially compared to Obama and the states he is leading in. You will think just how unjust it is that a leader who has presided over an economy that has shown sluggish progress in four years is going to rewarded with another term. This will gall you. You will suddenly become vocal opponents of the electoral college system. But then, right after Romney concedes the election, you will have a revelation. You will start thinking about how "fun" it's going to be to dog, stymie, obstruct and undermine Obama for the next four years.

Obama supporters I say: deep down in your heart of hearts, you know this is going to be a very, very uncomfortably close result...and that it should never have been so. You will be sweating it out and at least twice during election night you will panic and think, "Oh my God, we're going to lose this thing." You will cast your mind back to how Obama blew his first two years in office with majorities in Congress in his attempts to "work across the aisle" and "engage" with Republicans. You will think about how truly bad that first debate was for Obama and how that gave Romney new life. But mostly, you'll be kicking yourself that Obama isn't posting an absolutely dominating win against the draft dodging, tax dodging, anti-women, anti-gay, job exporting, "voodoo economics" pedaling wooden aristocrat that is Mitt Romney.

On Wednesday morning, you will either wake up hung over and overjoyed or hung over and pissed off depending on who you voted for. And then, as it always does, America will go onward.

And hey, think about this: If your guy does not win, the 2016 race will probably start in about 12 you have that to look forward to.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Week 9 Pac-12 Predictions

Some surprises last weekend. USC lost to Arizona and UW beat Oregon State. Just goes to show you that as much as you think you know how things will never know.

Here is my little BCS overview and Week 9 predictions...

Pac-12 BCS Bowl Situation
Some significant movement this week in the BSC situation...mostly not good for the Pac-12.
  • #4 Oregon won once again, leaving them as one of four undefeated teams at the top of the rankings. But, once again, Oregon was not rewarded for their win while other around them in the ranks were. #1 Alabama won, #2 Florida lost, #3 Kansas State won and #5 Notre Dame won. So, Ducks should be #3 now, right? Wrong, the BSC now has Notre Dame skipping over Oregon to the #3 spot. Meanwhile Kansas State slides up to #2. Sigh. 
  • Meanwhile, USC lost and they now have two league losses. That eliminates them from the National Title hunt and puts their chances for a league title and Rose Bowl berth in serious jeopardy. It also devalues any Oregon win over them a bit...which won't help Oregon's chances of moving up.
  • Oregon State lost for the first time. This will virtually knock them out of any talk of a National Title appearance, but they are still alive for a league title and Rose Bowl with tough games coming up.
Oregon, Oregon State, USC, Arizona, UCLA and ASU all still have a shot at the league title and the Rose Bowl.

Other than that, opportunities for any other Pac-12 team for the league title are slim or none.

Oregon could get to the National Title game if it wins all the rest of its games and finishes 13-0. Or, they may still do that and be "relegated" to the Rose Bowl.

It is also possible that if Oregon wins all its games except the Civil War against Oregon could possibly still appear in a BSC Bowl as an at-large selection with a 12-1 record. Oregon State would probably not in a similar scenario because they'd have two losses if they lose the Civil War.

We'll see what next week brings. Meanwhile, here's what I think will happen this week...

Oregon vs. USC in L.A. The big one. But it got a little less big last weekend with USC choking against Arizona. None the less, Oregon's hopes for a National Title run faces a significant test here. And, both teams have a lot to play for in terms of a shot at the league title and, at worst, the Rose Bowl berth that it would earn them. I think this will be a close game - no blowout. I think both squads present significant challenges against the other. I would not be shocked if USC won this game, but sitting here thinking about all the previous games for both teams this season, I think Oregon is a bit better overall and has more depth. So, I'm going to say Oregon 34-USC 27.

Oregon State vs. ASU in Corvallis. Toss up. ASU has the talent to win, OSU may be feeling deflated after their loss to UW. I just have a feeling ASU is going to come into this one and play well...and win. I say ASU 31-OSU 24.

Stanford vs. Colorado in Boulder. It just doesn't get any easier for Colorado following successive games against USC and Oregon. Now comes Stanford. Stanford 44-CU 17.

UW vs. Cal in Berkley. UW is feeling good. Cal is not. UW does not play well on the road. Cal is at home. Both teams are wildly inconsistent. Hmm. OK, I'll say UW reverts back to its road woes and Cal wins 24-17.

WSU vs. Utah in Salt Lake City. Neither team is impressive or all that fun to watch. I'll say UU 21- WSU 20.

UCLA vs. Arizona in L.A. "Fools Gold Bowl II." Both annual pretenders to the league crown. One will win and extend their fantasy one more week while the other will lose and fulfill their yearly dive to the lower reaches of the standings. I say Arizona finally takes their step forward and wins. UA 35-UCLA 22.