#8 UCLA (9-2, 6-2) vs. Stanford (6-5, 4-4) in Los Angeles. If UCLA prevails, they win the Pac-12 South Division and will face Oregon for the league championship next weekend. If Stanford wins, the winner of the Territorial Cup takes the South. So who's going to come out on top? I think UCLA is on a roll. They are playing much better and they're at home. Sure, Stanford will present some problems for Bruin QB Hundley, but I think UCLA will be able to score more than Stanford.
My Prediction: UCLA 24-Stanford 17
Actual Score: Stanford 31-UCLA 10. What sound does a bruin make? CHOKE! Wow. They super-blew it at home. And I blew my prediction pretty bad.
TERRITORIAL CUP. #11 Arizona (9-2, 6-2) vs. #13 Arizona State (9-2, 6-2) in Tucson. The winner of this rivalry game will either win the South Division if UCLA stumbles or they will set themselves up for a very good non-playoff bowl game. The loser will still go bowling, but the luster will be a off a bit. My gut tells me ASU has more juice. Despite having a couple surprisingly bad losses (to UCLA and OS), they are one of the most constantly good teams in the league...if that makes sense. UA ain't chopped liver and could win. But, I say the Sun Devils in this one.
My Prediction: ASU 38-UA 28
Actual Score: UA 42-ASU 35. Check out Arizona. I thought this would be close, and it was, but obviously I thought the Sun Devils would prevail. Oh well.
CIVIL WAR. #2 Oregon (10-1, 7-1) vs. Oregon State (5-6, 2-6) in Corvallis. From a distance, this game would appear to be a lock for Oregon. However, as an Oregon fan, I can tell you with 100 percent confidence that the Oregon State Beavers football team will play its best game of the season, by far, in the Civil War. Book it. Their defense will suddenly rise up and look like a brick wall. Book it. And, their QB will slice and dice the Oregon D. Book it.
But here's another thing you can book...Oregon has much better talent across the board and they have Marcus Mariota at QB. And that will make the difference. I only see Oregon losing if either: a) Mariota goes out injured, b) there is some time/space continuum vortex over Corvallis that unleashes a tsunami of Oregon turnovers that the Beavers benefit from directly in points or c) both.
Could the Beavers win? Yes, they "could." They'll score points, but they won't win.
My Prediction: UO 47-OS 31
Actual Score: UO 47-OS 14. Got the UO score right on the number...thought the Beaves would put much more of a fight.
APPLE CUP. Washington (7-5, 3-5) vs. Washington State (3-8, 2-6) in Pullman. This is another "throw the records out" rivalry game. WSU has been plugging away, playing competitive football in most their games but not reaping results. Passing the ball is their forte and they are doing it right now (pretty well) with a new QB coming in mid-season for their injured starter. They want to sting the Huskies to make their season. UW has an up-and-down season - beating inferior teams and losing to same or better teams. And, they've shown a penchant for blowing it via poor coaching decisions when they could have/should have won (UA) or nearly doing so (Eastern Washington). So what does all that mean? I think it means that the Huskies will win a fairly close game.
My Prediction: UW 30-WSU 26
Actual Score: UW 31-WSU 13. Again, I was very accurate on what the winner would do...not so much on their competition.
#25 Utah (7-4, 4-4) vs. Colorado (2-9, 0-8) in Boulder. Utah is bowl eligible and they'll be fighting for that much better of a bowl game that would come with an eighth win. Meanwhile, CU is seeking to finally get a league win this season. They are at home and are not as bad as their record suggest. But Utah is better.
My Prediction: UU 27-CU 17
Actual Score: UU 38-CU 34. CU put up many more points against that Utah defense than I thought...or probably anybody in Salt Lake City did.
USC (7-4, 4-1) vs. Notre Dame (7-4) in Los Angeles. Notre Dame is coming off three losses in a row and USC enters the game losing a stinger to UCLA. Who gets back on the winning track? I say its the Trojans. More talent.
My Prediction: USC 24-ND 20
Actual Score: USC 49-ND 14. Is it that USC finally put it all together? Or, is it that ND is really over-rated? Probably some of both.
Cal (5-6, 2-4) vs. BYU (7-4) in Berkley. People in Berkley and Provo will care about this game. Nobody else will. I say Cal's offense wins the day for the Golden Bears to get them, barely, to bowl eligibility.
My Prediction: Cal 38-BYU 20
Actual Score: BYU 42-Cal 35. Cal misses gaining bowl eligibility. BYU gets to eight wins. The world looks the other way.