The Trojans struggled to put away Arizona last weekend, but managed to ride an offensive explosion in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Wildcats. This week, they enter their matchup with Colorado as a 16-point favorite, but the Buffaloes shouldn't be so easily dismissed at home. We've seen USC lose a non-Saturday matchup before, and standing at 4-6, the Buffs need a win as they fight for bowl-eligibility. They should present the Trojans another strong road test.
Prediction: USC 38, Colorado 24
Both teams have been inconsistent this season, but one group's inconsistent play is a bit more encouraging than the other. The Sun Devils haven't been able to follow up lofty offseason expectations this season, but have flashed their ability to compete at a high level in recent contests. Meanwhile, the younger and less-experienced Huskies have put their potential for dominance on display on multiple occasions throughout the year, but haven't been able to consistently do so.
Whichever team manages to channel its best form will be the victor here and take a step closer to bowl eligibility.
Prediction: Washington 23, ASU 29
Oregon Ducks @ No. 7 Stanford Cardinal
Game of the Week. Every year, the Ducks and Cardinal manage to find themselves jostling for the top spot in the North, and while this won't be the immediately-deciding factor in how the standings finish, the Ducks have a chance to derail Stanford's chances of reaching the College Football Playoff amidst their strong run. Here's to another great chapter in what's grown to become one of the most epic clashes in recent Pac-12 history.
Prediction: Oregon 33, Stanford 37
No. 10 Utah Utes @ Arizona Wildcats
The Utes were helped out by Pac-12 referees and a fallout by the Huskies en route to winning their eighth game of the season last weekend, and the Wildcats managed to blow a fourth-quarter lead to drop their fifth game of the year.
Throughout the year, and despite being a highly-ranked team, Utah hasn't received much love from Vegas as far as pre-game spreads are concerned. However, this week, the Utes stand as six-point favorites. Is it a sign? (Probably not, but that's what the comments section below is for.)
Prediction: Utah 24, Arizona 28
Cal has had a rough time getting going in conference play after a strong start to the season. Here, they are handed a reeling Oregon State team at home. Perhaps the Beavers give them their best punch, but we doubt it.
Prediction: Oregon State 27, Cal 45
Washington State Cougars @ No. 19 UCLA Bruins
Not sure if you are, but I am personally glad this game is slotted to start after the Stanford-Oregon game. The Cougars bounced back from their loss against Stanford with a relatively comfortable win over ASU, and despite being on the road, should be able to generate some offense against what's been a suspect Bruins defense this season. Still, don't count out the Bruins young signal-caller to put up some yards of his own.
Prediction: Washington State 34, UCLA 38
Here's an alternate breakdown of this week's matchups with Mark Rogers for those interested in hearing a different point of view.