Now that you’ve woken up from your turkey coma, it’s time to get down to business. The last week of the Pac-12 regular season is finally here. With only six games on the docket, yours truly can go 0-6 and still finish above .500 on the season. But what fun would that be? Tis the season of giving, so this scribe intends to provide winners only. Week 14 kicks off with the 112th edition of the Apple Cup (Washington State/Washington) Friday night. Sprinkle in The Civil War (Oregon State/Oregon), The Rumble in the Rockies (Colorado/Utah) and the Duel in the Desert (Arizona/Arizona State), and anything can happen on this final week.
Here are my picks for Week 14. As always, tread lightly.
Overall Record: 41-34-1
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29
Washington State (6-5, 3-5 Pac-12) vs. Washington (6-5, 3-5 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 2:00pm MT, Fox
Spread: Washington -7 1⁄2 (o/u 63 1⁄2 )
After a disappointing six-point loss at Colorado, the Huskies return home for the 112th edition of the Apple Cup. Washington leads the all-time series 73-32-6; and have won nine of the last ten against their rivals from Pullman. Mike Leach’s air-raid attack has been shut down in their last three trips to Seattle; and I expect that trend to continue Friday night. Washington junior running back Salvon Ahmed - who rushed for 87 yards on nine carries last year versus Washington State - should bounce back from a poor performance against Colorado and be the difference maker in this one. Take the Huskies giving 7.5.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30
Oregon State (5-6, 4-4 Pac-12) vs. #14 Oregon (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 2:00pm MT, Pac-12 Networks
Spread: Oregon -19 1⁄2 (o/u 66)
The Ducks are back at Autzen Stadium after a three-point loss at Arizona State last week which essentially dropped them out of College Football Playoff contention. Oregon State is coming off a heartbreaking one-point loss at Washington State. A win against the Cougars would’ve made them bowl eligible for the first time since 2013. The Beavers are 8-3 ATS this season, but 5-0 ATS in road games. While Oregon should win, give me Oregon State getting 19.5 in the 123rd edition of this historic rivalry.
#16 Notre Dame (9-2) vs. Stanford (4-7)
Time, Network: 2:00pm MT, Fox
Spread: Notre Dame -16 1⁄2 (o/u 46 1⁄2 )
The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 19-13-0, but haven’t won on The Farm in 12 years. Don’t let recent history sway you. Irish quarterback Ian Book should have a field day against a Stanford defense that allowed 357 total yards (285 pass, 72 rush) to California’s Chase Garbers last week. I’m taking Notre Dame giving 16.5.
Colorado (5-6, 3-5 Pac-12) vs. #6 Utah (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 5:30pm MT, ABC
Spread: Utah -28 (o/u 49 1⁄2 )
The Buffaloes take to the road to face perhaps the best Utes squad since the schools joined the Pac-12 in 2011. Colorado is 2-6 against Utah since then, but six of those contests were decided by seven points or less. Utah enters with the top rush defense in the nation, allowing an astounding 55.9 yards per game. That said, expect Colorado to counter behind the arm of Steven Montez and wideouts Laviska Shenault and Tony Brown. As much as I want the Buffs to shock the world, the Utes will win this one. But will they win by 28 points? No sir. Give me Colorado getting 28 points.
Arizona (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) vs. Arizona State (6-5, 3-5 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 8:00pm MT, ESPN
Spread: Arizona State -13 1⁄2 (o/u 59 1⁄2 )
I’m not going to beat around the bush with these final two picks. The Sun Devils are coming off a huge upset over Oregon, while the Wildcats have dropped six straight. After scoring a total of 13 points in their last two games, (losses at Oregon and vs. Utah) Arizona will put enough points on the board against Arizona State to keep this rivalry game close. I’m rolling with the Wildcats getting 13.5
California (6-5, 3-5 Pac-12) vs. UCLA (4-7, 4-4 Pac-12)
Time, Network: 8:30pm MT, Fox Sports 1
Spread: California -1 (o/u 50 1⁄2 )
The Bruins have won five of their last six against the Golden Bears dating back to 2013, scoring 30-or-more points in each of those wins. But as I mentioned earlier, don’t let recent history sway you. Chase Garbers returned from injury last week to lead California to a thrilling 24-20 win over Stanford. The Golden Bears are 11-2 in games where Garbers plays more than a half. In Chase I trust. I’m taking California to win.
*Point spreads are as of Friday, November 29 per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook unless noted*