At long last, the regular-season schedule is coming to an end for the Pac-12 conference, and there are rivalry games aplenty across the board.
A lot is on the line, as well, both in the North and the South. Up north, we will find out which team will represent the division in the Pac-12 Championship against Utah next week. That team will be decided based on the outcomes of the Washington vs. Washington State game, and the Oregon vs. Oregon State game.
Down south, the division winner has already been decided, but rivalry games between Stanford and Notre Dame, as well as Cal vs. UCLA, are sure to be interesting.
Here are our game predictions for the final week of the regular season:
Colorado Buffaloes vs. No. 19 Utah Utes (-24)
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
There seem to be two outcomes for this game; either that Utes continue to ride the high of upsetting Oregon last week and blow out Colorado, or they experience a bit of a hangover and struggle against the Buffs. Either way, I don’t really see a scenario where Utah loses to Colorado a week before the Pac-12 Championship. They are simply too strong running the ball, and the defense will be able to shut anything that the Buffs try down pretty quickly.
Give me Utah, 31-13.
Washington State Cougars (-1) vs. Washington Huskies
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
The Apple Cup will be one of the more important games of the weekend, as it will help decide who goes to the Pac-12 Championship game to face Utah next week. If Washington State wins, they will need the Ducks to lose in order to make it to Las Vegas next week. If Washington wins, then Oregon State has a path to the conference championship, should they beat Oregon.
I find it hard to see the Huskies winning, mostly because the Cougars are a really solid team on both sides of the ball, and Washington is heading in the opposite direction. Still, in a rivalry game, we know that anything can happen.
Give me Washington State, 27-21.
Arizona Wildcats vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (-20)
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
While this is a rivalry game on paper, I don’t expect it to be particularly close on the field. Arizona State is the far better team, and while the Wildcats have shown some fight this season, the Sun Devils shouldn’t have much trouble winning this one and improving to 8-4 on the season, earning a trip to a nice bowl game.
Give me Arizona State, 42-17.
(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Just like USC vs. Notre Dame, it’s always an intriguing rivalry when the Stanford Cardinal match up against the Fighting Irish.
Unfortunately, Notre Dame is far, far better than Stanford this year, and they are on the outskirts of the College Football Playoff, so they will have a lot to play for in hopes of moving up in the rankings. Stanford had a nice day in the sun earlier this year when upsetting the Ducks, but a flurry of injuries has derailed things since. I’m sure players will play hard and give it their all, but the Cardinal are likely going to be outmatched in this one.
Give me Notre Dame, 28-10.
No. 13 BYU Cougars (-7) vs. USC Trojans
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Much like the Stanford Cardinal, there’s a good chance that USC is just outmatched against BYU in this game. The Cougars have had great success against Pac-12 teams this season, and I expect that to continue. USC had high aspirations early on, but a coaching change and subverted expectations have turned everything upside down. There’s no reason to believe that changes this week.
Give me BYU, 34-24.
California Golden Bears vs. UCLA Bruins (-6.5)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Both of these teams still have something to play for, as UCLA coach Chip Kelly continues to coach for his job, and the Golden Bears holding onto hope that they can become bowl-eligible if they are to win their final two games of the season. I think that the COVID-delayed week may have been good for Cal, who came out last week and trounced Stanford 41-11. The Bruins are favored, but I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Cal pull off the upset.
Give me Cal, 27-24.