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College Hotline - Pac-12 picks of the week: Marquee games as the non-conference season...

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    (Credit: AP Photo)

    This is it: The final week of heavy non-conference action … and the final week to impress the selection committee on a sweeping scale.

    There are several choice opportunities for the Pac-12, with two games on Big Ten turf and one marquee conference matchup.

    Thus far, the Pac-12’s noncon results have been a tad meh, but the good news for the conference is that other Power 5 noncon results have been a tad meh, as well.

    Here’s a quick look at the Pac-12 against the …

    ACC: 1-0
    Big Ten: 1-1
    Big 12: 2-0
    SEC: 0-2
    Power 5 total: 4-3
    FBS total: 10-6

    Once Week Three is a wrap, the Pac-12 will have three non-conference games remaining: One should be integral to the postseason picture, one could be, and one is unlikely to have a meaningful impact:

    Boise State at Oregon State
    Stanford at Notre Dame
    Notre Dame at USC

    Pay close attention to the Irish, who lost at Texas and play Michigan State this week.

    Additional Ls would devalue Notre Dame’s dates with Stanford and USC games, thus preventing the Pac-12 from collecting high-quality victories.

    To the picks …

    Last week: 4-4
    Season: 7-8
    Five-star special: 1-1

    All picks against the spread.
    Lines taken from vegasinsider.com (opening lines used)

    Not listed (FCS opponent): Washington and Oregon State.

    ARIZONA STATE (minus-18.5) at UTSA (Friday): Would be surprised if the Sun Devils don’t improve to 3-0, but that’s a load of points for a short-week roadie against an opponent that could cause complacency. Pick: UTSA.

    TEXAS (minus-4) at CAL: The line has doubled: It’s now UT -8. Obviously, bettors watched San Diego State trample Cal’s defense and assume the Longhorns will do the same. I’m making that assumption, too. Pick: Texas.

    COLORADO (minus-20) at MICHIGAN: Had the line been set two weeks ago, it might have been 30+. But the Buffs have been impressive. They’ll hang with the Wolverines … for two or three quarters. Pick: Michigan.

    OREGON (plus-1) at NEBRASKA: First road test for Dakota Prukop in an Oregon uniform, but he’ll be operating the same offense that flummoxed Nebraska HC Mike Riley and DC Mark Banker all those years in Corvallis. Pick: Oregon.

    USC (plus-6.5) at STANFORD: The line has moved to Stanford -9, and I’m not sure that’s even enough. Both games last year were double-digit Cardinal wins, and both teams have new quarterbacks. But one team is far more likely to contribute to its own demise. Pick: Stanford.

    UTAH (minus-13) at SAN JOSE STATE: Trap game for the Utes (as noted previously on the Hotline), coming after the Holy War and before USC. San Jose State has a veteran quarterback and solid offensive line. If Troy Williams isn’t sharp, this could be in doubt late. Pick: San Jose State.

    IDAHO (plus-27.5) at WASHINGTON STATE: Idaho just lost in Seattle by 45 and now makes the short trek across the border to Pullman, where it will encounter a frustrated team and an angry coach … except Mike Leach is angry about something other than his team’s play. Pick: Washington State.

    HAWAII (plus-24.5) at ARIZONA: Not sure about Anu Solomon’s status and not sure it matters for a point spread of this magnitude. Cats win! Cats win! … But it’s closer than it should be. Pick: Hawaii.

    UCLA (minus-1) at BRIGHAM YOUNG: Slight uptick in the line: Bruins now favored by 3.5. Tough assignment for the home team after the twists and turns of the Holy War. Methinks this is the moment UCLA shifts into high gear and plays like the team many expected to see (just in time to crater next week against Stanford). Pick: UCLA.

    Straight-up winners: Arizona State, Texas, Michigan, Oregon, Stanford, Utah, Washington State, Arizona and UCLA.

    Five-star special: Stanford. So much has changed for both teams since last season … and yet nothing has changed.

    * Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

    * Episode 1 of the College Hotline podcast, with ESPN’s Ted Miller as guest (we discussed Washington’s rise, UCLA’s transformation to power football, USC’s issues, Utah’s life in the shadows, the Pac-12’s position in the playoff race and loads more):

    The post Pac-12 picks of the week: Marquee games as the non-conference season winds down appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner
  2. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines beware the habu Club Member

    Oct 18, 2007
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    He just doesn't believe in us.

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