Each summer we try to project what the top games will be. We call this the Ultimate Road Trip series. Sometimes we're right. Sometimes we're not. With the regular season at an end, let's take a look back to see which weeks we nailed, and which ones you'd have been better going elsewhere or simply staying home.
Our pick: Washington at Boise State
In retrospect: Going to stand by this pick. The Huskies put up quite the fight in a 16-13 loss with the buzz of Chris Petersen going back to Boise with a true freshman starting at quarterback as the backdrop. It wasn’t a pretty game. But it was entertaining. (We’re avoiding Stanford and Arizona State this week for a reason). The “cupcake” Utes against Michigan also would have been acceptable.
Our pick: Oregon at Michigan State
In retrospect: The Ducks were one slightly overthrown pass away from changing the entire landscape of college football. C’est la vie. Given the importance of this matchup, I think we picked the right one. But that Washington State-Rutgers game though…
Our pick: Stanford at USC
In retrospect: Cal-Texas and BYU-UCLA provided plenty of drama. And who would have guessed that would be the last time we saw Myles Jack in a UCLA uniform? But given how the season played out -- with both of these teams squaring off this week in the Pac-12 championship game, I’d say we’re 3-for-3 in our picks so far.
Our pick: USC at Arizona State
In retrospect: We were hoping for a Jael Mary-esque ending. Instead we got a 42-14 dud in favor of the Trojans. Actually, we had a lot of duds that week. Stanford crushed Oregon State. UCLA blasted Arizona. Utah smacked around Oregon. California at Washington was a one-possession game. So we’ll say we should have been in Seattle in Week 4.
Our pick: Arizona State at UCLA
In retrospect: This was a slow week with four teams on bye and only four games on the docket. ASU threw a wrench into the South with a substantial victory over the Bruins. Washington State at Cal proved to be the better game.
Our pick: Cal at Utah
In retrospect: This wasn’t a bad choice. And nationally, it turned out to be a pretty significant game at the time. But who doesn’t love a good overtime game? And the Cougars delivered a haymaker in overtime in their 45-38 road win over Oregon.
Our pick: UCLA at Stanford
In retrospect: The biggest news this week was Clay Helton back as a head coach for the Trojans, who lost at Notre Dame. UCLA-Stanford ended as UCLA-Stanford games tend to do these days, with the Cardinal winning handily. ASU-Utah was a rain-soaked mess. Maybe we should have gone to Boulder to see the Buffs come up short yet again in a 38-31 loss to the Wildcats.
Our pick: Utah at USC
In retrospect: Considering this game ended up being the difference in the Pac-12 South race, I’d say we got it right. The reinvigorated Trojans got their first win (in 2015) under Helton and that kicked off a three-game win streak that eventually led them to the South title. We had a pretty wild one in Tucson, though, where Washington State held on for a 45-42 win over the Wildcats.
Our pick: Oregon at Arizona State
In retrospect: We totally knew this game would go into triple overtime with about half a dozen controversial calls and replays. Then again, we also thought this might be a preview of the Pac-12 championship game, so what do we know? This turned out to be one of the most thrilling games of the year. Stanford at Washington State wasn’t too bad, either.
Our pick: Arizona at USC
In retrospect: This actually turned out to be a pretty good game. There wasn’t much drama in Week 10, but the Wildcats actually held a 20-17 lead going into the fourth quarter. The 38-30 final for the Trojans is more cosmetic than dramatic since the Wildcats added a late touchdown with 10 seconds left in the game and the onside kick attempt went out of bounds. Every other game this week was a double-digit win.
Our pick: Oregon at Stanford
In retrospect: Washington State had quite the stunner at the Rose Bowl. Arizona did what it does against Utah and ASU remembered how to play football in the second half against Washington. But there’s nothing like a back-and-forth Stanford-Oregon game. This one delivered quite nicely and stretched out the North drama for another week.
Our pick: Grab bag
In retrospect: The Cal-Stanford game ended up clinching the North for the Cardinal. The Utah-UCLA game cost the Utes the South. USC-Oregon was a blowout. ASU got bowl eligible in the Territorial Cup. There was a little something for everybody this week.
Our pick: UCLA at USC
In retrospect: The Civil War was tighter than expected. The Apple Cup was a surprising blowout. The Rumble got interesting and Notre Dame-Stanford and Cal-ASU came down to last-second field goals. But considering this game was for the Pac-12 South, I’d like to think we got this one right.