Pac-12: pac-12 predictions 2012

Pac-12 predictions: Week 14

November, 29, 2012
Ted Miller went 5-1 last week, while Kevin Gemmell went 3-3. That leaves them tied at 64-25.



Kevin Gemmell: No team in the Pac-12 has gotten better, more consistent line play this year than Stanford. And while I expect this to be a more competitive game because of adjustments (and two outstanding coaches who know how to adjust), UCLA's offensive line can't get that much stronger and that much more experienced in six days. And if you watch last weekend's game between the Cardinal and Bruins again, you'll notice that Stanford didn't blitz much -- meaning it was able to slow the Bruins in its base defense and didn't have to play its hand when it comes to pressure. That alone will keep UCLA's young offensive line guessing this week. Stanford 28, UCLA 21.

Ted Miller: Stanford was in control throughout the first game last weekend, a 35-17 victory, but it had a lot more to play for, as it needed a victory to win the Pac-12 North Division. The Bruins won't have motivation questions this time. The question, however, are twofold: (1) Did they hold anything back in the first meeting? (2) And, if not, do they have some wrinkles to add this time that will make a difference? The most obvious thing is the Bruins using quarterback Brett Hundley as a runner to soften the Cardinal's defense. The problem is Stanford is playing as well as any team in the nation right now, including the two that will play in Atlanta on Saturday for a berth in the national title game. Stanford 24, UCLA 20.



Kevin Gemmell: Who knows how/if Oregon State's season would have been different had these teams played as originally scheduled Sept. 1. But I'm guessing after the loss to Oregon, the Beavers are happy to be back on the field this week and have a chance to end the regular season with a win. Oregon State 49, Nicholls State 10.

Ted Miller: What this game does is give the Beavers a final 9-3 record, which is a reverse of last year's misery. That should feel really good in Corvallis. Oregon State 45, Nicholls State 13.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2012
Kevin went 4-2 last week. Ted went 3-3. Kevin is 61-22 for the season. Ted is 59-24.



Kevin Gemmell: Even though the Utes aren't going bowling this year, revenge is still a factor after what happened in the regular-season finale last year. Folks are trying to build this into a rivalry -- and maybe it will be. But Utah has to win one first. Utah 31, Colorado 17.

Ted Miller: This will become a rivalry as soon as both teams find their footing in the Pac-12. Utah is a bit closer to doing that than Colorado. Utah 38, Colorado 20.


Kevin Gemmell: Perhaps a quick burst of life from the Cougs before we pull the plug on what has been a complete bummer of a season. But not enough to top a Washington team that has taken care of its business against a weaker back-end schedule. Washington 35, Washington State 21.

Ted Miller: One of the worst things I heard all week was the likely absence of Cougars defensive end Travis Long, a guy who has busted his butt as a four-year starter for a bad team. He deserved better, and I hope he gets just that in the NFL. If the Huskies show up with focus, they should have no problem. Washington 30, Washington State 17.


Kevin Gemmell: Really, really tough call here. Both teams have so many similarities. And I think both new coaches will make this a great rivalry for years to come. But Ka'Deem Carey has blossomed into one of the nation's best runners, so I'll bank on him at home in a tight one. Arizona 38, Arizona State 35.

Ted Miller: The home team has lost the past three Territorial Cups. That and my need to catch up to Kevin -- he picks first -- are the foundation of my pick here. Arizona State 38, Arizona 35.



Kevin Gemmell: The smart money says pick Notre Dame against a USC team that doesn't have Matt Barkley. But I'm going against my instincts, because the Pac-12 homer in me says "Fight On." #beLEEve. USC 35, Notre Dame 21.

Ted Miller: I don't believe. I think a very good Notre Dame team is going to come into the Coliseum and open up a can of whup-butt. If the Trojans show up like they have about half the time this season, they will get embarrassed. Notre Dame 28, USC 17.


Kevin Gemmell: Toughest call of the week by far. I can't recall a team having faced Doak Walker Award finalists in back-to-back weeks to close out a season. But if Stanford's defense plays like it did last week, the Bruins will be hard-pressed to find the end zone. Stanford 21, UCLA 20.

Ted Miller: I know that the UCLA guys are really competitive and want to win this game because competitive folks always want to win. But there's surely just this little inkling that it might boost the Bruins' Rose Bowl chances to not go to Oregon next Friday in the Pac-12 championship game, which would happen if they beat the Cardinal and the Ducks beat Oregon State. UCLA, which has already won the South Division, probably would rather visit Stanford for Take 2 six days later with the Rose Bowl on the line than go to Eugene. Stanford 27, UCLA 20.


Kevin Gemmell: Love everything about the Beavers this year. But I suspect a bitter Oregon team that still has a shot at the conference championship and an outside chance at the national title game returns to form (at least offensively) in the Civil War. I still see a big day for Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks. Oregon 45, Oregon State 38.

Ted Miller: I would not be shocked if Oregon State pulled the upset because of how the Beavers have played this year, consistently thwarting all doubters. But I'm still going with the Ducks because I remain unconvinced -- call me stubborn or something more colorful -- that any other team in the nation is better than Oregon, no matter what happened last week. Oregon 40, Oregon State 28.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 12

November, 15, 2012
Ted went 6-0 last week. Kevin went 5-1. Kevin is 57-20 for the season, while Ted is 56-21.

All games are Saturday.


Kevin Gemmell: I like Utah at home. But I also like Ka'Deem Carey. Not sure the Utes have enough on offense to keep up. I'd feel better if Matt Scott were playing, but I'm still leaning toward the Wildcats either way. Arizona 31, Utah 21.

Ted Miller: Utah is tough at home, and JC transfer B.J. Denker, the Wildcats QB with Matt Scott out, has never started a road game in a Pac-12 venue: Utah 28, Arizona 24.


Kevin Gemmell: I think Washington State's second-half surge last week had more to do with UCLA easing up and wanting to get out of the cold than everything finally clicking for the Cougars. ASU should pull this one out and finally get to bowl eligibility. ASU 31, Washington State 17.

Ted Miller: The Sun Devils' biggest problem during their four-game losing streak was the quality of the opposition. That won't be as big an issue this weekend. Arizona State 33, Washington State 24.


Kevin Gemmell: This one should be much closer than some previous meetings. UCLA's offensive youth -- especially with so much on the line and in such a big game -- makes me hesitant to pick the home team. I'm reluctantly taking USC in what should be a fantastic game. USC 38, UCLA 35.

Ted Miller: Kevin makes a good point about UCLA's youth. The most decisive edge in this matchup is Marqise Lee and Robert Woods vs. the Bruins' secondary. UCLA has hidden some issues in the back half by being aggressive with blitzes and stunts. That doesn't typically work well against Matt Barkley. The Bruins might not win this one, but you get the idea this rivalry is about to start looking very different. USC 35, UCLA 31.


Kevin Gemmell: The Beavers are probably still lamenting a missed opportunity at Stanford (as am I for picking them). But that shouldn't derail them at home this week -- especially against a Cal team limping into its season finale. Oregon State 28, Cal 21.

Ted Miller: Oregon State has a lot to play for, whoever starts at quarterback. Cal does not, though an inspired effort would show the Bears are fighting for embattled coach Jeff Tedford. Oregon State 24, California 17.


Kevin Gemmell: Stanford has shown nothing that leads me to believe it can beat Oregon. That's not a knock on the Cardinal, but more of a compliment to the Ducks. Stanford's defense is playing great, but as David Shaw said, this Oregon team is special. I tend to agree. Oregon 49, Stanford 21.

Ted Miller: The injuries on the Oregon defense are a concern, but the fact remains that Stanford's redshirt freshman QB Kevin Hogan is making his first career road start, and Autzen is not where you want to do that. Oregon 38, Stanford 24.


Kevin Gemmell: Chances ASJ nabs an interception at the line of scrimmage and rumbles for a pick-six? Love the way Bishop Sankey has poured it on. Hang in there Buffs ... it's almost done. Washington 31, Colorado 10.

Ted Miller: The Huskies surely are enjoying the late schedule more than the early part. Washington 40, Colorado 13.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 11

November, 8, 2012
Kevin went 5-1 last week, adding to his lead over Ted, who went 4-2. Kevin is 52-19 for the season, while Ted is 50-21.

All games are Saturday.


Kevin Gemmell: Welcome back to bowl eligibility, Wildcats. Arizona 35, Colorado 17

Ted Miller: The only intrigue is what the Wildcats will look like with backup quarterback B.J. Denker replacing an injured Matt Scott. Arizona 30, Colorado 20


Kevin Gemmell: The schedule is finally catching up with the Sun Devils, who have dropped three straight. I expect USC to come out bitter and blazing. USC 38, Arizona State 24

Ted Miller: Both teams are wounded and will be either highly motivated or flat. The Sun Devils have been very good against the pass this season, leading the Pac-12 in pass efficiency defense and ranking second in sacks. Still, the Trojans, playing at home, are the pick. USC 35, Arizona State 21


Kevin Gemmell: Wow, were we off on UCLA last week. Very impressive win for the Bruins on both sides of the ball. No reason to think the Bruins can't keep it rolling against a Washington State team that is having all sorts of problems on offense and defense. UCLA 35, Washington State 17

Ted Miller: This feels like a test of the Bruins' focus. They traditionally have not played well in Pullman, where it figures to be chilly Saturday night. But the Cougs lost their best player this week in wide receiver Marquess Wilson, and there seem to be some issues between the players and coach Mike Leach. UCLA 38, Washington State 24


Kevin Gemmell: Cal could pull off the spoiler of all spoilers. But as the warrior poet Wayne Campbell once said: "It could happen, and monkeys might fly out of ... " -- well, you know the rest. Ducks roll. Oregon 49, Cal 21

Ted Miller: Oregon's defensive line has some injury issues, but the Cal O-line has been awful -- in large part due to its own injury woes. And the Bears will be without quarterback Zach Maynard. Another Super Bowl win for Chip Kelly's crew. Oregon 45, Cal 17


Kevin Gemmell: I've gone back and forth on this one. Stanford is stronger at home, and the defense is fantastic. Oregon State actually has better numbers on the road, and likewise, the defense is fantastic. Both are starting quarterbacks who lack experience. But Cody Vaz is at least 3-0 as a starter, and that includes winning in a tough environment like BYU. Tough call here, but I'm leaning toward the Beavers because of the guys Vaz is throwing to. Oregon State 24, Stanford 21

Ted Miller: Oregon State should expect to see a lot of the defensive elements Stanford used to stymie USC, so the biggest question will be how well the Beavers' offensive line plays against a diversity of pressures. The Cardinal defense will want to force Vaz to throw a lot, but Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks could feast against the Cardinal secondary. Still, I like Stanford at home. Stanford 21, Oregon State 17


Kevin Gemmell: I love the run the Utes have gone on and I like how they are getting production in all three phases. But CenturyLink has chewed up and spit out offenses this season. I'll take a Washington team that has beaten two top-10 teams at home over a Utah squad that is 0-4 on the road. Washington 24, Utah 17

Ted Miller: The Utes need to win two of their final three games to earn bowl eligibility, and with the season finale against Colorado, that would seem to mean they need to win this game or against Arizona next weekend at home. Both teams have won two in a row, but I think the Huskies will get it done at their home away from home. Washington 24, Utah 20

Pac-12 predictions: Week 10

November, 1, 2012
It was an ugly week for Ted, as his 2-4 record compared to Kevin's 4-2 mark means we have a new leader: Kevin's record improved to 47-18, while Ted's tumbled to 46-19.


Kevin Gemmell: I think the Huskies jump-started something last week with the win over Oregon State and this week we'll finally see them on the road against a team they match up well with. Cal is just reeling. Washington 28, California 14.

Ted Miller: The hits keep coming at Cal, where there was a report that WR Keenan Allen suffered an injury against Utah and might be out. That, as they say, wouldn't be good. A reeling team, as Kevin says, should help the Huskies overcome their road woes: Washington 24, California 17.


Kevin Gemmell: This might be the toughest pick of the year. I love the way the Wildcats are playing and I love the grittiness UCLA showed last week. The Bruins' inconsistencies on defense, however, don't bode well against an offense like Arizona's. Arizona 38, UCLA 31

Ted Miller: The challenge for Arizona is getting over its euphoria after the USC win and taking its full focus on the road to UCLA. At this point, it's hard to bet against QB Matt Scott. A Bruins win, by the way, will raise an eyebrow over just who might end up winning the L.A. College Football Championship. Arizona 40, UCLA 35.


Kevin Gemmell: Oregon State's defense is better than UCLA's and I think the Beavers are awfully mad about the way they played against the Huskies. Tough road environment as well for the Sun Devils -- who might get Will Sutton back, but he won't be 100 percent. The Cody Vaz decision scares me a bit, but I think the defense wins this one for the Beavers. Think ... but I don't feel great about this one. Oregon State 24, Arizona State 17.

Ted Miller: Both teams are trying to bounce back from tough losses and stay in their respective division races. Oregon State also has injury issues, as receiver Markus Wheaton (concussion) and cornerback Jordan Poyer (knee) are questionable. I expect a gritty game from two hungry teams. Arizona State 20, Oregon State 17.


Kevin Gemmell: I look at all of the playmakers on USC's roster and I just have trouble believing Oregon will roll through USC like it has every other team. But then again it's Oregon -- and Oregon rolls. Oregon 49, USC 31.

Ted Miller: USC, like most teams, plays much better at home. So I expect the Trojans to show up and play well, and that means this game will go into the fourth quarter. But Oregon wins. Oregon 40, USC 35.


Kevin Gemmelll: Good game to get Kevin Hogan a few more snaps. The Cardinal's offense needs a boost, but the defense is just fine. Stanford 35, Colorado 10.

Ted Miller: Stanford's offense will get on track against Colorado because every offense has gotten on track against Colorado. Stanford 38, Colorado 13.


Kevin Gemmelll: I threw my support behind the Utes last week and they didn't let me down. I think Jeff Tuel started to figure some things out against Stanford, but Utah's defense should apply a similar amount of pressure. Travis Wilson is starting to figure some things out too. Utah 24, Washington State 17.

Ted Miller: I get a feeling that Utah is about to begin a run not unlike last year, when it also started 0-4 in Pac-12 play. That said, the Cougars have been flashing improvement, and in a bit of a surprise, a lot of that has been on defense. If QB Jeff Tuel and the offense get going, this one could be a surprise. But the Utes at home are hard to pick against. Utah 28, Washington State 24.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 9

October, 25, 2012
Welcome to Week 8.

Kevin and Ted both went 4-1 last week. For the season, Ted is 44-15 and Kevin is 43-16.

All games are Saturday.


Kevin Gemmell: Unlike Washington last week, the Trojans are much better equipped to handle a shootout. And if the USC passing attack is really back to the level it showed last week, the Trojans have enough firepower to pull away. USC 45, Arizona 35.

Ted Miller: This one gives off the slight scent of an upset. But I'm with Kevin. USC 44, Arizona 28.


Kevin Gemmell: I think the bye week helps UCLA tremendously, while ASU will likely still be trying to pick up the pieces of last week's loss. A rested UCLA team balances out the fact that it is on the road. UCLA 35, Arizona State 27.

Ted Miller: The Sun Devils will be without defensive tackle Will Sutton, and that's not good. But the Bruins struggle on the road, and I think Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly bounces back. Arizona State 30, UCLA 24.


Kevin Gemmell: Just when I start to put my faith in Cal, they rush for 3 yards. And Utah's defense is coming off probably its best game of the season against Oregon State. Recent history suggests Utah's second-half run starts now. Utah 17, Cal 10.

Ted Miller: It's gut-check time for both teams. The loser might kiss bowl hopes goodbye. We like the Bears to step up for Jeff Tedford. Cal 24, Utah 17.


Kevin Gemmell: Stanford's defense had as good of a performance as any team in the conference last week. No reason to think that won't carry over with the Cardinal back at home against an offense that has failed to reach the end zone twice this season. Stanford 27, Washington State 10.

Ted Miller: Stanford should be able to control both lines of scrimmage. End of story. Stanford 35, Washington State 13.


Kevin Gemmell: So... next week should be fun. Oregon 49, Colorado 14.

Ted Miller: I suspect Oregon's starters will get plenty of rest in the second half. Oregon 45, Colorado 10.


Kevin Gemmell: Mike Riley has faith in Sean Mannion, and Mannion has been given the green light to play. CenturyLink is a very hostile environment, but the Beavers have done some of their best work on the road this year. Oregon State 24, Washington 14.

Ted Miller: The Huskies have lost three in a row since upsetting Stanford, and quarterback Keith Price has not been himself. The Beavers should keep on trucking, but I wouldn't be surprised if this one was hotly contested deep into the fourth quarter. Oregon State 28, Washington 24.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 8

October, 18, 2012
Welcome to Week 8.

Kevin, a big show-off, went 6-0 last week and stands at 39-15 for the season. Ted went 4-2 -- missing on Utah and BYU, meaning an entire state fooled him -- and is 40-14.

Oregon at Arizona State (Thursday)

Kevin Gemmell: I like what I've seen from the Sun Devils and think they'll hang for a while -- especially because they are at home. But I just don't think they are ready to challenge a team like Oregon. Oregon 49, Arizona State 31.

Ted Miller: Arizona State has played well during a 5-1 start, opening the Todd Graham era with a bang. But there's a vast distance between teams the Sun Devils have played and Oregon. It will be interesting to see how both quarterbacks react to a big stage. Oregon 35, Arizona State 24.

Washington at Arizona

Kevin Gemmell: Lots of inconsistent play from the Huskies so far this season. I like that the Wildcats are at home and they are coming off a bye. Call this one a hunch. Arizona 38, Washington 27.

Ted Miller: The question is whether the Huskies' offense will find enough juice to keep up with Arizona and QB Matt Scott. I'm guessing no. Arizona 40, Washington 35.

Colorado at USC

Kevin Gemmell: Matt Barkley & Co. should put up some big numbers against one of the youngest secondaries in the country. Should be a good learning experience for Colorado's youngsters that they can use going forward. USC 42, Colorado 10.

Ted Miller: The Colorado defense, a young, struggling bunch, offers a good opportunity for the USC offense to find some rhythm. USC 40, Colorado 13.

Stanford at California

Kevin Gemmell: For as bad as Stanford's offense has been on the road, the defense has been pretty darn good. Cal has a two-game win streak, and a win would bring it back into bowl contention. I really am split on this, and when that happens, lean toward the home team. Cal 24, Stanford 17.

Ted Miller: I'm with Kevin. I think the Bears will get a big win for coach Jeff Tedford. I suspect Stanford, after last week's emotional loss -- and physical game -- will be flat, big game or not. Cal 20, Stanford 17.

Utah at Oregon State

Kevin Gemmell: We know Cody Vaz can handle things just fine. OSU's offensive playmakers are clicking, and the defense is beastly. No reason to bet against them at home. Oregon State 31, Utah 17.

Ted Miller: The Beavers need to maintain their edge because the Utes are capable of pulling the upset. But we're not picking it. Oregon State 28, Utah 20.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 5

September, 27, 2012
Welcome to Week 5. Ted Miller went 4-1 last week and Kevin Gemmell went 3-2, with Ted successfully nailing Oregon State's upset win at UCLA like the prescient prognosticator he is.

For the season, Ted is 27-11 and Kevin is 25-13.

No. 8 Stanford at Washington (Thursday)

Kevin Gemmell: The first road start is never easy, but Josh Nunes has to be bubbling with confidence from the last time the Cardinal were on the field. Injury concerns on the offensive line are never good -- especially when playing Stanford. Just ask USC. Stanford 24, Washington 13.

Ted Miller: The Huskies' offensive line is beaten up, and that's not good against Stanford. It will be interesting to see how the new-look Huskies defense handles the Cardinal running game, which gashed Washington for 446 yards last year. Stanford 28, Washington 17.

Arizona State at California

Kevin Gemmell: If Taylor Kelly and Co. play like they did against Utah all season long, they will contend for the South. The Bears are in disarray, though they've won eight of the past nine meetings. I'll go with the hot team right now. Arizona State 35, California 27.

Ted Miller: The Sun Devils have played three good games at home and one bad game on the road. Can they take the next step and win on the road in a place they rarely do? I think yes. Arizona State 30, California 27.

UCLA at Colorado

Kevin Gemmell: Last week was a learning experience for both teams -- and all the credit to the Buffs for gutting one out. But the Bruins have more playmakers than Washington State, plus a tougher defense. Brett Hundley-to-Shaq Evans looks scary. UCLA 35, Colorado 10.

Ted Miller: I suspect that Colorado's win over Washington State got UCLA's attention, and the Bruins also are coming off a tough loss, so they should be pretty focused. UCLA rolled 45-6 last year against the Buffs, but I think this one will be closer. UCLA 35, Colorado 20.

No. 18 Oregon State at Arizona

Kevin Gemmell: This is perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the week. If Oregon State wins, it likely climbs into the top 15. If Arizona wins, it's back in the Top 25. Both teams are coming off two very different games. The Beavers are the more balanced team -- which should come in handy on the road again. Oregon State 27, Arizona 20.

Ted Miller: I'd be more prone to like the Wildcats' chances if QB Matt Scott didn't bang up his hip at Oregon. In fact, I suspect the Wildcats might be pretty banged up across the board after a physical game in Eugene. After watching the Beavers beat a capable UCLA squad with rugged defense, I tend to think that's what will happen again. Oregon State 28, Arizona 24.

No. 2 Oregon vs. Washington State (in Seattle)

Kevin Gemmell: I was right predicting Oregon's 49 points last week. I was just a little off on calling Arizona's 35. I won't make the same mistake again. The Ducks' defense is as advertised. Marcus Mariota has enough weapons to overcome any jitters there might be about making his first road start. Oregon 49, Washington State 13.

Ted Miller: But I wanted 49! Not sure if CenturyLink Field will feel like a road game for Oregon, as Ducks fans likely will be close to equal with Washington State fans. The Cougars have not shown that they can hang with the Ducks (see the loss to Colorado). I expect this to be a little like the Ducks' first three games: Jump to an early lead, give up some points with the starters out in the fourth quarter. Oregon 52, Washington State 20.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 4

September, 20, 2012
Welcome to Week 4. Ted and Kevin both went 7-3 in Week 3. Kevin picked Arizona State over Missouri. And Ted may have been just a bit outside with his selection of Colorado to notch the upset at Fresno State.

For the season, Ted is 23-10 and Kevin is 22-11.

California at USC

Kevin Gemmell: The Bears showed a lot of heart in their loss to Ohio State. But they are getting a USC team that is salty and vengeful. The Trojans have owned Cal of late and I expect that to continue. Though the wide receiver talent that will be on the field -- Marqise Lee, Robert Woods, Keenan Allen -- is worth tuning in for. USC 28, Cal 14.

Ted Miller: There's a temptation to think the Stanford loss could double-dip USC, which might still be pouting. Cal certainly showed at Ohio State it can physically match a quality foe. But I suspect center Khaled Holmes will return for the Trojans, and that will give them a boost on the offensive line. And Matt Barkley will bounce back. USC 33, California 17.

Arizona at Oregon

Kevin Gemmell: I think Oregon wins this game -- probably by a couple of touchdowns. But I'm most excited to see what the combined yards, first downs and offensive drives are. The Wildcats kick off three consecutive games against very good defenses, so I'm curious to see how they respond. Oregon 49, Arizona 35.

Ted Miller: I suspect this might be competitive at halftime but the Ducks will assert themselves in the second half when the Wildcats' thin defense starts to wear down. Oregon 52, Arizona 28.

Utah at Arizona State

Kevin Gemmell: I think this is the toughest one to predict this week. Lots of unknowns with Utah -- how healthy is John White? How much of last week was just raw emotion against a rival? Penalties and turnovers hurt the Sun Devils, but they rallied hard. When it's a coin flip, go with the home team. ASU 24, Utah 17.

Ted Miller: This is a key separation game in the Pac-12 South. I think playing at home gives the Sun Devils the edge. ASU 28, Utah 20.

Oregon State at UCLA

Kevin Gemmell: Well, we know the Beavers will be rested. And they've had two weeks to prepare. But the Bruins are playing fantastically on both sides of the ball. Datone Jones' emergence (finally) has been a real bright spot for the Bruins on defense. UCLA 31, Oregon State 27.

Ted Miller: Wisconsin's poor showing against Utah State diminished the Beavers' impressive victory over the Badgers. Still, Oregon State should be well rested and has had a lot of time to devise a game plan. Of course, if I pick Oregon State to win, many of their fans will give up all hope. Don't do that. Maybe the curse is over? Oregon State 35, UCLA 33.

Colorado at Washington State

Kevin Gemmell: Connor Halliday? Jeff Tuel? Probably won't matter. While I admire the Buffs' resiliency and commitment to keep grinding, their young secondary will have problems with the Cougars' passing attack. Things are starting to click on offense for Washington State. Washington State 35, Colorado 17.

Ted Miller: Will Colorado man up or will it wave a white flag over its season? I took a long shot last week on the Buffs. Not this week. Washington State 40, Colorado 20.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 3

September, 13, 2012
Welcome to Week 3. Ted and Kevin both went 7-5 in Week 2. Double yuck. The problem was all picks were identical, and neither picked an upset. Silly Pac-12 bloggers.

For the season, Ted is 16-7 and Kevin is 15-8.


Kevin: Washington State 35, UNLV 17: Time for the Cougars to get a win over an FBS team. Should happen this week against a UNLV squad that is 0-2 and fell to FCS school Northern Arizona. (Remember them, Arizona State?) If all goes according to plan, the starting offensive linemen should be crushing the buffet at the Rio by the third quarter.

Ted: Washington State 40, UNLV 20: While quarterback Jeff Tuel is decidedly questionable; backup Connor Halliday is experienced and capable. The guess here is things go a little more smoothly on both sides of the ball as new systems start to sink in.


Kevin: Ohio State 28, Cal 10: The defense, which was supposed to be the strength of this team, hasn't shown up yet. Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo rushed for 97 yards -- most of it on zone reads the Bears couldn't stop. What's Braxton Miller going to do?

Ted: Ohio State 30, California 17: During the summer, I believed this was prime upset material. Then Cal played twice.

Kevin: Oregon 49, Tennessee Tech 14: It was De'Anthony Thomas in Week 1 and Kenjon Barner in Week 2. Who is the Duck du jour in what should be the latest Oregon pasting? Fortunately, Oregon's schedule allows for growth with younger players, and it needs that because of all the injuries of late.

Ted: Oregon 50, Tennessee Tech 10: Yawn. The good news is Oregon might have an interesting game the next week when Arizona comes to town. I bet Ducks fans are hungry for a game that at least raises an eyebrow.

Kevin: Washington 31, Portland State 7: Not a lot of time for the Huskies to get right after their ill-fated journey to Baton Rouge, La., with Stanford, USC and Oregon looming in the next three weeks. This might be their last opportunity for a win until late October/early November. They'd better take advantage of it.

Ted: Washington 30, Portland State 20: Will the Huskies be flat after falling flat at LSU? I suspect so. Not flat enough to lose but perhaps flat enough to further frustrate Huskies fans.

Kevin: USC 38, Stanford 24: David Shaw knows how to plan a scheme against USC's defense, so I'd expect the Cardinal to put up some points. But when push comes to shove, Stanford's defense won't get the number of stops needed to slow down the Trojans' passing attack.

Ted: USC 35, Stanford 20: I think it will be close at halftime, but the Trojans will pull away early in the fourth quarter. Eventually, Matt Barkley & Co. will gash the Cardinal secondary, and then Stanford won't be able to answer.

Kevin: Fresno State 31, Colorado 17: The Bulldogs showed a little bite against the Ducks -- enough to suggest they can certainly hang with, and beat, a lower-tier Pac-12 team.

Ted: Colorado 28, Fresno State 27: Why? Because I suspect we're going to see some pride from the Buffs.

Kevin: BYU 35, Utah 27: I think Utah will play inspired football given this week's turn of events. But last week we saw that the offensive line concerns are graver than we all initially thought. Bronco Mendenhall saw it too.

Ted: BYU 28, Utah 24: There's a lot going on at Utah, most notably injury issues. And it's not just quarterback Jordan Wynn. Running back John White and safety Eric Rowe are questionable. But the biggest issue, as Kevin noted, is the disappointing play of the offensive line.

Kevin: Arizona 49, South Carolina State 10: The offense has come together quickly. I'd expect Arizona to use this game to clean some things up before heading to Autzen for a game that suddenly looks very interesting.

Ted: Arizona 42, South Carolina State 20: I suspect that some fumes from the post-Oklahoma State victory celebration will cause the Wildcats to be a bit flat. They are fortunate the opponent will be forgiving.

Kevin: UCLA 48, Houston 21: Houston can't stop the run. UCLA isn't going to abandon the run. Another huge game for Johnathan Franklin and another win for the Bruins.

Ted: UCLA 44, Houston 24: Another possible flat performance, but the Bruins should recall the loss at Houston from 2011 to provide some motivation. Agree with Kevin: Franklin gets another 200, and his Heisman candidacy inches up another notch.

Kevin: Arizona State 38, Missouri 31: OK, ASU. I'll bite. The Sun Devils are second in the nation with six interceptions, and Missouri likes to throw a lot. Vegas likes the Tigers by a touchdown, but I'll throw my confidence behind Todd Graham & Co.

Ted: Missouri 35, Arizona State 27: The Sun Devils have whipped two inferior foes at home. The Tigers are pretty good and are playing at home. The Sun Devils have been impressive, but they are still young. And Missouri quarterback James Franklin is a load.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 2

September, 6, 2012
Welcome to Week 2. Ted went 9-2 in Week 1; Kevin went 8-3. The difference was Kevin picking a Washington State upset of BYU.


Kevin: Utah 35, Utah State 10. The Utes will see a stronger offense than they saw last week, but it won't matter much because the defense is so solid. Love the emergence of Jake Murphy and the increased attention to the tight ends.

Ted: Utah 28, Utah State 17. It won't be as easy as last weekend but the Utes will be in control on both sides of the ball. Expect quarterback Jordan Wynn to take a few more shots downfield.


Kevin: Cal 31, Southern Utah 14. Maybe this is the week Memorial Stadium sees a victory. The last one was on Oct. 23, 2010. Cal should win based on its athletes alone.

Ted: Cal 35, Southern Utah 10. The Bears should get a couple of injured guys back on defense, which should help. Playing angry might help, too.

Kevin: Washington State 28, Eastern Washington 14. The Cougs let me down last week, but I'm cautiously picking them again this week. I think the offense gets going. The defense actually showed some life in the second half against BYU, giving hope that it will carry into this week.

Ted: Washington State 35, Eastern Washington 24. If I were picking an FCS team to play, the Eagles might be the last one I'd pick -- just ask Washington. There's a reason the Cougars have avoided their neighbors since 1908. Still, I suspect the Cougs' offense will get going this week.

Kevin: Colorado 21, Sacramento State 10. Colorado did some good things last week, but was just too inconsistent. The younger players should have the jitters out of their systems and the Buffs should be able to run the ball against an FCS team. If not, things are worse than we thought.

Ted: Colorado 33, Sacramento State 17. This qualifies as a must-win, and I suspect the Buffs will take care of business in a focused fashion.

Kevin: USC 45, Syracuse 17. No issues for the Trojans this week -- they'll cruise. Wouldn't be surprised to see a little more balance on offense this week, considering they are on the road again next week at Stanford and they'll probably want to test drive the run game.

Ted Miller: USC 48, Syracuse 20. It will be interesting to see how many of the three injured USC defensive starters return this week. I suspect things will look more polished on both sides of the ball. Ditto on what Kevin said about running the ball.

Kevin: Wisconsin 21, Oregon State 17. Tough to gauge the Beavers since they didn't play in Week 1. And though Wisconsin struggled last week, it's never easy to start the season against a ranked opponent.

Ted: Wisconsin 34, Oregon State 24. Was tempted momentarily to pick the upset, but then I remembered that Montee Ball is back. For those who don't know, he's really good. I doubt the Beavers' defense, though improved, can contain him for four quarters.

Kevin: Oregon 49, Fresno State 21. Taking into account that Oregon's fifth-string players will be in by the second quarter, I'll give the Bulldogs three touchdowns throughout the course of the game. Ducks breeze through another one.

Ted: Oregon 55, Fresno State 24. They say a new quarterback makes his biggest improvement from Game 1 to Game 2. If so, here's a "Yikes!" on behalf of the Bulldogs in advance of facing Marcus Mariota.

Kevin: Nebraska 28, UCLA 27. I saw a lot of good things out of the Bruins in Week 1. I also saw a lot of things that won't fly against the Cornhuskers. I want to pull the trigger on the Bruins, but the youth on the offensive line is still a concern.

Ted: Nebraska 35, UCLA 24. The Bruins will battle, but Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is a third-year starter who appears to have figured it all out. I want to see how the Bruins run the ball and stop the run. Of course, that's all about taking a measure of UCLA's physicality up front.

Kevin: Oklahoma State 45, Arizona 28. A nice win for the Wildcats last week, but the defense probably isn't ready yet for a high-powered offense like the Cowboys'.

Ted: Oklahoma State 35, Arizona 30. I suspect the Wildcats have a better shot than many suspect, playing at home against a freshman quarterback, with Matt Scott giving Arizona a significant advantage behind center. That said, the Wildcats' track record in two previous meetings as well as a questionable front seven makes it difficult to pull the trigger on an upset pick.

Kevin: Stanford 24, Duke 17. Traveling cross-country is never easy. We saw that last season when Duke hung with the Cardinal in the first half in Durham. The Cardinal have some core fundamentals to fix before next week's game against the Trojans.

Ted: Stanford 30, Duke 17. The Cardinal will play better this weekend on both sides of the ball. And they need to. Duke thinks it has a bowl team and is hungry to earn respect.

Kevin: Arizona State 27, Illinois 14. Color me impressed by the Sun Devils, who showed no mercy in Week 1. There are quarterback issues surrounding the Illini and regardless of who starts for them, the Sun Devils face either a backup in Reilly O'Toole or a limping starter in Nathan Scheelhasse.

Ted: Arizona State 24, Illinois 17. This pick assumes that Scheelhasse won't play or will be severely limited by his bum ankle. The key for the Sun Devils is getting the running game going, whether that's with Cameron Marshall, Marion Grice or D.J. Foster. Or all three.

Kevin: LSU 28, Washington 17. I was impressed with the defense against San Diego State, but if the offense struggles against LSU, it could be a long day. Losing Jesse Callier doesn't help.

Ted: LSU 41, Washington 17: LSU will be able to run and stop the run. Washington won't. While Huskies quarterback Keith Price will have his moments, it's too much to ask him to beat -- or even to be competitive with -- the Tigers on the road.

Pac-12 predictions: Week 1

August, 30, 2012
I went 72-25 picking Pac-12 games last year. Now Kevin has shown up to make me look bad.

Welcome to Week 1.


Utah 33, Northern Colorado 13: A good chance for QB Jordan Wynn to gain some confidence. Keep an eye on the new offensive tackles protecting his flanks. Also see if anyone can block DT Star Lotulelei.

Arizona State 40, Northern Arizona 17: Expect the new-look Sun Devils to look good in the debuts of coach Todd Graham and QB Taylor Kelly.

UCLA 30, Rice 21: Redshirt freshman QB Brett Hundley's first start is on the road. Rice's crowd isn't known as vicious, but road games are never easy. How well will the Bruins' new-look 3-4 defense stop the run?

BYU 33, Washington State 30: Tempted to pick Washington State's Cougars with Mike Leach making his debut, but there's a reason Vegas favors the Cougars of Provo by double digits.


Stanford 40, San Jose State 10: I expect the Cardinal to look sharp, if conservative, on both sides of the ball. New QB Josh Nunes just needs to manage the game and avoid mistakes. Interested to see how dominant the Cardinal's defense looks, particularly up front.


California 35, Nevada 20: The Bears should be fired up for their first game in renovated Memorial Stadium. And many of them remember what happened in 2010 at Nevada. Good news is Colin Kaepernick is playing across the Bay now with the San Francisco 49ers.

Oregon State, Nicholls State: Game postponed.

Colorado 23, Colorado State 17: New Rams coach Jim McElwain adds a wrinkle to the series, but the Buffaloes probably have enough to prevail. It helps that new QB Jordan Webb is an experienced starter, even if his experience was at Kansas.

USC 45, Hawaii 17: Matt Barkley and the Trojans begin their "unfinished business." Will they impress against Norm Chow and the Warriors?

Washington 35, San Diego State 24: Might be trickier than some Huskies fans think. While QB Keith Price is the Huskies' star and leader, most will be curious about the defense under new coordinator Justin Wilcox. Expect some encouraging moments. And some mistakes.

Oregon 50, Arkansas State 20: Another season of high expectations for the Ducks begins, this time with the unknown of QB Marcus Mariota in the cockpit of the offense. Don't be surprised if Arkansas State has plenty of offensive tricks with coach Gus Malzahn.

Arizona 40, Toledo 28: The Wildcats' offense should roll with QB Matt Scott. But what about the defense?

And here are Kevin's picks:

Utah 35, Northern Colorado 10: Da' Bears won't be able to do much against Utah's defense, which should be resting by the start of the fourth quarter. Will be interesting to see how Utah's offensive tackles play. Getting quarterback Jordan Wynn through the game healthy would also be a bonus.

Arizona State 42, Northern Arizona 24: Taylor Kelly's debut at quarterback will go well, and Cameron Marshall will run wild. But I think a lot of people are anxious to see what role Michael Eubank is going to play in the offense.

UCLA 24, Rice 10: Looking forward to seeing Brett Hundley take the field for the first time as a quarterback. But I'm even more interested in seeing what the Bruins' defense looks like as a 3-4.

Washington State 42, BYU 27: Maybe I'm completely backwards on this, but I just don't see WSU as an almost-two-touchdown 'dog. Too many offensive weapons. No one at BYU can keep up with Marquess Wilson. I'm prepared to chug some crow if it blows up in my face.

Stanford 35, San Jose State 10: The Cardinal have dominated the series and with Stepfan Taylor as the focal point of the offense early, I see no reason for that to change. All eyes are on the left tackle spot to see which true freshman will emerge.

Cal 31, Nevada 24: The Wolfpack whupped the Bears the last time they met, but that was a very different Nevada team and a very different Cal team. The Bears' defense gets the job done and the offense will be efficient.

Oregon State, Nicholls State: Game postponed.

Colorado 17, Colorado State 10: The Buffs -- who plan to play about 15 true freshmen this year -- will have to grow up fast. But they should win on athleticism alone. Excited to see Jordan Webb in action with his new team.

USC 49, Hawaii 10: The Trojans will score early and often against Norm Chow's squad. Methinks even though it's Hawaii, USC wants to come out and make a statement to the country that it is worth its top billing.

Washington 31, San Diego State 14: The Aztecs have been a better program the last couple of years, but there's no one comparable to Keith Price in the Mountain West and they won't have any answers for him.

Oregon 45, Arkansas State 7: Marcus Mariota blows up. January airline flights from Eugene to Miami see a record spike. Like everyone, I'm excited to see what the offense looks like with Mariota running it. But I'm more excited to see the best defense of the Chip Kelly era.

Arizona 28, Toledo 21: The Wildcats have plenty of offensive potential. Finding quality defensive playmakers will be paramount as the season progresses and the schedule stiffens.