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Football: Pac-12 picks — Week 12

A couple of blockbusters and a few games only a mother could love on the final full week of the Pac-12 schedule.

In Corvallis, Ore., Cal hopes to avoid ending a season with five straight defeats for the first time in 28 years.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who may know by Sunday whether he’ll be back in 2013, faces old friend Mike Riley, who once upon a time coached Tedford in the Canadian Football League.

Not sure this Cal team has a happy ending in it.

LAST WEEK: 5-1
SEASON: 57-21

Saturday

– Washington at Colorado, 10:30 a.m. (FX): The Huskies (6-4, 4-3) have won just one road game all season — at Cal — but the Buffloes (1-9, 1-6) don’t figure to offer must resistance. CU has given up 48 points or more in six games this season, including the past five. They are making a bid to become the worst defensive team in conference history. Washington 45, Colorado 20.

– No. 21 USC at No. 17 UCLA, noon (FX): It’s tempting to look at the preseason No. 1 Trojans (7-3, 5-3) and decide they have under-achieved. The Bruins (8-2, 5-2) are just the opposite, heading very much in the right direction under first-year coach Jim Mora Jr. But I continue to favor the Trojans for one reason: Marqise Lee. Through 10 games, the sophomore wideout has 2,234 yards and 14 touchdowns on 98 receptions and 23 kickoff returns. A force of nature. USC 31, UCLA 27.

– Washington State at Arizona State, noon (Pac-12 Networks): The Cougars (2-8, 0-7) haven’t won since Sept. 14, the Sun Devils (5-5, 3-4) are winless since Oct. 11, and that hardly counts because the opponent was Colorado. Still, WSU coach Mike Leach has managed to make this season even more difficult than it needed to be. Arizona State 35, Washington State 17.

– No. 14 Stanford at No. 1 Oregon, 5 p.m. (ABC): The Cardinal (8-2, 6-1) is superb defensively, but I keep coming back to one thing: Oregon (10-0, 7-0) beat Stanford 53-30 and 52-21 the past two seasons, and that Stanford team had Andrew Luck. This team does not. Oregon 42, Stanford 30.

– Arizona at Utah, 7 p.m. (ESPNU): This is the biggest game of the season for the Utes (4-6, 2-5). They’ve got Colorado in their season finale, so a win over the Wildcats (6-4, 3-4) puts them on the path to bowl eligibility. The problem is their two recent wins may have been misleading, given the opponents were Cal and WSU. Will be fun to see if the Utah defensive line can stop record-setting Ka’Deem Carey. Utah 27, Arizona 24.

– Cal at Oregon State, 7:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): I have no doubt the Bears (3-8, 2-6) will play hard. Problem is: the Beavers (7-2, 5-2) are not a good matchup for Cal. OSU is tough against the run, which is what the Bears do best on offense. In a hostile environment with OSU eager to bounce back from a tough loss at Stanford, just don’t envision the upset. Oregon State 28, Cal 13.

Jeff Faraudo

  • BlueNGold

    UCLA might surprise the sleazy cheaters. We shall see.

    I can see the Cal team rallying around JT and playing their best game of the season, beating OSU. Not saying it will happen, but the romantic in me can visualize it.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    BlueNGold, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but DO NOT put any money down on this game!

  • Eric

    Notwithstanding Mora’s Tedford-like questionable play-calling when UCLA was up 24-0, and despite about 6 or 7 to 1 questionable calls/no-calls favoring U$C, UCLA won fairly convincingly. Shows what happens when you play aggressively and creatively. And it helps to have Barkley, who is guaranteed to make at least one bad and untimely mistake.