We’re down to our final few weeks of the regular season of the 2022 college football season. It’s been an incredible year in the PAC-12 where the conference has been far more impressive than a majority of the country thought they would be.
The “Conference of Champions” currently has six teams that are ranked in the top 25 and seven teams that are currently bowl eligible.
This weekend we’re going to see two rivalry games and two ranked matchups with PAC-12 title game aspirations on the line.
Washington State (6-4, 3-4 in PAC-12) @ Arizona (4-6, 2-5 in PAC-12)
Washington State is coming into this game on a two game winning streak led by quarterback Cameron Ward in head coach Jake Dickert’s first full season. The Cougars have quietly gone through the season having an underrated defense allowing only 19.8 points per game which ranks number one in the PAC-12. On the other side, this Arizona offense is very talented especially in their passing game led by quarterback Jayden de Laura. This will definitely be a revenge game for de Laura as he was at Washington State last season and after their road upset against UCLA last week, I think Arizona is able to pull away in the end. I’m predicting Arizona to beat Washington State 31-27.
#23 Oregon State (7-3, 4-3 in PAC-12) @ Arizona State (3-7, 2-5 in PAC-12)
Big road test for #23 Oregon State this weekend as they travel to Tempe to take on Arizona State, a place the Beavers haven’t won at since 2009. However, this time things look to be much different. The Sun Devils are pretty much in a complete rebuild and are focusing on who their next head coach might be, while Oregon State is having one of their best overall seasons in over a decade. This game is going to come down to Oregon State’s rushing attack vs Arizona State’s run defense. The Beavers should be able to dictate the tempo and the game from the jump and I see Jonathan Smith’s team securing it’s eighth win in the desert. I’m predicting Oregon State to beat Arizona State 28-17.
Stanford (3-7, 1-7 in PAC-12) @ Cal (3-7, 1-6 in PAC-12)
Regardless of it being a Northern California rivalry game between these two teams, these are two of the worst teams in the PAC-12 this year that haven’t been able to string together much success on either side of the ball. Head coach Justin Wilcox and his defense haven’t been what we’re accustomed to seeing, while David Shaw’s offense has been subpar at best. Stanford is on a three game losing streak, while Cal hasn’t won a game since September. I think this is going to be a low scoring bruiser of a game. I’m predicting Cal to win 21-16.
#7 USC (9-1, 7-1 in PAC-12) @ #16 UCLA (8-2, 5-2 in PAC-12)
Depending on who you ask, this is the highlight game of the day with two explosive offenses going head to head in Southern California. Both teams averaging 40 points per game and 500 yards of offense. USC is on a mission to try and sneak into the college football playoff, while UCLA is coming off a disappointing loss at home to Arizona, but would like nothing more than to upset USC and try to cement their place in the PAC-12 title game. I think this game is going to be an absolute shootout from start to finish. I’m predicting USC to beat UCLA 45-42.
Colorado (1-9, 1-6 in PAC-12) @ #17 Washington (8-2, 5-2 in PAC-12)
Two teams that are certainly trending in very different directions. Colorado has lost four out of their last five games and sit at the bottom of the conference in quite a few statistical categories while they are trying to figure out who their next head coach is going to be. Meanwhile, Washington has been one the bigger surprises under first year head coach Kalen DeBoer as they are coming off two highly impressive wins vs Oregon State and at Oregon. I don’t see this being a close game for very long after the opening kickoff. I’m predicting Washington to beat Colorado 48-13.
#10 Utah (8-2, 6-1 in PAC-12) @ #12 Oregon (8-2, 6-1 in PAC-12)
A very interesting matchup between two PAC-12 heavyweights will be the “PAC-12 after dark” game to stay awake for on Saturday night. A fairly even preview on paper, however the major headline this week has been whether or not Oregon quarterback Bo Nix is going to play or not. It looks like it will be a game time decision for Nix and it will make a huge difference whether or not he will play. However, I think Utah and Kyle Whittingham have an advantage even in a hostile road environment. They’ve been the one team that has been able to get the best of the Ducks over the years and I believe they find a way to go into Eugene and sneak out with a win. I’m predicting Utah to beat Oregon 34-27.
Through the first 11 weeks, my own personal record for predictions for each PAC-12 game sits at 62-17 which is 78%.
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