Well, look at that. After a disastrous second week, a 5-2-2 record was manufactured in Week 3 and my season mark now sits at .500 just in time for the first week of Pac-12 play.
There is still one nonconference game this week, but the slate also includes five Pac-12 matchups, including Friday night’s game between USC and Utah in Salt Lake City. All lines, as always, come courtesy of VegasInsider.com, and are for entertainment purposes only, unless you just really hate numbers. And as always, my pick for the Huskies game will come in a separate post on Friday.
Last week: 10-1 straight up, 5-2-2 against the spread.
Season: 29-4 straight up, 12-12-2 against the spread.
USC at Utah, 6 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (Utah by 3) -- I’m almost a little surprised this spread isn’t bigger in Utah’s favor, considering that it’s in Salt Lake City, the Trojans are in the middle of a quarterback change and have looked mostly pretty bad in their two losses. Granted, those losses were to Alabama and Stanford, and the best team Utah has faced so far was Brigham Young. Still, it’s hard to see USC turning things around on the road against a defense of Utah’s caliber. Not exactly a soft landing for Sam Darnold’s first collegiate start at quarterback.
(Also, this has nothing to do with anything, but it occurs that if Steve Sarkisian hadn’t been fired last season, Utah quarterback Troy Williams would get to face both of his former head coaches in the same season. Don’t think that happens a whole lot.)
The pick: Utah 27, USC 21.
Boise State at Oregon State, 12:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1 (Boise State by 13) -- After beating Washington State by three at home, the Broncos had an extra week to prepare for this trip to Corvallis. The Beavers certainly appear to be better than they were last season, but they aren’t yet good enough to beat Boise State. The pick: Boise State 34, Oregon State 17.
Colorado at Oregon, 2:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks (Oregon by 10.5) -- The Ducks are banged up, and Colorado certainly got Michigan’s attention last week before losing by 17 (and getting outscored 38-7 in the final three quarters). Tacoma native Sefo Liufau, the Buffaloes senior starting quarterback, is nursing a sprained ankle and is a game-time decision. Think Oregon gets this one without sweating out the fourth quarter. The pick: Oregon 42, Colorado 24.
Stanford at UCLA, 5 p.m., ABC (Stanford by 3) -- Not a lot of reason to think Stanford won’t make it nine in a row against the Bruins. Here’s a guess the Cardinal will still be unbeaten when it visits UW for next Friday’s showdown. The pick: Stanford 31, UCLA 21.
California at Arizona State, 7 p.m., ESPN2 (ASU by 4) -- Cal receiver Chad Hansen already has 40 catches this season. Guessing he’ll have at least 50 by Sunday morning. The pick: California 52, ASU 49.