I'm going to pick against Washington. It will be the first time this season. It won't be the only time this season. Look, I'm not saying Washington can't win. I just don't think the Huskies will win.
The Huskies have an offense that score on points on anybody this side of LSU. But the matchup of Washington offense vs. the Stanford defense is more evenly matched than the match-up between the Stanford offense and Washington defense.
I think the defense - particularly the pass defense - has improved since the beginning of the season. With Justin Glenn and Greg Ducre starting, the secondary seems to be better. Glenn might not make the highlight play, but he doesn't make the highlight mistake - he's just a good solid football player. Ducre has shown better ball skills.
But how much the defense has improved remains to be seen. They played Utah and Colorado, not exactly juggernauts. If the defense has improved considerably, this is the game that will show just how much.
And even if the defense is vastly improved, it's not going to shut down Stanford completely. Even Steve Sarkisian admitted it.
So ideally, you figure that Stanford being as good as it is offensively will score at least 24 points. And if you are a Husky fan, you'd take just 24 points. It's if they score more than that where Washington could be in trouble.
As good as Washington is offensively, it won't be that simple to just throw 35 on the board against Stanford.
Because the balance that Sarkisian likes to have may be taken away. Stanford's front seven, even without Shayne Skov, will make it difficult for Chris Polk. They won't shut Polk down, but I'd be very surprised if he runs for 125-plus. If he gets 100 yards, that's an accomplishment. So that means that Keith Price will have to do even more than he's already done this year. Obviously Price has been very good this season. But yards aren't going to come easy. Stanford is going to be the best defensive team that the Huskies will face this season, so to assume that they are going to be able to replicate their previous success is illogical and unfair.
That being said, I think Washington will score. But it just won't be enough.
The Huskies will cover the 21 point spread, but I just don't see them getting the win.