Picking the Pac: Week Eleven

Marqise Lee (US Presswire)

Oregon will continue its undefeated run in Berkeley, while USC and UCLA advance to set up a winner-take-all rivalry showdown for the Pac-12 South next Saturday.

Last week: 6-0 straight up, 5-1 against the spread
Season to date: 51-20 straight up, 36-29 against the spread

Arizona (-29) 45, Colorado 10 –
The Wildcats are officially that team, a young group learning a new system that play much better at home than they do on the road. Of course, Colorado is so atrocious that location won't matter, nor should the availability of quarterback Matt Scott (concussion).

Oregon State (+4) 24, Stanford 21 – Welcome to the strangest game in the nation in week 11, two teams with legitimate aspirations of making the Pac-12 championship game that are also dealing with quarterback controversies. Redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan gets the nod for the Cardinal after throttling hapless Colorado, pushing Josh Nunes to the bench after beating USC and Cal, while Cody Vaz is 3-0 as a starter and nearly took the Beavers off the canvas at Washington. Since everyone (except Washington State) pummeling the Buffaloes, don't buy Hogan just yet, especially since Oregon State has the personnel to limit the Stanford tight ends and running back Stepfan Taylor.

USC (-9) 31, Arizona State 21 – Take away the two receptions for 32 yards he had at Washington, both season lows by a mile, wide receiver and Biletnikoff Award lock Marqise Lee is averaging 10.75 catches for 156.75 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game. The super sophomore now faces a Sun Devils pass defense allowing 161.56 yards per game. Expect Lee to get the best of the matchup, and Robert Woods and freshman Nelson Agholor are more than capable of making plays if Arizona State focuses its attention solely on Lee.

Oregon (-28.5) 55, California 20 – If you haven't seen this year's Oregon offense in person yet, it is a truly prodigious sight. Chip Kelly's spread option is playing faster than it ever has before, despite having only three seniors that see significant action, and a redshirt freshman running the show in Marcus Mariota. After playing the full four quarters in their entertaining win at USC, the Duck starters will be back on the bench midway through the third quarter in Berkeley, with the defense frustrating junior Allan Bridgford, who will likely get the start for the beleaguered Golden Bears.

Washington (+1) 21, Utah 17 – Without significant improvement next season next season, the Huskies' offensive line is going to get head coach Steve Sarkisian fired. Washington struggled to block a battered Cal front seven, and now must deal with standout defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. But the home away from home field-advantage, the one-two punch of running back Bishop Sankey and impressive tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and an improving defense that should force freshman quarterback Travis Wilson into mistakes will be enough to secure a physical and punishing win.

UCLA (-16) 35, Washington State 13 – Hey, remember when the Cougars were a trendy pick to make a bowl game in Mike Leach's first season? Those predictions feel like they were made five years ago now, before star receiver Marquess Wilson's suspension, before the offensive and defensive lines were made to do a football perp walk in front of the media, before the musical chairs at quarterback. Not even the Bruins can screw this one up, setting up a Pac-12 South-deciding showdown with cross-town rival USC next week.

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan

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