Our picks for the last week of the regular season
For the second straight week, Jack and Scott showed me up with excellent predictions. They each went 5-1 while I lagged behind at 3-3, but we all nailed our locks, and two of us correctly predicted Stanford's mammoth upset of Oregon.
This week is the last regular week of the college football season (sad face), which also means it's our last chance of the year to pick against Colorado.
Here are our picks, with a bonus score prediction for the game of the week:
Utah (-23.5) at Colorado
Jack: Utah. At least I picked the Buffs to cover once this year.
Jacob: Utah. There will come a time when I trust Colorado football to cover a spread. It just won't be in 2012.
Scott: Utah. With a truly abysmal performance, Buffs could overtake Southern Miss for the top spot in ESPN.com's Bottom 10 poll.
Washington (-13.5) at Washington State
Jack: Washington. Like I said last week, Washington State's season is in full tailspin.
Jacob: Washington. You never know in rivalry games. But Washington has been playing well, and Washington State is really bad.
Scott: Washington. Huskies have rattled off four straight since midseason swoon.
Arizona State at Arizona (-2.5)
Jack: Arizona. Arizona State has really faded after their hot start to the season.
Jacob: Arizona. In overall and Pac-12 records, these teams are close. But I think the Arizona offense is clearly the best unit for either side, and that will be the difference.
Scott: Arizona. If you like scoring, this one should be fun.
Oregon (-9.5) at Oregon State
Jack: Oregon. I think they bounce back from the tough loss with a solid performance.
Jacob: Oregon. Playing a rivalry game after a brutally huge loss is a recipe for disaster, but this team is still playing for a shot at the national title game. And I still think Oregon might be the best team in the country.
Scott: Oregon. Ducks put a beatdown on Oregon State before rooting like crazy for UCLA.
Stanford (-2) at UCLA
Jack: Stanford. All the Cardinal have to do is avoid a letdown week, and I think they're well-prepared not to have one. Score: Stanford 27, UCLA 20.
Jacob: Stanford. Anyone thinking "if Stanford can beat Oregon, it should kill UCLA" is severely overlooking a talented Bruins team. This should be an excellent matchup, but the Cardinal just has more incentive to win. Score: Stanford 28, UCLA 20.
Scott: Stanford. Brace yourself for the "it's hard to beat the same team twice" talk this week. Score: Stanford 28, UCLA 14.
Notre Dame (-5.5) at USC
Jack: Notre Dame. I really don't think this one is going to be close. Notre Dame's defensive line will destroy USC's already-ineffective offense. Bonus score prediction: Notre Dame 30, USC 17.
Jacob: Notre Dame. I keep waiting for the Irish to lose, because I don't think there's any way they're the best team in the country. But USC is severely underachieving, utterly demoralized, and missing its starting quarterback. I just hope I'm wrong (yes, I have to root for USC. Sigh). Bonus score prediction: Notre Dame 24, USC 17.
Scott: USC. BCS title game featuring two SEC teams > BCS title game featuring Notre Dame. Max Wittek helps take care of some of Matt Barkley's unfinished business. Bonus score prediction: USC 28, Notre Dame 27.
Lock of the Week
Jack: Oregon. They should be really motivated to find their way back to a BCS game, and I don't think Oregon State can quite keep up with them.
Jacob: Arizona. I went really original this week and picked all favorites, but the Territorial Cup seems like a mismatch to me. I'll take the better team playing at home in a game it cares about.
Scott: Oregon. Stanford's defensive effort last week will look even more impressive after the Ducks put a hurting on OSU.