Arizona State at Arizona
The Sun Devils can finish the season 6-6 with a win over the Wildcats but they have been eliminated from bowl contention because two wins came against FCS teams this season. If the Wildcats win they are headed to San Antonio and if they lose they will end up in San Diego where they were pounded by Nebraska last season.
The Sun Devils lead with their defense but their offense has improved a bit over the second half of the season. They put 55 on the board against UCLA last week. They came very close to knocking off Stanford the previous week. The week before that they lost by only 1 to USC.
The Wildcats have lost three in a row to Stanford, USC, and Oregon. Anything can happen in a rivalry game but the Sun Devils seem to have more momentum going into this one even though their bowl hopes have ended.
On paper you have to pick the Wildcats to win for a number of reasons. They have a better offense, a pretty steady defense, and they are playing at home. I think they will have their way with a less than mobile Brock Osweiller starting at QB for ASU.
Vegas : Arizona by 6 John : Arizona 31 Arizona State 24
USC at UCLA
How long has it been since the two LA schools met with nothing but pride on the line? The Trojans have been reeling from the loss of QB Matt Barkley and have lost two in a row. A win over the Bruins will give Lane Kiffin a little more breathing room in the off season.
Rick Neuheisel on the other hand is directing program where the wheels are coming off. Consecutive losses to Washington and Arizona State have them out of bowl contention after a nifty win over Oregon State. The key to stopping the Bruins is stopping the run but the Trojans really haven't been stopping anyone this season. Last weeks home loss to Notre Dame has to sting.
Matt Barkley is going to be back this week and even if he isn't 100% I think it will be enough to give the Trojans a victory.
Vegas : USC by 7 John : USC 35 UCLA 21
Oregon at Oregon State
How many of you out there are going to be pulling for the Beavers this weekend? If the Ducks win they likely will face Auburn in the BCS National Title game. If they lose they can do no worse than the Rose Bowl. The Beavers need to win to go bowling. Improbable losses to UCLA and WSU during the second half of the season have torpedoed the Beavers this season.
The only thing that makes this game a partial question mark is the fact that it is the Civil War and it is being played in Corvallis. Anything can happen in a rivalry type game. This is a bitter rivalry and both teams always bring their "A" games. I just happen to think that the Ducks "A" game is better than the Beavers "A" game. If the Ducks lose it is because they brought their "D" game.
The thing about the Ducks is nobody except perhaps ASU has been able to control them in the second half. I don't see the OSU defense being able to do that unless the Ducks turn it over all day.
Vegas: Oregon by 16 John : Oregon 48 Oregon State 31