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Saturday Open Thread and Rooting Guide

This one is easy.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at California
Justin Wilcox has a chance to give one more gift to his former mates in the Washington program.
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

With UW out of the playoff hunt but still breathing in the race for the PAC 12 championship, this week’s rooting guide is easy.

In fact, it is so easy that UW technically doesn’t even have to win their own game to make it work. UW could lose to Utah tonight (giving them a third loss) but still win the division with an Apple Cup win if one key thing happens.

Cal must beat Stanford.

So, here is your week 12 rooting guide:

Cal at Stanford

Root for: Cal

If Cal beats Stanford, UW is back in firm control of their own destiny. A third loss on Stanford creates a negative tiebreaker situation for them because of the number of division losses that they would have on their ledger compared to UW.

So, can it happen?

It wouldn’t be a shocker. But the odds say no.

S&P+ has Stanford’s win probability at 77% with a 63 point difference between the Cardinal’s current S&P+ ranking (26) and Cal’s (89). ESPN’s FPI has it even more stacked in Stanford’s favor with an 89% probability.

So, none of that looks good for the Bears.

If there were to be a ray of hope, it would be rooted in the fact that the Bears have the ability to play Stanford’s game of controlling the clock and establishing a running game. Cal is #6 in the conference in Time of Possession just behind Stanford. In fact, only 18 seconds separates Cal from Stanford in average TOP per game.

There isn’t as big a talent gap between the two teams as you might think. The issue has been that the Bears have been much more turnover prone throughout the season. Cal has given up 18 turnovers to Stanford’s 9 on the season. But things have been improving for Cal in that regard as the season has worn on.

If Cal can control the clock, play bend don’t break D and have a favorable turnover margin (giving them an extra possession or two), they can win this game. It sounds cliche, but it is an effective formula against Stanford.

Don’t fret Husky fans. Cal has a plan to win the game. Doing it is a whole different thing.

Saturday Full Schedule

Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Mercer at #1 Alabama 9:00 AM SEC Network
Virginia at #3 Miami 9:00 AM ABC
#24 Michigan at #5 Wisconsin 9:00 AM FOX
Louisiana Monroe at #6 Auburn 9:00 AM ESPN2
#12 TCU at Texas Tech 9:00 AM FS1
#15 UCF at Temple 9:00 AM ESPNU
#16 Mississippi State at Arkansas 9:00 AM CBS
SMU at #21 Memphis 9:00 AM ESPNews
Minnesota at #23 Northwestern 9:00 AM BTN
Cincinnati at East Carolina 9:00 AM CBSSN
Texas at West Virginia 9:00 AM ESPN
Rutgers at Indiana 9:00 AM BTN
Delaware State at Florida State 9:00 AM ACC Network
The Citadel at #2 Clemson 9:20 AM ACC Network
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech 9:20 AM ACC Network
Rice at Old Dominion 11:00 AM None
Fresno State at Wyoming 11:00 AM ATT SportsNet None
Iowa State at Baylor 11:30 AM FSN
Arizona State at Oregon State 12:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
Charlotte at Southern Mississippi 12:00 PM None
Louisiana Tech at UTEP 12:00 PM None
Western Carolina at North Carolina 12:00 PM ACC Network
Hawai'i at Utah State 12:00 PM Spectrum Sports
UMass at BYU 12:00 PM None
Texas State at Arkansas State 12:00 PM None
South Alabama at Georgia Southern 12:00 PM None
#4 Oklahoma at Kansas 12:30 PM ESPN
Kentucky at #7 Georgia 12:30 PM CBS
Navy at #8 Notre Dame 12:30 PM NBC
Illinois at #9 Ohio State 12:30 PM ABC
Kansas State at #13 Oklahoma State 12:30 PM ESPN2
San Jose State at Colorado State 12:30 PM CBSSN
Syracuse at Louisville 12:30 PM ESPNU
Georgia Tech at Duke 12:30 PM ACC Network
Purdue at Iowa 12:30 PM BTN
Nebraska at #10 Penn State 1:00 PM FS1
Maryland at #17 Michigan State 1:00 PM FOX
Wofford at South Carolina 1:00 PM SEC Network
UAB at Florida 1:00 PM SEC Network
Houston at Tulane 1:00 PM ESPNews
Coastal Carolina at Idaho 2:00 PM None
New Mexico State at Louisiana 2:00 PM None
Army at North Texas 3:30 PM beIN Sports None
#20 LSU at Tennessee 4:00 PM ESPN
Arizona at Oregon 4:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
Texas A&M at Ole Miss 4:00 PM ESPN2
Boston College at Connecticut 4:00 PM CBSSN
Marshall at UT San Antonio 4:00 PM KMYS
Florida Intl at Florida Atlantic 4:00 PM Stadium
#19 NC State at Wake Forest 4:30 PM ESPNU
Missouri at Vanderbilt 4:30 PM SEC Network
UCLA at #11 USC 5:00 PM ABC
California at #22 Stanford 5:00 PM FOX
Air Force at #25 Boise State 7:15 PM ESPN2
Utah at #18 Washington 7:30 PM ESPN
Nevada at San Diego State 7:30 PM CBSSN