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Pac-12 Football Picks: Week Ten

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Washington’s quest for perfection continues at California, in the showcase game on the Pac-12’s five-game slate.

NCAA Football: California at Washington
Can California’s James Looney and the rest of the Golden Bears defense slow Washington’s prolific offensive attack?
Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Ingle Win Probability Calculator: Colorado (59%)

Colorado [6-2]: The Buffs kept their winning ways up against Stanford, where head coach Mike MacIntyre’s team scratched and clawed to an ugly 10-5 victory over the Cardinal. With the win, Colorado remains as the top team in the Pac-12 South Division, with only a slight lead at the moment over two surging teams in Utah and USC. However, the Buffs must clean up their offensive line and special teams issues going forward, if they want to hold off the Utes and the Trojans.

UCLA [3-5]: Life without quarterback Josh Rosen has officially begun this season for UCLA, as the sophomore gunslinger has been officially ruled out for the season due to a nagging nerve injury in his throwing shoulder. The reigns will now be fully handed to senior Mike Fafaul, who has already commanded the Bruins full-time, in their last two contests. Head coach Jim Mora desperately needs an influx of good news around his program but it’s doubtful he’ll find those good vibes in a road trip to Boulder.

Robert Ingle: Colorado
Marcus Russell: Colorado
The_Coach: Colorado
Brian J. Moore: Colorado
DavidMays: Colorado
Donald B. Jordan: Colorado
EMassey: Colorado

Ingle Win Probability Calculator: Stanford (61%)

Stanford [5-3]: At this point, Stanford may not catch Washington or Washington State for the lead in the Pac-12 North Division but the potential for the Cardinal to finish out the season strong is there, if they can manage road trips to Oregon and California in mid-November. For this week, head coach David Shaw’s concern will strictly be on the Beavers, who seem due to pull off another big upset. Star running back Christian McCaffrey, who returned to form last week in Stanford’s 34-10 win over Arizona, must have another strong outing for the Cardinal.

Oregon State [2-6]: Like I mentioned, it just feels like the Beavers are on the verge of putting it all together and knocking off another Pac-12 foe, just like they almost did against Washington State in Week Nine. While quarterback Marcus McMaryion has become serviceable and running back Ryan Nall has emerged into a prime-time, playmaking runner for Oregon State, it’s now the defense’s turn to have a big week. Containing McCaffrey and forcing the Cardinal to be a vertical passing team will be key for the Beavers in this one.

Robert Ingle: Stanford
Marcus Russell: Stanford
The_Coach: Stanford
Brian J. Moore: Stanford
DavidMays: Stanford
Donald B. Jordan: Oregon State
EMassey: Stanford

Ingle Win Probability Calculator: Washington State (63%)

Washington State [6-2]: Six straight wins. Top 25 ranking. 3rd best passing offense in the country. Washington State has come a long, long way from their 0-2 start and the Cougars are by the week, making that eventual Apple Cup showdown look more and more daunting for Washington. For head coach Mike Leach and company, it’s been a mix of a gradually improving defense, as well as the prolific ability of quarterback Luke Falk, who has thrown for a combined 813 yards, 8 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two outings.

Arizona [2-6]: Across the board, injuries have completely derailed Arizona’s season into the now perpetual weekly task of simply trying not to get steamrolled by each week’s opponent. This week, a road trip to Pullman will likely not make the uphill battle any easier. The Wildcats are allowing a distressing 33.1 points per game (106th nationally) to opponents and their doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for Rich Rod’s guys. Arizona will need a herculean effort just to remain close in this one.

Robert Ingle: Washington State
Marcus Russell: Washington State
The_Coach: Washington State
Brian J. Moore: Washington State
DavidMays: Washington State
Donald B. Jordan: Washington State
EMassey: Washington State

Ingle Win Probability Calculator: USC (56%)

USC [5-3]: The Trojans have fixed things up in the City of Angels, with a steady balance of a reworked offense and a more polished defense that now has head coach Clay Helton’s team just half-a-game back of Colorado for the Pac-12 South lead. Ain’t it strange what just a few weeks of football can change. USC will now need a big week out of their defense against an Oregon team, who despite all their struggles, has still remained quite the juggernaut on the offensive side of things.

Oregon [3-5]: Regardless of what may happen to this Oregon program at the end of the season, as far as coaching and player movement goes, the fact of the matter is the Ducks at least plugged the dam for now and are playing competitive football once again. Last week’s nineteen point beating of Arizona State is a solid example of the regrouped effort of this Ducks’ team. To get past USC on their home field, Oregon will need to turn this one into a shootout and find some ways to turn over the Trojans’ steady offense.

Robert Ingle: USC
Marcus Russell: USC
The_Coach: USC
Brian J. Moore: USC
DavidMays: USC
Donald B. Jordan: USC
EMassey: USC

Ingle Win Probability Calculator: Washington (66%)

California [4-4]: The Golden Bears roller-coasted season has continued into Week Ten, as Cal has literally traded off wins-and-losses every week for every true home and road game this year. Scary to think that the math means that California should somehow win this one. If head coach Sonny Dykes is going to manufacture that miracle upset (that would knock of the Pac-12 out of College Football Playoff contention), they’ll need quarterback Davis Webb to lead this offense on a historic day.

Washington [8-0]: The biggest obstacle left in the Huskies’ path to a potential College Football Playoff birth is likely playing with the weight of expectations at this point, as every week could be the outing that potentially ends what has been a storybook season for Washington. However, I’m not sure there’s a potential CFP team (outside Alabama) that looks more focused on a weekly basis than this Huskies group. Washington has won by single-digits just twice all season (at Arizona and at Utah) and when it’s not quarterback Jake Browning and the offense’s time to shine, this defensive unit reveals itself as one of the scariest units in the country.

Robert Ingle: Washington
Marcus Russell: Washington
The_Coach: Washington
Brian J. Moore: Washington
DavidMays: Washington
Donald B. Jordan: Washington
EMassey: Washington