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Pac-12 TV Guide Week 12: USC tries to end losing skid to Stanford and shake up conference standings

Each week Avinash Kunnath and Jack Follman break down the week's Pac-12 games and why you should watch them.


Pac-12 Game of the Week - Stanford at USC - Saturday 5 PM ABC

AK - USC is charging into the final month firing on all cylinders, and gets the chance to play spoiler to Stanford's Rose Bowl hopes. It should lead to some fierce battles up front between the best line talent in the Pac-12.

JF - Upset alert! The Trojans might actually match up with the Cardinal better than the Ducks do as they can match them with a physical defensive front seven and offensive line. The Trojans should have beaten the Cardinal the last time that they were down in LA and are horrifically overdue to beat Stanford. If Cody Kessler can play confidently and the Trojan offense can throw some punches, they could easily pull off a huge upset that would drastically change the race for the Pac-12 Championship Game.

2. Washington at UCLA - Friday 6 PM ESPN2

AK - The Huskies and Bruins looked like serious Pac-12 title contenders the first several weeks, and they still probably possess the third and fourth most talented squads in the conference. Washington has struggled away from home, but the Bruins have been a step slow since their Oregon-Stanford encounter. Should be a close one.

JF - The Huskies have been terrible on the road against good teams, but they did give Stanford a serious scare down in Palo Alto and I expect them to be bringing it just as hard as they did back then Friday as it will be one of the most important games of Steve Sarkisian's tenure. The Huskies likely won't be able to stop Brett Hundley but if the Husky offensive line can protect Keith Price, the Huskies should be able to put up enough points on offense to turn it into a back-and-forth affair between teams that could be fighting each other for a spot in the Alamo, Holiday or Sun Bowl.

3. Oregon State at Arizona State - Saturday 6:30 PM Pac-12 Network

AK - Sean Mannion and the Beavers have looked frighteningly ordinary the last two games. Will this be the week they turn things around? Arizona State has been absolutely unbeatable at home.

JF - The Beavers and the Mannion to Cooks combo have really cooled off once their schedule toughened up, but I have a feeling that the Beavers and their deadly duo have at least one more big game in them and this could be it. The Sun Devils have looked outstanding at home this season, but the Beavers are a team can sneak up on you, especially if the Sun Devils look forward to their following-week showdown at UCLA.

4. Washington State at Arizona - Saturday 11 AM Pac-12 Network

AK - Pass it out vs. run it down. Do or die for the Cougs. Washington State can salvage their bowl chances by taking one on the road, although they haven't beaten a good team in months. Arizona doesn't feel any such pressure and will try to grind it out.

JF - This is a sleeper of a game. The Cougars need a win maybe more than anyone else in the conference and even though they have struggled in recent weeks, they are very well-rested and may be able to give Connor Halliday time to pass for the first time in a long time against a weak Arizona pass rush. If Halliday can start spreading it around and the Cougars can slow B.J. Denker and Ka'Deem Carey a bit on the ground, they can easily make a game of it in Tucson.

5. Cal at Colorado - Saturday 2:30 PM Pac-12 Network

AK - From a sadistic point of view, this could be the game of the year. The Buffs have the home field but still probably have less talent. Who will be not worst?

JF - There isn't much at stake here, but it should be very close as I agree that the Buffs have home field, but the Bears are more talented, but also injured. This one will be a big one for fans of both teams as they try to fight for the honor of not being considered the worst team in the Pac-12 this season.

6. Utah at Oregon - Saturday 1 PM FOX Sports 1

AK - Oh this will not be pretty. Utes are reeling, Ducks are angry. This will be obliteration.

JF - Logic would suggest that this will be an ugly for the Utes as they come off a heartbreaking loss to Arizona State and now must take on an Oregon team that should be angrier than a pack of hornets on steroids. Yet, the Utes have an underrated front seven that might be capable of keeping it close for a while if the Ducks have a hangover from their loss to Stanford.