Pac-12 Game of the Week - Stanford at Notre Dame - 12:30 p.m. NBC
JF: Notre Dame reeks of being overrated, but the Cardinal have to hit the road for the second straight week after getting a tough one from Washington in Seattle, so they might be a little tired so I don't really know how this one will go. Okay, maybe I do, low-scoring and close with whoever makes the fewer mistakes probably winning.
AK: Too important a game not to have #1. A second loss for the Cardinal would really doom their playoff hopes outside of winning the Pac-12 outright. Vital non-conference game to ensure the conference keeps their hopes alive for two playoff bids. And eliminating Notre Dame from the race would be a nice touch too. If Stanford is going to break out of their offensive funk, it has to be now.
2. Cal at Washington State - 7:30 p.m. Pac-12 Network
JF: Two air raids that can really score with quarterbacks with red hot hands meeting up at night in Pullman should be something to see. Expect more than 1,000 yards passing between the two and close to 15 touchdowns as both of these teams try to crawl out of the bottom of the North and inch towards bowl eligibility.
AK: Would be #1 if I expected either team to compete for the Pac-12. As it is, I expect fireworks, and I'm sure the over isn't high enough.
3. Oregon State at Colorado - 1 p.m. Pac-12 Network
JF: The two LA team games are probably more prominent, but this one has a lot more potential to be close. Colorado is ripe to knock off someone at home and the Beavers have to be reeling from last week's beating at USC.
AK: The Buffs are getting closer and closer, and the Beavers feel like the perfect trap candidate. Watch out OSU.
4. Arizona State at USC - 4:30 p.m. FOX
JF: USC looks legit as long as they aren't traveling across the country after playing Stanford and Arizona State looks lost without Taylor Kelly and without a defense but Sarkisian and USC are prone to hangovers.
AK: don't think the Sun Devils will win, but ASU runs the sort of offense that gives the Trojans (and particularly Justin Wilcox) all sorts of problems. The Sun Devils barbecued the Huskies last season and I'd say they were comparable teams in talent. Expect this one to be a bit closer than people expect even with Bercovici.
5. Arizona at Oregon - 7:30 p.m. ESPN
JF: No one is giving the Wildcats a chance in the rematch of their throttling of Oregon last year in Tucson and I am probably one of them, but keep in mind that Oregon's last three conference games consist of that aforementioned blasting by Arizona, a one-point win against Oregon State and that down-to-the-wire near-loss against Washington State. Even if this one isn't that close, it will be interested to see if Oregon has made progress on shoring up their pass protection and pass defense.
AK: Freshman quarterback on the road in Autzen. Freshman running back on the road in Autzen. Half the defense that shut down the Ducks last season is gone. Oregon team that remembers very well how they destroyed their Rose Bowl chances in Tucson last year. Rich Rod's road record against top 25 teams has been....bad. This has all the earmarks of a bloodbath.
6. Utah at UCLA - 7:30 p.m. ESPN
JF: Utah came back to Earth Saturday, losing at home to Washington State and I don't expect their direction to change on the road at a suddenly scary UCLA team. Still, just a week ago, Utah was a sneaky South title contender and UCLA was a floundering underachiever, so be wary of how quickly scripts can flip.
AK: It was fun Utes, but this is the Pac-12 now, and it's hard to win with that potato of an offense that you trot out every Saturday. The Bruins will probably struggle with the Utah front and have a bit of an underwhelming performance though, because they'll try and keep their cards close to the vest for next week's game.