1. UCLA at Stanford - Thursday 7:30 PM ESPN
AK: The Bruins will be playing with desperation this week--they do not want to go two down in the loss column this early. Stanford is the only other undefeated team and has been unstoppable so far in conference play--they can establish themselves as the North favorites with a great performance here.
JF: Easy choice here with a matchup of two ranked teams. Stanford has been rolling and last time we saw UCLA they were getting rolled at home, but as we know with the Pac-12 season this year, that means UCLA should win. I'm not sure if UCLA wins, but I think they will definitely at least challenge Stanford (and they are very due to get past the Cardinal) in what should be a rare great Thursday Pac-12 game.
2. Arizona State at Utah - 7 PM ESPN
AK: Pac-12 South battle #1. Both teams come in with defense-first mentalities, meaning this game will probably be tied 17-17 in the 4th quarter next week. Neither team has enough firepower to pull away from each other. Perfect pitched battle.
JF: A huge game in the South. A win here gives Utah a gigantic boost in the South and Arizona State really needs a win here to stay right in the thick of the race. These teams should be very evenly matched in an electric night setting at Salt Lake City for another prime time Pac-12 thrillers from Utah.
3. Oregon at Washington - 7:30 PM ESPN2
AK: Husky fans are getting hyped. THIS IS THE YEAR! It's strength on strength, weakness on weakness. Will the Oregon offense still be able to score on a salty Washington defense? Will the Oregon pass defense be relieved to face an offense that lacks explosiveness?
JF: We finally are back to this not being a hugely lopsided rivalry and that is a great thing for entertainment in the Pac-12 because there is no other rivalry in the conference that is as heated as this one. Husky Stadium will be electric as they anticipate breaking an 11-year losing streak, but the matchup favors Oregon. This could be an emotional one.
4. USC at Notre Dame - 4:30 PM NBC
AK: So many ways this Trojan game can go. But I have a feeling they come in fired up to win one for Helton. And remember this is the USC team that eviscerated Notre Dame last season. They won't be lacking for confidence in this one.
JF: A lot of intrigue here. Very curious to see how USC comes out after the Steve Sarkisian saga finally came to an end. They have the talent to win at Notre Dame, but there is so much at play here that I truly have no idea what will happen. This will be a big game to watch to see if USC can still salvage their season a little bit.
5. Arizona at Colorado - 6 PM FOX Sports 1
AK: Classic trap game! Colorado is better and this is their chance to steal an upset. Can the Buffs offense rumble into life and get rolling on a porous Arizona defense? The Wildcat offense certainly won't be as kind on the other end.
JF: This is one of Colorado's best chances to steal a game. Arizona is a lot better with Anu Solomon, but they are still beatable to an improved Colorado team. I think the Buffs will at least take this one close into the fourth quarter.
6. Oregon State at Washington State - 1 PM Pac-12 Networks
AK: OSU is a bad football team. Wazzu isn't exactly rising like the sun, but they are definitely better and should be generating some enthusiasm. Look for the Beavers to throw the kitchen sink here though, because it's hard to seeing them win after the Colorado game.
JF: This is a very good game for the worst game of the week. Both teams really need this game, the Cougars have looked good in Pac-12 play, but they are due for a let down and the Beavers are just as purely talented as they are. I expect a close one.