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Staff Week 4 Picks

The Pacific Takes staff makes their week 4 selections.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Stanford Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The staff takes a shot at predicting the winners of some of the biggest week 4 match-ups.

Last Week's Record 4-3 3-4 3-4 5-2 4-3 3-4 4-3 5-2 5-2 3-4 4-3
Season Record 14-7 12-9 12-9 11-10 11-10 12-9 10-11 13-8 11-10 9-12 9-12
Name Taylor Henry Ryan Larson Jose Bouquett Gabey Lucas Eli Boettger Jack Follman Owen Dillion Simeon Moses David Colangelo Travis King Andrew Burnett
Game
USC at #24 Utah Utah- Wouldn't it just be the perfect script for Helton if he could find a way to beat a ranked Utah team on the road? Keep Dreaming. Trojans go to 1-3. USC- This here is what we call a happiness edge. I will be rooting very hard for Utah, but just in case they lose this game, why make it hurt twice as much? Utah- If this was a 5 round fight then Helton would have a chance. USC is falling apart, they don't stand a chance this week. Bye Bye Helton. Utah- USC has shown itself to be the antithesis of what Helton wanted in terms of physical and mental toughness. Utah is more mentally prepared, tougher, and more disciplined. Utah- After a full week of turmoil for USC, the Utes should be able to handle the Trojans at home. Utah- USC really needs this game and should win this game, but I can't pick them in good faith. USC won't be able to score enough on the road against the Utes defense. Utah- I mean, I think we all pretty much know USC is simply not a good team at this point. Also, Utah is pretty good this year. Underrated in my opinion. USC- On paper USC is still a far more talented team. USC- Utah is overrated. Its offense just doesn't do enough. I'd be a lot more comfortable with this pick if USC wasn't imploding, but alas. Utah- USC is a disaster right now. If the Trojans lose this game, which I think they will, look for major changes after the game. Utah- Cold, rainy, Blackout game in Salt Lake City against a freshman QB. I'll take Utah and their defense to pull out the W.
#19 Florida at #14 Tennessee Tennessee- If Del Rio was playing, I would pick Florida to continue the streak. Twitter wasn't even invented the last time the Vols beat Florida. The streak ends Saturday. Tennessee- This game features two teams who have mastered disappointing their fan bases but have yet to master playing QB. No matter who wins prepare to be disappointed. Tennessee- It's a shame Good Ole Jim can't keep a QB. Whether it be by suspension or injury he can't keep his QB on the field. A rowdy Vols crowd won't help. Tennessee by 10. Florida- If Del Rio was in I would go Florida immediately, because the Vols have looked like garbage. In the end McElwain is a better coach than Butch, plus I have a friend at UF that would kill me if I didn't pick them. 24-20 Tennessee- Maybe the Vols aren't as overrated as we originally thought. They'll win by a couple of touchdowns. Tennessee- Both of these teams seem limited on offense, so I'll go with the home team. Florida- This game is kind of a toss up, but I think that Florida gets it done. Of course, going into Tennessee is always hard, but I feel like the Gators have shown more this year. Florida- Tennessee has been lucky until now. Their luck will run out against a ranked opponent. Florida- Florida's defense will hold Tennessee under 20 points. That'll be enough. Florida- The Gators continue the streak against Tennessee in a close one. Tennessee- I lean towards the Vols for 2 reasons. One, they're at home. Two, I have no idea why Florida is even ranked.
#11 Wisconsin at #9 Michigan State MSU- Everyone is so impressed with the Spartans after last week. I think Wisconsin will play inspired, but East Lansing gives MSU the edge. MSU- The Badgers almost lost to Georgia State last week. By transitive property that means that LSU, who lost to Wisconsin, is close in talent to GSU. That also tells me Wisconsin is bad. MSU- The Spartans surprised everyone last week by rolling Notre Dame. They impressed me and Wisconsin is starting a new QB. MSU will impress again. MSU- At this point, I think the Spartan thrive on people betting against them. I learned my lesson last week. Plus, the Badgers giving a QB his first start on the road in East Lansing, that's tough. 24-21. MSU- The Spartans proved that they're capable of making a legit run for the CFP this season with the UND win last week. What's more concerning, however, is that MSU nearly blew a big lead. MSU- I think Wisconsin grabbed a really nice win against LSU, but I don't think they will stay elite. The Spartans have made a living winning these games. MSU- I said it last week, and I'll say it again, the Spartans are criminally underrated. Also, their jersey's are super nice so you have to give them the edge right? MSU- Home field allows the Spartans to squeak out a win based on their defense. MSU- In East Lansing gives the Spartans the nod vs. a team that barely beat Georgia State at home. MSU- I'm not saying the Badgers didn't deserve their win against LSU, but they don't feel like a top 10 team. MSU has that feel and wins this weekend. MSU- This is a pick'em game, but I'll take D'Antonio and the Spartans at home.
#17 Arkansas at #10 Texas A&M Texas A&M- I kind of want to call the Hogs, but the 12th Man makes the difference for me. Arkansas will grind out drives, but A&M makes just enough plays. Texas A&M- Both of these teams are really good at failing to live up to expectations. Both are also 3-0 right now, so I'm assuming the both find a way to lose this game. Texas A&M- UCLA played a good game against them this year, Trever Knights Is good, and I couldn't tell you who the Hogs QB is. That makes the difference. A&M by 3. Texas A&M- The battle of the two SEC teams we thought would be mediocre, but have looked good so far. Arkansas and A&M Both screwed me over in previous weeks, but A&M has looked better. 31-21. Texas A&M- The winner of this one should compete with Alabama for the SEC East title. A&M has had Arkansas' number in recent years, and the trend should continue Sunday. Texas A&M- I don't love either of these teams, but A&M is at home and I think is playing better football than the Hogs. Texas A&M- The Aggies are just a far better team. It will be interesting to see how they fare overe the course of their conference schedule, but they will for sure win this week. Texas A&M- Arkansas isn't good enough to win in College Station. Texas A&M- Tough to win on the road in front of the 12th Man. A&M's vaunted D-line is strong enough against a huge Hogs offensive line. Arkansas- The Hogs will ground and pound their way to a win against the Aggies. Texas A&M- A&M impressed me last week at Auburn. The 12th Man will be too much for Bielema and the Hogs.
#9 Washington at Arizona Washington- Arizona has questions at QB, and almost lost to Grambling. Washington hasn't played anyone, so I expect them to struggle early, but Browning pulls the Huskies away in the second half. Washington- Personally, I want the Huskies to win just so we have another week of yelling "they haven't played anyone yet" as they ascend into the top 5 in the country. Washington- Finally the Huskies are playing someone noteworthy. Problem is, this is Arizona... Washington by 20. Washington- Arizona will want revenge after getting smashed a year ago. That said, I think UW's offense is a much better machine, and Arizona switching from a 3-3-5 scheme to a more aggressive Defense plays into their hands. Washington- This is the 1st true test of the season for the Dawgs. After a cupcake non-conference schedule, the next few weeks will define how good this UW team really is. Huskies sneak by AZ in OT. Washington- This might be a tougher game but I still think the Huskies can get it done against a floundering Arizona squad. Whoever starts at QB for the Cats wll have a tough time with Washington's defense. Washington- I mean... duh. Washington-This is a total mismatch even on the road. Arizona is way too thin across the board. Washington- While Arizona has been known to knock off a top 10 team (4 years in a row), especially at home, the Huskies defense is just too much. Washington- Washington is proving to be a legit top 10 team. They will roll over Arizona. Washington- Jake Browning may throow for 400+ yards against the worst defense in the PAC-12. UW rolls.
#7 Stanford at UCLA Stanford- Shaw is a much better coach than Mora. Rosen has underwhelmed me this year, and Stanford won't be scared to go on the road. Give me McCaffery and another Cardinal W. Stanford- Could just write Christian McCaffery 20 times, but his name is a lot of work to spell over and over. Instead, I'm only going to write it twice. Christian McCaffery. UCLA- Call me a homer, call me whatever you want, but at home Jim Mora is going to have the boys ready to play. They'll learn from last year and imit McCaffery and somehow get a win. UCLA by 4. Stanford- Similar to the USC game, but less drastic. UCLA has more talent, but Stanford is tougher, tighter, and plays better as a unit. Rosen hasn't played to his potential but hasn't had help either. Stanford- Good luck picking against Christian McCaffery. I still don't believe UCLA has the talent to match this Stanford team. The Cardinal win easy. Stanford- Very tempted to pick UCLA here, but they usually don't come through when you expect them to. I think they have another year of frustration, getting beat up by Stanford. Stanford- UCLA has given them some tight ones in the past, but Stanford will get it done. Stanford's defense showed a lot of promise last week against USC, and I expect them to build off that. Stanford-They're the big bully in the PAC-12 right now. They're running on full capacity while UCLA is still figuring things out. Stanford- People forget that Stanford always beats UCLA. Do people forget that? Anyways, Stanford wins. Stanford- This is going to be a great game. I think Stanford has shown us more maturity and stability so far this season and they get it done in LA. Stanford- Every yeard UCLA is supposed to beat Stanford. Every year they fail miserably. I'll take the nerds.
California at Arizona State ASU- I have picked against Cal every week that they're on here. I'm going to do it again. ASU almost lost on the road last week, but they hammered TTU at home. They'll win in Tempe. Cal- Both schools took the idea that "if you score more points than your opponent you win the game" to heart. In doing so, they forgot that they also have to not allow points too. Cal- ASU almost lost to UTSA in front of my own eyes. They looked dreadful. I don't believe in ASU and I kind of like Davis Webb as much as it pains me to say. Cal by 3. ASU students come at me. Cal- We all know the defense aren't going to stop anyone, so it'll come down to who makes plays and doesn't make mistakes. Because of that, I'm going with the more experienced QB Davis Webb. 49-42. Cal- Once again, the winner should score at least 8 TD's. Cal's Davis Webb and ASU's Kalen Ballage expect to contribute most of the points. I'm going with the Bears in a shootout. ASU- I think the Sun Devils have the sliver of defense and home field advantage needed to win in what should be a crazy game. Cal- I'm buying into the Bears this year. Yes, the defense is trash again, but that offense is just crazy. Cal- Their offense looked effcient last week. Cal gets the edge in this shootout. ASU- If this game has fewer than 100 total poitns, I'll eat a brick. Can Cal win on the road yet? Not this week. ASU- Are the Sun Devils good or lucky? I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and take them over Cal. Cal- ASU will struggle to keep up with the Cal offense. ASU will blitz and give up drag routes all day. Cal blows ASU out.