Week 4 Pac-12 Predicitions

(7-3) last week, (20-7) on the season

Friday Sept, 22
#72 Utah (3-0) vs #58 Arizona (2-1) 730pm PT, FS1
Line: Utah -3.5
Win Probability: Arizona 67.15%

#101 Utah Offense vs. #59 Arizona Defense

#48 Arizona Offense vs. #47 Utah Defense

Today's Game of the Year of Week is Utah for Rich Rodriguez and Arizona. Utah started out below what the most narrative analysts expected in the preseason model and as the season has gone on these have only further diverged. Utah is now ranked #23rd in the AP Poll while Utah has fallen nearly 20 spots in Beta_Rank. Why? Well in early season Utah hasn't played anyone remotely good, but they played a terrible BYU team close. BYU was shellacked by both #16 LSU and #19 Wisconsin, but LSU is mostly getting held up by it's preseason model rank at this point after their terrible game against Mississippi State. Arizona meanwhile has at least played a decent #53 Houston squad in an ugly game all around. Arizona should win this game at home. Arizona has a chance to put up some explosive plays against a Utah defense that isn't great at containment. Utah isn't going to get the abrupt awakening 2015 Arizona did when they coasted through preseason into a ranking and then were mauled in Tucson by UCLA, but this game being close at all should tell you all you need to know about Utah.

Arizona 20 Utah 16

#6 USC (3-0) vs. #61 Cal (3-0) 1230pm PT, ABC
Line: USC -17
Win Probability: USC 93.7%

Cal is the surprise of the conference being 3-0 and having played a pretty challenging schedule. USC has played a good schedule of their own. The model liked Texas a little too much heading into the season based on the talent they have vs. breaking in a new coach, but you can't say they didn't show that talent in the USC game. This should be bit of a come back to earth game for Cal, but that is not anything to be ashamed of in year one of the Wilcox regime.

USC 34 Cal 20

#101 Nevada (0-3) vs #37 Washington State (3-0) 3pm PT, Pac-12
Line: WSU -28
Win Probability: WSU 89.57%

I thought about running out the offense vs. defense radar charts for this game, but I have a lot going on in real life right now and Wazzu should win by a million.

WSU 54 Nevada 10

#12 Washington (3-0) vs #34 Colorado (3-0) 4pm PT, FS1
Line: Washington -11.5
Win Probability: Washington 72.29%

This game should be a very interesting test for both teams. Colorado was supposed to be relying on their offense this year, but instead it is their defense that has stepped up and played really well. They will have their hands full with this Washington team. Both squads have relied on the big play on offense against largely over-matched competition so far; so who can sustain drives will be huge. The two defenses are also probably over-indexing on Drive Efficiency right now. I think Washington is just too talented in this game in the end though.

Washington 31 Colorado 17

#33 Oregon (3-0) vs #68 Arizona State (1-2) 7pm PT, Pac-12
Line: Oregon -14.5
Win Probability: Oregon 72.64%

Game of the Year of the Week for Todd Graham and the Sun Devils. The best offense in the Pac-12 really couldn't be coming in at a worse time for the Devils. Oregon still has strides to make on defense. People are really over-hyping the performance vs. a Wyoming unit that lost a ton off last year. The Ducks let a pretty mediocre Nebraska squad back into a game they should have salted away. ASU has the talent to put up points on this defense, but can they keep pace? I think not. Todd Graham's seat gets even hotter.

Oregon 44 ASU 38

#24 UCLA (2-1) vs #20 Stanford (1-2) 730pm PT, ESPN
Line: Stanford -7
Win Probability: Stanford 60.11%

I think this line is a tip of the cap to the better coach playing at home because Stanford and UCLA are both hanging around in the 20's in the model due to their preseason model scores. The model really thought Stanford would be better on offense given how much they brought back. I sincerely think this game could go either way, but the only unit I think you can have any faith in so far is the UCLA offense. UCLA's defense will be a lot softer than the SDSU defense they faced last week, but Stanford just hasn't been able to pull it together. That said I agree with Vegas and the model: David Shaw at home gets the benefit of the doubt.

Stanford 31 UCLA 30

Giving up: #88 Oregon State

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