College Football Picks: 2 high-stakes showdowns in Pac-12

Nov 15, 2022, 11:41 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2022, 1:42 pm

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (10) celebrates a touchdown against Washington during the second half of ...

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (10) celebrates a touchdown against Washington during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

(AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

The Pac-12’s big weekend turned out to be not quite as big as it could have been after some upsets last week.

Still, the conference’s marquee matchups are the highlights of this weekend’s schedule, with four top-16 teams that could determine who plays in the league championship game.

No. 7 USC is at No. 16 UCLA, which was upset by Arizona last week. No. 10 Utah is at No. 12 Oregon, which was upset at home by Washington.

Those loses left the Trojans as the Pac-12’s last hope to get a team in the College Football Playoff. The self-described Conference of Champions has not had a CFP team since 2016.

The five most intriguing games of Week 12:

No. 7 Southern California at No. 16 UCLA

The future Big Ten rivals haven’t played with both ranked since 2014. The last time they were both ranked anywhere near this high was 2005, when the top-ranked Trojans hammered the No. 11 Bruins, 66-19. UCLA dropped 62 on USC last season and Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was talking about getting to 60 again this week. Considering the way these two teams play defense, it’s very possible. If USC wins, it’s in the Pac-12 title game. If UCLA wins, it would still have work to do.

LINE: USC by 1 1/2. PICK: UCLA, 52-49.

No. 4 TCU at Baylor

The Horned Frogs (10-0) keep rolling along, winning close games and staying unbeaten. The Bears are coming off their worst performance of the season against Kansas State. Still, Baylor (6-4) has shown it can at times play at a high level and the rivalry between the Horned Frogs and Bears is sneaky intense.

LINE: TCU by 2 1/2. PICK: TCU, 31-24.

No. 10 Utah at No. 12 Oregon

The Ducks’ playoff hopes went out the window last week, but they still control their path to the Pac-12 title game. The Utes would be in great shape to defend their Pac-12 title in Las Vegas with a victory. These two met twice last season, with Utah pounding the Ducks each time to the tune of 76-17.

LINE: Oregon by 3. PICK: Utah, 38-35.

Iowa at Minnesota

The Hawkeyes’ offense has come to life — relatively speaking — and just like that they are well-positioned to defend their Big Ten West title and return to Indianapolis for the conference title game. But who isn’t still alive in the Big Ten West race? Stylistically and aesthetically, this game should be the antithesis of USC-UCLA.

LINE: Minnesota by 2 1/2. PICK: Iowa, 20-17.

No. 24 Oklahoma State at Oklahoma

Not much at stake for Bedlam this year with the Sooners (5-4) still working toward bowl eligibility. But in some ways that makes it even more intriguing. OU has dominated this rivalry (82-19-7). The Cowboys have a chance to win two straight for the first time since 2001-02.

LINE: Oklahoma by 7 1/2. PICK: Oklahoma, 27-24.

Here is the rest of the Top 25, with lines from FanDuel Sportsbook:


SMU (plus 3 1/2) at No. 21 Tulane

Mustangs have won seven straight meetings since both joined the AAC … TULANE 31-28.


No. 1 Georgia (minus 22 1/2) at Kentucky

Over their last 25 games, the Bulldogs are 24-1 with 22 double-digit victories … GEORGIA 38-13.

No. 2 Ohio State (minus 27 1/2) at Maryland

Aside from one OT game in 2018, the Buckeyes’ average margin of victory in six other games against the Terps is 44 points … OHIO STATE 58-14.

Illinois at No. 3 Michigan (minus 17 1/2)

Wolverines are 10-0 for the first time since 2006, the last time both them and Ohio State went into The Game unbeaten … MICHIGAN 34-14.

No. 5 Tennessee (minus 21 1/2) at South Carolina

Vols WR Jalin Hyatt has more 40-yard receptions this season (10) than 12 SEC teams … TENNESSEE 49-24.

UAB at No. 6 LSU (minus 14 1/2)

Blazers feature the nation’s leading rusher in DeWayne McBride, averaging 156 yards per game … LSU 35-17.

Miami at No. 9 Clemson (minus 19 1/2)

Last three meetings: Tigers 138, Miami 20 … CLEMSON 31-10.

No. 11 Penn State at Rutgers (plus 19 1/2)

In eight meetings since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten, Rutgers has failed to break 10 points and is 0-8 … PENN STATE 24-7.

Georgia Tech at No. 13 North Carolina (minus 21 1/2)

Late Heisman push by Tar Heels QB Drake Maye continues … NORTH CAROLINA 48-24.

No. 14 Mississippi at Arkansas (plus 2 1/2)

SEC’s two leading rushers square off in Rebels’ Quinshon Judkins and Razorbacks’ Rocket Sanders … ARKANSAS 28-27.

Colorado at No. 15 Washington (minus 30 1/2)

Buffs are last in the nation in points allowed at 41.7 per game … WASHINGTON 49-16.

Navy (plus 16 1/2) at No. 17 UCF

Knights need to win out against Midshipmen and USF to host AAC title game … UCF 31-17.

Boston College (plus 20 1/2) at No. 18 Notre Dame

Irish have won eight straight against the Eagles since snapping a six-game skid in the series in 2009 … NOTRE DAME 30-14.

No. 19 Kansas State (minus 7 1/2) at West Virginia

Do the Mountaineers have another upset in them to help save coach Neal Brown’s job? … KANSAS STATE 31-17.

Louisiana-Lafayette (plus 24 1/2) at No. 20 Florida State

QB Jordan Travis and the Seminoles are looking to roll into rivalry game with Florida off a fourth straight blowout victory … FLORIDA STATE 34-14.

No. 22 Cincinnati (minus 16 1/2) at Temple

Bearcats LB Ivan Pace leads the nation in tackles for loss with 19.5 … CINCINNATI 38-17.

Arizona State at No. 25 Oregon State (minus 7 1/2)

Last time the Beavers won a game as a ranked team was 2012 … OREGON STATE 35-21.


Washington State at Arizona (plus 3 1/2) — @m1ssionarykj. Wildcats QB Jayden de Laura against his former team … ARIZONA 33-31.

UConn (plus 10 1/2) at Army — @SteveWildzNB. Huskies are bowl eligible; Army needs to win out to get there … ARMY 24-20.

Boise State at Wyoming (plus 13)– @MDWDFW. First-place on the line, Broncos can clinch a spot in the Mountain West title game … BOISE STATE 27-17.

Texas Tech (plus 3 1/2) at Iowa State — @chadstray. Five of the Cyclones’ six Big 12 losses are by seven points of fewer; they are due to win a close one … IOWA STATE 23-21.



Last week: Straight-up — 18-8; Against spread — 15-10-1.

Season: 176-68; 126-125-2.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://bit.ly/3pqZVaF

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

7 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

7 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

7 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

7 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

7 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

7 months ago

College Football Picks: 2 high-stakes showdowns in Pac-12