ACU Round Table: PAC-12 Bowl Game Predictions


December 2, 2011; Eugene, OR, USA; Detail view of the endzone pylon with the Pac-12 logo during the third quarter of the Pac-12 Championship game between the UCLA Bruins and the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks defeated the Bruins 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We wrap up this years predictions with the bowl game predictions from the conference. I think you’ll like that we’re adding some actual conversation to these picks this week so you can have a little more meat and a look into the heads of our group as they make these picks. There is always some humorous comment for these and we thought you might like seeing it. During the regular season there wasn’t a lot of moving around in the standings and everyone stayed around the same in their positions.

The PAC-12 enters bowl season with 9 teams in a bowl game and is projected to win all of them. There is just one PAC-12 team in a BCS game this year, Stanford, which is in its final year of existance.

Here is what the final regular season standings look like

1. George Means (65-16)

1. Nick Nordi (65-16)

3. Lew Wright (63-18)

4. Josh Davis (62-19)

5. Caleb Davis (61-20)

6. Bridgette Larson (11-4)

This week the match-ups include:

*Home and Away is not specified since all games are at a neutral location

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Washington State (6-6) vs Colorado State (7-5)

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: #20 Fresno State (11-1) vs #25 USC (9-4)

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Boise State (8-4) vs Oregon State (6-6)

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: BYU (8-4) vs Washington (8-4)

Valero Alamo Bowl: #10 Oregon (10-2) vs Texas (8-4)

National University Holiday Bowl: #14 Arizona State (10-3) vs Texas Tech (7-5)

AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona (7-5) vs Boston College (7-5)

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Virginia Tech (8-4) vs #17 UCLA (9-3)

Rose Bowl Game: #5 Stanford (11-2) vs #4 Michigan State (12-1)

This week we also have the predictions of Evan Barron.

George Means

Washington State – I just don’t see the MWC giving the Rams preparation for the Cougs, no matter what they are trying to say.  This is by no stretch a homer pick, The Cougs will win this BIG

USC – Strange to see what that one blemish can do to a season, huh, Fresno?  The MWC (again) is just not the proving grounds for Pac-12 opponents.  I also just don’t trust QBs named Carr, from Fresno, when the Texans have the first pick in the upcoming draft.

Oregon State – No proven leader at Boise, and the Dean of Pac-12 coaches at OSU. Beavers will have some fun.

Washington – I’m torn here, Purple for one, and the school that made CML cut his hair . . . Still think that Washington is a better team.

Oregon – I kind of want to see Texas win, and Oregon may not be up for the game, but 6/10 coins lean in favor of the Ducks.

Arizona State – I like Grice against Tech.  Plus Sutton is a beast against the pass, so…

Arizona – Neither team knows itself well, but in the bowl whose name should just be Our RBs are NFL 1st rounders in Four Months Bowl, Zona will win out due to conditioning.

UCLA – Winner gets a trip to Handy Hill?  I am not sure the ACC was that strong this year, conversely, the Pac was.  If UCLA can stay out of Juarez, they should be fine.

Stanford – If the ACC isn’t strong, the Big 10 (soon to be 14) was worse.  No need to inspire Stanford, they need to have a victory in LA this year.

Nick Nordi

Washington State – It’s been 10 years since the Cougs last made a bowl game. That number itself should be enough to motivate them. Colorado State doesn’t have the secondary and defense to beat the Cougs and Connor Halliday’s air raid offense.

Fresno State – The Bulldogs are 11-1 and just a few weeks ago were talking about being in a BCS game. With Coach O leaving and Sarkisian only having a few weeks to get with this team I don’t see the Trojans being prepared for the high scoring Fresno State passing attack.

Oregon State – The Broncos lost their head coach to Washington and I don’t see them being able to get motivated enough to come out and beat the Beavs. This is one game that wouldn’t surprise me if I got it wrong.

Washington – ASJ, Price, and Sankey are in stride right now and are very capable of going off and having themselves a game. I don’t see Sark leaving being too big of a deal, those players are a little upset with him and want to prove to him that he made a mistake leaving.

Oregon – Texas has been off and on this year, mostly off though. Oregon’s end of season losses scare me, but I think they come out and win big. We have to remember, this is still the Oregon that everyone was afraid of for the longest time.

Arizona State – The Sun Devils are good and Tech is good, but not as good. State and Sutton are good against the pass and Tech won’t be able to hand the pass rush.

Arizona – Ka’Deem Carey and Andre Williams is all I have to say. This will be one of the better games this year and if you like traditional ground game football I suggest you don’t make any plans during this game. Going to be a close game but Carey takes them to a win.

UCLA – The Bruins have a better quarterback and will use Hundley to their advantage. VaTech won’t be able to stop Myles Jack and Brett Hundley when the Bruins get rolling.

Stanford – The Cardinal are good and that is the reason they are back in the Rose Bowl. The beef that the Cardinal have and the physicality that they have will be too much for Sparty to handle.

Lew Wright

Washington State – COUGS will be even sharper than they were down the stretch of their schedule. Losing Pole is a blow to the D, but he wasn’t key in the last two games. CML will have team focused. CSU will put up plenty of points making this a fun start to the bowl season for fans.

USC – Trojans have superior talent but no HC. If a PAC-12 team goes down this bowl season it will happen in this game. FS will score if they can protect Carr, no easy task against the USC front 7.

Oregon State – No Petersen…no chance.

Washington – Price will lead Dawgs to big win.

Oregon – With r&r for Mariotta, Ducks will roll

Arizona State – Sun Devils are more experienced at almost every key position.

Arizona – ‘Cats have more offensive weapons.

UCLA – Mora has this team playing together, something absent for a long time in Westwood.

Stanford – A game of brute forces colliding. Coach Shaw will show why he should have been PAC-12 COTY again. Big games have gone to Stanford the past three years. And they want to play there…again!

Josh Davis

Washington State – I simply will not go against my Cougs here. 3rd best defense the Rams have seen this season, by the numbers. Cougs by 10 in a lower scoring game than most are expecting.

Fresno State – Remember USC’s Sun Bowl showing last year? I do. A fired up Fresno by 14.

Oregon State – The Oregon’s and Boise always seem to give us a great game. I think the Buckin’ Broncos may have lost their buck when Petersen left em a couple weeks ago. Pac-12 talent and a more together Beaver team will win this one going away. Beavs by 17.

Washington – BYU should win this one, they really should. All indications are with BYU. But Bishop Sankey and ASJ are playing to be a first round pick. I actually think Washington somehow pulls this out. Dawgs by 1 (wouldn’t surprise or hurt me emotionally if BYU somehow blows the doors off em though).

Oregon – A healthy Mariota against a bewildered Texas and no Mack Brown? I’ll take the Ducks in a laugher, by 28.

Texas Tech – This will be the best game of possibly the entire bowl season outside of the BCS. Arizona State and Texas Tech are perfect for each other and will play it to the gun. I have to take Tech by 3 if I want to win this pick-em. But I think ASU might end my hopes… which I can say I’d be ok with.

Boston College – Battle of the running backs. Boston College in a surprisingly high scoring game, by 6.

UCLA – UCLA has a superior quarterback and he’ll make the difference. Bruins by 13

Stanford – Congratulations Sparty, you’re here for the first time in a thousand years. Ok not that long, but you know what I mean. Stanford is back for their second in a row and if there’s a team that’s better in a big game these last two years, tell me now. Cardinal by 4 in a great game.

Caleb Davis

Washington State – The Cougs played the toughest schedule in the nation and put up very similar numbers and wins as Colorado State with one less game then the rams who played the 105th toughest schedule in the Nation.  Both teams will be sharp and excited to play but Washington State is the better team and I just can’t picture another team wanting a win in the New Mexico bowl more than the seniors (And really everybody) on this team.

Fresno State – Wow call me crazy but I take Fresno State in this one. Even though I do believe USC is the better team, I think they are really up against it in this one.  These guys will be playing for their third head coach of the year and have the 4th coming in.  These players all loved coach O so I think they are disappointed he didn’t get the job and I really don’t think they know how to feel about Sark yet. Normally I would say that stuff won’t matter because natural talent will kick in at some point and USC will take the game, however I have seen how much this team is effected by the man in charge and I’ve seen this team look completely different in a week with a positive change and I’ve seen them look just plain sad when the wrong guy was in charge.  Also lets not ignore that Fresno State was talking BCS birth just a few short weeks ago but after a let down became forgotten.. this is still a good team in Fresno and they are still 11-1.

Oregon State – Even though the Beavers are on an epic losing streak I feel they will be very excited to play in this bowl, cherish the opportunity and put forward their best effort.  They discovered their running game vs Oregon which is really what was keeping them from being a dominant team in the Pac-12 north because with their style of Offense you can’t just drop back and throw the ball against better defenses, everything is set up by a successful running game.  Boise state… I don’t even know who these guys are without coach pete, not to say it will be an immediate fall from grace but I think they will suffer an identity problem for awhile.

BYU – Yes I wish that every Pac-12 team will win, even the Huskies for the good of the conference we play in, but BYU will win this one.  BYU is the team that beat Texas this year, that’s all people seem to reference and then as people started discovering maybe Texas wasn’t that good BYU kind of got forgotten… In fact I went from seeing them every Saturday for like the first 5 weeks, to never seeing them, not even in the highlights.  A lot of that was due to them losing every significant game since Texas but they handled their schedule as I think most expected and I think they finally pull out a win over a recognizable team again.  UW is a good team, Bishop Sankey is a great player, I’m just calling them out and wondering how they react with everything going on and if they slide back to the team that went on that losing streak.

Oregon – I take Oregon.  I’ve seen Oregon be good this year and I’ve seen Texas be good… I think if both teams come out and have a good game, Oregon wins by a couple TD’s.  I think this team can be re-energized at the fact Mariota is coming back for another year and realize that this is the start of their march to a National Championship next year.  Texas struggles with team that play kind of Oregon style offense.  I don’t think their defense has what it takes to stop the ducks.

Arizona State –  Arizona State will win over Texas Tech.  I think Arizona State is a team who won’t stay down long and unlike Oregon they are always excited to step out on the field and play.  I think this team has something to prove and I think they have too many offensive weapons for Tech to stop and I think their defense will hold tough against an explosive Texas Tech Offense.

Boston College – Arizona has been hot and cold over the last few weeks of the season and I think they will struggle stopping the run game of BC.  Boston College will control the tempo of the game and win this one close.

UCLA – Good ol’ Brett will step up in this one and I actually think UCLA will handle Va Tech just fine… I haven’t seen too much from Virginia Tech this year but I do know that UCLA is a very good team and have seen them take games all year in impressive fashion.

Stanford – Stanford for one reason… I’m done betting against them when it comes to big games.  They always show up for the big game and this will be no different.  The rose bowl belongs to the Pac-12 once again.

Bridgette Larson

Washington State – The Cougs haves a fast offense with a strong defensive line. Colorado State will put up points, but the game is the Cougs’ favor.

USC – USC has a solid season under their belt with strong technique, but if there was one game that has upset potential it’s this one. Fresno State has talent and will no doubt give USC some strong competition.

Boise State – Boise State has a good shot at coming out with a win. OSU has lost five in a row, having no momentum going into the game. Boise State is a strong competitor in their conference, it will be a good game.

BYU – Sarkisian’s departure is bound to shake some things up for the Huskies. BYU has no shortage of bowl wins so I see this game going in their favor.

Oregon – Oregon has no lack of talent, but players have not been shy about their aspirations of a national championship. It’s hard to say whether the team’s recent obstacles, including the loss against Stanford, will affect their play against Texas. If the focus is their, Oregon should be able to cover the spread.

Arizona State – Arizona State has is a strong team all around, with a fast and experienced offense.

Arizona – Good match up, but Arizona has an explosive offense that will set them apart.

UCLA – UCLA has the confidence and momentum to succeed in this game. Their program has vastly improved, and this team is finding a strong chemistry.

Stanford – Stanford offers a level of complexity in their plays that is hard to prepare for. The Stanford defense is going to be hard to break through.

Evan Baron

Washington State – There’s no doubt that the Cougs are going to win this game. WSU plays a tougher conference than the Rams. The Rams have also never played against an offense like WSU and will struggle. 28-14 Cougs

Fresno State – Fresno State takes care of the Trojans in a close one. Trojans have too many off field distractions. Fresno State will be ready to prove to the country this is no Cinderella story. 24-20 Fresno State

Oregon State – With no Chris Peterson it will hurt the Broncos. Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks will be the difference makers in this one. 34-28 Beavers

Washington – ASJ and Sankey are playing exceptional ball right. BYU will have a tough time stopping this UW offense. 24-13 UW

Oregon – No question, Oregon wins this one easily. Ducks know they should be playing in a BCS game and will take it out on Texas. 42-20 Ducks

Texas Tech – This will be a close one between both teams. Texas Tech has a little bit more on offense though which will be the difference maker. 24-17 Red Raiders

Boston College – Arizona has been a hit and miss type of team this year. Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense will come alive like it did against Oregon and be too much for Boston College. 28-24 Wildcats

UCLA – UCLA’s offense is too explosive. Their quarterback is on another level and will lead the Bruins to victory. 34-20 Bruins

Stanford – Stanford will win their second straight Rose Bowl. The power running game of the Cardinal is too much. David Shaw is one of the top coaches in the country. He’ll have a month to prepare for the Spartans and will develop a solid game plan. 28-20 Cardinal