MaconDawg's correct pinch-hit prediction last week bring this column's record against the spread to 11-9 on the season. That's not bad, but it might get worse this week. Whereas the SEC Game of Interest was easy to pick due to our biased rooting interests, it's hard even to pick which game to pick as the National Game of Interest. If you go by the Playoff Committee's rankings, there are 3 games between top-25 teams this week. Of course, the Playoff Committee has chosen to put 7-3 Minnesota in the top 25 over 10-0 Marshall, so it's not like that really means anything. So let's just pick the two games that each feature two teams who might actually deserve to be in the top 25: No. 19 USC at No. 9 UCLA (-3.5) and No. 15 Arizona at No. 17 Utah (-4).
The picks: UCLA -3.5 and Arizona +4
Why you should care: Did I mention that all of these games are PAC-12 South games? That division may not be as strong as the SEC West, but it may be more entertaining. The top 4 teams (USC, Arizona, Arizona State, and UCLA) have 2 conference losses a piece, and 7-3 Utah is definitely still in the hunt. This weekend's games could determine who gets to face Oregon in the PAC-12 Championship Game.
Rationale: USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian earned the nickname "Seven Win Steve" while at Washington, and the Trojans earned their seventh win last week by surviving a late rally from Cal at home. Now they have to go on the road and face a young, talented Bruin squad that looks like it may be hitting its stride. Washington fans are going to have a field day on USC message boards this weekend. Arizona may have lost to both of the teams we just talked about, but they also beat Oregon at home back in October. And Oregon blew the doors off of Utah (51-27) a few weeks back, which would be less troubling if the Utes hadn't also lost to Washington State in late September. It looks like Utah's otherwise stout defense has trouble stopping creative offenses... like the one RichRod runs in Tucson. Florida fans should be furious that Foley isn't considering him to replace Secret Agent Boom. Dawg fans should be sure to keep that fact in mind at Thanksgiving.
Bonus Pick: We're taking WVU -2 at home against K State. The Wildcats got smoked on the road at TCU in their lost game, and the Mountaineers should be able to follow that blue print.