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Block U Pac-12 Picks: Pac-12 Championship Game

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A battle for a spot in the College Football Playoff is on the line Friday.

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Shane - Pick: Oregon

This could be the ultimate shoot out that we see this season. I'm taking Oregon, though. I think Marcus Mariota is on a different planet right now, and is the ultimate seperator between these two teams. And now that his offensive line is playing better than they played earlier this year, and he's healthier than he was in their loss last year, I just don't see how the Wildcats stop him. I see Oregon possibly making a statement in this game. It will be crucial for Arizona's freshman QB, Anu Solomon, to not get lost in the magnitude of the moment.

Daniel - Pick: Arizona

As good as the Ducks have been this year, I think 'Zona gets them again. They seem to have figured out the Ducks the way that Stanford has figured out the Bruins. The most convincing factor for me is that 'Zona's win happened in AUTZEN! So on a neutral field, I think we see a Wildcat repeat. This would move them in to the top 4. Regardless of who wins, Friday night should be fun!

Joseph - Pick: Oregon

I'll let my colleagues handle some of the other approaches to this question and really focus on the stats.

Oregon has been a juggernaut all year, and is currently ranked 2nd in both F/+ and FPI. Arizona is a solid team, ranked 20th in FPI and 28th in F/+, but they aren't on Oregon's level. Arizona has been very lucky in its games decided by a touchdown or less, going 6-1. Most teams tend to regress to 50/50 in their close games. The key to success in college football is being so good that you don't play in those games; that's Oregon (1-1 in single score games). I expect a big win for the Ducks.

Andrew - Pick: Oregon

I'm going to say Oregon will win. Oregon is the better team. If not for a mis-timed Namaste by the Ducks and a silly Unsportmanlike Conduct penalty as a result, they would have won. Oregon wins going away.

Adia - Pick: Oregon

We are all well aware that Arizona has beat the Ducks in their past two meetings, but this game is the only thing that stands in the way of that special invite to the inaugural College Football Playoff and I highly doubt the Ducks are going to allow anything to stand in the way of that. Mariota will make his last and solidifying statement as to why he is this year's Heisman Trophy winner and the Ducks will walk away with this one 45-37.

Steven - Pick: Arizona

This is a battle between the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year (Marcus Mariota) and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year (Scooby Wright). I think Wright will make a Scooby snack out of Mariota. On the other side of the ball, Oregon's defense is not strong, and Arizona's offense is just as potent as Oregon's. Rich Rod was clever enough to let Utah's aggressive defense overrun his quarterback and have Solomon run to the lanes underneath the rush. It was a brilliant strategy to turn Utah's strength into a weakness, and I think he'll have an equally clever strategy for Oregon on both sides of the ball. But, lastly, any team that can beat Oregon in Autzen can certain beat them on a neutral field.

Everyone I've heard has talked about how important this game is to Oregon in terms of the inaugural College Football Playoff, but everyone seems to be forgetting Arizona is ranked No. 7 and in position to earn their own berth. A win over Oregon, the No. 2 team in the CFP rankings, could move them up enough to make the playoffs (although they'll probably land at number 4, taking on Alabama). I think Rich Rodriguez is a smarter, more driven, and much more experienced coach than Mark Helfrich. After his debacle at Michigan, Rich Rod is not going to let this slip through his fingers. Just look how intense he was on the sidelines at Utah for a busted play. Imagine how intense he'll be in practice leading up to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Alex - Pick: Oregon

Oregon was missing talented left tackle Jake Fisher against Arizona, which allowed the Wildcats to get a ton of pressure on quarterback Marcus Mariota. Since getting Fisher back, the Oregon offense has played very well. Royce Freeman has emerged as a talented running back, and Mariota has plenty of weapons to throw to. I think the game will be close, but the Ducks pull it out. They will want revenge and are healthy enough to get it.

Adam - Pick: Oregon

While Arizona has had Oregon's number lately, I think the Ducks win this one. Oregon has more to play for with a national championship within their grasp and revenge on their minds. Mariota will lead Oregon past the Wildcats, cementing the Heisman, as the Ducks pull away late 42-31.