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Three Games to Watch

Stanford v Oregon Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

This week could be the week of upsets. Last night we saw both the No. 2 Clemson Tigers and the No. 8 Washington State Cougars went down on the road to the Syracuse Orange and the California Golden Bears respectively. Could we see more upsets today? I think there is a good chance, especially since there are no games between ranked teams in the AP Poll. Because of that fact, we focused on three Pac-12 games. It also does not hurt that no Pac-12 teams are on a bye this week.

UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats 7:00 p.m. MT PAC12 Network

Arizona backup quarterback Khalil Tate ran all over the Colorado Buffaloes last week, setting the FBS rushing record for a quarterback. UCLA has struggled to stop the run this year, and they have to go on the road to face one of the best rushing offenses in the country. Both UCLA and Arizona are 1-1 in Pac-12 standings, and while a second loss would not mathematically eliminate either team, a second loss this early in the season with the schedules each team has left would put the loser far behind the eight ball in the Pac-12 South.

Who to root for and who will win?

The Utah Utes owns a head to head win over the Wildcats, so having them win would be better for the Utes. I do not think the Bruins will be able to slow down the Arizona rushing attack and will lose on the road. This could feature some high scoring Pac-12 After Dark action. Also, think about this for a minute, if Utah and Arizona State both fall to their ranked opponents today, the winner of this game will sit alone at second in the Pac-12 South behind just USC.

No. 5 Washington Huskies at Arizona State Sun Devils 8:45 p.m. MT ESPN

Arizona State is one of four teams in the Pac-12 South sitting at 1-1 in conference play (along with Arizona, UCLA, and Utah). They scored a big win over Oregon to open Pac-12 play before getting run all over by Stanford. They have owned Washington at home since UW last won there in 2001. Washington is now the lone undefeated team in the Pac-12 with the loss by Washington State last night.

Who to root for and who will win?

Arizona State is likely not a realistic threat to win the Pac-12 South, but a loss for the Sun Devils would be good for Utah, moving ASU to 1-2 in conference. It would also be good for the Pac-12 for UW to remain undefeated. Root for the Huskies, and I think they win. They have too much talent on each side of the ball for the Sun Devils to handle.

Oregon Ducks at No. 23 Stanford Cardinal 9:00 p.m. MT FS1

This game used to annually decide the Pac-12 North, and thus the Pac-12. The Ducks have not won the Pac-12 since 2014 and failed to make a bowl game last season. The Ducks made a change at head coach and many thought Oregon would bounce back this season and be a factor in the Pac-12 North. People had written off Stanford after they lost at the USC Trojans and at the San Diego State Aztecs, but they have won three in a row since then and are 3-1 in conference play.

Who to root for and who will win?

Root for Stanford since it is good for the conference to have more ranked teams. A loss by Oregon would give them three losses in conference and would likely eliminate them from Pac-12 North contention. The less Oregon has to play for down the stretch, the better since Utah has to travel to Autzen Stadium in a few weeks. I do think Stanford wins this game at home behind the running of star running back Bryce Love.

Upset special

Here are three games where I think the ranked team needs to be on upset alert.

No. 17 Michigan Wolverines at Indiana Hoosiers 10:00 a.m. MT ABC

Indiana has played Michigan tough the last two seasons. Michigan’s offense has struggled to score points this season, and Indiana has an explosive offense. Can Michigan move past the loss to the rival Michigan State Spartans and avoid an upset in Bloomington?

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at No. 11 Miami Hurricanes 1:30 p.m. MT ABC

Miami scored a huge win over the rival Florida State Seminoles last week. They will need to put that win behind them when they face the option attack of the Yellow Jackets. Miami is banged up, losing multiple starters on each side of the ball, including starting running back Mark Walton for the season. This has become a trendy upset, which gives me a little pause, but I think Miami will struggle to face the option, only getting one week to prepare for it, and I think the injuries might catch up to them.

No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners vs Texas Longhorns 1:30 p.m. MT ESPN Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

Oklahoma lost last week to the Iowa State Cyclones at home, their first loss to the Cyclones since 1990. Texas started 1-2 with losses to the Maryland Terrapins and the USC Trojans, but since then, Texas has started to turn things around. Freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger has played well for Texas. He will have to duel with Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield, the quarterback for Oklahoma. The Sooners have struggled to stop the pass against both the Baylor Bears and the Iowa State Cyclones.