The Utah Utes took care of business last night against the UCLA Bruins to remain alone atop the Pac-12 South. There are two important Pac-12 games today that Utah fans should tune into. One does not have any bearing on the Pac-12 South race, but it is a key Pac-12 North showdown. The other game has Pac-12 South implications, but the series has been lopsided as of late.
Arizona State Sun Devils at USC Trojans - 1:30 p.m. MT ABC
The Sun Devils have not won at USC since 2014 on the Jael Mary. In the three games since that win in 2014, USC has scored over 40 points in every game against ASU. USC has not lost at home under current head coach Clay Helton. Arizona State has yet to win a road game under current head coach Herm Edwards. USC is coming off a 41-28 shellacking from Utah in a game where starting quarterback JT Daniels suffered a concussion and backup quarterback Matt Fink got three broken ribs curtesy of Maxs Tupai. Redshirt freshman Jack Sears is expected to make his first career start for USC. If ASU can pull off the upset, it would give Utah a one game cushion (in addition to the tie breaker they already have) over the USC Trojans. This would be huge for Utah with two road games against Pac-12 South foes (ASU and Colorado) and a home date against the Oregon Ducks still left on the conference schedule. I almost picked the upset, but I just could not do it, but I will be cheering hard for Sparky and the Sun Devils today.
#14 Washington State Cougars at #24 Stanford Cardinal - 5:00 p.m. MT Pac-12 Network
For the second week in a row, Pac-12 Network gets to broadcast an important Pac-12 game (last week it was Utah against USC). This is a huge game in the Pac-12 North and will have major implications on that division race. Both teams have defeated Oregon already and both still have to play the Washington Huskies, so the North is far from settled. Each team only has one conference loss, and both lost to teams in the Pac-12 South, so they both control their own destiny. While Utah has already played each of these teams and neither is in the South, this game is important if Utah wins the South. I have said before I would rather see Utah play Washington or Stanford in the hypothetical title game because they are better matchups than Oregon or Wazzu. I will be pulling for Stanford in this one, and I picked them. I expect the Cougars to Coug it and fall flat on their face in the Bay Area. Last year, WSU knocked off USC at home and moved into the top 15 and then got pasted at the California Golden Bears the next week.