College Football 2023: Two Angry Pac-12 Teams To Bet On
So it happened.
Which I didn’t think it would.
Phil Knight blinked and that was that.
Doomsday was delivered last Friday to the Pac-12. The Pac-4 will try to survive – it won’t – but what a colossal miscalculation.
Who cares that a 108-year-old sports conference is essentially done?
Ugh. It was a sad day.
The schools that are left behind – Cal, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State – will put on brave faces as they prepare to, I guess, merge with the Mountain West Conference.
Washington State athletic director Pat Chun summarized the plight of the Pac-12: "This league has been grossly mismanaged for over a decade."
I sent out exaggerated emails and texts describing how a certain commissioner should be publicly hanged at a sold-out Rose Bowl that would ironically be shown, for free, on Apple TV.
My attorneys helped me craft that. And I was just kidding — kind of.
But to say people are pissed is putting it mildly.
Here’s how this is gonna go:
Two talented Pac-12 teams will be the most bitter and they’re both going to win 9 games this season. Each is listed at 8.5 wins at the moment.
These two programs are in the AFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll but their schedules are brutal.
However, oddsmakers are underestimating Utah and Oregon State.
They’re ranked 14th and 18th, respectively.
And after looking at their schedules and rosters, their records are going to be right about 9.
Or 8. Or 10. How’s that for wishy-washy? Heh.
Nah, I think Oregon State, which is on an island right now as far as conference realignment goes, will be a bunch of angry Beavers.
Clemson transfer DJ Uiagalelei is going to be a star this season in Corvallis and OSU’s offensive line is great. Their running game, led by Damien Martinez, will be stout.
That will be key in the Pac-12 this year because there will be plenty of shootout games. Pay close attention to the over/under totals in the early games.
The Beavs are going over in most of these.
The most compelling game, to me, is on Sept. 29 at home against Utah.
That one will be close. I’m guessing almost pick ‘em. We’ll see.
Here are the games they’re going to win (in bold)
Sept. 2 at San Jose State
Sept. 9 UC Davis
Sept. 16 San Diego State
Sept. 23 at Washington State
Sept. 29 Utah
Oct. 7 at Cal
Oct. 14 UCLA
Oct. 28 at Arizona
Nov 4. at Colorado
Nov. 11 Stanford
Nov. 18 Washington
Nov. 24 at Oregon
So that’s nine. Those last two games, good lord.
Not great. That Civil War game at Autzen Stadium won’t be close to civil.
Could turn ugly. Just saying. Fairly warned that it will be intense.
Now, let’s move on to Utah – which is what many folks are doing from every damn state out there, and they’re adding to the horrible, senseless drivers out here in this once, pretty great state … but I digress.
So, you’ve got a program that has won back-to-back Pac-12 championships and – yes, all you haters – lost two consecutive Rose Bowls.
Well, I’ll tell you something here right now: This team is going to beat the hell out of a bunch of teams.
Badass loaded defense.
On the other hand, you have this important QB situation.
“The quarterback situation is still in flux,” coach Kyle Whittingham told the “Salt Lake Tribune.”
Starting QB, and often brilliant, Cam Rising is still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered late last season.
“Cam is in the mode he’s in until doctors tell us that he can progress from there,” Whittingham said.
That’s Whitt not revealing much as he always does when it comes to his players and injuries and that’s his prerogative.
Rising is going to start. I can assure you that and wants to avenge last season’s gut-wrenching loss to the Gators at the Swamp in Gainesville.
There are three players vying for the starting quarterback job while Rising makes his way back onto the field: junior Bryson Barnes, and redshirt freshmen Nate Johnson and Brandon Rose.
Barnes, who walked on to the team in 2020, saw action in 10 games last season and started one, while Johnson appeared in four games. Barnes made a name for himself during the 2022 Rose Bowl when the then-freshman threw a touchdown pass in relief work with Rising sidelined. Barnes also led the Utes to a victory over Washington State last October in a starting role.
Whittingham said Barnes is “making less mistakes” and has been more consistent. The other two quarterbacks, he said, have “bright futures” and “can make some spectacular plays here and there.”
But at this point of fall camp, Barnes, Johnson and Rose are all even in the QB competition.
“There’s trust in all three of those guys,” Whittingham said. “It’s just how they’re going to separate themselves.”
Not sure it’s going to matter.
If you think Utah wanted to be part of the Big 12 instead of keeping the Pac-12 alive, the Utes did not.
And that will show up this season even with a tough slate. They’re going to win 9, maybe 10. A Utah team is like the Incredible Hulk. You won’t like them when they’re angry. And they will be
Here are the wins in bold.
Sept. 2 Florida
Sept. 9 at Baylor
Sept. 16 Weber State
Sept. 23 UCLA
Sept. 29 at Oregon State
Oct. 14 Cal
Oct. 21 at USC
Oct. 28 Oregon
Nov. 4 Arizona State
Nov. 11 at Washington
Nov. 18 at Arizona
Nov. 25 Colorado
I’m going with two future bets that are flat-out locks.
Oregon State Regular Season Wins 2023
Over 8.5 Wins +130
Under 8.5 Wins -160
Utah Regular Season Wins 2023
Over 8.5 Wins +104
Under 8.5 Wins -128
Happy wagering, everyone. Keep it in the fairway, unlike a couple of Uncle Jerk Phils — you know who they are – and best of luck and be good.
Cheers and, as always, best of luck.