Time for the B1G… I Mean Pac-12, to Shine. – Week 7 Preview

Offense #1 vs Offense #2, USC’s first real test, and A West Championship Game.

It’s the Pac-12’s week to dominate the CFB landscape. The top 2 teams in the conference have a record setting showdown in the PNW. USC gets to show the country if they can win against good teams despite choosing not to play defense. It appears that this week we went heavy on the good primetime games. Noon is lacking, but after 6 pm there are so many good games I don’t have time to cover all of them. 

But let’s address the title for a moment. Washington, Oregon, USC, and Notre Dame are the headliners this week. That effectively makes this a Big 10 week. The Pac-12 schools are joining the conference next year, and Notre Dame will come along eventually. It might be 2 years, 20 years, or 200, but ND will be in the B1G one day. It just feels inevitable. 

At the bottom, I have my picks for the week.  I was dreadful last week going 1-10 ATS. As bad as that was, I’m now .500 on the season. This week’s pick will determine if I’m on the winning or losing side for the season to this point. 

What’s Happening this Weekend? 

I cannot attend the B1G West Championship Game (Wisconsin vs. Iowa) on Saturday because I will be attending a wedding. As a general rule, I am opposed to fall weddings; people just have too much going on (and it’s football season). But family always comes first, so I’ll be there. And outside of the ceremony, I’ll probably have the game up on my phone anyway.  I’ll catch parts of other games throughout the day, but there will definitely be some catching up to do on Sunday. 

  • Odds listed refer to spreads taken from FanDuel at the time of writing

11:00 AM CST: Might As Well Sleep In

The morning is filled with big favorites. And barring any insane upsets, I doubt these games will be watchable. If any of the ranked teams are struggling into the second half, then maybe I’ll check in on the game. I go over these in order from least likely upset, to most likely (which is still infinitesimal) 

1 Georgia at Vanderbilt (+31.5) 


Georgia basically has a bye week here. Not only is Vandy 31 point underdog, they haven’t managed to cover all year. So the Commodores are likely to lose by even more than the ridiculous spread on this game. 

Vanderbilt’s stadium is currently under construction (even though we are in the middle of the season), and it has made for a terrible gameday environment for fans.  The scoreboard is held up by cranes. Don’t waste your time with this game. 

Indiana at 2 Michigan (-33.5) 

An even bigger spread for a conference game, jeez. This is just ridiculous; Michigan won’t play a team with a pulse until mid November. Michigan has the best scoring defense in the country right now, holding teams to under a TD in all but one game (MN got 10, woo). 

Indiana has no shot here, but maybe Michigan gets bored and lets them get a score late. Don’t watch this game. 

Syracuse at 4 Florida State (+17.5) 

Finally, a game where the favorite can be 1% nervous. Florida State is the better team in this game, but Syracuse is no joke. They are a classic 7-5 ACC team. They win the games they’re favored in and lose the ones where they’re a dog. They are coming off losses to Clemson and UNC, so maybe they learned something and give FSU a game this weekend.

Or maybe Florida State is the better team, and at home, and Syracuse is demoralized from dropping 2 in a row. I don’t think FSU has much to worry about here. 

3 Ohio State at Purdue (+19.5) 

This is the one. Will the upset happen? The computers say no, the oddsmakers say no, but history is on Purdue’s side. They don’t call them the “spoilermakers” for nothing. 

Ohio State thought they were going to be in the clear last week when they were ranked #4. But Texas had to go lose to Oklahoma, moving OSU to the #3 spot. Purdue has won 3 straight in the regular season vs. Top 3 teams. Two of which were to OSU’s detriment. 

The 1st, and obvious one, is the beatdown of  #2 OSU in 2018 (49-20) that kept the Buckeyes out of the playoffs. 

But Purdue was a problem for OSU in 2021 as well. See, their win over #3 Michigan State prevented a 3-way tie in the B1G East (with OSU and Michigan). The tiebreaker would have gone to Ohio State, sending them to the title game, not Michigan.

Beating the best of the best is in Purdue’s DNA. When Purdue is unranked, they have 9 wins over top 2 teams. No one else has more than 4. Ohio State is the better team, but Buckeye fans should be nervous. Weird stuff happens in West Lafayette. 

Game of the Week for Us / Game of the Century for The PNW

Normally the moniker “Game of the Century” is reserved for when #1 plays #2 in the regular season of college football. Well, we’re making an exception in Week 7 of the CFB season. This is the last season of Pac-12 football and OU and UW have decided they need to go out with a bang. 

They have been playing since 1900, and for the 1st time ever, both teams are ranked in the Top 10 for the Cascade Clash. 

8 Oregon at 7 Washington (-2.5) 

They may be #8 and #7 in the AP, but in terms of yards per game, this is #1 vs. #2. These are offensive juggernauts and the only 2 teams averaging over 550 yards per game. The edge goes to Washington; who at #1 is at 570 yards per game and a CFB best 8.8 yards per play. The Huskies basically walk down the field at will. 

Who is piloting these insane offenses? Only QBs #2 and #3 in the Heisman race. Both are QBs who moved on from “better conferences” to find places where they would show off their talents and improve their draft stock. Both are in year 2 with their new teams and are expected to enter the draft at season’s end. 

Bo Nix at Oregon who transferred in via Auburn.

Michael Penix Jr. at Washington who transferred in via Indiana. (Remember the Indiana team that beat Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan in 2020? Yeah, that was Penix).

The spread implies these teams are evenly matched, oddsmakers just recognize that home field has some inherent value. Washington has the slightly better offense across every metric, but Oregon has, by far, the better defense. Since we’re focusing on the QBs and the passing games, you may want to know this: Oregon is 5th in passing yards allowed, i.e. elite. Washington is 89th, which is concerning to say the least. 

So that’s all there is right? The offenses are about even and Washington has the worse defense, therefore Oregon is winning. We all know it’s not that simple. Washington has blown out teams a lot earlier than Oregon, so their opponents have had tons of junk yards against the Husky’s 3rd and 4th stringers. 

Washington also has their 2nd best WR coming back from injury this week, so the best offense in America is about to get even better. I personally lean toward Washington, but it won’t shock me if Oregon wins. Oregon is good enough to beat anybody – even Georgia and Michigan. 

It’s pretty cool that the Pac-12 recognizes how important this rivalry is to both of these schools. Both teams were on a bye last week. So we get to see both at the best they can possibly be. The winner likely locks down a spot in the Pac-12 title game, but that doesn’t mean the loser is out of it. We could see this game all over again in December. If it’s as good as advertised, it might not be so bad if we get to see a rematch with a playoff spot on the line. 

B1G West Championship Game

A title game in October? But how is that possible? Ohhhh, it’s the B1G West. Where nothing is true and everything is possible; including but not limited to the winner being declared in Oct. Let’s be honest with ourselves, if you look at the competition in the B1G West, it’s a pretty significant drop off after these 2 teams. 

Iowa at Wisconsin (-10) 

Nothing about this game is right or acceptable. Iowa has the worst offense in the country (you can throw in D-II football and I’m probably still right). Yet, somehow, they are in position to win a division. They could be the best team in the West – without playing offense. 

Wisconsin isn’t much better by the way. The Air Raid has had nothing short of a disappointing start in Mad Town. Wisco is trying to throw the ball, but when it inevitably doesn’t work they revert back to the tried and trusted run game. 

The Winner of this game is winning the West. You know it, I know it, and they know it. Everyone except Nebraska knows it. They are drinking the Rhule-ade over there and think winning out is an option. And that is the only plausible scenario where the West representative in Indy isn’t the Hawkeyes or Badgers. 

The O/U for this game is 34.5. It’s supposed to be 50 degrees and raining; I would hammer the under, this game will be unwatchable. 

A unique stat for Iowa: since 2015 they have only lost 2 games where they had a lead of 8+ at any point. Iowa will be lucky to score 8+ Saturday. Their starting QB (Deacon Hill) was Wisconsin’s 4th-stringer last year. And we all know how great Wisconsin’s QB room has been historically… Bad, it’s been bad. 

Actually Good Games in Primetime, What a Concept

There are plenty of good primetime games this week. So even if your team isn’t on, there should be something worth watching. USC-ND is the headliner, but that’s not where I want to start. Saturday night the top 2 G5 teams play (JMU has something to say about that statement), and the winner will be on the fast track to earning the NY6 Bowl bid reserved for the lower conferences. Plus, it’ll probably be a good game. 

Wyoming at Air Force (-10.5) 

Do I know a lot about the teams? No. Do I know something about these teams? Yes. My first question: how good is Air Force that Wyoming can be a 10 point dog? Wyoming beat Texas Tech, ranked Fresno State, and was tied at Texas in the 4th quarter. Wyoming is a real football team. 

And apparently, Air Force is even better. I do know that Air Force is 4th in the country in passing yards allowed at 150 per game. That makes them better than Oregon, Ohio State, Georgia, and Iowa – teams you would think are elite at shutting down the pass. 

One last thought. In the 12 team playoff world, this game becomes must-see TV. Instead of the winner leading the NY6 race, they would be in the lead for the G5 auto bid. Imagine a playoff where a service academy goes up against one of the heavyweights. I’m here for it. 

10 USC at 21 Notre Dame (-2.5) 

Alright, now we can talk about the blue-blood, tradition-heavy, star-studded, rivalry, ranked matchup in primetime. I think I just covered all the reasons you’ll want to watch this game. Wait, there’s at least one more (there’s a lot more): the lower ranked team is favored. 

Top 10, undefeated USC – Vegas doesn’t care, they’re taking the Irish. 

USC’s offense is led by Heisman favorite Caleb Williams, they’re #4 in ypg, and they are just as good at running the ball as they are throwing it. But that’s not what I’m focused on. How will USC stop Notre Dame from scoring? ND is no slouch on offense (36th), and USC is dreadful on defense (108th). And USC hasn’t even played a good team yet – The Deions are mid

No 2 loss team has ever made the playoff, so Notre Dame’s season is likely over already. But, I think I’ve made it clear I’ll take them to expose USC. USC only wins if it’s 54-60 and they happen to have the ball last. So 60-40 odds leaning ND? Yeah, a 2.5 spread is about right. 

25 Miami at 12 North Carolina (-3.5) 

North Carolina is great, Drake Maye is a top 5 draft pick, and Tar Heel fans are right to think they have a shot at the playoff. But that’s not the story for this game. After Mario’s Massive Mistake last week, a lot of fans think this Miami team is dead in the water. There are 2 ways to look at this Miami team after the Georgia Tech debacle.

1: (what most people are thinking) Miami is dysfunctional, demoralized, and will continue to make bone-headed mistakes that will prevent them from realizing their full potential. The reason they fumbled the game away last week is because they have issues. The team might even quit on the coach if they collectively think (realize) he was the problem, not them. This is option A, and the reason you bet on UNC.

2: Miami was the better team last week in almost every facet (turnovers were a problem). They outgained Georgia Tech by over 200 yards. They were the better team, and therefore are still a great team today. As of 30 seconds left in the game: Miami did win. Convince the locker room that the record was a coach’s mistake that will not happen again. Tell the kids they are 5-0, and even though the record says 4-1, everything they want to accomplish is still possible. They just have to get back to winning. This is Option B and the reason UNC is such a short favorite.

Which Miami team shows up on Saturday night? I have no clue. If they get blown out, I’d say it’s the 1st choice. If they win, it’s clearly the 2nd. All the other possible outcomes: mean TBD, check again next week.

18 UCLA at 15 Oregon State (-3.5) 

A second ranked Pac-12 matchup. They are so spoiled on the West Coast this year. I like both of these teams and mostly just expect this to be a good game. UCLA has an elite defense and a constantly improving 5* true freshman QB (Dante Moore). Oregon State has a good defense, a great ground game, and a transfer QB reviving his college career (DJ Uiagalelei). 

If UCLA wins, don’t be shocked if they show up in the Pac-12 title game. They don’t have to play Oregon or Washington this year.

If Oregon State wins, I will be very happy because my Pac-12 preseason predictions will continue to be ridiculously spot on in conference play. 

Spread Picks*:

If I were you, I’d fade me right now. 2 weeks ago I was .500, last week I was 1-10. My picks have turned ice cold. All time, I’m perfectly even ATS now. From my perspective, I’m due for some wins. Like any other week, I believe in all these picks, so let’s just see how it goes. 

I did this portion of the article a little earlier in the week to try to get some better lines. If the spread is slightly different than when this comes out, that’s why. 

GA Southern at James Madison (-3.5)
JMU has an argument to be the best G5 team. -3.5 is too short of a line.

Georgia (-31.5) at Vanderbilt 
I’ve been keeping an eye on Vandy all season after I picked them incorrectly early this season. Vandy never covers. They continuously fall short of expectations. Georgia is in 2022 Georgia form after the win over Kentucky last week.

Cal (+13.5) at Utah – Favorite Pick
Utah is the new Iowa. They can’t score, so how will they win by 14. That’s the secret: they won’t.

Oregon at Washington (-2.5)
Washington was in my preseason pick to make the playoffs. I’ve done quite well picking the Pac-12, so this is me betting on myself.

Iowa (+9.5) at Wisconsin
Wisconsin has had some offensive issues lately. I think Bucky has trouble breaking 20; which means Iowa isn’t losing by 10. 

Wyoming (+10.5) at Air Force Moneyline – Upset Pick
Wyoming and Air Force are the 2 best teams in the Mountain West this year. Wyoming beat Texas Tech and scared Texas. I think they find a way at Air Force.

NC State at Duke (-3.5)
Duke is good. I rest my case.

How I’ve Done so far this Season:

Upset Picks must be +3 or greater to be “Upsets”

Favorite Picks: 4-3 (2 weeks in a row with a miss on the favorite)
Upset Picks: 3-4 (The upset picker has gone cold)
Total Record ATS: 25-25-1 (1-10 last week – time for a turnaround)

*These picks are to express my opinion on games from a point spread perspective. I am not advocating for you, the reader, to gamble on any of these games. Please bet responsibly.

Want more Walk On Fan? 

Check out this week’s Wisco Wednesday. We look at the win over Rutgers, and dig deeper into the Iowa game. There’s also a pretty good breakdown of just how bad Mario Crisobal’s coaching job was in that Georgia Tech loss.

Follow us on Twitter (or X) @here.

This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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