Affiliate Disclosure This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, we may earn a commission.

Jack Follman’s 2023 Pac-12 Season Predictions: Weeks 5-8

Early picks with scores for every game and commentary for top contests & projected standings

Posted on August 16, 2023


  By Jack Follman, SuperWest Sports

The first four weeks of college football aren’t as exciting as they used to be.

Teams are scheduling fewer and fewer exciting non-conference games and the Pac-12 seems to have scheduled less-interesting games in the first week of conference play.

The season takes off in this next chunk of games, however, as we get huge showdowns and outcomes which determine the race for the final Pac-12 championship.

I also start including the conference standings each week once we get through week seven and a clear picture starts to form.

Utah dominated Oregon State in SLC last year | Rick Bowmer/AP
Week 5 Predicted Game Scores

Washington 48, Arizona 38
Cal 28, Arizona State 27
USC 52, Colorado 28
Oregon 49, Stanford 21
Utah 24, Oregon State 21

• Arizona’s offense goes toe-to-toe with Washington’s with the Huskies ultimately showing they are superior in a tough road test at Tucson.

The Huskies open conference play 2-0 and 5-0 overall going into a bye and then their huge game with Oregon.

• Cal and Arizona State locked horns in one of those games where it feels like the winner has a shot at a bowl and the loser doesn’t.

Justin Wilcox leans on his defense to slow down Kenny Dillingham’s new offense and squeaks out a win at home against the Sun Devils to start ASU in a 0-2 Pac-12 hole.

• USC and Oregon hold pat in games where they are heavy favorites, blowing out teams that are clearly going to finish at the bottom of the conference.

• Utah going to Corvallis on a Friday was the game of the week and it held up. Two tough teams traded punches and Utah held onto a tight win with a long last-second field goal sailing through.

UCLA and WSU put up a monster score in 2019 | James Snook/USA TODAY Sports
Week 6 Predicted Game Scores

USC 56, Arizona 38
Arizona State 49, Colorado 35
Oregon State 27, Cal 24
UCLA 35, Washington State 21

• A quiet week with a lot of byes, but USC takes care of business against Arizona at home to cement some hierarchy in the South.

• Arizona State grabs their first conference win against Colorado. Colorado’s offense takes off. Arizona State’s does just a bit more.

• The Beavers bounce back from a loss to Utah and grind out a win at Cal. The Bears are a tough out with their tough defense frustrating the Beavers. The Bears ultimately don’t have enough offense to outlast the Beavs though.

• The Bruins hold strong in the Rose Bowl against a tough Cougar squad and get a nice bounce back win to keep them alive in the conference chase.

The Huskies upset the Ducks in Eugene last year | Andy Nelson/AP
Week 7 Predicted Game Scores

Washington State 40, Arizona 38
Utah 30, Cal 13
Colorado 37, Stanford 35
Washington 38, Oregon 31
Oregon State 33, UCLA 28
Notre Dame 35, USC 34

• The Cougars win the second Jayden de Laura bowl, this one in Pullman, with Cam Ward pushing them over the top in the end, for a huge win for them potentially getting to a bowl game and a blow for the Wildcats’ chances.

• Cal is no match for Utah in Salt Lake City as the two defensive-focused teams slug it out in a game that’s not going to fill up the offensive highlight reel.

• It’s a fun Friday night in Boulder as Colorado gets their first conference win and creates some hope for a bowl season. They have to go all the way to the wire with Stanford though as they try to win one of the few winnable games on their schedule and fail.

• Washington vs. Oregon was one of the games of the year last year on a national level and this year, with both teams coming in undefeated, the pre-game hype is hysterical.

The teams don’t disappoint either, trading shots all day in Husky Stadium. The home Dawgs get a score late to grab the lead for good and get a huge boost in the early conference standings.

• The Beavers and Bruins met in Corvallis for a game to separate contenders who really need to win to keep up in the conference race. The Beavers find a little more defense at home and get a tight win.


Projected Week 7 Standings

TeamConferenceOverall
USC4-06-1
Washington3-06-0
Utah3-06-0
Oregon St3-16-1
Oregon2-15-1
UCLA1-24-2
ASU1-23-3
WSU1-23-3
Cal1-33-4
Arizona1-33-4
Colorado1-32-5
Stanford0-42-4
USC, Washington, and Utah remain undefeated and fight for the driver’s seat. The Oregon schools are still in striking distance and the rest look to be fighting for bowl eligibility the rest of the way.

ASU took care of Washington in Tempe last season | Norm Hall/Getty Images
Week 8 Predicted Game Scores

Washington 48, Arizona State 27
Oregon 42, Washington State 21
UCLA 44, Stanford 38
USC 31, Utah 27

• The Huskies and Ducks recover from their battle at home against teams they are favored against. Both start a little slow and close out by comfortable margins in the end.

• The Trojans and Utes meet in one of the most-anticipated conference games of the year and a huge one for the title race as both teams come in undefeated.

The Trojans use home field and a thirst for revenge to get out to a fast start and grab a lead. The Utes roar back but the Trojans hold off a late run to stay atop the conference standings and get the revenge they need.


Projected Week 8 Standings

TeamConferenceOverall
USC5-07-1
Washington4-07-0
Utah3-16-1
Oregon St3-16-1
Oregon3-16-1
UCLA2-25-2
ASU1-33-4
WSU1-33-4
Cal1-33-4
Arizona1-33-4
Colorado1-32-5
Stanford0-52-5
USC and Washington are the last remaining undefeated teams and both have big wins over the other best teams in their divisions.

Utah is far from dead though as they still play Washington later in the season and the same can be said for Oregon State and Oregon as USC remains on their schedule.

You can read Jack’s predictions for weeks 1-4 here.




—More from Jack Follman—