NCAA Football: Southern California at Washington

Colorado joined the Pac-12 all the way back in 2011, and while the program has enjoyed some success at times out west, there is one event that has yet to occur: beating USC. The Buffaloes are 0-8 against the Trojans since they became a member of the conference, and what's more, they've never even earned a victory over USC ... period (0-13). Colorado will be looking to rewrite history on Friday night in that regard when it hosts USC in Boulder to help kickoff the Week 9 festivities. 

The Buffaloes have come close twice. They lost 27-24 in Boulder during the 2015 season, and the next year at The Coliseum, USC slipped by 21-17. The other 11 meetings haven't been as exciting as USC has won those games by an average of 23.1 points per game. Here's hoping Friday night's game will be a little more competitive than those contests.


USC: At the end of the day, being 4-3 at USC simply isn't good enough. Still, hard as it might be to believe, the Trojans would be playing for a Pac-12 title if the season ended today. They're 3-1 in conference play, which has them tied atop the South Division with Utah, and the Trojans hold the tiebreaker thanks to their 30-23 win over the Utes. Also, the Trojans have managed to do all this despite losing starting QB J.T. Daniels in the season-opener, and then losing backup Kedon Slovis for a couple of games as well. The latest loss for the Trojans is running back Markese Stepp, who suffered a torn ligament in his ankle during last week's win over Arizona and will likely be out at least a month. That's a big blow to a Trojans offense that will need to put some points on the board on the road on Friday night.

Colorado: The Buffaloes got off to a good start to the season. They won three of their first four, including a comeback win against Nebraska and a road victory over a ranked Arizona State. Life hasn't been as kind the last three games, as the Buffs have dropped three straight to Arizona, Oregon and Washington State. The two losses to the Ducks and Cougars came on the road, and they came by a combined score of 86-13. Colorado needs three more wins if it's going to go bowling this season, but three of its five remaining games are against USC, Washington and Utah (UCLA and Stanford are the other two). It will need to pull off a big upset at some point to get there. Could a Friday night home game against a banged-up USC be its best opportunity?

Viewing information

Date: Friday, Oct. 25 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Folsom Field -- Boulder, Colorado
TV: ESPN2 | Live stream:  

Game prediction, picks

Weird things tend to happen in Friday night Pac-12 games, which makes Colorado an appealing pick here. The problem is Colorado's defense has been abysmal in 2019. It's allowing 34.9 points per game and ranked 119th nationally in defensive pass efficiency. That's problematic against a USC team that's running an Air Raid offense now. I'm not super confident in the pick, but I don't see how you can comfortably take any side but USC's in this spot. Pick: USC (-13.5)

So what CFB picks can you make with confidence in Week 9? And which line is Vegas way off on? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams win and cover the spread in every game this week, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,200 in profit over the past four seasons.