The Pac-12 does not have the best outlook as it pertains to the College Football Playoff, but it does have one final hope in the form of No. 8 Washington State. Mike Leach's crew is still in contention at 8-1 on the year, and after surviving a scare from Cal last weekend still has its eyes on the prize.
Leach and the Cougars have to make a trip to Boulder on Saturday, though, as they aim to keep in line for a shot at the national title down the line. At 5-4, Colorado doesn't seem like a threat to Washington State's chances, but Boulder is notoriously a tough place to play and we've seen flashes of evidence throughout the year that the Buffaloes may be able to keep up in a shootout.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 10 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Folsom Field -- Boulder, Colorado
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
Washington State: The Cougars have a rare opportunity this week. While they're 8-1 on the season and have played well, most of their games have been played late, typically beginning after 9 p.m. ET, and often after 10 p.m. That hasn't been good for getting this team much national attention, be it for its playoff hopes or for the potential Heisman campaign of quarterback Gardner Minshew. This game against Colorado, however, isn't just being played on a Saturday afternoon but will be on ESPN where everyone has a chance to tune in. If the Cougars want to make a statement, this game could be their best chance to do so before a possible Pac-12 Championship Game appearance.
Colorado: Colorado fans may have a sinking feeling in their stomach right now; a sense of familiarity they weren't hoping to deal with again. You see, last season the Buffaloes got off to a 3-0 start to the season, this after putting together a surprising 10-4 season in 2016. Things seemed to be going in the right direction, but the Buffs managed to lose seven of their final nine games, finishing the season 5-7. This year, Colorado got off to a 5-0 start, but it enters Saturday's contest on a four-game losing streak. Should the Buffs lose to Washington State, they'll have gone from 5-0 to needing a win in their final two games just to reach bowl eligibility.
Game prediction, picks
As is the case with the general public, I don't think Washington State's getting enough credit in this matchup. The spread is at 5.5 points, and I think a more realistic number would be around 7.5. Washington State hasn't been as good on the road and struggled against Cal, but Colorado is in a tailspin. The Colorado offense hasn't been the same without Laviska Shenault, and I have a hard time imagining it can hang with the Cougars for a full 60 minutes. Pick: Washington State -5.5
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