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Pac 12 Championship Game: Staff predictions

Stanford looks to capture a second straight Pac 12 title, but a trip to Arizona State will not be easy. Photo: USA Today Sports

The Pac 12 Championship Game may not play a role in determining the BCS championship picture as once expected, but a spot in the Rose Bowl is nothing to bash an eye at. Arizona State is looking to make their first trip to the Rose Bowl Game since Jake Plummer and the 1996 Sun Devils came up just short against Ohio State. Their opponent in Tempe this weekend will be the defending Pac 12 champions, Stanford. The Cardinal took the regular season match-up earlier this season, but Arizona State hopes home field advantage helps change the outcome this weekend.

Allen Kenney:  Revenge! These two squads have gone in completely different directions since the Cardinal got their rocks off earlier this year against ASU. Ride the hot hand.

Arizona St. 27, Stanford 21

Andy Coppens: This game could be about something most don’t think about in regards to the Pac-12—defense. Yes, that D word will come into play big time in Tempe on Saturday night because both of these teams can play it. Unfortunately for Stanford, Arizona State can also beat you a ton of ways offensively. However, without Marion Grice this game could be a lot closer. Give me the home team in a very entertaining game.

Arizona State 27, Stanford 24


Aaron Torres: So I knew Arizona State was good….but it wasn’t until I wrote the Pac-12 Coaches Preview on Wednesday that I realized just how good they’ve been, specifically at home. Did you know the Sun Devils are averaging 49 points a game at Sun Devils Stadium, and have already put up 50 five separate times.

(The answer is: Of course you knew that, you read my article!!)

Regardless, Arizona State may be the single most underrated team in college football. They might not score 50, but they’ll get the win and go to the Rose Bowl with a win Saturday.

Arizona State 31, Stanford 28

David Singleton: Stanford won the first game these two played this season but they were almost caught from behind by the Sun Devils. Arizona State will be without one of their key weapons in Marion Grice, and his absence will wind up making a difference in a much closer game.

Stanford 31 Arizona State 27

Jonathan Biles: Both teams like to be hot and cold but Stanford will out-muscle and out-hustle the Sun Devils.

Stanford 32, Arizona State 21

Josh Parcell: Arizona State has quietly been one of the best teams in the country this year, yet no one has paid any attention. Just last week they laid a 37-point smackdown on an Arizona team that de-feathered Oregon a week before. They'll be out for revenge against Stanford for a 42-28 defeat earlier this year and…they won't get it. Stanford is too tough in the trenches and will control the clock, keeping the Sun Devils' high-octane offense off the field.

Stanford 31, Arizona State 24

Kevin Causey: Surprisingly, I actually picked Arizona State to be in this game at the beginning of the season but I did more because I had to pick somebody than I thought they actually had a chance to win. Earlier this season, the Sun Devils lost by 14 at Stanford but I think this is a different team now as they have won seven straight and dispatched UCLA and then ran rough shot over Arizona in their last two games. Something tells me that ASU will pull this one out. They might need the refs from the Wisconsin game, but they will pull it out.

Arizona State 31 Stanford 24

Kevin McGuire: Arizona State lost an earlier game to Stanford in Palo Alto, but the Sun Devils have played much better at home in Tempe than they have on the road this season. Look at games against Stanford and Notre Dame and compare that to the results Todd Graham's team have put together at home against Arizona, USC etc. There is little doubt in my mind Arizona State getting home field advantage could be huge for this year's Pac 12 championship game. In the short history of the Pac 12 title game the home team is undefeated (2-0), but this is the first year a Pac 12 South team gets to stay home. Expect Arizona State to give Stanford's tough defense a little more to chew on. I like the Arizona State a lot this weekend, I really do.

Arizona State 30, Stanford 26

Tom Perry: Arizona State has been a nice surprise in the Pac-12, and the Sun Devils get the home game. But what Stanford did to Oregon is what we should expect in this one and the Cardinal will wear down ASU.

Stanford 28, Arizona State 17

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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