Now comes the bulk of the Pac-12 schedule and more opportunities for the Final Four of the Survive and Advance Contest to either stick around or fall victim to an upset.
The single-game Pac-12 weekends are over until the conference championship game is played Dec. 7.
Five games will be played Saturday, including Arizona at Washington. Strategy comes more into play than chance.
The “lock” of the week, without a doubt, is Oregon over a visiting Cal team that lacks a defense. One thing to keep in mind, however, is the field can only pick a Pac-12 team twice throughout the season. The Final Four all chose No. 5 Stanford over ASU last week — because it had to with only that game scheduled — so they can choose the Cardinal only once more.
Still, the smart play is on the Ducks mostly because it allows the contestants to move on to another week barring an upset. Will the Final Four go this route? If one of the contestants does not pick Oregon but still advances, he or she will have a leg up on the competition.
Oregon State will likely be favored against visiting Colorado and Stanford over Washington State, but the Buffaloes and Cougars have shown improvement this season.
Arizona vs. Washington and ASU hosting USC appear to be closer battles.
Because of the upsets of Washington State over USC and Oregon State winning at Utah in the first two weeks, the overall record of the original 23-player field is 8-32 heading into the bulk of the schedule. Things are getting interesting.
Here is a breakdown of the rules:
— Contestants must pick the winner of one Pac-12 game each week. It is their lock of the week. This week the four eligibile contestants must pick among five different games. If their pick wins, they advance to the next week. If the team loses, they are eliminated (unless all participants lose this week).
— Contestants can pick a Pac-12 team only twice in the season. That’s the limit. Twice. So if a contestant picks Oregon or Stanford the first two chances they have, good luck the rest of the season. The remaining contestants have picked USC, Oregon State and Stanford. They can pick those teams only one more time.
— Tie-breaking system: The margin difference is the tie breaker. If two or more contestants somehow last until the end of the season without getting eliminated, the margin will serve as the tie-breaker. For example, if a contestant predicted Stanford to beat ASU by 14 — which was the outcome (good job Perry C. John for predicting that), the point difference is 0 (the Cardinal won by 14). The person with the closest overall margin in the end wins.
— If the field loses their pick in a week, those survivors advance to the following week by default.
— If a contestant advances and then misses making a selection the following week, he or she is eliminated. Picks must be made before kickoff (the Facebook posts have a time stamp).
— Those eligible to participate MUST ENTER THEIR PICK IN THE FACEBOOK COMMENTARY SECTION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST and weekly posts that update results. An example of a pick: “Oregon by 30 over Cal”. That’s it. If you want to comment about your reason for the pick — or not picking another team — feel free. If a person does not pick a margin with their pick, they will be charged the total actual points. Example: You pick Oregon without a margin and the Ducks win 55-13, you will be charged 68 points (the amount of points in the game). If you pick Oregon by 30 and the Ducks win 55-13, you are only charged 12 points (the difference in margin). The lowest margin difference wins the tie-breaker.
— I hope all of this makes sense. If you have questions, again POST THEM IN THE FACEBOOK COMMENTS SECTIONS BELOW.
— An Arizona-related prize will be rewarded to the winner.
RESULTS AFTER WEEK THREE
Four remain after Stanford took care of business against ASU in Palo Alto
STANDINGS OF THE SURVIVORS
[table “” not found /]