It is an interesting week in the Pac 10. Oregon is still in recovery mode. UW is trying to pull the ultimate upset. Arizona is trying to show they belong in the upper division. OSU is out for revenge. Cal is on cruise control. Rick Neuheisel continues to win ugly. Stanford is in for a tougher game than they expect. WSU plays its last winnable game and ASU is still playing an exhibition schedule.
If you are a Husky fan there is really only one game this week and I can't understand why there is still around 15,000 tickets left for this one. College football doesn't get any better than this and if I could have stayed in Seattle a few more days I would have done it.
California at Minnesota
I lived in Minnesota for a few years and I have to say that I am a casual Gopher fan. The new stadium on the Minnesota campus is just amazing and it is going to help them recruit in a way they haven't been able to since the mid 1960's. I saw Minnesota struggle on television in its opener against Syracuse. Minnesota was able to pull that game out in overtime. We all know how good Syracuse is so it is safe to say that even though this is an away game in what should be a difficult venue to play in the Bears should have no problem with the Gophers.
Cal by 21
Utah at Oregon
This is a pivotal game for the Ducks. If they win this one they dodge the serious bullet of opening the season 1-2 in non conference play. Utah struggled with San Jose State last weekend which isn't a good sign. They are however a better team than Purdue on both sides of the ball. Defensively I think the Ute's are going to give the Ducks problems.
Utah by 7
Arizona at Iowa
The Wildcats face their first real big time opponent of the season on the road. The defense has been stout so far but the offense has been all Grigsby. If you stop the Arizona running game you stop Arizona. Iowa is 2-0 on the season. They narrowly averted disaster in their opener against Northern Iowa by blocking a late minute FG attempt. they had no problem the following week beating up on Iowa State. This looks to be a pretty evenly matched game for both teams and I have to go witht he home team.
Iowa by 3
SMU at Washington State
The Cougars couldn't handle Hawaii last week which is pretty much a June Jones creation. This week they face the real June Jones and the outcome should actuallyb e closer because i don't think that the Mustangs are better than Hawaii. The Coug's should actually have a shot at beating these guys but the coaching and attitude is so poor right now it could get ugly even at home.
SMU by 14
Cincinnati at Oregon State
The Bearcats beat the pulp out of the Beavers last year at home and now it is time for the beavers to return the favor in Corvallis. This game features two of the better coaches in college football so it should be a well played contest. OSU struggled on the road against UNLV last week and needed a last second FG to win the game. The Bearcats are ranked 17th in the country and have trounced Rutgers and SE Missouri State. OSU looks fragile to me at this point of the season. They gave up too may yards to Portland State and they narrowly beat UNLV. On the other hand traveling across the country to play a game in a hostile environment is never easy.
Cincinnati by 10
San Jose State at Stanford
The tree stumbled on the road last week against Wake Forest in a game they were favored to win. I have been saying all pre season that Stanford lacks depth and is one dimensional on offense. SJSU is coming off a close loss to Utah after being throttled by USC. If you watched the first quarter of the USC contest you came away with the impression that they aren't a bad team. This is the biggest game of the year for SJSU and Stanford is looking ahead to Washington. I think this is one to put on your upset watch but I think the Cards simply have more talent in this one.
Stanford by 14
LA Monroe at Arizona State
The Sun Devils only game this season was against Big Sky cellar dweller Idaho State. Even though they trounced the bengals we really have no idea if Erickson has fixed what was ailing this team. This weeks cupcake is LA Monroe. It will be a much better test than Idaho State because this team can generate a little offense. They put 10 on the board against Texas in a lopsided opener. Last week they scored 58 against somebody called Texas Southern. ASU should have no problem in this one but keep an eye on how many points they give up! Next week exhibition season ends in the desert with a tough road game against Georgia.
ASU by 21
Kansas State at UCLA
KSU is in serious rebuilding mode and UCLA is lucky to get an opponent like that after losing their starting QB to a broken jaw for four weeks. The Bruins will be starting a frosh QB which means there is the potential for more turnovers than usual. The Bruin defense which won the game last week in Knoxville by helping create turnovers will carry them to another victory this week. KSU is just awful and UCLA can beat them with your grandmother at QB.
UCLA by 21
USC at Washington
This is the big game this week as far as I am concerned and I just happen to like our chances based on the history of this series. Nine times out of ten we usually gives this juggernaught a harder game than it wants or expects. This weekend will be no exception. Last time USC played up here they were lucky to escape with a victory and I feel that will again be the case on Saturday. I know the Trojans are one of the very best teams in the country, have the Huskies beat on paper, but they do have a history of letting down after big games. They may have beat Ohio State but the Buckeyes beat on them at the same time. USC is definitely bruised and battered this week.
Jake Locker is the best player in the conference so far this season. He can beat you in so many ways. Now that he has a competent coaching staff and some tools around him he has the UW offense humming to a tune of over 450 yards per game. I don't think USC is going to be able to stop him. The Huskies will score their points on Saturday against the toughest defense they will play all season. The question is will they score enough?
The key for Washington is stopping or slowing down the USC running game and forcing mistakes. If that happens Washington could pull out the victory. Since I don't like predicating victories on the possibility of turnovers that might happen I have to give the nod to USC by a TD which is a minor victory in itself since the Trojans are favored by 22. UW has a 25-30% chance of beating USC on Saturday and the Huskies are due.
USC by 7