Pac-10 Football Predictions: Week 1
All 10 Pac-10 teams are in action this week, starting with USC taking on Hawaii this Thursday night and ending with Vontaze Burfict and ASU playing a weak Portland State team Saturday evening.
I am going to give my predictions and analysis for all 10 games and will continue to do so every week this season.
USC @ Hawaii, Thursday, 8 PM PDT (ESPN)
How will the Lane Kiffin era begin at USC? Well, you can find out this Thursday if you are willing to stay up late to watch the game.
The Hawaii team they are playing is not the same one a few years ago that could put up 50-plus points a game. It should be an easy victory for the Trojans as long as they have their heads on straight come game time.
But you never know what can happen once you are in Hawaii.
Trojans win 38-17.
Arizona @ Toledo, Friday, 5 PM PDT (ESPN)
The big question for Arizona this season is how good the defense will be. That said, even if the defense is subpar against Toledo, Arizona still should come away from MAC country with a win.
The Rockets did upset Colorado last year, but 2009 Colorado was a far cry from 2009 Arizona, a team that destroyed Toledo when the game was played in Tucson.
With Nick Foles at QB, I think Zona will leave with a comfortable win.
Wildcats win 42-24.
UCLA @ Kansas State, Saturday, 12:30 PM PDT (ABC)
This is a game I keep going back and forth on. UCLA has an outstanding defense, but if Kevin Prince is not able to play, the Bruins may be in big trouble.
UCLA's offensive line is average at best, and Rick Neuheisel will have to rely on them to be better in order for the Bruins to run the ball consistently.
I think this game comes down to whether Prince can play and how effective he will be if he does play.
Wildcats win a close one, 20-17.
New Mexico @ Oregon, 12:30 PM PDT (Not on TV)
New Mexico went 1-11 last season. I think that stat alone should be enough for any logical person to figure out who is most likely to win this game.
This is pretty much a tune-up game for the Ducks, who are poised to return to the Rose Bowl this season and have better success than they did last year.
Oregon wins 49-10.
UC Davis @ Cal, 1 PM PDT (CSN California)
Both of the Pac-10 Northern Cal schools have decided to take it easy Week 1 and beat up on other Northern Cal schools.
The Golden Bears are not expected to have a great season this year, but UC Davis should be no problem for Cal.
Also...is it just me, or does it seem like Kevin Riley has been the QB at Berkeley as long as Arnold Schwarzenegger has been governor of California?
Golden Bears win 38-3.
Sacramento State @ Stanford, 3:30 PM PDT (CSN Bay Area)
Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck will get his first chance to prove to voters his worthiness of the award when the Stanford Cardinal take on the Hornets of Sacramento State.
However, Luck better hope that the voters have CSN Bay Area on their DirecTV at home.
Stanford going into the season sounds like a contender for the Pac-10 crown, and you will find out this Saturday. Of course, you will need to have CSN Bay Area to watch the game.
Stanford wins 56-7.
Washington @ BYU, 4 PM PDT (CBS College Sports)
The other Pac-10 Heisman hopeful will have to work a little harder to get win No. 1 under his belt. Jake Locker and Washington have to face an always tough BYU team in front of an even tougher crowd.
Washington and Locker specifically will be looking for revenge for that 2008 loss, the one where Locker was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for celebrating after he thought he had scored the last-minute winning TD. BYU then went on to win 28-27.
Huskies win 31-20.
Washington State @ Oklahoma State, 4 PM PDT (FSN)
Poor Washington State. They won't go one game into the season without getting all possible confidence they had (which wasn't much) ripped out of them.
Oklahoma State is rebuilding, but that won't stop them from tearing the Cougars' defense apart.
Cowboys win 45-9.
****Oregon State vs. TCU (Cowboys Stadium), 4:45 PM PDT (FSN)****
**** Pac-10 Game of the Week****
Jerry Jones won't have over 100,000 people in Cowboys Stadium this Saturday, but attendance still should be pretty high, as you would think all TCU fans within 100 miles of the stadium would want to see their Horned Frogs play.
Jacquizz Rodgers might spoil their trip if he plays anything like he has the last few seasons. But sixth-ranked TCU will not be an easy team to run or pass on, however, and they have a pretty good offense of their own led by QB Andy Dalton.
It should be a very fun matchup to watch, and it will prove whether Oregon State should be considered a serious contender this season for winning the Pac-10.
TCU wins a nail-biter 28-26.
Portland State @ ASU, 7 PM PDT (Not on TV)
The last Pac-10 game of the week may also be the most boring (sorry Sun Devil fans).
All-American Vontaze Burfict should have a field day against Portland State, and so should newly appointed ASU QB Steven Threet. Threet is a transfer from Michigan and could be the key to Arizona State having a successful season this year.
ASU wins 24-0.