Last week things pretty much went as planned around the Pac-12, with the exception of Oregon State losing at home to Eastern Washington and falling out of the rankings. This week the conference has five teams ranked while Oregon moved up to number 2 and Stanford, at number 5, are still considered the leaders of the pack. This week has some big match-ups, including a couple of important games that don’t even include Pac-12 teams so let’s jump right into what’s on tap.
Of course the biggest game kicked off Thursday night as our Devils hosted Sacramento State at Sun Devil Stadium. For many Sun Devil fans, nothing short of a blowout would have been acceptable, and that’s what happened. The Devils took control from the opening kick and didn’t let up until the game was over (game recap here). The Arizona Wildcats travel to Las Vegas to take on UNLV. I usually root for the Mountain West Conference and would love to see the Wildcats lose a game that they are favored by double digits, but the conference needs a win for the team from the Old Pueblo.
Oregon State should be able to redeem themselves at home against Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors usually can compete with the Pac-12 teams at home, but on the road they are far less of a threat. Look for the Beavers to come out on top, which is what we want. Oregon has a huge game at Virginia on Saturday. Virginia is a team on the rise and anytime a Pac-12 team travels to the east coast it is an opportunity to prove that the conference is as dominant as any in college football. A win over BYU last week has given Virginia some credibility so a pounding by the Ducks would help our cause. As of right now, the Ducks are rolling.
While Washington is off this week after a big win over Boise State, the Cougars of Washington State have a very intriguing game against USC. The Cougars played tough last week and almost defeated Auburn on the road. This week they are on the road again to take on the men of Troy. While they showed last week that they are much improved offensively and can move the ball, I don’t know if they have enough to beat the Trojans. If they were at home I might pick Wazzu but on the road I have to take USC by a touchdown.
We already know that USC will host Washington State and a victory will help them in the rankings. Remember, we want our opponents to be ranked as high as possible so when the Devils have an opportunity to win against them, it will improve our post season resume. So in that respect, we want Stanford to continue their winning ways as well. This shouldn’t be too difficult since they host San Jose State this week. Likewise, Cal should bounce back this week as they are big favorites when they host the Vikings of Portland State. UCLA is off this week.
Utah and Colorado
Nothing too impressive for Utah and Colorado this week, but we will support their cause to win and help the conference. Utah plays host to Weber State in their second consecutive in state game while Colorado brings in Central Arkansas.
Big Non-Conference games
There are a couple of big non-conference games to pay attention to this week. First is the Wisconsin game as they take on Tennessee Tech. The only reason we care about this is because we want the Badgers to climb in the national rankings before we throttle them in Tempe in week three. The biggest game for us not including Pac-12 teams is without a doubt the Notre Dame game against Michigan. The Irish are the higher ranked team at number 14 but are three point underdogs in Ann Arbor. We want the Irish to win big and be undefeated when we take them on in Dallas later in the year.
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