Out of the Pac – Week One

The first installment of our weekly review of the conference schedule along with our somewhat tongue-in-cheek final score predictions. As always, wager at your own risk.

 

 

Thursday, Aug 30
Weber State @ Utah
The Utes have made it a program trademark to start the season impressively only to fade away down the home stretch. Weber State is part of that formula for 2018 – Utah by a bunch, 38-10

Friday, Aug 31
San Diego State @ Stanford
Last year the Aztecs knocked of a highly regarded Stanford team 20-17 in what became a five loss season for the Cardinal. Again in 2018 the Cardinal are considered to be one of the premier Pac-12 teams and it is hard to imagine the opportunity to avenge the loss from a year ago will be wasted. Stanford 44-17

Colorado @ Colorado State*
The annual Rocky Mountain Showdown between the Rams and the Buffaloes has been played primarily in either Mile High Stadium or the new Denver Broncos home, Bronco Stadium at Mile High since the rivalry was renewed in 1998. Colorado leads the series all-time with a record of 65-22-2 and has won three of the last four meetings. Most consider the match a toss-up but here the pick is for the Rams to escape with a 3-point victory, 27-24.

Saturday, Sep 01
Oregon State @ Ohio State
New head coach Jonathon Smith should have taken a closer look at the Beavers’ schedule before accepting the job in Corvallis. Yes, Ohio State is dealing with plenty of distractions thanks to the cowardice of their head coach, but the talent gap between the two schools won’t disappear because the Buckeyes have an interim head coach calling the plays. Ouch. Ohio State 55- the other OSU 13.

Washington @ Auburn**
A marquis match-up for the Pac-12 and a chance to restore a bit of the luster the conference lost with a miserable post season performance in the bowl games last year. Ranked 4th, the Huskies are projected to win their second conference title in three years and a win over the 9th-ranked Tigers in what is laughingly considered a neutral site game (Atlanta – 100 miles from the Auburn campus) would lend credence to those prognostications. Not to mention to any hopes the Pac-12 has of avoiding being shut out of the CFP as they were last season. So for the sake of the conference as a whole the pick is for the Huskies to come away with the 27-21 win.

Washington State @ Wyoming
Many are anticipating a fall-off for the Cougars in 2018 and if the Cowboys still had quarterback Josh Allen, the pick would be for Wyoming. But Allen is in the NFL and their just isn’t enough talent across the board in Laramie to pull of the upset. In a close one, Washington State is the pick by a score of 33-31.

UNLV @ USC
Not a contest. USC will be starting a true freshman at quarterback and that lack of experience my take its toll once conference play gets underway, but against the Runnin’ Rebels it won’t. USC 44-21.

North Carolina @ California
As the Bears’ first year coach, ex-Duck Justin Wilcox injected a competitive fire into what had become a lackadaisical Cal football program and saw immediate results when the Bears waltzed out of Chapel Hill with a 35-30 win in Wilcox’s head coaching debut. What is expected to be a low scoring, close ball game may well play out that way but in the end it is the home field advantage that proves the decisive factor in Cal’s 28-23 win.

Cincinnati @ UCLA
The Bruins look to be headed for a challenging season but Chip Kelly’s UCLA debut will go better than his debut at Oregon (19-10 loss to Boise State, LeGarrett Blount). UCLA 33-23.

UTSA @ Arizona State
Herm Edwards hasn’t coached a game in nine years and takes the helm at a program that has historically under-achieved since joining what became the Pac-10 in 1978. That pretty much describes the expectations for the Sun Devils in 2018 but Edwards will at least get to enjoy a debut victory over the Roadrunners, 45-21

BYU @ Arizona
Kalil Tate gave the Wildcats an offensive spark after taking over the starting role as quarterback mid-way through the 2017 season. It wasn’t enough to save Rich Rodriquez’s job as head coach although there were certainly additional factors at play in that decision besides the late season swoon of the Wildcats. Now it’s Kevin Sumlin’s turn to try to resurrect what was a solid program up to the moment the administration decided to fire Dick Toomey. Like his counterpart 110 miles north in Tempe, Sumlin has his work cut out for him in 2018 but will get his debut off to a good start with a 36-28 win over the Cougars.

Bowling Green @ Oregon
A mismatch from the moment that Texas A&M bailed on their contract for a home and home and Bowling Green was added to the schedule in place of the Aggies. Coming off a two-win season in 2017, the Falcons have higher hopes in 2018 but that affirmation will have to begin after they are dismantled by the Ducks 58-10.