By Fred Delkin
Stanford underscored the 2012 Pac12 redistribution of power with its 21-14 defeat of USC. The Cardinal served notice with its whipping of the nation’s no. 2-ranked team that the Cardinal is a title threat. UCLA and Arizona are undefeated surprises to date, joining Oregon at 3-0. Standings will definitely alter in Autzen Stadium Saturday as the Ducks entertain Arizona. Oregon State takes its 1-0 mark south to UCLA and is an underdog despite the Beavers’ surprise upset of Wisconsin. Utah and Arizona State have shown some strength in notching 2-1 records, but one will lose when they do battle in Tempe this week. California looked better in losing at Ohio State than the Golden Bears 1-2 record to date would indicate, but now Cal travels to meet a maddened Trojan bunch in the Coliseum. Washington, 2-1, and Stanford get byes this week, while winless Colorado travels to 2-1 Washington State. Pigskin missed a pair of calls Saturday as Stanford and Utah defied our odds and we wound up @ 8-2. Following, our forecast for this week’s matchups.
ARIZONA at OREGON–the Ducks will get their first real test in this one. UA’s new head mentor, Rich Rodriguez, has crafted a hot start with an impressive offense led by senior QB Matt Scott’s sensational 71.5% pass completion rate.
We expect Oregon will live up to its current #3 national ranking on both sides of the ball. OREGON by 21.
OREGON STATE at UCLA–the Beavers will likely return to earth on this Rose Bowl visit. New Bruin coach Jim Mora has unveiled a hot new QB in Hundley and a sensational RB, Franklin, equal to the task of breaching the Beav’s good defense. This should be close. UCLA by 10.
CALIFORNIA at SOUTHERN CAL–no way will the Trojans be good hosts after their fateful Palo Alto trip. The Bears won’t be willing victims, but Matt Barkley and company now seek redemption on the national stage. USC by 21.
UTAH at ARIZONA STATE–the Sun Devils return home after nearly dumping Missouri on the road. Utah is a solid club, but not a deep one, and we expect they will fold in the fourth in this one. ARIZONA ST. by 7.
COLORADO at WASHINGTON STATE–this is a match between the two weakest teams in the conference. However, new Cougar coach Mike Leach has now found a QB capable of leading his aerial circus offense and the woeful visiting Buffaloes will again go down to defeat. WASHINGTON ST. by 14.
SOUTHERN UTAH at PORTLAND STATE–Viking coach Nigel Burton’s return to his alma mater was a nightmare. Well, the Viks did get a nice paycheck for showing up. Southern Utah is likely to provide some solace in what could still be a winning season if a green group can recover some mojo. PSU by 10.
ROSES & RASPBERRIES–we award bouquets to the quartet of new Pac12 coaches, who all created victories this past week…nothing but continued contempt for the Portland Timbers, still on a mission to prove that money can’t buy a winner…a bloom for ol’ Duck QB Joey Harrington, who is playing an excellent role as a sportscaster, as is (though we hate to admit it!) Ricky Neuheisel on the Pac12 network…and more blooms to scatter for that network’s coverage of the full gamut of western collegiate athletics.
Pete’s previous picks: