By Fred Delkin
We stumbled twice in forecasting last week’s battles, shocked by Cal’s failure to triumph in the Bears’ debut in their remodeled stadium and not surprised that Colorado State upended Colorado. This week’s expected outcomes:
WISCONSIN at OREGON STATE–Hurricane Isaac granted the Beavers an extra week of practice before facing mighty Wisconsin in Corvallis. The visiting Badgers are heavily favored, with OSU coming off two straight losing seasons. We think the Bevos will make it a game before succumbing. WISCONSIN by 10.
FRESNO STATE at OREGON–the visitors are no match for Kelly’s conquerors, but we think they may be a bit better than the 35pt. spread given by the oddsmakers. However, Mariota and company will again delight the Autzen faithful and burnish their national title aspirations. OREGON by 28.
WASHINGTON vs. LSU–this will be played in Texas, but still too close to the Tigers home den. The Dawgs were less than impressive in dumping San Diego State last week in Seattle, which adds certainty to our conviction that they won’t enjoy this trip. LSU by 14.
NEBRASKA at UCLA–the hosts looked good in destroying a host Rice squad last week, but will find the Cornhuskers psyched to be playing on the Rose Bowl turf and quite capable of giving new Bruin coach Jim Mora’s team a spanking. NEBRASKA by 10.
SOUTHERN CAL at SYRACUSE–the legions of Troy have far more weapons than the host Orangemen and will not be slowed on their march to a November showdown with Oregon for all the marbles. SOUTHERN CAL by 28.
UTAH at UTAH STATE–the Aggies won’t be warm hosts, coming off a surprisingly good 2011 season, but Utah will again show why Pigskin projects them as the third best team in the Pac12. UTAH by 14.
EASTERN WASHINGTON at WASHINGTON STATE–so you thought new Cougar coach Mike Leach would transfer his famed ‘aerial circus’ from Texas Tech to the Palouse? BYU certainly proved otherwise last Saturday and Leach needs more horses before he can resurrect WSU fortunes, though the Cougs should scrape by an FCS foe. WASHINGTON ST. By 9.
DUKE at STANFORD–the Cardinal prove this past week that they definitely miss the heroics of Andrew Luck. Stanford coach David Shaw still has a strong roster to direct and the visitors are severely overmatched. STANFORD by 35.
SOUTHERN UTAH at CALIFORNIA–the boo birds of Berkeley are in full voice after coach Jeff Tedford’s Golden Bears collapsed before Nevada in what was supposed to be a glorious celebration of the first game in a rehabilitated Memorial Stadium. The home team will have no trouble, however, with this patsy opponent. CAL by 48.
ILLINOIS at ARIZONA STATE–new Sun Devil coach Todd Graham debuted with a hearty bow in humiliating FCS foe Northern Arizona, but now its time to get real. We think the Devils do have enough talent to edge past their Big Ten visitors. ARIZONA ST. By 7.
OKLAHOMA STATE at ARIZONA–Tucson is a tough place for visiting teams to shine, but this is a nationally ranked visiting bunch that Pigskin expects to give new Wildcat mentor Rich Rodriguez his first 2012 defeat. OKLAHOMA ST. by 10.
SACRAMENTO STATE at COLORADO–the host Buffs got butted badly in their Civil War skirmish last week with Colorado State’s Rams. That will leave them with no mercy for the visiting FCS squad…and they have been reminded that the lowly Sac State group pulled off the 2011 season’s biggest upset when they dumped the OSU Beavers. COLORADO by 35.
PORTLAND STATE had its way with lower division Carroll College last week and gave new Viking QB Kieran McDonagh a satisfying debut in coach Nigel Burton’s Pistol offense. This week the Viks journey to new Big Sky conference member North Dakota, an easy winner over lower-ranked South Dakota Mines. A win here will solidify Viking hopes of earning a postseason playoff position. Pigskin thinks Burton’s concentration on recruiting local talent is paying off, as witness McDonagh’s prep stardom at Vancouver’s Skyview high.