Last season I followed a hunch that my Oregon Ducks would be very, very good...so I covered them and the then Pac-10 season closely with posts, analysis and entries about each week's games. I'd predict late in the week and re-cap on Sundays. Thing is...that takes time. This year I'm pretty sure the Ducks will be good again (but probably not 12-0 good), but I'm going to scale it back a bit and try to be more brief.
To start this new approach off, below is my prediction for a) how the Pac-12 will finish this season, and b) the first weekend of games.
PAC-12 SEASON PREDICTIONS
- Oregon (10-2 overall, 8-1 in league play) - the world is their oyster if the O-line gels quick and QB Thomas stays healthy. Wins the division.
- Stanford - (9-3, 7-2) - great QB, solid talent, but key losses from last year + new coach.
- Washington (7-5, 5-4) - Dawgs get over the hump and win more than they lose this season.
- Cal (6-6, 5-4) - Bears not that good. Not their year.
- Oregon State (5-6, 4-5) - lose too much talent all around to compete for top end of this division.
- Washington State (4-8, 3-6) - steady improvement continues, but not enough.
- ASU - (10-2, 7-2) just might be their year.
- USC (9-3, 6-3) - not eligible for a bowl or Pac-12 championship game.
- Utah - (8-4, 6-3) - could cause a stir their Pac-12 debut season.
- UA - (5-7, 4-5) - lost five straight to close out last season. May upset 1-2 teams, but overall not that great.
- UCLA (4-8, 3-6) - another season, another sub-par performance.
- Colorado (3-9, 2-10) - sorry CU.
Oregon vs. ASU (outside chance it's Utah) in Eugene, OR - Ducks win. Better team, home field advantage. Win takes them to the Rose Bowl.
WEEK 1 GAMES
Oregon vs. LSU in Dallas. LSU wins 24-17. Ducks good, LSU good. But, UO O-line has some new guys, it's a road game and no Cliff Harris for this one. Advantage to the SEC squad by a little.
UW vs. Eastern Washington in Seatte. UW wins 31-10. ESU is good for their division, but if UW is really "on the rise," they'll beat 'em pretty bad.
WSU vs. Idaho State in Pullman. Even the Cougs should beat ISU like a drum. 41-10.
Oregon State vs. Sacramento State in Corvallis. Beavs win 23-9.
Stanford vs. San Jose State at Palo Alto. Cardinal win big 44-13.
Cal vs. Fresno State in Fresno. Upset. FSU wins 24-21.
Utah vs. Montana State in Salt Lake City. Utes all the way 35-21.
USC vs. Minnesota in L.A. USC still too good and at home. They win 28-10.
UCLA vs. Houston in Houston. UCLA gets beat bad 49-10.
Colorado vs. Hawaii in Honolulu. Rainbow Warriors win 24-17.
ASU vs. UC Davis in Tempe. Umm...yeah. Sun Devils win 31-7.
Arizona vs. Northern Arizona in Tuscon. N.A. is not a pushover, but 'Cats win this one 27-13.