We went 9-2 in the first week of the Pacific-12 Conference football season with predictions, and we hope to do better this time around. Every team in the league has played a game, so we have more to work with in making our picks this week, right? Right!
In the Conference of Champions there are always good matchups to see every week, and the league slate starts off with two games in Week 2. While most of the other Power 5 conferences are still playing out-of-conference cupcakes, the Pac-12 has to start getting down to business as it plays nine conference games each season—not just eight like some other leagues.
Now, on to this weekend’s games … starting this afternoon, all times Pacific.
Sacramento State at Arizona State (7 pm Thursday): The Sun Devils struggled a bit too much last week against Kent State, at least in the first half, and this week ASU gets another weakling to sharpen its fork. The Hornets will provide no challenge, although don’t expect them to wilt in the desert sun. Arizona State 45, Sacramento State 10.
Northern Illinois at No. 13 Utah (10 am Saturday): An early kickoff in Salt Lake City, for sure, and expect the Utes to handle these Huskies with ease. Utah is going to be making sure it’s ready for Pac-12 foes. Utah 38, Northern Illinois 17.
No. 25 Nebraska at Colorado (12:30 pm Saturday): We are not sure the Huskers deserve such a lofty ranking, and this old rivalry was always testy. The Buffs get to host, which could be huge. Look for the home team to put up a good fight. Nebraska 34, Colorado 30.
San Diego State at UCLA (1:15 pm Saturday): The Bruins are favored by a touchdown here, and it would not surprise us if this game was a blowout—in either direction. That makes it one of the tougher games to predict this week. We do think the home team will win, but it is not going to be easy. UCLA 27, San Diego State 24.
Northern Colorado at No. 22 Washington State (2 pm Saturday): The Cougs have another walkover opponent coming to Pullman this weekend, and the Bears won’t put up much of a challenge for Wazzu. Is this what Mike Leach likes? Evidently, and his offense will be hard to stop. Washington State 62, Northern Colorado 14.
Nevada at No. 16 Oregon (4:30 pm Saturday): The Ducks got punished in the polls for scheduling a game that no SEC team would schedule. Go figure. The Wolf Pack is flying high after knocking off Purdue last week. This one won’t be close, however. Oregon 42, Nevada 21.
California at No. 14 Washington (7:30 pm Saturday): The Golden Bears hit the road, and it’s going to be a tough time for them in Seattle. Even Cal’s vaunted defense will struggle when facing the Huskies. Washington 31, California 14.
No. 23 Stanford at USC (7:30 pm Saturday): The Cardinal won a hard-fought game at home last week, and they may be a little tired heading south to face the Trojans. However, the home team was not exactly super impressive in its opening win over Fresno State. This game is a toss up, really. USC 34, Stanford 31.
Northern Arizona at Arizona (7:45 pm Saturday): The Wildcats took it on the chin in their opening loss at Hawaii, and now they get to take it out on the Lumberjacks after a week off. Look for the home team to get fat on this one. Arizona 45, Northern Arizona 21.
Oregon State at Hawaii (9 pm Saturday): It is tough for any team to travel to Hawaii and play well. The flight and the jet lag take their roll. The Beavers may get good some day soon, but this is going to be a hard game for them to win. Hawaii 42, Oregon State 28.
Check back here frequently for new Pac-12 content: Tuesday weekly wrap-ups and Thursday weekly previews!