Surprise, surprise, the first article that pops into my head relates to gambling. Unless you are one of those few special folk who read articles first and then headlines, you should see where this one is headed.
The true reason I started The Pacific Dozen was for making picks and doing Power Rankings. Besides the occasional recruiting/opinion article, don't expect too much.
Let's get started with Week #1.
Thursday's Games: (Picks are in Bold)
Utah (-28) vs. Montana State
Utah is not messing around this season. They want to quickly prove to the Pac-12 that they are capable of hanging with the big boys and devouring this stepping stone will be a huge step in that direction. With USC on the schedule next week, they are going to need as much of an ego-boost as they can possibly get from this cupcake.
Arizona State (-35.5) vs. UC Davis
It still pisses me off that UC Davis has a football team and UC Santa Barbara doesn't. Just because of that, I want to see the Aggies drown during any gridiron adventure. The Sun Devil's posses an extremely explosive offense. As long as their defense doesn't completely collapse, ASU should win this one by 50.
No. 25 USC (-22) vs. Minnesota
There is so much to like about USC's offense, that it completely overshadows the concerns that the Trojans have on defense...well, at least for this week's matchup. Minnesota is definitely improving, but they should struggle to stay afloat in this first game.
UCLA @ Houston (-3)
UCLA found a way to beat the Longhorns in Texas last year, it seems like the Bruins should be able to do the same against a "lower tier" team. Don't underestimate the Cougars, though. A healthy Case Keenum could be the difference for Houston.
Oregon St. (-27.5) vs. Sacramento St.
The Stinging Hornets really have no chance in this one. Oregon State might be experiencing a slight downturn this season, but this won't stop them from winning this game by at least four touchdowns.
No. 7 Stanford (-30) vs. San Jose St.
For some reason, this game is actually considered a pretty deep rivalry. San Jose State's football program is the epitome of the term "rebuilding year" and they be the equivalent of Bambi starring down a Mack Truck this weekend.
Washington St. (-28) vs. Idaho St.
The Cougars need a lot of work. Lucky for them, so does Idaho State. Washington State is primed for a turn around and if Paul Wulff is going to steer this ship in that direction it is going to be this year.
California (-10) vs. Fresno St.
This game opened up in Vegas with Cal as 4.5-point favorites. Since then, it has exploded to a 10-point spread for the Bears. The odds makers saw something in the Bulldogs when they originally wrote the line. Let's see if they were right.
Washington (-18.5) vs. E. Washington
I don't know much about Eastern Washington, but for some reason this line seems like a slap in the faces of the Huskies. Sark and his boys win this one by at least three touchdowns...guaranteed.
No. 3 Oregon (-4) vs. No. 4 LSU
Since this line opened, LSU went from 3-point favorites to 4-point "dawgs." Four points seems like awfully a lot for this marquee matchup. Whichever team eventually wins, its only going to be by a field goal.
Arizona (-27.5) vs. Northern Arizona
Vegas bookies are seriously underestimating the dangers of Arizona's offense. The Wildcats' defense should be able to handle Northern Arizona's sub-par offesne, and Nic Foles and company will ignite the scoreboard in this home opener laugher.
Colorado vs. Hawaii (-7)
"Only gambling degenerates bet on the Hawaii game." ~ The Dilemma So true, mainly because it's the last game of the day where you can either break even, jump ahead, or the more likely case, dig yourself a deeper hole. Making the trip to Hawaii is never easy, even for the best teams. The Buffaloes should get trampled.