As we close in on week 2 of the college football season, here’s a quick look back on Week 1 of Pac-12 action, centered around my 12th Annual Picking the Winners Pac-12 preview, which appeared last week on USCFootball.com:
I kicked off the season with a 9-2 weekend (plus an abstention from Nicholls State, which was unable to avoid Hurricane Isaac and travel to face the Mighty Beav in Corvallis). Who was up? Who was down? And who was an ultimate disappointment?
USC over Hawaii, 49-10 (picked at 49-13) and Utah over Northern Colorado, 41-0 (picked at 38-0): Obviously my two best picks of the week, though I was helped by some dropped USC passes to keep the Trojans under 50.Other decent calls included Oregon over Arky State, 57-34 (in a game that I picked 52-10 Ducks, but UO led 50-3 in the second quarter before pumping the brakes). Oregon wowed a lot of people with their early outburst. Was the second half defensive lapse indicative of some depth issues? You’d have to be reading an awful lot into it to reach that conclusion. I also had UCLA topping Rice by 21, but in a much lower scoring game than the Bruins’ eventual 49-24 win. Even if it was against a horrific Owl program, Bruin fans had to be heartened by QB Brett Hundley’s first performance.
Surprises and disappointments that still worked out ok? How about Wazzu’s ugly performance in a 30-6 loss at BYU. In picking a narrow BYU win, I definitely expected more from Mike Leach in his first game. Obviously, he and the Cougs have a ways to go. In opposition, Todd Graham’s debut in Tempe went far better than expected as the Sun Devils put the hammer to FCS foe Northern Arizona, 63-6. At the same time, Stanford narrowly avoided catastrophe (to channel chronic overstater and Olympic gymnastics “commentator” Tim Daggett) in a 20-17 Friday night fright against San Jose State. Think
Andrew Luck meant much to the Cardinal?
Also too close for comfort was UW’s 21-12 decision in Seattle over San Diego State. The Huskies’ high-powered attack more closely resembled a late-90s Paul Hackett USC offense. At the same time, the statistics showed an absolute blowout in favor of Arizona over Toledo, but some missed opportunities (and field goals) forced the Wildcats into overtime before they notched a 24-17 win.
Finally, my two losses: Colorado dropping a 22-17 decision to in-state rival Colorado State in their annual Denver showdown; and California bellyflopping in the debut of the newly refurbished Memorial Stadium, losing to Nevada 31-24. While CU’s loss isn’t overly shocking – this wasn’t a good football team last year and it won’t be this year – Cal’s Jeff Tedford absolutely must be on the firing line after the Bears’ embarrassing performance. As time goes on, it seems like Tedford loses more and more touch with his players. While Cal should recover easily this weekend, the same can’t be said for most of the rest of 2012.
Enjoy this weekend’s games!