Empire Picks- Week One
I started making weekly picks in the middle of last season. This time I’ll begin in week one and tally a score as the season progresses. Some of the easiest games to predict are in the opening weeks, since it’s mostly a BCS stroll through the cupcake factory.
UC Davis @ Arizona State
Line: ASU -35
Prediction: The Sun Devils often begin seasons by fattening themselves with pastries that slow them in the end. Last year ASU went back for seconds, doubling up on sweets to achieve 6 victories. In bowl eligibility speak, 2 cream puffs are equal to just one win, and the Devils missed the postseason. ASU bakes UC Davis, applying the frosting thick, so we can receive fresh servings of supposed greatness for at least another week.
ASU 52, UC Davis 10
Minnesota @ USC
Line: USC -21
Prediction: Gophers become another Big 10 notch in the Trojans belt. Full preview can be found HERE.
USC 38, Minnesota 20
Line: Houston -3
Prediction: The Bruins normally fare well out of conference, before falling apart in league play. Not this year. The meltdown begins early, on the road, and against a Cougars team that will have Keenum on the field and not watching from the locker room.
Houston Houston 31, UCLA 29
Sacramento State @ Oregon State
Line: OSU -27.5
Prediction: Unlike Boise and TCU a year ago, the Beavers scheduled a confidence booster for the opener. Mike Riley’s teams have historically started slow, but a Pac 12 crawl is still a bit faster than Big Sky Sac State.
OSU 47, Sacramento State 13
San Jose State @ Stanford
Line: Stanford -30
Prediction: The Spartans have been screwed by more high profile figures than a Heidi Fleiss escort. Stanford will become the sixth top-20 opponent SJSU has faced out of conference in the last three years, with only one scheduled as a home game. The Athletic Department has compiled an A-list of clients in its little black book, as it pimps its product
anally annually to pay the bills—-‘Have buns, will travel’.
Stanford 59, SJSU 18
Idaho State @ Washington State
Line: WSU -27.5
Prediction: Turning the corner is much easier when you take a sharp angle and steer towards your closest neighbor. Paul Wulff will win his first season opener, which will also be a first for the program since its defeat of Idaho in 2005. What do you get when you combine a hot seat coach with Idaho State?—-Baked potatoes and the largest point spread the Cougars are likely to see in their favor all year.
WSU 35, Idaho State 17
Fresno State @ Cal
Line: Cal -9.5
Prediction: Remember when Pat Hill was the hot name in coaching? The giant killer is now 1-6 in the last 7 games versus Pac 10 opponents, and also riding a 5 game losing streak against the new ‘sexy’ of mid majors, Boise State.
Cal 27, Fresno State 20
Eastern Washington @ Washington
Line: Washington -18.5
Prediction: Let’s kick things off with the rotten apple cup. The Huskies embark on the first path to state supremacy, which is similar to the Sunshine State’s Seminoles conquering its Floridian neighbors—or maybe not.— Does Gonzaga have a football program?
Washington 45, EWU 19
Oregon @ LSU (Arlington, TX)
Line: (fluctuating) Oregon -4
Prediction: The Willie Lyles Bowl has been tarnished by suspensions having nothing to do with the namesake. Imagine that? This has been a tough one to predict, because the ‘Blur offense’ is usually in full focus in games played after a long layoff, and I can’t decide whether the Tigers offense just got better without suspended
kicker quarterback Jordan Jefferson or worse. I went with the twitter advice coin flip, which came up tails for Phil Knight U.
Oregon 20, LSU 19
N. Arizona @ Arizona
Line: Arizona -27
Prediction: Arizona will play nationally ranked opponents in 4 of its first 5 games. Of course, Northern Arizona isn’t one of them. The lumberjacks are the light at the beginning of the tunnel.
Arizona 50, NAU 13
Colorado @ Hawaii
Line: Hawaii -7.5
Prediction: Colorado has approached road games like vacations for the past three years, and Honolulu presents a postcard backdrop. Aloha.
Hawaii 32, Colorado 28
Montana State @ Utah
Line: Utah -28
Prediction: The Utes may get caught looking ahead to USC. It won’t matter.
Utah 38, Montana State 17
Boise State @ Georgia (Atlanta)
Line: Boise State -2.5
Prediction: When was the last time Georgia, playing in its home state, was the underdog in a game against a mid major? Not only should UGA feel insulted, motivation should also be at its highest for a season opener. What would be even more insulting is an ‘M-W-C’ chant after the game, something the Dawgs, carrying the conference torch, will try desperately to avoid.
Georgia 27, BSU 25
TCU @ Baylor
Line: TCU -6
TCU lost a lot of experience at the skill positions. Robert Griffin III is the most skillful and experienced player on the field.
Baylor 21, TCU 16