The college football — and the Pac-10 season starts tonight. We have lots of special coverage in the Thursday paper, including my first column of the new college season and my Pac-10 and national power rankings.
However, we probably won’t be getting my football picks into the paper for a couple of more weeks, so I figured we could get that started here on the blog instead. (After going 180-56 last season.)
Stanford 27, Oregon State 24: I’ll learn a lot from this one right out of the box because a lot of people see far more in this Beavers team than I do, and most folks don’t see as much in this Cardinal team as I do.
Arizona 53, Idaho 16: Arizona should have a very good offense this season … and Tyrone Willingham can only wish he had a kind an opening game.
Arizona State 37, Northern Arizona 17: The Sun Devils out-of-conference schedule picks up a bit later. But not here.
California 31, Michigan State 24: The Golden Bears ended so badly last season that it’s hard to have much faith in this. And questions — maybe especially at quarterback — linger into this year. So this is mostly a vote of confidence in Jeff Tedford … and faith in the home field.
Southern California 33, Virginia 17: It may take the Trojans a while to get rolling — both in this game and in this season. But a defense that appears to be the real thing should be able to buy them the time they need.
Oklahoma State 24, Washington State 17: The Cougars are having a pretty tough week. I like the early indications that Paul Wulff will be solid over there, but probably not right out of the box.
Oregon 45, Washington 28: These young Huskies should be fascinating and fun. But this is a lot to ask of so many young and inexperienced players.
Tennessee 35, UCLA 17: When your starting your No. 3 quarterback, you need to open with the Big West, not the SEC. Those newspaper ads could look pretty silly come Tuesday.