Pac-10 Preview: Week 3

The majority of the Pac-10 conclude their non-conference slate and prepare to start league play next week. There are a few marquee games and a handful of warm-up games.

1. USC 1-0
Okay, the Trojans had a bye, a real bye not a game against Idaho, but they lose no ground. To quote Ric Flair, "to be the man you have to beat the man" and it has been a while since USC has been beat by the Pac-10. They do get Nebraska at home. This would have been a better game five years ago.

2. Oregon 2-0
Oregon was tested by Fresno State, but they won't be the first team to be tested by Pat Hill's squad. To make things tougher they played the game in Fresno. Not the most impressive performance but a tougher opponent than Nevada or Rice.

3. Arizona State 2-0
We have not forgotten that they struggled against NAU but a 52-21 win it a 52-21 win. The defense still looks a tad shaky but as long as the offense can outscore you the Devils will win more than they lose.

4. UCLA 2-0
The Bruins slip a spot for a less than impressive win over Rice. The Bruins were never in danger of losing but a 10-point win over the Owls does not turn a lot of heads.

5. Cal 1-1
A 42-17 win over a solid Minnesota squad looks really good, but not good enough to make anyone forget the Tennessee debacle. The loss looks even worse considering Air Force nearly beat the Volunteers this past weekend. That being said, Cal will still probably wind up being top-3 in the league.

6. Washington State 1-1
The Cougars lost bad at Auburn, but a lot of teams do. We'll forgive that a bit after a 56-10 win over an Idaho team that hung with Michigan State.

7. Washington 1-1
The Huskies narrow win over San Jose State looks better after the Spartans win over Stanford. They hung with the Sooners for a while but in the end Oklahoma had too much.

8. Arizona 1-1
The BYU win looks a little better after a 49-24 win by the Cougars over a seemingly decent Tulsa team. That does not help the one-sided loss to LSU. Winning in Baton Rouge is not easy, but the Cats struggled in all facets.

9. Oregon State 1-1
Oregon State was embarrassed by Boise State after hammering a D-IAA team. Boise State is good, but they should not be 28 points better than a Pac-10 team.

10. Stanford 0-2
Losing bad at Autzen was understandable, blowing a lead to San Jose State is not. Could be a long year in Palo Alto.

This Week's Games:

#15 Oklahoma at #18 Oregon
The Sooners try to go 2-0 in the Pac-10, while Oregon tries to prove they are for real. Neither team looked great a week ago, but are good enough to be undefeated. We may also learn how tough the Autzen crowd is.

Baylor at. Washington State
The Cougars get their first measuring stick game. We knew they were inferior to Auburn and figured they were better than Idaho. If they want a shot at a bowl they have to beat Baylor at home.

Portland State at #21 Cal
Cal in a sleeper.

Fresno State at Washington
The Bulldogs get their second crack at a Pac-10 win. They gave Oregon all they could handle and now travel to Seattle. Washington should have some confidence after a decent showing against Oklahoma and can really start feeling good about themselves if they can fend off Fresno.

#22 Arizona State at Colorado
This one looked better on paper when it was scheduled. Colorado has struggled in year one of the Dan Hawkins era. This one pits two former Boise State coaches and former coaching colleagues.

#19 Nebraska at #4 USC
USC gets to prove that the win over Arkansas is not a fluke, while Nebraska is trying to prove that they are back. ESPN Gameday will be in Los Angeles, but can the game live up to the hype or is USC still a top dog.

Navy at Stanford
Navy is 2-0 but has not looked good doing it. Stanford is 0-2 and has not looked good doing it. Cardinal need this win heading into league play.

Stephen F. Austin at Arizona
Cats get what should be a tune-up game before USC comes to town.

Best Game: Oklahoma at Oregon
Runners Up:< I> USC vs. Nebraska; Fresno State at Washington

Worst Game: Portland State at Cal
Runner Up: Stephen F. Austin at Arizona

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