Pac-10 Weekend Preview

The Pac-10 enters the 2007 season as arguably the second best conference in the country behind only the SEC. Some key match ups in the opening week will go a long way in setting the tone for the season. Does the conference really have great depth or is the Pac-10 just one great USC team and nine others? The search for the truth begins this Thursday.



August 30, 2007


Utah Utes

Oregon State Beavers

OSU is 8-4-1 all time against the Utes, but the last time these teams played against one another was in 1992.  Utah only lost 16 lettermen from last year's squad while OSU lost only 13, meaning that the play of these teams last season could provide some indication as to what happens on Saturday.  The Beavers were 9-4 in 2006 while the Utes finished 7-5.  OSU is 37-11 in their last 48 homes games and will be tough to beat this weekend if they get steady play from their QB.  Utah is no slouch, though, so expect this game to be close.

Reser Stadium – 46,000

Field Turf 




August 31, 2007


Washington Huskies

Syracuse Orange

The Huskies have lost five straight road openers and are just 4-17 away from home since the 2002 season.  Washington plays arguably the nation's toughest schedule this season, but Saturday's game in the Carrier Dome is definitely winnable.  The Orange are in a rebuilding phase, as is Washington, but the Huskies might be just a tad farther along at this point in the process. 

The Carrier Dome – 50,000

Field Turf 




September 1, 2007


UCLA Bruins

Stanford Cardinal

UCLA blanked the Cardinal 31-0 last year and there's no reason to think that the Bruins' stout defense can't do the same this time around.  Stanford's head coach has been extremely outspoken since reaching the Farm, but he won't have much to brag about come Saturday evening.  The one glimmer of hope the Cardinal may have is that the home team is 8-1 in the last nine games in this series.

Stanford Stadium – 50,000

  Natural Grass




September 1, 2007


San Jose State Spartans

Arizona State Sun Devils

ASU has won eight straight home openers by 20 or more points but for the Sun Devils, their problems of late is in how they finish the season and not how they start it.  New head coach Dennis Erickson hopes to change all that.  His first game is against a school he was an assistant coach at from '79-'81.  Dick Tomey will return to Sun Devil Stadium for the first time since parting ways with ASU's in-state rival after the 2000 season.  If his Spartans team plays as well as his Wildcats teams did against ASU, an upset may be in the works.  Very doubtful though as Erickson is not the type of coach who shies away from running up the score on an opponent.

Sun Devil Stadium – 71,706

Natural Grass 




September 1, 2007


Tennessee Volunteers

California Golden Bears

The USC/LSU feud has had a trickledown affect on all teams in both conferences and there won't be a college football fan in the country that won't have at least one eye on this game.  Cal playing at home should be able to avoid the shellshock factor that stung them last season in their 35-18 road loss to the Vols.  The question is can the Bears return the favor.  Odds makers seem to think so.  If they're right and Cal does win, the game could be a coming out party for Nate Longshore who's probably the nation's best kept secret at quarterback right now.    

Memorial Stadium – 72,516

Sportexe Turf 




September 1, 2007


Houston Cougars

Oregon Ducks

Oregon has lost only one non-conference home game under Mike Belotti, going 25-1 during his 12-year run as head coach.  Despite a 7-6 record in 2006, the Ducks were still 5-1 at home losing only to Arizona.  QB Dixon and RB Stewart are a lethal combination and will get to showcase their talents against a good Houston team that some favor to win C-USA.  If the Cougars didn't have to replace four-year starter Kolb this season, this game might've been really interesting.  With a new QB playing in hostile Autzen Stadium, the odds are definitely stacked against Houston.

Autzen Stadium – 54,000

Field Turf 




September 1, 2007


Idaho Vandals

USC Trojans

USC has one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season, but get a breather in the opening week when they probably need it the least.  The Trojans return 16 starters from their 2006 team that was just two tipped passes from another undefeated season.  Still, they defeated Michigan in the Rose Bowl where John David Booty appeared to finally come of age.  For a school that's won nine straight home openers and is currently in the midst of a 33 home game winning streak, the Vandals' biggest concern this Saturday is just coming away from the Coliseum in one piece.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – 92,000

Natural Grass 




September 1, 2007


Arizona Wildcats

Brigham Young Cougars

UA has lost five straight road openers while BYU has been victorious in eight of their last 11 home openers.  The Cougars will look to avenge last season's last second loss at the foot of departed UA kicker Nick Folk.  BYU will have a new face at quarterback while the ‘Cats received an entire offensive makeover.  In 2006, the game was riddled with penalties and turnovers from both teams.  BYU recovered fairly well from the loss, winning their last 10.  The streak included a 38-8 Las Vegas Bowl blowout of Oregon.  Many thought a UA/BYU bowl game rematch would've been more entertaining and were probably right.  These teams were WAC members from '62-'77.  Arizona leads the all-time series 11-8-1.  Consider this a rivalry renewed as fans for both teams have been looking forward to this game since the moment Folk's game-winner sailed through the uprights for the 16-13 ‘Cats victory.  You never want to say any game is a must win game, but BYU is looking to add to their current 10-game winning streak while exorcising last year's demons by beating the ‘Cats.  Arizona needs this victory to kick start a pivotal September month (they play five games in September); a month that has not been very kind to them this millennium.      

LaVell Edwards Stadium – 65,000

Field Turf 




September 1, 2007


Washington State Cougars

Wisconsin Badgers

WSU is 14-29-1 against Big 10 teams and don't draw an easy B10 opponent to open the season.  The Badgers are ranked in the Top 10 and could contend for a national title if things break their way this year.  Wisconsin has won nine straight home openers and is 7-1-1 versus their last nine Pac-10 opponents.  The Badgers won all seven of their home games in 2006 and have lost only one home game in their last three seasons.  Cougs coach Bill Doba is a hot seat candidate if WSU can't return to their winning ways.  Doba's 25-22 career mark in Pullman is okay, but that includes his inaugural season when the team went 9-3.  Since the 2003 season, WSU is a below average 16-19.  Conversely, Wisconsin's head man, Bret Bielema (12-1 career record) is proving to be one of the game's great young minds.

Camp Randall Stadium – 76,129

Field Turf 

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