The Smack-10…who's gonna win, with a twist!

Today, as you know, is September 11, 2003…exactly 2 years after our great nation was attacked in a way not seen since Pearl Harbor. In honor of our fellow citizens that were killed in New York, Pennsylvania and at The Pentagon, as well as the brave men and women of our armed forces that have given the ultimate sacrifice in our continued war on terror, I will be canning my normal tongue-in-cheek rhetoric.

Those of you who have been following my Weekly Predictions know that I did this the last two years and the response was overwhelming. But don’t worry, I’ll return to my normal smack programming next week.

Late Saturday evening, I found myself sitting with a normally very satisfying 9-1 record for the weekend and 15-3 (83%) overall. Of course, my glee was greatly tempered since the “1” came from our beloved Beavers and the hairball they gacked in Fresno. I read a comment on one of the message boards that the Pac-10 was laughing at us. I don’t know about that, but USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford certainly let out a collective “Now you know why we refuse to play there.” And, if there were any other teams in our league that were considering it, you can bet those ideas were firmly drenched. Playing at Fresno State is a combination of an X-Files episode and the Amityville Horror. So many strange and unexplained things happen to all who venture there that even Fox Mulder couldn’t figure them out.

I’m also glad to see the over-the-top spewing from Beaver fans has slowed to a trickle. Being disappointed and offering legitimate criticism about mistakes, lack of execution, etc. is one thing…eating your young is entirely different. Remind yourself of the 28 years of sucking the Pac-10’s hind tit, take a nap and stuff the nonsense. Leave that crap for other teams…Beaver fans are better than that. Remember, it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

With that said, I now jump off my soapbox and reverently present my Week #3 Predictions (Washington and Stanford have the week off).


Thursday, September 11th

Cal @ Utah – Interesting match up. Cal has been exceeding expectations so far this year, but still hold a 1-2 record. Utah stands at 1-1 after losing a heartbreaker to Texas A&M. It’s too early to know what to think of the Utes, but they appear to be a fairly solid team with some good veterans. In a toss-up, I’ll show some Pac-10 loyalty and pick Cal in a close game. Cal 28 – Utah 24.


Saturday, September 13th

UO @ UA – We all know that Arizona is not a good football team. LSU tossed them around like they were mad out of NERF material. But the Ducks are not LSU and after two games, the staff in Eugene really must be scratching their heads. Talk about your textbook enigma. This will probably be an ugly game on both sides of the ball, but UO will execute just enough to win on the road. UO 31 – UA 21.

Utah State @ ASU – Too easy for the Sun Devils. They didn’t look really sharp in beating Northern Arizona last week, but it didn’t matter. ASU sleepwalks through this one, as they remain focused on their HUGE trip to Iowa next week. ASU 42 – Utah State 10.

Illinois @ UCLA – New head coach Karl Dorrell spent a lot of time literally hiding on the sidelines last week in Colorado, much to the chagrin of the LA media. He actually said he felt like he “was getting in the way.” Baffling. He won’t have anywhere to hide in Pasadena if the Bruins lose their home opener to a weak Illinois team. Talent alone will carry UCLA through as they get back to .500 in a workmanlike fashion. UCLA 24 – Illinois 13.

Hawaii @ USC – Hang on to your hats, cause the ball’s gonna be FLYING! June Jones brings his “chuck and duck” offense, lead by rocket arm QB Timmy Chang, to the LA Coliseum and the #4 USC Trojans. The UH will have some early success but the Trojans will adjust nicely as the game progresses. The USC defense is just too quick and physical for the entertaining guys from the WAC. Another early season tune-up for the Trojans falls by the wayside. Look also for their offense to wake up a bit more. USC 35 – Hawaii 21. The score will look a lot closer than what actually happens on the field.

Washington State @ Colorado – Beaver fans, if you think you felt bad after our ugly loss at Fresno, imagine how horrible the Wazzu fans feel after “couging” a 19-point lead to Notre Dame. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? This is a real test for the young Cougars and how they respond to adversity (sound familiar?) as they travel to Colorado. The Buffaloes must be feeling real confident after beating UCLA and growing their record to 2-0. If the Cougars do things right, they’ll be able to exploit some weaknesses in the Colorado defense. If not, it’s 1-2 and more lost sleep for Coach Doba. As much as I’d like to see Wazzu win this, I’m going with Colorado at home. Colorado 30 – WSU 20.

And last but never least…

NMSU @ Da Beavs – So many questions linger about the Beavs that it would take too long to list them all. However, I believe we’ll all feel a ton better Saturday night. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict a near flawless performance at all positions against the Aggies of New Mexico State. I’m not saying that NMSU won’t have any success…they are an up-and-coming team and will give us a challenge with their option attack. But I also don’t expect we’ll blow ourselves up with big plays or other sorted mistakes. Coach Riley and the boys know it’s time to put up or shut up. I think they put up…and shut us up in the process. Beavers 45 – NMSU 13.

That’s it for this week.

God Bless America, GO BEAVS and please remember the fallen on this most important of days.

Tony Saprano can be read every Thursday or Friday before the Pac-10 games begin for the weekend. Soprano can be reached at

BeaverBlitz Top Stories