Panic in Tempe. Scorned in his efforts two years ago to land the SDSU job, Coach Erickson accepts it at halftime. But before Sun Devils can finish the orange slices, Big E realizes he still wants pending Michigan post and returns to home sideline. More panic as players realize Erickson taking Wolverines' job still means they would have to start attending classes again. Erickson also frets over backup plan as his penchant for encouraging personal fouls (five last week alone) may not play well with the Holy Cross Fathers when it's time to replace Charlie Weis.
Louisiana Tech at Cal
Terry Bradshaw's alma mater put a scare into pass-happy Hawaii, but Jeff Tedford assures that Nate Longshore is no Colt Brennan. Tech staff has spent entire week at Ruston's Wyly Tower of Learning trying to figure out what he meant.
New Mexico at Arizona
Willie T. tells Coach Shorttimer Stoops he's had enough of the underwhelming new offense. Replies Stoops: "Son, I've seen Nate Longshore. I've played against Nate Longshore. Nate Longshore has beaten me. Son, you're no Nate Longshore – or Kris Heavner either." Willie has spent entire week watching old Flintstone reruns trying to figure out what he meant.
Fresno State at Oregon
Hey, didn't you used to be Pat Hill? Triple-OT loss at Texas A&M proves Dogs can score. And with Duck offensive coordinator Chip Kelly spinning his vaunted Division I-AA magic, the over-under on this defense-less showdown should be about 104. Hill and Fresno State have the power of mullet and moustache, but Bellotti still has the power of the Flowbee Haircut System.
Idaho State at Oregon State
Hey, didn't you used to be Aaron Klovas? The fightin' Bengals and Klovas, fresh off opening-game win over Southern Oregon, vow to conquer the entire land mass west of the border. "The Beavers this week, Portland State next month and Mike Bellotti in our bowl game," boasts ISU's poprocks-popping, first-year head coach who no one outside Pocatello has ever heard of.
San Jose State at Stanford
Dick Tomey, Mr. Defense, vs. Jim Harbaugh, Mr. Hairspray. There hasn't been a match up like this since the Bing Crosby-David Bowie Christmas special duet. Card have no running game, no fans and Harbaugh insists he's not the fabled fifth Baldwin brother. Spartans lack talent, but Tomey motivates troops with battle cry of, "Ya know, when I was at Arizona in '92 we almost beat Miami."
Pick: Cardinal, Spartans, Cardinal, Spartans. Yes, definitely the SPARTANS
Ohio State at Washington
Talk about a pair of offensive juggernauts. The Bucks managed a whopping three first-half points against Akron last week while the Mongrels put up a second-half goose egg against the most overrated team this side of the Washington Huskies. Ty "I prefer to be called Tyrone" Willy has ordered No-Dose for the scoreboard operator. In the middle of head coach Jim Tressel's speech warning the Bucks that "this ain't Youngstown State we're playing," assistant coach Butch Reynolds interjects, "But they're close."
UCLA at Utah
Powder-Blue QB Ben Olson, the one-time Brigham Young commit and Mormon missionary, is referred to in Provo as He Who Shall Not Be Named. Over at the temple in Salt Lake he's just called Infidel. Utes coach Kyle Whittingham pledges to do what girly man Bronco Mendenhall couldn't last week – defend the state's honor by bringing wrath and fury down on Olson. Bruins safety Dennis Keyes responds: LATTER-DAY THIS!
USC at Nebraska
The last time Sam Keller faced Clairol & Co. he threw five INTs. A lot has changed since then. He's traded Tempe for Lincoln. The cheerleaders are corn-fed and spray tanned, not bulimic and sun-soaked. Bill Callahan knows how to pick a starting QB, whereas Dirk Koetter took a straw poll. One thing hasn't change, though. Slingin' Sammy still throws side-armed.
Pick: SOUTHERN GAL
CHRIS JORDAN: Three first-half TDs against Idaho last season.
Idaho at Washington State
Plans for a pre-game pep talk by legendary Idaho grad (and former student body president) Larry Craig are foiled by case of encrapment. WSU students were ready with signs declaring NOT IN OUR STALL! Robb Akey's unusual knowledge of Cougar schemes prompts Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen to launch investigation into illegal video taping of hand signals. The investigation is completed three years before the one on USC and Reggie Bush.
Winless Notre Dame at Winless Michigan
Let's see now. The Irish have a former genius for a coach and a cocky, cubic-zirconium rings wearin' punk at quarterback. Michigan has the late Lloyd Carr at coach and the satisfaction of knowing they made Dennis Dixon the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week.
Pick: DENNIS ERICKSON
Last week's record: 5-2. We should've known better. Boise State is a shadow of it's former self and karma for Michigan's stolen seconds in the '98 Rose Bowl will never be over.
Season record: 11-5.