Cal and Stanford should cruise this week

By From page B2 | September 06, 2013

Yes, the long-anticipated undefeated season went out the window with some uncharacteristic upsets last weekend, but I have rebounded with a good week of practice and am ready to do battle once again. One week does not a season make.

This week’s picks are as follows:

CAL over PORTLAND STATE … the Bears could have won the opener of the Sonny Dykes era last weekend, but “could” doesn’t cut it these days. Still, that freshman quarterback appears to be something special. A breather this week in anticipation of Ohio State coming to Strawberry Canyon next Saturday.

STANFORD over SAN JOSE STATE … the Big Tree kicks off the season a week late with a breather over a Spartan team still reeling from the loss of its head coach to Colorado.

USC over WASHINGTON STATE … the Trojans never could get untracked offensively, but still beat a woeful Hawaii outfit, while Wazoo headed into SEC country and gave Auburn a tussle. This one will go a long way to determining a possible northward power shift in the Pac-12.

OREGON over VIRGINIA … the Ducks piled up the points and the yards against a Nicholls State team more suited for Pop Warner play. It won’t be so easy this weekend, but mark my words, Oregon is loaded.

MICHIGAN over NOTRE DAME … what used to be the biggest game in America is still big, even if neither of these two will end the season No. 1. Hard for the visitor to win in the Big House.

FLORIDA over MIAMI (Fla.) … another game that used to be the biggest in the land.

FRESNO STATE over CAL POLY … the Mustangs don’t have enough speed to catch these Bulldogs.

ARIZONA over UNLV … another Bakery League cupcake falls before the mighty Wildcats. Bear down, Arizona.

UPSET OF THE WEEK: South Carolina over Georgia … wow, you can’t accuse the Dawgs of ducking the big ones early. After a heartbreaker at Clemson, look who’s coming to Athens. (Upset record: 0-1)

ROUT OF THE WEEK: Clemson over South Carolina State … do not mistake S.C. State with South Carolina. There’s a world of difference between the two. (Rout record: 1-0).

DON’T BET ON IT, BUT: Oregon State over Hawaii … after perhaps the worst defensive performance in the history of Division I football, the meager Beavers try to rebound against the ragged Rainbows. If the Beavers don’t win this one, they’re looking at 0-12 and making their loyal fans long for the baseball season. (Don’t bet record: 0-1).

FIVE EASY PICKS: This week’s money-in-the-piggybank winners are LSU (over Alabama-Birmingham), Boise State (over Tennessee-Martin), Wisconsin (over Tennessee Tech), Texas A&M (over Sam Houston State) and Eastern Washington (over Western Oregon). (FEP record: 5-0).

NEVADA over AGGIES … two first-year coaches still seeking their first wins after disappointing setbacks on Opening Day. Cody Fajardo is no Colin Kaepernick, but he does have the ability to give the Aggies fits. Take the Pack by 14.

OTHER GAMES: Louisville over Eastern Kentucky, Oklahoma State over Texas-San Antonio, TCU over Southeastern Louisiana, Kentucky over Miami (Ohio), Michigan State over South Florida, Rutgers over Norfolk State, Penn State over Eastern Michigan, Cincinnati over Illinois, Iowa over Missouri State, Bowling Green over Kent State, Northwestern over Syracuse, Nebraska over Southern Mississippi, North Carolina State over Richmond, Marshall over Gardner-Webb, Kansas State over Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas over BYU, Oklahoma over West Virginia, Arkansas over Samford, Mississippi over Southeast Missouri State, Texas State over Prairie View, Kansas over South Dakota, Louisiana Tech over Lamar, Purdue over Indiana State, Tennessee over Western Kentucky, Virginia Tech over Western Carolina, Utah over Weber State, Ohio State over San Diego State, Baylor over Buffalo, Missouri over Toledo, Mississippi State over Alcorn State, Maryland over Old Dominion, Louisiana-Monroe over Grambling, Texas Tech over Stephen F. Austin, Troy over Savannah State, Western Michigan over Nicholls State, Vanderbilt over Austin Peay, Colorado over Central Arkansas, Minnesota over New Mexico State, SMU over Montana State, and Wyoming over Idaho.

Last week: 38-11, season: 38-11, percentage: .776

—Listen to Bob Dunning discuss college football with Gus Lloyd on the nationally syndicated “Seize the Day” every Friday morning at 6:45 a.m. on Sirius Satellite Radio’s channel 129.

Bob Dunning

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