This week’s picks are as follows:
OREGON over STANFORD … Cardinal coach Davis Shaw is right about one thing: Oregon is the best college football team in the country. And while it’s hard to compare one era to another, the Ducks may be just about the best college football team ever put together anywhere. Nobody seems capable of giving them a game. If Stanford can stay within three touchdowns, consider it a moral victory.
OREGON STATE over CALIFORNIA … the Beavers try to rebound from a heartbreaking loss at Stanford that probably ended their Rose Bowl hopes. Then again, after last year’s 3-9 debacle, just mentioning the Beavers and the Rose Bowl in the same breath is something of an accomplishment. The only mystery remaining for Cal is how soon the Bears will lower the boom on head coach Jeff Tedford.
USC over UCLA … although this Trojan team, which started the season No. 1 in the world, is a huge disappointment, they absolutely don’t like the noise cross-town rival UCLA has been making about LA superiority. And when the Trojans get motivated, they’re dangerous.
ARIZONA STATE over WASHINGTON STATE … folks in the Palouse have that sinking feeling that Mike Leach is not the great hire they thought he was …
KANSAS STATE over BAYLOR … anyone who says they predicted at the start of the season that Kansas State would be in the national championship game is lying.
WISCONSIN over OHIO STATE … the Badgers ruin Urban Meyer’s perfect first season in what is the weakest Big 10 field in years.
WASHINGTON over COLORADO … they never should have let the Buffaloes into the Pac-12.
UPSET OF THE WEEK: San Jose State over Brigham Young … while no one was looking, the Spartans have quietly put together what may be the best team in school history. BYU has been playing well of late, but this is still not a team up to the Y’s usual stellar standards. (Upset record: 4-7).
ROUT OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame over Wake-me-when-it’s-over Forest … while the Irish have survived unscathed through a rugged schedule (Oklahoma, Michigan, Stanford, Michigan State), a cupcake at this point in the season will do nothing to enhance its chances of earning a bid to the national title game. (Rout record: 11-0).
DON’T BET ON IT, BUT: Utah State over Louisiana Tech … the Boys from Logan, once forgotten, are slowly but surely turning into a powerful force. (Don’t bet record: 10-1).
FIVE EASY PICKS: Thanks to the Southeastern Conference, which scheduled a number of Bakery League creampuffs this weekend, I can happily report that this week’s sure winners are Alabama (over Western Carolina), South Carolina (over Wofford), Georgia (over Georgia Southern), Texas A&M (over Sam Houston State) and non-SEC Florida State (over Maryland). (FEP record: 55-0).
AGGIES over SACRAMENTO STATE … on paper, this one’s a tossup, but they don’t play the game on paper. UC Davis wants desperately to send head coach Bob Biggs out in style. This one won’t be close. Take the Ags by 21.
OTHER GAMES: Michigan over Iowa, Cincinnati over Rutgers, Michigan State over Northwestern, Penn State over Indiana, Virginia Tech over Boston College, Florida over Jacksonville State, Auburn over Alabama A&M, LSU over Mississippi, Clemson over North Carolina State, Nebraska over Minnesota, Oklahoma State over Texas Tech, Middle Tennessee over South Alabama, Georgia Tech over Duke, Oklahoma over West Virginia, Missouri over Syracuse, Iowa State over Kansas, Kentucky over Samford, Boise State over Colorado State and Nevada over New Mexico.
Last week: 30-4, season: 358-81, percentage: .813.
— Reach Bob Dunning at firstname.lastname@example.org