This week’s picks are as follows:
STANFORD over WASHINGTON STATE … Stanford was expected to struggle with Arizona State last weekend, but instead blew the Sun Devils away. They should cancel the rest of the regular season and just have Stanford play Oregon two-out-of-three for the national championship.
WASHINGTON over ARIZONA … there are significant roadblocks ahead, but for now Husky fans are relishing the return to respectability, if not yet glory.
OREGON STATE over COLORADO … the Beavers followed their overtime win over Utah by coming from nine down in the last five minutes to stop San Diego State, both wins coming on the road. Colorado has had three weeks to prepare for this one after the recent floods wiped out a game with Fresno State, which was followed by a bye week.
OKLAHOMA over NOTRE DAME … two teams not nearly as good this year as their fan bases would like to think they are. The Sooners win with just a bit more offense and a bit more luck.
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY over WISCONSIN … forget the Big Ten, the Buckeyes have their sights set on the national championship.
GEORGIA over LSU … the Dawgs rarely lose between the hedges.
NEVADA over AIR FORCE … the Wolf Pack gets better every week and the Falcons continue an uncharacteristic fade.
UPSET OF THE WEEK: USC over Arizona State … quick, when’s the last time the Trojans were underdogs to the Sun Devils? Quick, when’s the last time USC was this awful? Sooner or later, everyone expects the Men of Troy to put things together. If they don’t, of course, look for a new coach along the sidelines next fall. (Upset record: 1-3).
ROUT OF THE WEEK: Oregon over Cal … believe it, the Ducks are 37-point favorites in this one, the biggest spread ever for either team in this long and always entertaining rivalry. Cal has a great quarterback, but the Bears can’t win with Goff alone. If they had a mercy rule in college football, this one would be over before the coin toss. (Rout record: 4-0).
DON’T BET ON IT, BUT: San Diego State over New Mexico State … the good news here is that one of these two will actually get to win a college football game. (Don’t bet record: 3-1).
FIVE EASY PICKS: Last week’s sure winners ran up scores like 77-7, 76-0, 72-0 and 56-0. This week’s Fearless Fivesome won’t have it quite so easy, but will still prevail at the end of the day. This week’s sure winners are Florida State (over Boston College), Boise State (over Southern Mississippi), Clemson (over Wake Forest), Vanderbilt (over UAB) and North Carolina State (over Central Michigan). (FEP record: 20-0).
AGGIES over IDAHO STATE … the woeful Bengals couldn’t win an intrasquad game if their scholarships depended on it. True, this perennial Big Sky doormat has won two of its three games this fall, but those came against the Little Sisters of the Poor (in overtime) and the Pocatello Boys and Girls Club. Still, the Aggies are 0-4 and last week struggled mightily on both sides of the ball while receiving a sound thumping from Portland State. It’s time for the offense and the defense to combine for 60 minutes of solid football, and if they do, four weeks of frustration will move into the rearview mirror. Take the Ags by 21
OTHER GAMES: Brigham Young over Middle Tennessee, Illinois over Miami (Ohio), Miami (Fla.) over South Florida, Oklahoma State over West Virginia, South Carolina over Central Florida, Duke over Troy, TCU over SMU, Tennessee over South Alabama, North Carolina over East Carolina, Navy over Western Kentucky, Iowa over Minnesota, Alabama over Mississippi, Texas A&M over Arkansas, North Dakota State over South Dakota State, Florida over Kentucky, Missouri over Arkansas State, Wyoming over Texas State, and Fresno State over Hawaii.
— Last week: 41-5, season: 169-27, percentage: .862.