Only a few days remain until the return of Pac-12 Football. Despite losing Mariotta, the Oregon Ducks should run the North Division, led by graduate transfer, Vernon Adams, while the South will be an absolute blood bath between the two SoCal and Arizona schools. Each with their own story lines. Let us quickly overlook the first week of competition.
Thursday, September 3rd
Michigan @ Utahis a return game, as the Utes went to the mid-west and trumped the Wolverines 26-10. With Jim Harbaugh making his debut for the Wolverines. who look to improve on a 5-7 mark from the year prior. The Utes look to cement themselves as a division contender, after going 9-4 in 2014, with a solid win at the Rose Bowl over the Bruins. Won't be a cupcake game for either side, but expect the home side to come out victors by a 24-13 margin here.
Texas-San Antonio @#22 Arizona is yet another return game to kick off the 2015 campaign, as the reigning South champs went into San Antonio and sneaked out with a 26-23 victory. UTSA went on to end the season at a mediocre 4-8 mark and are not expected to hang with the 'Cats this time around. Another year under the belt of Anu Solomon, and another year for Rich Rodriguez to spend in Tucson should lead to an explosive victory, ending with a 48-17 victory.
Colorado @ Hawaii should be an interesting affair, as the Buffaloes held off the Rainbow Warriors 21-12 in Boulder, for one of the schools two victories, while Hawaii wasn't too fruitful themselves, finishing with a 4-9 record. Easily the worst side in the Pac-12 South, the Buffs trip to Hawaii will bring back nothing but leis and the feelings of a 17-10 defeat.
Friday, September 4th
Weber State @ Oregon State should be a momentum builder for the Beavers, attempting to improve upon a 5-7 mark, as they kick off against a lowly Big Sky side who finished 2-10 in 2014, including nine straight losses to being the campaign. The result shouldn't be in question here, but how the Beavers play, and whether they can show any sort of dominance is what begs to be seen. Not high on Oregon State in the slightest, but a 31-14 margin should be the least they should be aiming for.
Washington @ #23 Boise State has the lone ranked opponent for the Conference of Champions, has the 8-6 2014 Huskies heading off to Idaho to face the 12-2 side that knocked off the Arizona Wildcats during the 2014 edition of the Fiesta Bowl. Washington showed flashes in 2014, and this would be a great step to build towards improvement. However, Boise State is way too good for the Huskies, and should walk out with a 35-17 win.
Saturday, September 5th
#21 Stanford @ Northwestern should be a simple victory for the Cardinal and a great step to rebounding from an 8-5 campaign, which was full disappointment. The Wildcats weren't too good themselves, ending up 5-7 with a loss to the Cal Bears included. Give me Stanford by a 41-10 margin.
Portland State @ Washington State should play out like the 2014 meeting, where the Cougars demolished the Vikings 59-21 for one of Wazzou's three victories. A one point victory over Utah and a one possession loss against Oregon were the high moments in Pullman, and the Cougs should walk out with a 56-14 victory to start the campaign off high.
Virginia @ #13 UCLA could very well be a trap game for the Bruins, who are relying on a true freshman QB in Josh Rosen. However, Jim Mora's side should be able to handle the Cavaliers through experience, the trenches and behind the running game of Paul Perkins, the stout back. A 35-21 margin should go here.
#15 Arizona State @ Texas A&M has the Sun Devils starting out with a decent road game before two non-conference cupcakes come into play. The Aggies are not a side to be taken lately, and could surprise ASU, however, the Devils will walk out with the slimmest of margins, 24-20.
Eastern Washington @ #7 Oregonno Mariotta, no problem for the Ducks as Vernon Adams, an Eastern Washington transfer, was named the starting QB. A double edged-sword would be a possibility if the Ducks didn't over power in every position for a 51-24 victory.
Arkansas State @ #8 USCshould be a blow out for Sarkissian's side, with a 38-10 win.