Once again, each week, Avinash Kunnath and I will be breaking down each week's Pac-12 games by watchability (not sure if that is a word, but let's go with it) and telling you when and where you can find the games on TV.
It is a slow opening week for Pac-12 play loaded with FCS match-ups, but this is what we have been itching for the past eight months so we are still excited for a jam packed slate of Pac-12 action.
12. South Dakota at Oregon - Saturday 7:30 PM (Pac-12 Network)
Avinash - I mean, if you're interested in seeing the entire Duck roster play, then you are in for a treat.
Jack - Can the Ducks get the 80 points they probably need to keep the "Helfrich isn't the guy" crowd at bay in the opening week? Tune in...
11. Weber State at Arizona State - Thursday 7:30 PM (Pac-12 Network)
Avinash - Your traditional season-opening Tempe slaughterhouse.
Jack - I have been long waiting to see how the Sun Devils are going to do on defense replacing 10 starters and this is the first chance to do just that. If they give up some points in this one, it could be a great sign for the rest of the conference.
10. UC Davis at Stanford - Saturday 1 PM (Pac-12 Network)
Avinash - Stanford is going to win this one in annoying Stanford fashion. Tied at halftime, up 3 in the fourth, win by 17. It will be compelling and boring at the same time because we know how it ends.
Jack - This one could be better than expected with how Stanford's scheme has a tendency to keep teams in the game and getting a chance to see Stanfords revamped offensive line in action should reveal a bit about if they are rebuilding or just reloading on their most-important front.
9. Idaho State at Utah - Thursday 4:30 PM (Pac-12 Network)
Avinash - I do not expect a close game, but with Travis Wilson that possibility is always open.
Jack - Yay to the first game of the Pac-12 season even if Idaho State is woeful and this one could be over in the second quarter.
8. Washington at Hawaii - Saturday 7:30 PM (CBS Sports Network)
Avinash - Hawaii plays three Pac-12 teams this year. They will probably lose each of these games by bigger margins than the FCS teams on this list. I don't know why I put them this high.
Jack - It was longer ago than it seems that Hawaii was a solid mid-major test for Pac-12 teams and they are on the verge of possibly dropping football now so I don't expect much of a fight against a strong Husky team. However, the Huskies have a giant question mark and it will be interesting to see if Jeff Lindquist can play well enough to create a legit quarterback controversy in Seattle. Plus, this is Chris Petersen's first game as coach.
7. UNLV at Arizona - Friday 7:30 PM (ESPN)
Avinash - There are enough questions surrounding this Wildcats team that this could be a close one.
Jack - UNLV finally showed some signs of life last season and the Wildcats starting over at quarterback and running back, giving this one the potential to turn into a close affair.
6. USC at Fresno State - Saturday 4:30 PM (FOX)
Avinash - Given that USC beat a good Fresno team last year, and this Fresno team looks immeasurably worse, and USC brings pretty much everyone back, only Josh Shaw makes this one compelling.
Jack - USC throttled what should be a much better Bulldog team in Vegas to close out 2013 so I don't think there is much of a chance that a rebuilding Bulldog team puts up much of a fight in LA, but first games for new head coaches can be tricky and regardless seeing Sarkisian return to his bro homeland as coach for the first time should be fun.
5. Portland State at Oregon State - Saturday 1 PM (Pac-12 Network)
Avinash - Hard to believe this game is this high, but the Beavers have had their FCS hiccups early, and I think the Beavers are in for some post-Brandin Cooks scares.
Jack - Portland State has long been a woeful program, but we all know that the Beavers really struggle with FCS opponents early. Plus, I hate FBS schools scheduling in-state FCS schools, when you do that, you are setting up a match-up with a team with nothing to lose comprised mostly of players out for revenge since they wish they would have gotten an offer from you coming out of high school.
4. Colorado vs. Colorado State (In Denver) - Friday 6 PM (FOX Sports 1)
Avinash - This is always a plucky little rivalry and should be a fun way to spend a Friday night. How improved will Mike MacIntyre make this unit look this season?
Jack - Frequently one of the best, underrated rivalries in college football, these teams should be evenly matched and no opener is more important to any Pac-12 team than this is to Colorado. The Buffs need to win this one to prove that they are headed in the right direction under Mike MacIntyre, so expect rare opening week tension.
3. UCLA at Virginia - Saturday 9 AM (ESPN)
Avinash - Would be more compelling if Virginia wasn't a contender for ACC's worst team, but the Bruins can get sloppy on the road, so this should be a good game for at least a half.
Jack - The Bruins are national title contenders and the Cavaliers are a perennial ACC punching bag, but don't sleep on a potentially overhyped team traveling all the way across the country to play a major conference team at nine in the morning, their time. Seriously, set your alarm to make sure to wake up for this one.
2. Rutgers vs. Washington State (In Seattle) - Thursday 7 PM (FOX Sports 1)
Avinash - This could be a Rose Bowl game. In 2024. This is mostly to watch Mike Leach's receivers take flight.
Jack - I think this one might be a lot closer than many are anticipating and it is a major must-win for the Cougars if they hope to get back to a bowl game for the second year in a row. Also, the Cougars air raid and Mike Leach almost always entertain regardless of how close the game is.
Game of the Week: Cal at Northwestern - Saturday 12:30 PM (ABC)
Avinash - Both of these teams are DESPERATE for a win. Northwestern and Cal have lost almost 20 FBS games in a row combined and both should be improved this year. Big game for both teams.
Jack - These aren't marquee programs, but they are two teams from power conferences that should be pretty evenly matched facing off in a game that both teams desperately need. Not much more you can ask for that that... well, there probably is, but opening week expectations have gotten really low.