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Pac-12 Viewers Guide Week Two: USC at Stanford & Michigan State at Oregon must-see TV

Avinash Kunnath & Jack Follman rate this week's Pac-12 games by "watchability".

Otto Greule Jr

1a Michigan State at Oregon - 3:30 PM FOX

JF - The premiere non-conference game of the season and the dream strength vs. speed match-up in Autzen Stadium. Even with the Rose Bowl being part of the playoff, this could still be a Rose Bowl preview as both teams are College Football Playoff contenders. The nation's eyes will be on this one in what could be the Pac-12's most-visible game of the season.

AK - Oregon vs. Michigan State is compelling for thousands of reasons: Can the team that stopped Stanford stop the team that Stanford has been more than capable of stopping? Half of Sparty's Rose Bowl-winning defense is gone, but the offense will probably be more explosive--unfortunately, an offensive battle usually favors the Ducks. Lot at stake in Autzen and Palo Alto on Saturday.

1b USC at Stanford - 12:30 PM ABC

JF - Forget about Oregon vs. Stanford, this has been far and away the Pac-12's best rivalry the past five years and you couldn't ask for a better week two in-conference match-up between two teams that are in transition. This would be the top game in almost any other week.

AK - I really can't rank either of these 2nd (In regards to putting these at 1a and 1b). Both of these games are must-watches for obvious reasons. USC-Stanford has come down to the final play the last four years! Now you have Sark blending Oregon tempo with Trojan athletes against a revamped Cardinal defense. Will something give?

3. Washington State at Nevada - (Friday) 7:30 PM ESPN

JF - The Wolfpack aren't the same team they were with Colin Kaepernick, but Cody Fajardo isn't too far off and they have the homefield against a Cougar team coming off of two-straight heartbreaking losses. The Cougars are probably going to have to scrap to win this one.

AK - Nevada is always miles worse without Chris Ault, but Reno is rarely a fun place to play for anyone. Opponents generally either lose or play nailbiters. I'd be ten times more comfortable if WSU was in Pullman, but now you have the Pistol matched up with a porous WSU backline. Scary. 

4. Oregon State at Hawaii - 7:30 CBS Sports Network

JF - The Warriors jumped out of their grave and should have beaten Washington last week and now get a Pac-12 team that sleep walked through a home game last week with Portland State that is known for dropping non-conference games that they shouldn't. This one is on minor upset watch as the Beavers head to paradise.

AK - The Beavers are not going to be unleashing offensive assaults like they did against mid-level teams last season. But they are better than the Warriors and Sean Mannion is not Jeff Lindquist

5. Arizona at UTSA - (Thursday) 5 PM FOX Sports 1

JF - UTSA might be new to FBS, but under Larry Coker, they have quickly become one of the favorites to win the Conference USA West this year so the Wildcats cannot underestimate the Roadrunners at all, especially on the road. The Wildcats have the offensive firepower to run away from UTSA, but watch for a shootout if their offense sputters at all.

AK - Big road test for Anu Solomon. UTSA is an up-and-comer and could be one of the most dangerous mid-majors in college football. 

6. Eastern Washington at Washington - 12:05 PM Pac-12 Networks

JF - Eastern Washington might be the best team in the FCS, they play Pac-12 teams (Including Washington in 2011, exceptionally well), have a team loaded with guys who dreamed of playing for the Huskies and the Huskies looked like s*** ran over twice last week against Hawaii. There is a good chance this is the Pac-12's yearly loss to an FCS opponent.

AK - Cyler Miles is back, so I'm less concerned about this one for the Huskies. You have to be a really good team to beat the Dawgs in Husky Stadium, I'd be shocked if Petersen lays two eggs in a row.

7. Fresno State at Utah - 12PM Pac-12 Networks

JF - The Bulldogs have to just be glad to be playing someone other than USC and the Utes are much more beatable than the Trojans.

AK - Utah's tests begin! This is a Utes team with serious weaknesses and Fresno is the team to test all of them. I'd be real concerned. 

8. Colorado at UMass - 12 PM ESPN 3

JF - Colorado's loss to bitter rival Colorado State had to hurt and it makes this one an absolute must-win for the Buffs to keep their season from spiraling downward. UMass is one of the FBS' worst programs, but as you saw with UCLA at Virginia, traveling across the country to play is never easy.

AK - Something funky happens to average Pac-12 teams when they travel east. UMass is really bad though, it's hard to see the Buffs coughing this one up. 

9. Memphis at UCLA - 7 PM Pac-12 Networks

JF - The Bruins looked woeful on offense in their opener, but their defense made up for it. Returning home, don't be surprised if the Bruin O has a fire lit under it, but also don't be surprised if Memphis has more fight than anticipated as the program is improving.

AK - Memphis beat Austin Peay 63-0! Fun fact about Austin Peay: They haven't won a football game since 2012. Equally inept against both FBS and FCS teams. Hit single digits nine times and shut out four times. What I'm saying is Memphis is not going to be the team that brings down a Pac-12 title contender. 

10. Sacramento State at Cal - 12 PM Pac-12 Networks

JF - Just a week ago I would have put this as the Pac-12's leading candidate for an FCS upset, but no more. The Bears should roll to 2-0.

AK - Oh, I think you underestimate Cal. This is exactly the game where they'd fall behind by 10 points at halftime and everyone is wondering what the hell is going on as the run game piles up 5 yards. I expect this to be a struggle fest for a few quarters before the Bears finally distance themselves.

11. Arizona State at New Mexico - 4 PM CBS Sports Network

JF - New Mexico used to have a tendency to sneak up on the Arizona State schools. I think those days are long gone.

AK - New Mexico ran for 410 yards and lost to UTEP. UTEP! A 2-10 team that only beat teams that were either 2-10 or worse than 2-10! I suspect they will run for much less in the desert.