Game of the Week - USC at Stanford 5pm ABC
Here we go. This is always a fun way to kick off the Pac-12 season and a monster game for so many reasons other than just these two teams being quasi rivals. I think these two teams might be a lot more evenly matched than USC’s horrifying loss to Alabama might suggest and both have new quarterbacks in their first Pac-12 start. The winner emerges with a really good head start in Pac-12 play.
Dad’s Take: The great thing about this game is that it will take less than 3 hours. The bad news is that I’m going to have navigate dinner, bath, bedtime, AND The Tess Effect! This is where I kindly remind my wife that I took the kids all morning.
2. Oregon at Nebraska 12:30pm ABC
Mike Riley gets his chance to finally beat Oregon with a new team. On top of that, this is a huge “learning game” for Pac-12/Oregon fans. The Ducks have mostly costed so far, but their offense still looks a half-step less dangerous than it used to be and the defense still looks bad. Their first time facing a good opponent, this game should say a lot about where the Ducks stand early in 2016 and give most fans their first glimpse at the Ducks with Dakota Prukop at quarterback.
Dad’s Take: This coincides perfectly with nap time. My wife is on notice that this game could run long, and you’ll need a post-nap bridge to the end of the game.
3. UCLA at BYU 7:15pm ESPN2
The third-straight Pac-12 South vs. BYU match-up might be the best of the bunch. The Bruins have a lot of guts taking on BYU on the road just two weeks after playing Texas A&M on the road and Cougars looks to have a tough defense which could really frustrate UCLA. This is the best of the late-night slate and a huge one for UCLA to avoid starting 1-2.
Dad’s Take: This will have to give way to USC/Stanford and Texas/Cal, but will be a great secondary game in both slots.
4. Texas at Cal 7:30 ESPN
This is a huge game for a Texas team which really needs a win for potential later Playoff implications down the road. The Longhorns looks much-improved this year and the Bears look to still have a putrid defense, but the Bears can make this a game if they can get their red-hot at home. This one has the potential to be a really fun barnburner with national implications.
Dad’s Take: My wife holds degrees from both of these schools, so this one might be a bonus date night on the couch.
5. Colorado at Michigan 12:30pm Big Ten Network
This game got a little more interesting with how solid Colorado has looked thus far, but it would still be a big surprise for Colorado to keep this one close. This will be a great ruler game for Colorado/Pac-12 fans though. Watch to see if Colorado can compete in Ann Arbor. If they do, they are a real player in a wide open South.
Dad’s Take: Oregon/Nebraska takes center stage, but if Sefo & Co. keeps this one close this will be the headliner.
6. Arizona State at UTSA (Friday) 6:30pm ESPN2
UTSA is bad, but this is a classic trap game, so watch out. Arizona State is playing on the road, just six days after their big non-conference game and the week before they start Pac-12 play. They are on upset alert here if they don’t show up.
Dad’s Take: As much as I want to want Chip Lindsay’s offense roll, I’ll sacrifice this one for a movie in bed because tomorrow will be intense.
7. Utah at San Jose State 7:30pm CBS Sports Network
Another weird road game at a mid major that could be a trap game, but I just think Utah’s defense is too good to let it happen. Keep an eye to see if San Jose State keeps it close at home though and can find a way to outscore a turnover-prone Ute offense.
Dad’s Take: I’m a sucker for Aaron Taylor’s commentary, but I hope this game is over at half.
8. Hawaii at Arizona 7:45pm Pac-12 Networks
Hawaii is really bad, but the Wildcats looks really questionable last week at home against Grambling State and their offense seems to have stalled out of the gate. They will have to bring it against a Hawaii team that scored 31 points against a similar Cal team in their opener.
Dad’s Take: Sleep is a precious commodity. I can’t waste it on this late night abomination.
9. Idaho State at Oregon State 2pm Pac-12 Networks
The Beavers should get their first win in a long time here, but they are far from unbeatable, even against Idaho State.
Dad’s Take: Watching this instead of playing with the kids might get me divorced.
10. Idaho at Washington State 11am Pac-12 Networks
The Cougars might be the best 0-2 team in recent Pac-12 history and have to be really hungry for a win. Don’t completely right off their rival from down the road, but don’t be surprised if the Cougars put this one away early.
Dad’s Take: I’d rather be changing diapers.
11. Portland State at Washington 5pm Pac-12 Networks
Portland State knocked off Washington State last year and won the Big Sky, but they gave up 66 points to San Jose State last week, so not sure how long they can hang with the Huskies.
Dad’s Take: I love games that I can ignore.