Pac-10 Week 2: Misaki Shows Her Colors

We aren't the only ones in the house that love the college football. Misaki, as you can see, already has her favorite team.

Misaki looking snappy in her OSU bandanna.

Now, as a University of Oregon alum I suppose I just have to deal with it, but she won't go near anything yellow. Says it clashes with her fur. Oh well - I can't really argue because she's right. Heck, I don't wear it either.

One Saturday into her first Pac-10 football season in our household and she already has the routine down. Mom and Dad sit on the couch and she curls up at our feet.

The kitties love the football too, especially Moochie. He loves nothing more than to flop out on the couch and watch the games. You think I'm kidding, but he really is watching - not paying attention to us. In fact, if we have errands to do on Saturday that keep us out past 12:30pm - normally the first TV Pac-10 game of the day - he will greet us with yowls as we come in the house, and not stop until the TV is on and everyone is settled on the couch.

Actually, now that I think about it, it's kind of disturbing. Apparently not only does our cat tell time and know when we are late, but he obviously also knows the days of the week and when the games start. Pretty soon he'll start asking us to flip channels when a game turns into a blowout. And building bombs in the garage. Should I be worried?

Misaki looks down on your favorite team choices.

Before we get to this week's games, let's take a quick look at last week. I went 8-2 in my picks which normally would make me pretty happy, but the two I missed - Washington and Oregon State - were the only two games where the outcome could actually be considered a tough call going in (though, yes, I know there will be some who say they knew TCU would win all along).

So really 8-2 just proves I can pick easy calls and screw up the two tough ones.

I have to say one thing about Oregon State too - to me, they were very impressive. It was the first game of the season with a "rookie" quarterback, on the road in Texas, on national television. Should Ryan Katz look for short throws more often? Sure. Does the center need to figure out how to snap the ball? Absolutely. But these are easily correctable issues. The announcers after the game were talking about "another slow start to a season by Oregon State." Hey, I get it. This is the program that almost lost to Eastern Washington in the first game the season they ended up in the Fiesta Bowl, and there have been a lot of weak openers and bad starts since then. However, not one of those Beaver teams looked as good as they did last week against TCU, nor did any of them play an opponent of near the quality (even when they played that highly ranked LSU team, which time proved to be not as good as everyone thought). And still, they can get better. The loss sucks, but by the time the Pac-10 season begins the rest of the conference should watch out.

On to this week's schedule. All games are on Saturday this week and Oregon State (29, 30) has a bye. The Pac-10 schedule opens with one game and the other seven are non-conference matchups. As always, all game times are Pacific time, followed by the network and the pick. Also, the network and whether or not it's on TV is for Portland - some games may be televised regionally, so if you live in a home market, check your local listings. Rankings are in parentheses (AP, USA Today).


12:30pm - Colorado at California (NR, 37), Fox Sports Northwest - California
4pm - Syracuse at Washington (NR, 39t), Fox Sports Northwest - Washington
4pm - Montana State at Washington State, Fox College Sports Pacific - Washington State
4pm - Oregon (7, 8) at Tennessee (NR, 52), ESPN2 - Oregon
7pm - Northern Arizona at Arizona State (NR, 41t), Fox College Sports Atlantic - Arizona State
7pm - Citadel at Arizona, (32t, 23), Fox College Sports Pacific - Arizona
7:30pm - Stanford (25, 28) at UCLA, ESPN - Stanford
7:30pm - Virginia at USC (16, *), No TV - USC

* USC is not eligible for the USA Today Coaches Poll because of NCAA sanctions.

Why yes, I am adorable. Thank you for noticing! As if you could miss it...

Why are there so many pictures of Misaki in a football post? Well, next week in this space she's going to be the star. One of her Twitter friends, Taro, showed off some skills on the gridiron a little while back and that got us thinking, how can we incorporate Misaki into these weekly columns and add some entertainment?

Wifey came up with a great idea - let's have Misaki pick the games! Ideally I wanted to find mini helmets or footballs for all ten members of the conference, but that will involve some time and a surprising amount of money to do. Oregon and Oregon State stuff, we're all good, but the other teams?

About all we have, without arbitrarily attaching teams to a random stuffed animal, is my Pac-10 shot glass collection I put together. I was thinking I'd dig them out of the attic, put water in them, and whichever one she chose is her pick for the week. Of course, she only drinks water something like three times a day, so getting her to do it on command might be difficult.

The idea was to have all of this in place this week, but it's been one of those weeks. Next week we'll have it all worked out, replete with pictures of the process!

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