This week Oregon State has a bye to lick the wounds from their 0-2 start. But guess what? They might look pretty dang good when they face UCLA next weekend. Why? Coach Mike Riley mercifully made a call on the starting quarterback, giving the job to redshirt freshman Sean Mannion, a big, strong arm who clearly outplayed Ryan Katz in the previous weeks. In addition, freshman running back Malcolm Agnew - he of the 200+ yards against Sacramento State - tight end Joe Halahuni, and (still a maybe) wide receiver James Rodgers could all be back. The defense didn't play horribly against Wisconsin, and if the offense can keep up the Beavers could rebound from a bad start.
One other fun point this week: Cal is playing a team called "Presbyterian," a "Big South Conference" opponent with a mascot called the "Blue Hose." I'm not entirely sure I buy it, but apparently it's a real school and thinks it has a football team. What are Blue Hose? Well, Presbyterian must get that question a lot, because back in 2008 they actually posted a piece on their athletic site telling the world. I think they should have just gone with Blue Sox. My pick in this game won't be a surprise...but Ted Miller's (of ESPN) were more entertaining.
On to the games! (Rankings in parentheses (AP, ESPN). All times Pacific.)
(Time - Matchup - Network - Pick)
10:30am - Colorado State at Colorado - ROOT - COLORADO
12:30pm - Missouri State at Oregon (12, 14) - Comcast Sports - OREGON
12:30pm - Texas (t23, 21) at UCLA - ESPN - TEXAS
12:30pm - Washington (t35, 37) at Nebraska (11, 10) - ABC - NEBRASKA
2:30pm - Presbyterian at California (NR, 38) - No TV - CALIFORNIA
3:30pm - Washington State at San Diego State (NR, 39) - No TV - SAN DIEGO STATE
4pm - Arizona State (22, 18) at Illinois - Big 10 Network - ARIZONA STATE
5pm - Syracuse at USC (27, NR) - FX - USC
6:15pm - Utah at BYU (33, 42) - ESPN2 - UTAH
7:45pm - Stanford (6, 6) at Arizona - ESPN - STANFORD
Who do you pick?