Another year, another week of my guesses, er, picks.
But really, trying to decipher season-opening games is more slightly educated guess than statistic-driven choice.
Who knows if that senior offensive lineman who hasn’t played a down is going to be any good? Who knows if the freshman quarterback is really as good as his high school coach says? Who knows why anyone would trust my judgment, especially if money is on the line?
As always, the listed line is for your entertainment purposes only.
Oregon at Boise State (BSU by 3 1/2): Revenge. Blue turf. TV. Pac-10 pride. BCS hopes. There’s a lot on the line tonight. Almost forgot, it’s Chip Kelly’s debut as Ducks coach. Can’t lose your coach’s first game. Oregon 44-28.
Portland State at Oregon State (no line): Let’s see. Last year WSU defeated Portland State 48-9. Oregon State defeated WSU 66-13. So the Beavers should win by almost 100, right? No. OSU 52-14.
San Diego State at UCLA (UCLA by 19): When the smoke clears – if it clears – the Bruins should handle a team that was monumentally bad last season. But a new staff in San Diego means it will be close. UCLA 17-13.
Central Michigan at Arizona (UA by 13 1/2): Too many questions in Tucson. Too many injuries as well, though it’s really only one, suffered by tight end Rob Gronkowski. It will be closer than the Wildcats want. UA 30-24.
Idaho State at Arizona State (no line): The Sun Devils could have suspended a dozen players and still win this one. ASU 35-9.
Maryland at California (Cal by 21 1/2): The loss back East last season hurt. And it still burns. The Bears want revenge. They get it. Cal 45-17.
an Jose State at USC (USC by 34): A true freshman at quarterback. Enough injuries to slow an elephant. No desire to show the whole playbook. Still, the Trojans will roll. Now, next week, in Columbus, might be different. USC 49-7.
Stanford at Washington State (Stanford by 16 1/2): The Cougars are better. So, probably, are the Cardinal. But no one, not even Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, expects a repeat of last year’s rout. Stanford 28-17.
Last season: 60-16 overall, 39-35 vs. spread.