Away we go with the first predictions of the season. Fans of Arkansas State and Northern Colorado might want to avoid this one. By the way, when Washington State plays at UNLV in two weeks, do we still have to say the listed betting lines are for entertainment purposes only? I know more than a few people who are entertained by gambling. Some of them didn’t even coach football at the University of Washington. All games Saturday except those that aren’t.
N. Colorado at Utah (no line), Today: How bad was UNC last season? Not only did it finish 0-11, but it lost at Idaho State. By 30 points. Utah 56-0.
Rice vs. UCLA (UCLA by 16), Today: The debut for coach Jim Mora and his offense, led by QB Brett Hundley. It should be a good one for both. UCLA 31-17.
Washington State at BYU (BYU by 12.5), Today: Hometown Cougars are good enough to cover the spread, and probably good enough to win. But home-field advantage and experience should carry BYU. BYU 38-31.
N. Arizona at Arizona St. (no line), Today: A soft landing for Todd Graham. If the Sun Devils beat them badly enough, maybe Graham can take the coaching job at Northern Arizona. ASU 42-17.
San Jose St. at Stanford (Stanford by 26), Friday: Not much of a test for new QB Josh Nunes. And if it is, that’s not a good sign for the Cardinal. Stanford 35-13.
Nevada at California (Cal by 11): The Bears got run over the last time they went against the Nevada pistol. But Cal will ride momentum from fancy new stadium to victory. Cal 34-28.
Nicholls St. at Oregon St. (no line): Assuming NSU can get to Corvallis safely, the Beavers should roll. But OSU fans remember Sacramento State. OSU 48-10.
Colorado at Colorado St. (Colorado by 6.5): The second year of Jon Embree’s tenure isn’t going to start so great, either. Colorado State 21-14.
Hawaii at USC (USC by 40): Typically would raise an eyebrow at that spread, but Lane Kiffin has no problem running it up. Neither will Trojans. USC 63-17.
Toledo at Arizona (Arizona by 10): Count me among those who believe Rich Rodriguez could turn Wildcats into a winner. They will be in this one. UA 35-13.
San Diego St. at Washington (Washington by 14.5): There’s nothing quite like the pageantry of a college football opener in … the SoDo District. Huskies should win anyway. UW 42-20.
Arkansas St. at Oregon (no line): Defending Sun Belt champions are an interesting first-week opponent, but Ducks should roll. Oregon 45-14.