Northwest college football preview 2013 (and the debut of Paul’s Predictions!!!)
The sport I feel most Pacific Northwest sports fans are most passionate about, college football, begins tonight. So I did my annual process of looking at each Pacific Northwest Division I team’s schedule, figuring out the wins and losses. And in this space I’m going to spend the last paragraph picking the outcome of their weekly games too.
KNOWN – The Ducks will once again have a flashy offense with lots of speed at running back and wide receiver and one of the best quarterbacks in the country. They have a very easy non-conference schedule and don’t play USC and Arizona State who both should be very good.
UNKNOWN – How Oregon will react to two tough road games on their schedule, at Washington and at Stanford, and how it will do under the guidance of a new coach. While the offense gets the headlines the Ducks defense will be really, really good especially the defensive line.
FROM THE CHEAP SEATS I SEE…Oregon running the table and making the national title game. Unfortunately, so will Alabama which looks to be one of the best college football teams to come around in years. Which means a 13-1 record.
KNOWN – The Beavers are always well coached and peak at the right time. They have a lot of players returning on offense and two gimmes among their three non-conference games. Oregon State might slip up at San Diego State.
UNKNOWN – Oregon State’s defense line has to replace three of the four starters and the Beavers need to find other playmakers at wide receiver. There is at least one game every year Oregon State loses that it has no business losing (my guess is at Cal…trap game the week before hosting Stanford)
FROM THE CHEAP SEATS I SEE…Oregon State getting off to a fast start but finishing 8-4 because the Pac-12 North is really, really tough this year.
KNOWN – Lots of skill players coming back and some big-time playmakers on defense at linebacker and safety. The Dawgs should get a boost from playing in a newly-remodeled Husky Stadium.
UNKNOWN – Which Keith Price will show up…the 2011 version that made so many big plays or the 2012 version who was skittish and turned the ball over at the inopportune times? And will their offense and defensive line play improve?
FROM THE CHEAP SEATS I SEE…Another 7-5 regular season for U-Dub but it ends strong with a Apple Cup and bowl wins.
KNOWN – The Cougars will be improved over last year, the first under Mike Leach, and have a definite starter at quarterback and lots of talent coming back at wide receiver. But they have a very tough opening schedule (at Auburn and at USC).
UNKNOWN – Who’s going to replace the standout defenders the Cougars lost, and how is an undersized offensive line going to get the running game untracked.
FROM THE CHEAP SEATS I SEE…The Cougars going 3-9 again because of the strength of the Pac-12 but with no Apple Cup win. Progress will be made back to respectability, but not much progress.
PAUL’S PREDICTIONS…WEEK ONE: Okay…here we go…hoping for a good week out of the box!!!
OREGON 58, Nicholls State 6
OREGON STATE 34, Eastern Washington 12
AUBURN 30, Washington State 15
And…my upset special of the week (I know…I’m such a homer…)
WASHINGTON 25, Boise State 21 (even without Austin Seferian-Jenkins)