It's never too early to take a look at the contenders and pretenders in the Pac-12 North. This is the final week of out-of-conference play, meaning that the fight for a coveted spot in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game begins in just one week.
Here, we will predict each game in the Pac-12 North division on today's schedule.
Oregon State, after a rough 0-2 start, has a bye week. Hopefully they spend the time wisely, practicing and executing. It's not too late to salvage their season, though it hasn't been pretty in losses to Sacramento State and Wisconsin.
The games begin with Washington, who faces 11th-ranked Nebraska on the road in Lincoln. Both teams are 2-0, and UW has adjusted nicely to life without Jake Locker. The Cornhuskers defeated Fresno State by only 13 points last week, so the Huskies have a chance in this one. Nebraska wins, 37-28.
12th-ranked Oregon plays host to the Missouri State Bears, and as a point of reference, Missouri State lost to Arkansas 51-7 two weeks ago. Oregon rolls, 62-6.
California graciously invited Presbyterian to come to Berkeley and get romped. The Blue Hose (yes, that's really their name) are 1-1 but not a factor against the Golden Bears. Cal wins, 45-10.
Washington State looks to continue their resurgence against a very talented San Diego State team in Qualcomm Stadium. Road games have been troublesome for Wazzu in recent years... heck, home games have been tough as well. But at 2-0, the Cougars are back, baby. Almost. San Diego State wins, 24-20.
Finally, Stanford heads to Arizona to play the only Pac-12 game of the week. The two are playing this week to accommodate the Stanford/Notre Dame game in November. The Wildcats, in turn, scheduled Louisiana-Lafayette for their Thanksgiving weekend game. Andrew Luck continues his Heisman pursuit with a great performance in Tucson. Stanford wins, 45-17.
We will learn a lot about each team in the Pac-12 North today. While there is only one conference game, we can see who will be ready for the full conference schedule starting next weekend.