Staff Picks

Arizona vs. Idaho

Bryan Roy assistant sports editor
Last year’s bizarre season of college football taught us that anything is possible. (As yelled by Kevin Garnett into an ESPN microphone at the 2008 NBA Finals.) However, as fresh as the memories of Appalachian State are, there’s no way Idaho, which went 1-11 last season, can pull off an upset.
Arizona 42, Youdaho 14

Ari Wasserman assistant sports editor
The only reason why this game is in the newspaper is to cater to the readers who have a vested interest in this game. In my opinion, there isn’t anything to pick. Isn’t it obvious enough? There is a reason Arizona scheduled Idaho for its opener and it will play out exactly the way the coaching staff would like it to – in a blowout. If I hear another Appalachian State reference from last season, I’ll crack. We all know Michigan sucks.
Arizona 45, Idaho 6

Nick Sturiale sports writer
The Wildcats’ offense should have no problem against a young Idaho defense that lost eight starters to graduation, even without star TE Rob Gronkowski. Look for both WR Mike Thomas and RB Nic Grigsby to have big games against an inexperienced defense. Head coach Mike Stoops will be on the hot seat this year and even the slightest mistake could cost him his job.
Arizona 38, Idaho 22

Oregon vs. Washington

Bryan Roy assistant sports editor
Our last memory of Oregon is seeing Dennis Dixon crippled at Arizona Stadium while ESPN diva Erin Andrews roamed the sidelines. So as long as Brady Leaf doesn’t see a snap, Oregon will roll through the Huskies like the Pillsbury Doughboy versus a Hummer H3.
Oregon 32, Washington 21

Ari Wasserman assistant sports editor
No Dennis Dixon? No Jonathan Stewart? No problem. Though I feel bad for Tyrone Willingham’s cooking buns (hot seat reference), I don’t think Jake Locker is going to be able to win this one on his own. While Locker may be considered one of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-10, the rest of Washington, particularly their defense, won’t be enough to keep the Huskies from getting beat. I felt bad for the Ducks after Dixon got injured last year. Well, not really.
Oregon 28, Washington 17

Nick Sturiale sports writer
After a huge performance in last year’s Sun Bowl, four touchdown passes and a 56-21 victory, QB Justin Roper will take over for the Ducks and it looks as if he is more than capable of handling the job. For the Huskies, QB Jake Locker is one of the conference’s best after throwing for over 2,000 yards and 14 touchdowns while running for 986 yards with 13 touchdowns last year. On the other side of the ball, the Huskies defense is extremely young and inexperienced and the Ducks should have no problem getting the job done.
Oregon 35, Washington 21

No. 6 Missouri vs. No. 20 Illinois

Bryan Roy assistant sports editor
It’s a battle of last year’s Cinderella vs. last year’s early spoiler. The Tigers were somehow No. 1 ranked late last season, while the Fighting Illini took down the Ohio State mighty giants. Gut feeling: it’s gonna be closer than Amy Whinehouse from a shot of tequila.
No. 6 Missouri 24, No. 20 Illinois

Ari Wasserman assistant sports editor
Everybody is always continually bashing on the Big Ten, and while it may not always be fair, this game the conference is going to get the short end of the stick. While Illinois zone-read offense has been success, the loss of Rashard Mendenhall to the NFL may be one too many weapons lost for the Illini. Illinois offense, however, isn’t the main issue. The Illini have an array of different holes in their defense, and Missouri’s Chase Daniel is going to make them look like Swiss cheese.
No. 6 Missouri 31, No. 20 Illinois 21

Nick Sturiale sports writer
These two powerhouses both have high hopes this season of making a BCS bowl game. Tigers QB Chase Daniels is coming off of a huge year in which he threw for over 4,000 yards and 33 touchdowns. Coming off their blowout loss to USC in last year’s Rose Bowl, the Illini are much more improved with a much stronger, more experienced defense. This game is going to be an all out battle but the stronger offense will prevail.
No. 6 Missouri 42, No. 20 Illinois 28