Ten home games (now just nine), four new coaches, three days, a new TV network and a new stadium built in 1923.
Week 1 in the Pac-12 Conference has a little bit of everything, including six games broadcast over the net Pac-12 Networks. None of it will prevent the home team from ruling the day.
But Oregon State’s Saturday night opener in Corvallis vs. Nicholls State has been postponed because of Hurricane Isaac. Nicholls’ campus in Thibodaux, La., was closed Wednesday and the team has canceled its scheduled Friday travel plans.
Oregon State officials said they are hoping to reschedule the game.
Here are this week’s games and my picks:
– Northern Colorado at Utah, 4 p.m. (Pac-12 Network): Northern Colorado went 0-11 last season, including a season-opening 22-20 defeat to something called Lindenwood. Utah 48, Northern Colorado 3.
– UCLA at Rice, 4:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network): Here’s a strange little factoid I dug up — no UCLA coach making his debut on the road has claimed a victory. That dates back to 1919, and includes the likes of Rick Neuheisel, Terry Donahue, Dick Vermeil and Tommy Prothro. Well, Jim Mora Jr. ends the drought. UCLA 27, Rice 17.
– Washington State at BYU, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN): An intriguing Week 1 game. The Cougars aspire to be explosive under new coach Mike Leach, but they were 9-40 the past four years and allowed 40 points or more in 22 of those games. BYU was 10-3 a year ago, but lost 54-10 to Utah. BYU 37, Washington State 28.
– Northern Arizona at Arizona State, 7:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network): The Lumberjacks have alternated playing ASU and Arizona the past 10 years and are 0-10 in those games. The Sun Devils haven’t lost to NAU since 1938, and they’re not going to do it in coach Todd Graham’s debut. ASU 31, Northern Arizona 13.