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Golden Blogs Pick Week One Games

USC-Alabama and UCLA-Texas A&M among the many great Pac-12 openers this weekend!

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to The GREATEST PICK-EM OPENING WEEKEND EVER! Wait, how can it be the best weekend ever if Cal isn’t playing? Sure, some of you may think it’s because in the grand scheme of things Cal Football is not a factor for many in the nation. Well actually, it might be nice to have a weekend where there’s no fear of heartbreak... Yeah, that’s it.

Anyway, we already had one great night in the books. Appalachian State and Oregon State nearly pulled off upsets, but fell short. Utah looked good against FCS competition, too. Now it’s time for the rest of the Pac-12 to make their debuts.

For Week 1, I skipped Oregon State as it was a Thursday game. I skipped any games where the teams are large favorites, so all games against FCS opponents as well as Washington’s match against Rutgers. The rest are included here. We also have some interesting non-Pac games in the Wild Card section.

Here’s our results of last week’s games. Last week, Cal defeated Hawaii by 20 points. Unfortunately, Cal was a 20.5 point favorite, so they just barely did not cover! Whoops.

Week 0 results

Here are the Week 1 games we’re doing. All times Pacific. Betting lines are the average consensus as determined by VegasInsider, with slight modifications by me if necessary.

Two points for correct picks. One point for correct over/unders.

Colorado vs. Colorado State

Friday September 2 at 5PM (ESPN)

Colorado is an 8 point favorite. Over/Under is 57.

Colorado/Colorado State picks

Colorado opens up on ESPN against their local rivals in Colorado State. This is a neutral site game in Denver. Big chance for Colorado (one of two Pac-12 teams Cal will not play in 2016) to make a statement this season. Perfect 50/50 split on whether that will happen.

Nik Jam: Colorado will be fired up to show that they've improved this season. This could very well be their highest point.

Ruey Yen: As much as I would like to back the Pac, I would take CSU with the points. Buffs might eke out a win though.

Berkelium97: Colorado State has been decent over the past few years while Colorado has been terrible. CSU will at least cover the spread, if not win outright.

boomtho: Don't know anything about these teams, take the points

Stanford vs. Kansas State

Friday September 2 at 6PM (Fox Sports 1)

Stanford is a 15.5 point favorite. Over/Under is 48.

Furd/Kansas State picks

I do have to pick an argument with ESPN, who dubbed this weekend THE GREATEST OPENING WEEKEND EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because tonight there will be a Lobster Party in Palo Alto and depending on that goes, this weekend will be rotten before we even get to Saturday...

Most of us think Furd will get the blowout opening win.

Nik Jam: Don't see how Stanford loses this one, but I can see the offense being slow to start. Not sure that'll be enough for Kansas State to avoid a blowout.

Ruey Yen: Adjustment period for Stanford. I think they will win but just doesn't cover.

KWBears: McCaffrey will have another field day.

PerryScope: Furd tend not to start off so well

Berkelium97: Ugh

boomtho: Expect the Furd defense to be dominant

Piotr T Le: McCaffrey goes nuts

UCLA @ Texas A&M

Saturday September 2 at 12:30PM (CBS)

UCLA is a 3 point underdog. Over/Under is 53.5.

UCLA/A&M picks

UC Los Angeles will take on Texas A&M as we have a pair of major Pac-12/SEC showdowns. Many of us have faith that UCLA can make a statement for the Pac-12.

Nik Jam: UCLA will get the Pac-12 a signature win that will not happen anywhere else this week.

Ruey Yen: Got to back the Pac over SEC in this one. Baby Bears get it done.

KWBears: I'm buying into all this Rosen hype....

Nam Le: UCLA STRAIGHT UP

PerryScope: College Station is extremely tough to play. QB Trevor Knight has a lot of experience after transferring from OU.

Berkelium97: UCLA usually waits until Pac-12 play starts before it posts a handful of head-scratching losses. Didn't all of Texas A&M's players transfer away this offseason? Why are they favored?

boomtho: Not really a believer in A&M, so taking the points

USC vs. Alabama

Saturday September 2 at 5PM (ABC)

USC is an 11.5 point underdog. Over/Under is 54.

USC/Bama picks

Little faith in the Trojans here in the other Pac-12/SEC showdown. USC is a surprising double digit underdog here for the neutral site matchup at Arlington, Texas.

Nik Jam: This won't be that close, USC will undo the Pac-12's good look that UCLA will provide.

Ruey Yen: I don't think the inexperienced USC team will beat Bama, but the raw talent will surprise and keep this one close.

KWBears: It'll be close because both teams will be rusty from the offseason, but Bama will will it out.

Nam Le: The Bama machine rolls on.

PerryScope: Sorry but Roll Tide. I was on Bama and the SEC last year and I continue to value that conference highly.

Berkelium97: USC is gonna get plunked.

boomtho: Expect Alabama's defense to put the HURT on the Trojans

Arizona vs. BYU

Saturday September 2 at 7:30PM (Fox Sports 1)

Arizona is a 1 point favorite. Over/Under is 60.5

Arizona/BYU picks

Even matchup here, and most of the crowd is with Arizona. Will the other Pac-12 team Cal won’t play this year make a statement?

Nik Jam: BYU will be a solid dark horse candidate this year.

Ruey Yen: Just backing the Pac in this coin flip of a game.

KWBears: Very close game, but the Wildcats start their season with a bang.

PerryScope: Not sure about Zona this year

Berkelium97: Until Good Solomon comes back, I don't think Arizona will be very good.

boomtho: I selected randomly for this game, I have no idea

Wild Card: Lock of the Week

Asked our crew to pick from a series of major non-Pac games, with spreads this year. Also there is an “OTHER” option now.

Favorite listed first. If the middle is “vs.” the favorite is at home or on neutral site. If the middle is “@” the underdog is the home team or it’s a neutral site.

Georgia Tech -3.5 vs. Boston College

#3 Oklahoma -10 @ #15 Houston

#5 LSU -10 @ Wisconsin

#18 Georgia -2.5 @ #22 North Carolina

#2 Clemson -7.5 @ Auburn

#10 Notre Dame -3.5 @ Texas

OTHER

Wild Card picks

Notre Dame is the popular pick to travel to Austin and knock off the Longhorns. We also have Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson and North Carolina picked. Since Georgia and North Carolina are playing each other we will have a variety of points here.

Ruey Yen (Clemson): I'm buying into the preseason ranking...probably against my better judgment.

KWBears (Notre Dame): Notre Dame wants to make a real impression on the CFP voters - a large win over Texas to start the season will do that.

Nam Le (Notre Dame): Texas, starting a true frosh at home vs ND? I'll take it.

PerryScope (Notre Dame): Notre Dame rolled against them last year and return both of their star QBs

Berkelium97 (Georgia): I like Kirby Smart's odds in his first game against a rebuilding UNC offense.

boomtho (Notre Dame): Given that Texas is expected to be a .500-ish team... don't understand this line

Wild Card: Upset of the Week

Selected list of upsets for our staff to choose from. The higher the odds, the more points one can risk for. One can also choose “OTHER” now this season. See [brackets] for points that will be awarded.

Oregon State (13 point underdog at Minnesota) [3]

Kansas State (15.5 point underdog at #8 Stanford) [3]

Kent State (21.5 point underdog at Penn State) [3]

Rutgers (26 point underdog at #14 Washington) [4]

Miami Ohio (27.5 point underdog at #19 Iowa) [4]

Fresno State (28 point underdog at Nebraska) [4]

Hawaii (45 point underdog at #7 Michigan) [5]

UC Davis (FCS opponent at #24 Oregon) [5]

Eastern Washington (FCS opponent at Washington State) [5]

Northern Arizona (FCS opponent at Arizona State) [5]

OTHER

No upsets among listed above (or others) [1]

Upset picks

A plurality chose no upsets. Two went big with a 5 point upset in Eastern Washington handing Washington State their second straight FCS loss.

Ruey Yen (Eastern Washington): Wazzu did lose to Portland State last year.

KWBears (Eastern Washington): I don't ever trust Wazzu to do anything good on a football field.

Berkelium97 (Fresno State): When in doubt, pick against Mike Riley in an OOC game.

CONCLUSION

Tell us your picks for the above games and enjoy “THE GREATEST OPENING WEEKEND EVER”... and figure out what to do with ESPN if it doesn’t live up to that hype!

Go Bears. Cal returns next week!