Before we get to today's blogger picks, a bit of an update on the contest. Over the past week we've gained a sponsor. Gameday Depot will be giving away $10 gift certificates to each weekly winner. The season long runner up will receive a $50 gift certificate. Gameday depot has a wide variety of licensed Oregon merchandise, but more importantly, they have a ton of custom stuff as well, and will soon have a number of Addicted To Quack shirts that I hope many of you will want to get. Because of the change, we've updated the rules, so check that out here.
Also, Don't forget to submit your picks by tonight's deadline. Here's a list of the users that have submitted picks as of 11AM PST.
Boise State vs. Georgia
Northwestern at Boston College
UCLA at Houston
BYU at. Mississippi
Fresno State at Cal (-9.5)
Boise State vs. Georgia [Paul]:
The Broncos have the better QB (with Kellen Moore on pace to surpass Colt McCoy as the NCAA's all-time winningest quarterback), coach (with Chris Petersen turning down big money to stay in Boise this past offseason), and running back (with the underrated Doug Martin). But they're also going on the road against a much-improved Georgia team with a new offensive coordinator (Brent Pease, who was BSU's wide receivers coach from 2007-2010)? Does that mean they'll lose? Not in this guy's opinion. Despite a tough match-up on the road, I think the Boise State Broncos continue their preseason dominance and pull out a close one in Atlanta.
Northwestern at Boston College [Dave]:
All things being equal, I would pick Northwestern and their offense on the road. That said, Dan Persa is injured, and we're not sure his status for the game or how effective he'll be, which requires me to hedge my bets and go with Boston College.
UCLA at Houston [Nick]:
Case Keenum makes his return to the field in this game after a season-ending knee injury in last year's matchup against UCLA. In that game, the Bruins ran for a total of 266 yards, including 158 by returning tailback Johnathan Franklin. UCLA will need to exert that kind of dominance again to limit the opportunities of Keenum and the high powered Houston Cougar offense---and I think they will.
BYU at Mississippi [Jared]:
BYU is headed on the road to Mississippi. Mormons in the grove, that should be interesting. On the field, both teams return a lot of offensive starters, and few defensive starters. So this could end up being a fun one. I'm going with BYU as they return their QB, while Mississippi is breaking in a JC transfer, though he's ranked as one of the best in the country. BYU should be strong on defense, and give them the road victory.
Fresno State at California [Dominic]:
10 points is a lot to give a Cal team that didn't score a ton last year. Fresno State has a fairly inexperienced quarterback, a rebuilt offensive line and only 4 returning starters. They also just lost their best defensive player to a leg injury during practice this week. Way to early in the season to predict how this one will go, just way too many unknowns. At this point, I like Cal to win, but Fresno State to cover because it's at home and I'm not convinced that Cal's offense is any better than last year. Also, Cal's defense should win this one for them.