The Washington State Cougars drew first blood.
The first handful of Pac-12 football games of the season have now taken place, and Washington State grabbed the early lead in the Pac-12 North with its lopsided 52-23 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.
It figures to be another dogfight for the Pac-12 North again this year. Last year division supremacy came down to the Apple Cup, with the winner between Washington and Washington State claiming the North title. The Huskies’ dominating 45-17 victory gave Washington the North title and catapulted Washington the Pac-12 championship and a berth in the BCS final four.
But who will take the crown this year? There appear to be no shortage of contenders. Washington, which has yet to play a Pac-12 game, is 3-0, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press top 25, and considered the preseason favorite to repeat. After a stuttering start the Huskies finally looked like a powerhouse in Saturday’s 48-16 victory over Fresno State. However, Washington State is also expected to be strong again, and the Cougars are also 3-0, have a quality win over Boise State, and have moved up to No. 18 in the rankings.
Then there’s Oregon. The Ducks are coming off their worst season in nearly three decades, having gone 4-8 and finished last in the division last year. But Oregon is also 3-0, including a quality win over Nebraska, and the Ducks cracked the top 25 this week, coming in at No. 24.
California also deserves a mention as the Bears are 3-0 with wins over North Carolina and Ole Miss. And never discount Stanford, even thought the fighting trees are just 1-2.
Who do you think will emerge victorious in the Pac-12 North this year? Have your say: