Who would have thought this season's game between Washington State and Oregon would be so important? While everybody was looking at Washington and Stanford as the two big dogs in the division, it's Wazzu that's ranked No. 11, and Oregon is off to a promising start itself.
Both teams look to pick up an important win on Saturday night in Eugene.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 7 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Autzen Stadium -- Eugene, Oregon
TV: Fox | Live stream: fubo.TV (Try for free)
Oregon: The focus at Oregon right now is on the quarterback position, particularly, who will be playing it. Justin Herbert went down with a broken collarbone last week and is out indefinitely. Taylor Alie, a redshirt senior, stepped in for Herbert but suffered an injury himself, and it isn't clear whether he'll be able to play on Saturday.
If he can't, that would leave the keys to the offense to freshman Braxton Burmeister. Burmeister would be better off if he could rely on running back Royce Freeman but -- you guessed it -- Freeman's banged up too. He's expected to play, but it isn't clear if he's at 100 percent or not.
Washington State: It's been a dream start to the season for the Cougars. They're 5-0 and have already picked up two conference wins, including a key victory against USC that propelled them to No. 11 in the rankings. Still, as promising a start as its been, all five of Wazzu's games this season have been played at home.
When the Cougars head to Autzen Stadium on Saturday night, it will be their first road game of the season, and Autzen is never an easy place to win. The good news is that Wazzu's won two straight in this series, and won the last meeting at Autzen, beating the Ducks 45-38 in 2015.
If I'm completely honest, I'm not entirely sold on the Cougars just yet. I think they're a good team and that their win over USC was impressive, but I don't buy Washington State being one of the 11 best teams in the country right now. All of that said, I have a hard time going against it in this game considering all the question marks the Ducks are dealing with on offense. If you're going to make a pick in this game, I don't see how you can go any other way. Pick: Washington State -2.5