09/21/2013 10:01 AM
Let's get started with some picks from around the league--including this nugget from college football guru Phil Steele
No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils at No. 5 Stanford Cardinal
Saturday at 7 p.m. ET
This week's only game involving two ranked teams takes place in the Pac-12 as the Sun Devils, fresh off a controversial 32-30 win over then-No. 20 Wisconsin, travel to take on the defending Pac-12 champion Cardinal, who are off to a 2-0 start after last week's 34-20 win over Army.
These two conference foes have not met since 2010, but Stanford is going for three straight wins in the series for only the second time (1999-2001).
After two wins over overmatched foes in San Jose State and Army, this will be the first legitimate test for the Cardinal. Last week's relatively close game can be excused when you consider the Cardinal were traveling across the country, playing at 9 a.m. PT time. Plus, Stanford had to face Army's option offense.
Quarterback Kevin Hogan is now a perfect 7-0 as a starter, and last year had four wins over ranked teams. On the other side, prior to last week's win over the Badgers, the Sun Devils' only win in the Todd Graham era over a team with a winning record came in last year's bowl game over Navy.
This will be the best defense that the Sun Devils have faced in two years. On the other side, I look for the Cardinal's excellent offensive line to wear down a relatively undersized Arizona State front seven that allowed 231 rush yards last week.
Pick: Stanford 31, Arizona State 20