Weekend Scouting: Four Future Opponents to Keep Your Eye On

Oregon State has their hands full with TCU this weekend, but it's never a bad idea to keep an eye on upcoming opponents. (Bold title is the upcoming game, all times are Pacific)

November 9, in Tucson

Arizona at Toledo (ESPN, Friday 5pm) 

Arizona needs to prove the nation that their abysmal showing in last year's Holiday Bowl was a fluke, and that they have the capability to play like the team that came a play away from winning the Pac-10 conference last season. They're fine on offense, where Nick Foles returns along with nine other players, although offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes left to take the Louisiana Tech job. Their defense is the biggest area of concern-- only four players return, and all the linebackers will be new. It will be interesting to see how the Wildcats match up with Toledo-- they're in the opposite situation as Mike Stoops and his team. Toledo doesn't have much for an offense, but has depth on defense despite losing five starters from last year. Next week: Citadel

September 18, in Corvallis

Louisville vs. Kentucky (ABC, 12:30pm) 

Louisville is hoping that new head coach Charlie Strong can bring the Cardinals back to the glory days of Bobby Petrino, as it is hard to believe that the Cardinals won the Big East and the Orange Bowl just four years ago. The three year tenure of Petrino's predecessor, Steve Kragthorpe was a disaster, and Louisville finds themselves starting 2010 with low expectations. Their opponent in the season opener, Kentucky, is also led by a first year head coach in Joker Phillips. Phillips took over after Rich Brooks retired after last season. Louisville hasn't won this rivalry game in four years-- that would be a good way for them to jumpstart the 2010 season and the Charlie Strong era. Next week: Eastern Kentucky

November 2, in Corvallis

Arizona State vs. Portland State (FSArizona, 7:15)

The Jerry Glanville experiment didn't work out for Portland State, and former OSU assistant Nigel Burton takes over a team expected to finish at the bottom of the Big Sky conference. The only All-Conference returner for the Vikings is kicker Zach Brown, who was 18 of 25 on field goals last season. Arizona State isn't in the best shape either under another OSU coaching alum, Dennis Erickson, but this game shouldn't even be close. Erickson needs his Sun Devils to trounce the Vikings, or ASU fans will have him in hot water even before they get to Pac-10 play-- which they begin by playing Oregon and Oregon State consecutively. Next week: Northern Arizona

September 25, in Boise

Boise State vs. Virginia Tech (ESPN, Monday 5pm) 

I'm reluctant to admit it, but this game edges Oregon State's matchup with TCU as the marquee game of the weekend. Boise State, with 22 of their 24 starters back from 2009's undefeated run, travels to play a Virginia Tech team that is also looking to join the National Championship conversation. This game could make or break Boise State's year, and will have a big impact on Oregon State's trip to Boise in a few weeks. If Oregon State upsets TCU and takes care of Louisville and Boise State gets by Virginia Tech and Wyoming, get ready for one heck of a stage on September 25. Next week: Wyoming

Look for your complete Saturday viewing schedule early tomorrow morning.

--Jake | (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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