A third week of college football is in the books and the Pac-12 saw it’s perceived powerhouse in USC shut down at Stanford over the weekend. Other than that, everything else seemed to go as planned with most schools taking care of business.
The Trojans’ loss causes some shuffling towards the top of the rankings and this upcoming week could prove to be even more intriguing with several Pac-12 matchups looming. Here is how the teams stand a quarter of the way into the season.
The Ducks have taken care of business against very mediocre competition. While several other schools have already been tested by strong teams this year, the Ducks have handled relatively weak competition without having to sweat.
This week may be a little different for UO. With an upstart Arizona squad coming in looking to prove it is a legit contender in the conference, Oregon will face its first real test of the season.
Overall, the Ducks are a better team top-to-bottom and should be able to defend their home field, but expect the Wildcats to give them much more for a fight than they have seen over the first three weeks.
The Bruins continued their impressive start by crushing Houston on Saturday. The offense continues to roll and, with conference play approaching, the unit looks to be set to compete with the other high-octane offenses in the Pac-12.
The matchup against Oregon State should be a good test for the Bruins. The Beavers looked strong against Wisconsin and their defense could cause problems for Jonathan Franklin, much like it did Montee Ball.
Stanford makes the leap due to the impressive victory over USC. Just two weeks prior, Stanford looked to be extremely beatable as it faltered against San Jose State. With a victory over the Trojans, Stanford reasserted itself as a contender in the Pac-12.
With games at Washington and at home against Arizona coming up, Stanford has a couple of tough assignments on the horizon. If Stanford continues to grow on offense, it will be a tough team to beat going forward.
With a 56-0 victory over South Carolina State, the Wildcats avoided the dreaded let down with a huge game to follow. UA’s offense continues to click on all cylinders and should provide Oregon with a formidable opponent this weekend. With two fast-paced offenses on the field, Saturday’s affair should prove to be a fun one to watch.
USC hasn’t performed to its capability for two straight games and it caught up to the Trojans this past weekend against Stanford. With the rest of the Pac-12 looking stronger each week, USC has to find a way to get back on the right track.
The Trojans are undoubtedly one of the most talented teams in the conference, so it should be interesting to see how they respond this week at home against a Cal squad that just gave Ohio State fits.
6. Oregon State
The Beavers had the week off and have only played one game thus far, so it’s really hard to gauge how good they really are. Their win over the Badgers was impressive, so a victory over UCLA to kick off the conference slate would legitimize OSU’s solid start.
The Utes answered their critics this past weekend by defeating BYU in a game that had one of the most wild endings in recent memory. Utah played well on offense with Jon Hays under center and what is probably even more impressive is the fact the Utes won without John White IV on the field.
The Golden Bears should have defeated Ohio State at the horseshoe but, alas, they didn’t. Cal looked like a much improved squad, but the failure to pull off a victory when it was within reach prevents it from being any higher on the list.
9. Arizona State
Over their first two contests, the Sun Devils looked like they were ready to break on to the national scene offensively, but over the weekend against Missouri, they reverted back to the team many saw at points last season.
Despite the fact that the Tigers were without their starting quarterback, ASU couldn’t capitalize and fell to 2-1 on the season in its first real test.
The Huskies took care of Portland State over the weekend and now head into the Pac-12 schedule looking to surprise some folks. After getting dismantled at LSU, there are still a lot of doubts present, especially with the way the rest of the Pac-12 performed in out of conference affairs.
11. Washington State
A victory over lowly UNLV moves the Cougars to 2-1 on the season. The good news is that the passing game looks pretty strong, but Wazzu simply cannot run the ball and its defense is struggling against weak competition.
It’s only going to get more difficult (well, after this week’s Colorado matchup at least), so it could be a long year once again for the Cougars.
The Buffaloes are, hands down, the worst team in the Pac-12. That’s all I can really say at this point in time.