It was an interesting weekend of football in the Pac-12 and while the conference had no major shakeups, there was plenty to be learned by observing what went on.
The top team in the conference held on to its position while there was some shuffling underneath. After four weeks of college football, the Pac-12 is starting to show its colors pretty early.
The Ducks handled Arizona 49-0 in a wild game that saw Oregon dodge several bullets early, only to completely run away with the game in the second half.
The score is not indicative of how Oregon’s offense played. When Arizona was still within striking distance in the first half, the Ducks’ struggled moving the ball consistently. It was Oregon’s defense, surprisingly enough, that made the game a blowout.
The Cardinal took the weeks off but move all the way to the second spot due to the shortcomings of other squads this past weekend. Stanford’s victory over USC is still fresh in the memory of the rest of the conference as well.
3. Oregon State
The Beavers have played two games – against opponents who were ranked – and won both of them. OSU went into Pasadena on Saturday and completely halted a UCLA offensive attack that looked much more powerful in out of conference play. The sample size is still small for Oregon State, but the Beavers have been a surprise so far.
Yes, the Trojans won, but they – once again – looked anything but pretty in doing so. The Golden Bears simply fall a bit short in comparison to USC in the talent department, so the Trojans – and especially Matt Barkley – should not have struggled with Cal’s defense.
The important factor that came from that contest for USC was that it won the game, but as competition gets tougher, teams are going to be less forgiving of the Trojans’ shortcomings.
Oregon State stifled UCLA’s seemingly potent offense attack and the Bruins fell short in their Pac-12 opener. After looking strong in out of conference play once again, UCLA came out and led an egg to open Pac-12 play.
UCLA certainly looked like a much improved squad early on in the season, but the Bruins will have to find a way to be successful in the Pac-12 to turn their naysayers into believers.
The Wildcats had the most disappointing showing of any conference member this past weekend. Many expected UA to lose against Oregon, but not many expected Arizona to fall the way it did. The Wildcats' red zone inefficiencies were a bit of a shocker considering how the team started the season.
7. Arizona State
The Sun Devils picked apart a battered Utah team and looked much better doing so than they did a week prior against Missouri. ASU goes on the road to face another squad that has struggled throughout most of the season in Cal, so the Sun Devils have a good opportunity to pick up a second consecutive conference victory this weekend.
UW comes off a bye week and heads into a very tough stretch that includes four games against teams who are currently ranked, and another that just dropped out of the top 25.
If the Huskies first showing against a ranked opponent is any indicator of what to expect in the coming weeks, Washington faces a very tough stretch ahead.
At 1-3, Cal looks like a team that doesn’t have what it takes to compete in the Pac-12 this year. There is a slight window of opportunity with four of their next six at home, but the Golden Bears must play more consistent on the offensive side of the ball if they want any chance of competing with some of the more powerful offenses in the conference.
A week after it looked like the Utes shook off the departure of Jordan Wynn, they traveled to Tempe and were demolished by Arizona State. Given the numerous concerns already surrounding Utah, getting beat on the road by 30 points could likely kill any confidence this team had left.
The Buffaloes were able to finally get over the hump and proved that they may not be the worst team in the Pac-12 this year. That’s not really saying much, but after losing to Sacramento State earlier in the season, defeating Washington State has to feel good for CU.
12. Washington State
Things got a bit shaky for Mike Leach’s squad over the weekend. While the Cougars aren’t supposed to scare anyone, they should have been able to hold off a Colorado squad that has looked like anything but a Pac-12 level team. Instead, Wazzu blew the game and assume last place in this week’s rankings.