PULLMAN – After the first weekend of games, it appears that the Sunshine State has the best teams, the best quarterbacks and the most interesting players in the Pac-12. UCLA’s players told us that quarterback Josh Rosen was the real deal, and all he did was have the most impressive debut of any freshman quarterback since Jameis Winston, who later won the Heisman (and Winston redshirted!).
The presence of Oregon in the Pac-12 North means an interstate matchup in the Pac-12 championship game is unlikely. But the winner of the annual rivalry game between UCLA and USC seems likely to get a spot in Santa Clara, and maybe the playoffs, if both teams keep playing like they did on Saturday.
1 USC – (1-0, last week: 1) – The question isn’t whether Steve Sarkisian and his Trojans can hang 80 on Idaho this week. It’s whether they can stop themselves.
2 UCLA (1-0, last week: 7) – Quarterback was the biggest question mark on a team that returned 19 starters. One week later and Josh Rosen is the Walter Camp Player of the Week and arguably the team’s most-talented player.
3 Oregon (1-0, last week: 2) – The Ducks were never in real danger against Eastern Washington, but that defense is a work in progress.
4 California (1-0, last week: 6) – Good teams beat up bad ones. Cal is a really good team and it really beat the snot out of Grambling State.
5 Utah (1-0, last week: 8) – Will this finally be Travis Wilson’s year? Starting off the season with a win against Michigan portends well for the Utes QB.
6 Arizona (1-0, last week: 4) – The Wildcats did not drop because they struggled with Texas-San Antonio. The Wildcats dropped because they won’t have Scooby Wright for a while.
7 Arizona St. (0-1, last week: 3) – The Sun Devils were closer to Texas A&M than the final score indicated. But ASU’s opening statement wasn’t very impressive.
8 Stanford (0-1, last week: 5) – Academic recruitment counselors will find out that “Stanford, the Northwestern of the West Coast!” doesn’t have quite the same pull with prep valedictorians.
9 Washington (0-1, last week: 10) – Old-timer Husky fans love to say that they prefer watching defense to offense. Well, they’ll get their wish this season.
10 Oregon St. (1-0, last week: 12) – The most memorable thing about this Oregon State football season will be the footnote describing Jim Harbaugh’s first win as Michigan coach.
11 Colorado (0-1, last week: 11) – All the good recruiting classes and talented receivers in the world can’t save a coach who has apparently angered the Secret Society of Officials and Referees as badly as Mike MacIntyre.
12 WSU (0-1, last week: 9) – The Cougars keep the Pac-12 from going undefeated in the annual Pac-12 vs. FCS Special.
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