Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pac-12 preview: Record-setting lineup for Pac-12 Networks, USC’s interim history, Chip Kelly after byes, Utah vs. old foes, Heisman race update

By Jon Wilner Bay Area News Group

Ten need-to-knows for Week Three …

1) It’s the biggest Saturday ever for the Pac-12 Networks, which will broadcast an unprecedented seven games over the course of 13 hours.

The logjam means three games won’t be shown on the national network:

Oregon State (vs. Idaho), Cal (vs. Sacramento State) and Arizona (vs. NAU) will be available only on the relevant regional network and through Pac-12 Now.

It’s hardly ideal, but there are 11 games on Saturday, and only four are on the ESPN and Fox networks. Overlap on the Pac-12 Networks is unavoidable with broadcast windows that stretch to more than three hours.

(The previous record for games on the networks was six, set on multiple occasions.)

2) Washington is trying to avoid its first 0-3 start since the 2008 season, when the Huskies went 0-12 under Tyrone Willingham.

Basically, 2008 is the benchmark for any lows UW might challenge this season, although the winless record outside of league play in ’08 comes with a caveat: The Huskies faced Notre Dame, Oklahoma and BYU.

There were no Montanas or Arkansas States on the schedule.

3) Since joining the Pac-12, Utah is undefeated against Mountain West opponents.

What’s more, the Utes haven’t lost two non-conference games in any season since they jumped from the MW in 2011.

They’re currently 1-1 and a tad wobbly entering Saturday’s date at San Diego State.

4) Remaining undefeated teams, per Power Five conference:

SEC: 10

Big Ten: 7

Big 12: 6

ACC: 5

Pac-12: 3

5) Stanford’s visit to Vanderbilt is the first of four matchups the teams will play over the next decade.

The series was arranged years ago by Cardinal coach David Shaw and then-Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason, a former Stanford defensive coordinator.

The last time the Cardinal played a road game in the SEC was … never.

6) Donte Williams is USC’s third interim coach in the past eight years. How have his predecessors fared in their debuts?

After Lane Kiffin was fired midway through the 2013 season, Ed Orgeron beat Arizona 38-31 in the Coliseum.

After Steve Sarkisian was removed midway through the 2015 season, Clay Helton lost at Notre Dame 41-31.

The Trojans visit Washington State on Saturday as an 8.5-point favorite.

7) The Pac-12 is 2-5 against Power Five opponent with three games remaining — it can’t do better than a draw.

Colorado hosts Minnesota on Saturday, while Stanford and USC will face Notre Dame later in the season.

(In 2019, the conference was 5-5 against the Power Five and Notre Dame.)

8) UCLA takes the field Saturday against Fresno State for the first time since the victory over LSU.

Chip Kelly with an extra week to prepare (in-season) during his time in Westwood:

Loss at Colorado (2018)

Win at Stanford (2019)

Loss at Utah (2019)

9) Washington State hosts USC for the first time since the memorable upset on a rowdy Friday night in 2017.

What was key back then will be key again:

The Cougars were 8-of-18 on third-down conversions, while the Trojans were a mere 2-of-11.

10) Finally, the updated Heisman Trophy odds, via DraftKings:

Alabama QB Bryce Young: 7/2

Mississippi QB Matt Corral: 5/1

Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler: 8/1

Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud: 10/1

Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei: 18/1

Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder: 20/1

Oregon TB C.J. Verdell: 25/1

How’s that for an early season surprise?