Every week is fascinating in college football, which is why so many fans across the country are engaged in its developments every Saturday. The Pacific-12 Conference is no exception to that reality, as Week 6 brought some very interesting changes to the hierarchy out West.
Strangely, the Pac-12 has just three teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, but three other teams received votes—including No. 27 and No. 28 in the “rankings”! As the Conference of Champions tries to crack the College Football Playoff again, it always seems to be an uphill battle with the East Coast/South media bias in this sport.
Next up? Our weekly look at what just happened, and for the record, we went 4-1 with our picks last week to run the season record to 40-10 now. We’re getting good at this.
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be happy?
The Washington Huskies are now ranked seventh in the nation, as the top team with one loss. Of course, that one loss was a last-minute road defeat to an SEC team, so it’s not going to hurt the Huskies in the grand scheme of the CFP universe. Washington had a lackluster performance against the UCLA Bruins on the road Saturday, winning by just a touchdown. The No. 7 team in the country should beat a winless team by more than that, of course, but at this point, a victory is a victory. All the Huskies have to do is win out, and they should be in the CFP. That makes the fan base happy.
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be mad?
The UCLA Bruins, on the other hand, came close to pulling off the upset for the ages. After falling behind 24-7 at halftime, the Bruins valiantly tried to get back in the game, pulling to within a TD twice in the fourth quarter. The Bruins gained 422 yards on the Huskies, but four penalties and a turnover doomed UCLA to its fifth loss of the season. Even though the Bruins alumni may be mad right now, the team does look like it’s getting better. There will be some victories ahead in the coming weeks.
Big performers from Week 6
Washington State senior quarterback Gardner Minshew II had a huge day on the road against Oregon State, throwing for 430 yards and five TDs without an interception. He completed 30 of his 40 attempts as the Cougars rolled over the Beavers by a 56-37 margin.
The surprise of the week came from Utah’s defense as it held Stanford to just 21 points and forced four turnovers. One of those turnovers was a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by sophomore cornerback Jaylon Johnson. It helped the Utes to an early 14-0 lead which they never relinquished on the way to a 40-21 win. Johnson also added seven tackles on the day, including sox solo efforts.
Unlucky Team of the Week
We are going to go with Stanford here, who had to play without one-time Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love against Utah. That put pressure on the Cardinal offense, and the pressure seems to have doomed them. Love has just 76 carries this season after posting 263 attempts in 2017. Stanford has no shot at the CFP now, and Love probably has no chance at the Heisman, either, after missing two games this year with injuries already. We just hope he’s ready to play on October 18 in the Cardinal’s next game.
Big picture heading into Week 7
Arizona and Utah have a big matchup on Friday night, with the winner staying alive in the South Division race. There is a Top-20 matchup in Eugene, as the No. 17 Ducks host the Huskies. And No. 19 Colorado travels to take on USC, always a tough out in Los Angeles—ask the Cougars. UCLA also goes to California to try for its first victory. Every week is a shakedown week in the Pac-12.
Four teams have byes next week: Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State. We will post our weekly predictions on Thursday.
Check back here frequently for new Pac-12 content!