How many of you saw that coming? Week 2 was crazy fun in Pacific-12 Conference football, as favorites lost, and new favorites emerged, surprisingly. It’s going to be that kind of fun season for the league, even if it doesn’t end up in a College Football Playoff berth.
Who cares? The Conference of Champions does its own thing, which is why it’s the NCAA leader in championships all time, by far. In time, the college football world will catch up with modernity, and the Pac-12 can reign as it should.
In the meantime, we went 7-3 in our predictions last week, bringing our season record to 16-5 so far. Not the best, but last year will be hard to beat. As for Week 2, here’s a look back at what went down …
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be happy?
How about those Colorado Buffaloes? The allegedly good Nebraska Cornhuskers came to town and reportedly filled about two thirds of Folsom Field with red, red, red on Saturday—only to see the Huskers lose to the Buffs, 34-31, just like it was 2001 or something. Colorado now has a good chance to start 5-0 before the tough part of its schedule kicks in, and if the projected “worst” team in the South Division can start off with five straight victories, that’s great for the conference as a whole.
What Pac-12 team’s fans will be mad?
Take your pick between Stanford and Washington, both of which suffered strange losses that were not expected, really. USC scored the final 35 points of the game to erase a 10-point, second-quarter deficit and paste the Cardinal, 45-20. That game should have been a lot closer, and now the Stanford fans have to be wondering what happened. Meanwhile, the Huskies lost for the second year in a row to the California Golden Bears, this time at home! Credit Cal’s defense for holding Washington to four field goals in a 20-19 victory, when the Huskies could have scored touchdowns instead. Wow!
Big Performers of the Week
A whopping 10 different Oregon Ducks players scored offensive touchdowns against Nevada in a 77-6 thumping that should have been stopped under a mercy rule. So we will have to give quarterback Justin Herbert his props for tossing five TD passes and throwing for 310 yards on only 26 attempts. Admittedly, though, his backup, Tyler Shough, was more effective, completing eight of nine passes for 92 yards and two TDs.
Defensively, D.J. Johnson had a stellar game for the Ducks, making seven tackles total, including three for lost yards. One was a sack, and he also forced a fumble, as Nevada—one week after beating Purdue—was unable to get anything going on offense all game.
Unlucky Team of the Week
The poor Oregon State Beavers had a 28-14 lead late in the second quarter against Hawaii on the road—er, over the ocean?—before letting the Rainbow Warriors score the final 17 points of the game. The Beavers were nailed with nine penalties, to only four for the host team, and the travel had to play a role in this, as it was a 9 pm start time for the Oregon State squad. Fatigue sucks when you schedule games like this, as OSU found out.
Big picture heading into Week 3
Both Cal and Washington State are undefeated in the North Division now, while four teams remain unblemished in the South Division. Week 3 has some big out-of-conference games as No. 20 WSU heads to Houston, while Arizona State plays No. 18 Michigan State in East Lansing. Stanford also travels to play No. 17 Central Florida! Those games will be in the national spotlight, so the Pac-12 wants to perform well.
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