Over the past four days, Pac-12 teams went a combined 11-0, so let’s try to make sense of it.
1. USC (1-0): Beat Western Michigan 49-31. It’s fair to say the Trojans didn’t play to the level of expectations, but it’s still an 18-point win over a team that went to a New Year’s Six bowl last season. There are worse ways to open the season. This week is the real test, as Stanford comes to the Coliseum well-rested following its dominant performance in Australia last week.
2. Washington (1-0): Beat Rutgers 30-14. Much like with USC, it took a while for the Huskies to get going, but their win over Rutgers was never really in doubt. The Huskies should cruise the next two weeks against Montana and Fresno State before traveling to Colorado on Sept. 23.
3. Stanford (1-0): Idle. Based on Game 1 performances alone, Stanford has a case for the No. 1 spot. The Cardinal were dominant in every facet against Rice, but it was against Rice, so we’ll wait until next week to see if the rankings need to be adjusted.
4. Washington State (1-0): Beat Montana State 31-0. The curses have been broken. Wazzu won its season opener for the first time since 2011 and did so against one of those pesky FCS teams. Quarterback Luke Falk provided one of the best stats of the week when he completed his first 20 pass attempts, though most of them were short, high-percentage throws.
5. Colorado (1-0): Beat Colorado State 17-3. Remember those concerns about all the talent Colorado had to replace on defense? A week after Colorado State scored 58 points against Oregon State, the Buffs made the Rams look like a different team.
6. UCLA (1-0): Beat Texas A&M 45-44. In a week in which Pac-12 teams racked up wins against overmatched competition, the Bruins beat an SEC team with lots of NFL talent. That alone is reason for the Bruins to be higher, but, as Josh Rosen said, they came really close to losing that game on, like, 10 occasions.
7. Oregon (1-0): Beat Southern Utah 77-21. Quarterback Justin Herbert was nearly flawless, running back Royce Freeman looked like his old self, and the Ducks piled up 703 yards of offense. What wasn’t there to like?
8. Utah (1-0): Beat North Dakota 37-16. The offense is still a work in progress -- the penalty issues were glaring -- but there was a lot to like. It’s easy to understand why quarterback Tyler Huntley won the starting job. He’ll be fun to watch.
9. Cal (1-0): Beat North Carolina 35-30. Best win of the week for program morale? Cal. And it’s not close. There was a toughness that Cal displayed that hasn’t existed for several years.
10. Arizona (1-0): Beat Northern Arizona 62-24: Including last season's win over Arizona State, the Wildcats have rushed for more than 500 yards in consecutive games. Eventually, they’ll need to throw the ball, too, but for now, let’s just admire a two-game total of more than 1,000 yards rushing.
11. Arizona State (1-0): Beat New Mexico State 37-31. Quarterback Manny Wilkins (22-of-27, 300 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT) looked really good, but the Sun Devils couldn’t run the ball effectively (40 carries, 79 yards) and were atrocious stopping the pass (398 yards allowed).
12. Oregon State (1-1): Beat Portland State 35-32. The Beavers came this close to losing their home opener to FCS Portland State. It also wasn’t a good look when, as mentioned above, Colorado State managed just three points one week after dropping 58 on the Beavs.