Posted on September 14, 2022
Notre Dame lost to Marshall, Texas A&M fell to Appalachian State, and Washington State toppled Wisconsin.
Here in the West, BYU took down Baylor and Oregon State beat Fresno State in two games that could shape the remainder of the year for both teams. And USC looked legitimate against Stanford on The Farm.
The results sent our writers and broadcasters back to the table to re-rank the SuperWest teams as they stand now. Below is a composite list of the votes, while the individual rankings appear in the table at the bottom.
1. USC (2-0, 1-0) ▲1The preseason concerns surrounding USC were primarily around their offensive and defensive lines.
But those issues have arguably been resolved with skill-position transfers and Alex Grinch’s defensive scheme.
Through two games, the Trojans are tied for third in the nation in sacks per game with 4.5 per night, and No. 3 in the country in turnovers forced with nine total.
After convincingly handling Stanford, USC solidified itself as the Pac-12’s greatest threat to the make the Playoff.
2. Utah (1-1, 0-0) ▼1Needing to get the bad taste out of their mouths, the Utes pummeled Southern Utah in Salt Lake City.
The early kickoff ended with a 73-7 victory and an exclamation point for anyone who doubted Utah’s strength after the loss in The Swamp.
Facing San Diego State in a revenge game this weekend, another lopsided result isn’t out of the question. And sitting at No. 14 in the AP Poll, a Playoff appearance remains within reach.
3. BYU (2-0) ▲1It took double-overtime, but BYU sent then-No.9 Baylor home with a loss.
The victory, combined with Notre Dame’s defeat, has arguably transformed the perception of the program into the lone Independent capable of making the Playoff.
Now ranked No. 12 in the AP Poll, Kalani Sitake’s team faces Oregon in Eugene this weekend in what might be the most meaningful BYU game of the last decade.
4. Oregon (1-1, 0-0) ▼1Bo Nix put it together against Eastern Washington.
Throwing for five touchdowns and completing 84.8 percent of his passes, any lingering questions from the disaster in Atlanta were sequestered.
All attention now turns to the pivotal matchup with BYU, a result that will undoubtedly affect the trajectory of Oregon’s season.
A win over the Cougars would re-open a narrow path to the Playoff and restore some of the credibility lost in the opener.
5. Oregon State (2-0, 0-0) ◄►Arguably the hottest team in the Pac-12, Oregon State and Jack Colletto scored the game-winning touchdown as time expired at Bulldog Stadium.
The win over Fresno State ensured the Beavers have two resume victories to start the year and might end up with bragging rights as the de-facto champion of the Mountain West.
Facing USC and Utah over the next three weeks, OSU is on the precipice of playing its most meaningful games of the Jonathan Smith era.
6. UCLA (2-0, 0-0) ◄►Blowing out another no-name program, Chip Kelly’s team has arguably relegated itself to irrelevance.
Whether deserved or not, the lack of attention on UCLA Football is its own doing. Several teams in the Pac-12 have played high-profile games and learned about their team’s weaknesses.
The Bruins, on the other hand, haven’t learned much about themselves and probably won’t face much adversity until hosting Washington in Week Five.
7. Washington State (2-0, 0-0) ▲5Nobody expected Washington State to beat Wisconsin.
The poor performance against Idaho in Week One indicated the matchup in Madison would go poorly, but Jake Dickert is a defensive genius.
His unit forced three turnovers and held the Badgers to 14 points, despite giving up 401 total yards.
Yet, the Coug Raid was ineffective at times, as Cam Ward appears to be adjusting to the speed of the FBS level.
Once Ward reaches his potential, WSU could be dangerous.
8. Washington (2-0, 0-0) ▼1Until Washington faces a quality opponent, it’s not going to get the respect it deserves.
Kalen DeBoer runs an elite offensive scheme that’s produced 97 points over two games. Yet, the opponents have been inferior and the perception of the program hasn’t substantially shifted.
That can change this week after the matchup with No. 11 Michigan State in Seattle. A win against the Spartans might catapult the Huskies into the AP Top 25.
9. Fresno State (1-1, 0-0)In a game it probably shouldn’t have lost, Fresno State couldn’t come up with a stop against Oregon State.
Similar to Boise State’s defeat to the Beavers, the result is a reality check for what life might be like in the Pac-12, if the Bulldogs receive an invite.
It’s not going to get any easier, either, with a road game at USC on the docket for this weekend.
But with a front-loaded schedule, Jeff Tedford might not know his team’s ceiling until the matchup with Boise State on October 8th.
10. Arizona (1-1, 0-0) ▼2Jayden de Laura and the Arizona running backs struggled against Mississippi State.
The size, strength, and speed of the Bulldog defense was too much, resulting in a lopsided final score. But the Wildcats weren’t expected to beat the SEC foe and all of their team goals remain within reach.
Facing FCS powerhouse North Dakota State this weekend, the ceiling of Arizona’s season figures to come into sharp contrast after the result.
11. Boise State (1-1, 1-0) ▼2
Holding New Mexico in check until the fourth quarter, Boise State hasn’t looked right through two games.
The 31-14 result in Albuquerque was slightly under-whelming, and backup quarterback Taylen Green didn’t see the field.
The decision to keep Green on the bench was a nod of confidence in support of Hank Bachmeier, but the quarterback controversy hasn’t gone away.
And facing Tennessee-Martin next and UTEP the following week, the Broncos are in a state of limbo until facing San Diego State.
12. San Diego State (1-1, 0-0) ▼2
The Aztecs handled business and christened the first victory at Snapdragon Stadium with a 38-7 victory over Idaho State.
Braxton Burmeister brushed aside the injury he sustained in the opener, rushing for 80 yards with a score to go along with a touchdown through the air.
But facing Utah in Salt Lake City this week, SDSU might be dealt another eye-opening result of where it stands.
13. California (2-0, 0-0) ◄►Struggling against a poor UNLV team, California has problems.
Jack Plummer was sacked four times and threw an interception, while Bill Musgrave’s offense put up just 92 yards rushing. But the Bears are 2-0 and only four games away from reaching bowl eligibility.
Taking on Notre Dame in South Bend this week, Cal has a substantial opportunity in front of it to change the perception of its team.
14. Arizona State (1-1, 0-0) ◄►Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils won the first quarter in Stillwater and whittled the lead down to three points in the fourth.
But Oklahoma State’s passing attack pushed the Cowboys to the victory and sent ASU home with a 17-point defeat.
Still, Arizona State can take solace in the 118 yards rushing put up by Xazavian Valladay and the indications the performance has on the remainder of the year.
The Sun Devils are a capable team with upset potential.
15. Stanford (1-1, 0-1) ▼4Making a late push against USC on Saturday, the 41-28 final score wasn’t indicative of how the game went.
The Tree couldn’t stop the Trojan offense in the first half, allowing Caleb Williams and Company to score 35 points in the first two quarters.
Tanner McKee was sacked five times and the Cardinal’s wide receivers were rendered ineffective.
But on the positive side, David Shaw’s offense appears to be much improved running the ball, which should bode well moving forward.
16. Colorado (0-2, 0-0) ◄►Times are bleak in Boulder.
A quarterback controversy has encircled the program, and former backup J.T. Shrout fumbled the opening snap of the game.
The mistake led to an Air Force touchdown on the next play, foreshadowing how the rest of the day would go.
Looking at the remainder of Colorado’s schedule, it’s hard to see where a win will come, although the home game against California is a potential candidate.
How our Senior Football Writers and Broadcasters Voted
|Fresno St||Fresno St||Cal||Arizona||UW||Arizona||UW|
|BSU||BSU||Arizona||Fresno St||Cal||Fresno St||SDSU|
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