Posted on September 28, 2022
Oregon pulled off a miracle on the Palouse, while USC engineered a last-minute comeback over Oregon State.
The two victories solidified the reputation of both programs, keeping each within reach of the College Football Playoff.
In other noteworthy results, BYU went off on Wyoming, San Diego State upset Toledo, and Boise State dropped a shocker to UTEP.
The scores sent our Senior Writers and Broadcasters back to the table to re-rank the 16 teams. The list below is a composite of each voter’s picks, and the individual rankings appear in the table at the bottom.
1. USC (4-0, 2-0) ◄►Any road victory in conference play is a welcomed result, regardless of how it looks.
Alex Grinch’s defense forced four interceptions in Corvallis and Caleb Williams led USC on the game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.
The win keeps the Trojans’ Playoff hopes alive, while the +14 turnover margin continues to lead the nation.
2. Utah (3-1, 1-0) ◄►Morgan Scalley’s defense held Arizona State to its fewest single-game rushing yards in program history.
The six yards allowed on the ground, five sacks, and two interceptions sent a statement to the rest of the Pac-12.
Facing running systems over the next two weeks in Oregon State and UCLA, the Utes should continue to make their case for a Playoff berth, even with the loss of tight end Brant Kuithe for the rest of the season.
3. Oregon (3-1, 1-0) ◄►Credit Dan Lanning and the Oregon roster for not giving up in Pullman.
Some teams with a weaker culture would have folded down 12 in the middle of the fourth quarter, but the Ducks scored three touchdowns in the final five minutes to secure the win.
Returning home to face Stanford this week, UO remains in the thick of the Playoff race.
4. Washington (4-0, 1-0) ◄►The primary focus this season has been on Kalen DeBoer’s offense, but it was Washington’s defense that erupted on Saturday.
The Dawgs posted eight sacks on the depleted Stanford frontline and forced three turnovers in the 40-22 blowout.
Concerns remain in the secondary after Michael Wilson torched the Huskies for 176 yards receiving, yet there’s no denying the strength Washington employs on both sides of the ball.
5. BYU (3-1) ◄►Bouncing back after the Oregon loss, Jaren Hall and the Cougars lit up the Wyoming defense.
Hall completed 81.3 percent of his passes while posting four touchdowns; running back Miles Davis averaged 10.1 yards per carry on 13 attempts; and receiver Keanu Hill had 160 yards receiving with two touchdowns.
But Puka Nacua sustained another injury and the win didn’t change the perception of BYU’s team.
6. Oregon State (3-1, 0-1) ◄►Jonathan Smith and the Beavers held USC in check until the final drive of the game.
The Trojan offense was ineffective against Trent Bay’s scheme, arguably solidifying Oregon State’s reputation this season.
The defeat should be taken as a springboard moving forward and give the program high expectations for the remainder of the year.
7. Washington State (3-1, 0-1) ◄►The Cougars choked. Dominating Oregon for three quarters, it appeared all but guaranteed that Washington State would secure the upset.
The Instant-Classic defeat doesn’t destroy the trajectory of WSU’s season, and may have even garnered it respect around the nation.
But the perception can change quickly if Wazzu doesn’t bounce back this weekend.
8. UCLA (4-0, 1-0) ◄►The Bruins dismantled Colorado with ease to secure UCLA’s first win in Boulder since 2014.
The blowout win at Folsom Field indicates the state of the program in Chip Kelly’s fifth year.
On a seven-game winning streak, the ceiling of the Bruin’s season could be revealed against Washington this Friday.
9. California (3-1, 1-0) ▲3Jaydn Ott went off on the Arizona defense.
The true freshman’s 274 yards rushing was the third-most in program history and the 49 points scored was Cal’s highest in four seasons.
The victory turned the page on the controversial loss to Notre Dame, setting Justin Wilcox’s team on a path to bowl eligibility.
10. Fresno State (1-2, 0-0) ▲1
Holding steady on a bye week, Fresno State had extra practice time to get backup quarterback Logan Fife comfortable.
The status of Jake Haener remains week-to-week, but Jeff Tedford has confirmed the senior will not play against UConn this weekend.
The road game is a proving ground for Fife with Mountain West play just around the corner.
11. Arizona (2-2, 0-1) ▼2Johnny Nansen’s defense was embarrassed against California.
Unable to stop any facet of the Bears’ offense, the lack of depth and talent was on full display.
Those problems figure to take another offseason to address via the transfer portal, as the Wildcats may be nearing the ceiling for this year’s team.
12. San Diego State (2-2, 0-0) ▲2Potentially turning the tide of the season, Braxton Burmeister led San Diego State on a game-winning drive with just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
And needing a stop, the Aztec defense sealed the deal with an interception in the final minute.
The ugly win could ignite a winning streak as conference play begins.
13. Stanford (1-2, 0-2) ◄►David Shaw has a problem.
The issues along the offensive line aren’t going away anytime soon, and the Cardinal won’t win many games until it’s solved.
Branson Bragg retired earlier this year, Myles Hinton didn’t play against Washington, and Walter Rouse got injured in Seattle.
The unavailability along the frontline has led to 11 Stanford turnovers this season, the fourth-most in the FBS.
14. Arizona State (1-3, 0-1) ▲1Arizona State is in crisis.
The NCAA investigation into recruiting violations remains ongoing, the program is rudderless without a head coach, and its roster was decimated by the transfer portal this offseason.
The six yards rushing against Utah were the fewest in program history, and USC is primed to embarrass ASU on ESPN this Saturday.
15. Boise State (2-2, 1-0) ▼5Boise State Football is a mess.
The defeat to UTEP on Friday night was arguably the worst loss in program history, leading to Hank Bachmeier entering the transfer portal and the termination of offensive coordinator Tim Plough.
Questions are swirling around Andy Avalos, too, with some BSU media reporting on his buy-out clause.
The off-field developments indicate the beaten-down status of the program within the College Football landscape.
16. Colorado (0-4, 0-1) ◄►Another week goes by with Karl Dorrell at the helm.
The writing is painfully on the wall for the third-year coach’s termination, but CU either doesn’t have the money or willingness to make the decision.
True freshman Owen McCown played well enough against UCLA’s weak defense, but the performance was arguably Fool’s Gold that won’t translate against average defenses.
How our Senior Football Writers and Broadcasters Voted
|Fresno St||Fresno St||Fresno St||Arizona||Arizona||Arizona||SDSU|
|Stanford||Arizona||BSU||Fresno St||Fresno St||Fresno St||Cal|
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