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Jack Follman’s 10 Thoughts on 2023 Week 1 in the Pac-12

The Conference was at its best with every member team winning—most of them handily

Posted on September 5, 2023

  By Jack Follman, SuperWest Sports

The Pac-12 season is here, and…oh, it’s the last one, and…oh, it might just be one of the best of them all.

The first week certainly didn’t disappoint.

Am I the only one that’s sad it already feels like this is all over and it doesn’t have to be?

Here are my 10 thoughts on what happened around the Conference in Week One.

1. Coach Prime Silences Doubters (Me Included)
Colorado head coach Deion Sanders | LM Otero/AP
I honestly thought Colorado was going to struggle this year, even with a proven coach at the helm.

Yes, TCU was probably overrated—that doesn’t mean the Buffs going down there and getting the win wasn’t impressive.

CU’s offense has to look pretty scary to the rest of the Pac-12.

2. Colorado’s Offense is Stunning
Buffs QB Shedeur Sanders | Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports
There were big questions about Shedeur Sanders, not only stepping up to FBS football but also to a power conference.

Those questions are gone as he was efficient and tossed over 500 yards for four touchdowns.

Dylan Edwards and Travis Hunter also looked like absolute weapons.

3. The Pac-12 Looks to Be at its Best

The Conference made as much of a statement last week as it could have.

Colorado won at TCU, Utah bashed Florida, Washington ran away from Boise State, and no one got upset.

The best Week One ever for the Pac-12?

4. Utah’s Defensive Front Just Won’t Go Away
Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune
The Utes bullied a Florida team up front, holding the Gators to .6 yards rushing and getting five sacks.

In a time when defenses seem to just be out there to slow offenses and not even stop them, the Utes are built differently.

They scored a big, big win to open the season as two-time defending conference champs.

5. The Heisman Candidate QBs Filled it Up
Andy Nelson/AP
Caleb Williams, Michael Penix Jr., and Bo Nix didn’t face the toughest opponents.

They did what they needed to do though, filling up the stat sheet, getting easy wins, and setting themselves up for their bigger games.

It’s hard to say who really even had the best first week.

6. The New QBs are Pretty Good Too
Beaver QB DJ Uiagalelei | Oregon State Athletics
DJU did what he could do to silence doubters against San Jose State and Shadeur Sanders did what he could to show he might be a Heisman candidate.

The rest of the QBs weren’t too shabby either. It’s a trend across the board for the conference, but it might be the best QB group ever.

7. Week One Scheduling Sucks
Arizona vs FCS Northern Arizona | Rick Scuteri/AP
One of the unfortunate evolutions of college football is the death of Week One.

Opening up the season with Utah hosting Florida put the Conference on primetime for a win and Prime Time beating TCU first thing Saturday morning was stellar.

Other than that, opening week continues to feel more and more like a preseason.

8. Washington is Still Riding the Waves
Alika Jenner/Getty Images
This Boise State is not Chris Petersen’s Boise State.

Still, they’re a program predicted to win the Mountain West and win 10 games yet again, and Washington dismantled them after a slow start with major fireworks.

The Huskies look to be fun to watch again under Kalen DeBoer.

9. The Sun Devils Should Go to a Bowl Game if They Get Six Wins
The Arizona Republic
Simple as that. The current coaches and players shouldn’t pay for a past coach who gets no punishment.

Nothing else needs to be said.

10. Week Two Steps Things Up
Wisconsin visits Pullman looking to avenge their 2022 loss | John Fisher/Getty Images
Week Two is not preseason. Only Oregon State and Washington don’t have major tests.

We will really see how strong the conference is next Saturday.

—More from Jack Follman—