Jack Follman’s 10 Thoughts on Week 9 in the West

Week Nine was one of those forgettable weekends, short on big games and upsets

Posted on November 1, 2022

  By Jack Follman, SuperWest Sports

Each week during the 2022 college football season, I’ll give you my 10 quick thoughts about what happened in the previous weekend’s games here in the West, primarily in the Pac-12.

Week Nine was one of those forgettable weekends, short on big games and upsets, with things going pretty much as expected.

The teams at the top won their games to stay alive in the Pac-12 and Playoff hunts, though, which keeps tonight’s unveiling of the first CFP rankings interesting.

Of course, seeing the two exiting L.A. schools near the top is bound to be bitter-sweet.

Here are my quick takes on last weekend’s action.

1. Nothing Really Interesting
ESPN via the Sport Sesh
Every season you get some of these forgettable weeks. It was a nice weekend for schools favored in games. That’s about it.

2. Oregon Avoids the Trap
Oregon RB Bucky Irving scores a TD against Cal | Godofredo A. Vasquez/AP
Cal is not good. Neither was Stanford last year though and Oregon avoided the kind of letdown game which plagued the program under Mario Cristobal.

The Ducks stay the course and can start getting ready for their final road of big games.

3. Utah Can Grind
Backup QB Bryson Barnes led Utah to a win over WSU | James Snook/USA TODAY Sports
The table was set for Utah to lose at Washington State in Pullman on a weird Thursday game.

Yet the Utes took care of business with a backup QB and down running backs to keep themselves right in the championship hunt.

4. WSU is Fading
WSU QB Cameron Ward is sacked by Utah | Tyler Tjomsland/Spokesman-Review
The Cougs had every chance to score a big win at home to fuel them down the stretch.

They didn’t and their offense is starting to look limited in a season where teams can easily rip off 40-plus points.

5. USC isn’t Trustworthy
Arizona kept it close until the fourth quarter vs USC | Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports
I didn’t love how USC best Arizona.

I think they should be just as good as Oregon or UCLA. I just trust them way less to not lose a stupid game they shouldn’t.

6. Zach Charbonnet is Amazing
Zach Charbonnet had a career-high 259 yards from scrimmage vs Stanford | Joseph Jimenez/Daily Bruin
The Bruin running back could be the best player at any position in the conference.

He showed why I thought he would be in the NFL already this season.

7. Oregon, UCLA, and USC are still Alive
The Ducks, Trojans, and UCLA are ranked in AP Top 10 | AP
Momentum is growing for making Oregon a CFP candidate again.

It’s fair, I just don’t think the LA schools are out either. If one wins out and beats Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game, they will have a shot.

8. I don’t Think Oregon Wants Georgia
Oregon’s only loss is to No. 1 Georgia | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
There’s also an interesting narrative emerging that Oregon could beat Georgia now.

I think the Ducks have shown well since that game. I also think we need to keep in mind the level of defenses they’re playing in the conference this year and how much their defense has struggled against Pac-12 offenses.

9. Less Chaos?
The ASU-CU game went about as expected. | David Zalubowski/AP
November is usually rife with upsets and chaos in college football.

I have a feeling that might not happen this year. It seems home teams and better teams are generally going to win.

10. The Future?
Image: Gracie Rogers/Daily Evergreen
A Power 5 conference with big programs competing neck-and-neck for the title and a Playoff berth is always fun.

Sadly, the Conference is essentially falling apart in two years. Let’s hope the LA schools can change course. Haha.

—More from Jack Follman—