The Pac-12 Football season is in full swing and teams have already adjusted their goals for the rest of the season. From worst to best, here’s the midseason report card for every Pac-12 school based on how they have looked so far.
Oregon State: F
Nobody is happy in Beaver country, as Oregon State is creeping in the conversation for worst Power 5 team this year. The good news for Oregon State, is they are favored in a hypothetical matchup over Rutgers. Oregon State has a porous defense, giving up 48 points per game in conference play, but the offense is promising so I guess if they can keep Oregon under 50 there’s hope.
Only last week’s win gives UCLA fans a glimmer of hope for an otherwise embarrassing season. Maybe things turn around in Chip Kelly-land, but the season to this point has been a dumpster fire. The “plus” rides on the back of an exciting 37-7 victory last week where they played well in all three phases. If they can turn a new leaf and finish strong I can see the grade being a “C” at season’s end.
The Khalil Tate hype from pre-season is really a turd in the wind. Arizona isn’t good, but good enough to beat Oregon State and Southern Utah convincingly. Arizona also beat California but the recent 42-10 drubbing at the hands of Utah tells you why the stock is low.
Fortunes have soured for the Golden Bears. After a promising 3-0 start and a top 25 ranking, Cal has dropped like a stone. After a respectable loss to a high ranked Oregon, Cal lost a tough one to Arizona. The thirty point loss to give UCLA their first win leaves California as the most disappointing 3-3 team in the nation.
We’ve landed right in the middle, with Arizona State’s season so far being a perfect definition of “the crowd goes mild.” The good news is all three of their losses are by seven points. After close losses to San Diego St, Washington, and Colorado, ASU fans can say they’re right on the cusp of an awesome season.
Fans are only mildly excited about the number one team in the south. After deflating losses to Texas and Stanford, USC has played better as the season wore on. The Trojans have gutsy wins over Washington St and Arizona, as well grabbing control of the South division by winning 31-20 over Colorado. The prospects look good for a ranked USC team that will probably make a strong Pac-12 championship contender by season’s end.
Stanford climbed into the top ten early in the season but played their way out of the CFP. Wins over ranked USC and Oregon showed a Stanford team that was built to win and loaded with experience. The hype nosedived with Stanford losing by twenty points in consecutive weeks on their way into their bye. Disappointing, but a solid B- grade with an opportunity to still win the Pac-12. Do it for Bryce Love.
After stumbling through losses against Washington State and Washington, the Utes kicked into high gear and laid a trap for Stanford. After the wild 40-21 win over Stanford, Utah blasted Arizona 42-10 and the sky is the limit.
Life is good in the mountains. Colorado cruised past UCLA and snagged a win over Arizona State. The Buffaloes’ undefeated season came to an end at the hands of a better USC squad last week, but they can still dream of winning the Pac-12. Colorado avoids matchups against Stanford and Oregon in 2018, giving them a legitimate chance to run the table the rest of the way.
The Huskies field a competitive football team, and even though heartbreak against Oregon might have ended their CFP hopes. They are favorites to rebound over Colorado next week and get back on track, although it will be a tough game. Nobody is ringing any alarms about the UW program, just eight total points from being undefeated.
Washington State: A-
Gameday is coming to Pullman and the Cougs are loving it. With home field advantage, Washington State looks forward to spoiling the Ducks season and jumping into the conversation for a Pac-12 championship. The Cougars’ only loss this season was by three points on the road against a strong USC team, and they have taken care of business against Utah and Oregon State. The next two weeks will tell everything about good Washington State really is, but right now they’re loving that sneaky underdog role.
There are not solid A squads but Oregon is tied with Washington State in the prestigious A minus land atop the Pac-12. The Ducks avoid both Colorado and USC in the South division, and went 1-1 in two insane overtime games against Washington and Stanford. Oregon is only just revving the engine with high profile recruits starting to buy in an Oregon dynasty, and the juicy return to prominence in the North division means it’s a good time to be a fan.
We’ll see what the second half brings for Pac-12 football with lots of teams still in contention for the crown, and few bottom dwellers trying to finish strong.
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