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Pac-12 The Good, The Bad & The Unknown Week One: Cal back from the dead

The opening week of Pac-12 play was actually pretty damn good.

David Banks

As expected the opening week of Pac-12 football didn't feature many exciting games and it is hard to glean too much about teams when they are warming up against FCS opponents, but that doesn't mean that there weren't a ton of takeaways from the end to our long season of wither without Pac-12 football.

The Good

US-f******-C - I think the rest of the conference should be a little bit scared if they watched USC's second-straight dismantling of Fresno State. The Trojan receivers looked lightning fast, Cody Kessler looked like the past Trojan greats at quarterback and Leonard Williams looked like his scary-good self. Most-importantly, the Trojans looked energized under king bro Steve Sarkisian, much like Washington did in his first game at the helm of the Husky ship.

Cal has a pulse again - I have pleaded all off-season that the Bears are loaded with talent but were snake-bit with injuries and young last season and the Bears showed that they have signs of life in 2014 by going and beating Northwestern on the road. Winning at Northwestern isn't like winning at Ohio State, but for a team that barely won one game last season, it was a revelation and if the Bears are even just a solid team in 2014, the Pac-12 North could be the nation's best division.

Arizona's offense & Anu Solomon - Sure it was against a perpetually-moribund UNLV program, but Arizona's offense looked even better than it did last season in the their opener and Solomon stepped into the starting role much better than B.J. Denker did last year. No matter who it is against, nearly 800 yards of offense is nothing to sneeze at.

UCLA's defense's offense- UCLA's defense gave up too many yards to Virginia, but they made up for it by outscoring Colorado and Washington's offenses in week one. The talented Bruin unit couldn't have looked more opportunistic and if they can get more inconsistent could become one of the conference's best.

Connor Halliday - Like Sean Mannion before him, Halliday finally showed how good he could be if he just cut down his head-scratching interceptions. Unfortunately his running game, defense and special teams didn't do the job for him, but he looked the quarterback that he could be against Rutgers and passed for more than 500 yards and five touchdowns with just one bad pick despite throwing the ball 56 times.

Ty Montgomery - It wasn't even a given that Montgomery would play against UC Davis, but oh did he. Montgomery looked like his electric self, returning a punt for a touchdown along with catching one and he could become a Heisman candidate if Stanford is a national title contender again this season.

The Bad

Washington - The Huskies simply looked awful in every facet of the game in Chris Petersen's opening game as they nearly lost to lowly Hawaii. Husky fans have to hope that this was more simply some early growing pains of adjusting from coach to coach like Chip Kelly's opening disaster against Petersen and Boise State as opposed to a horrible sign of things to come.

The Cougs Couging It... again - Two-straight fourth quarter heartbreaks for the Cougars are tough to stomach. Once again, the Cougars had a big non-conference win nearly sealed up but fell apart in the final minutes. Once River Cracraft fumbled that punt in the fourth, one couldn't help but feel that the Cougars are a bit of a cursed program.

UCLA's offense - The Bruins faced what could be a better-than-expected defense on the road against Virginia, but putting up only seven points against what is expected to maybe be the ACC's worst team is not acceptable for a national title contender. The Bruin offensive line, despite finally starting to build some experience looked like a mess and it made Brett Hundley have to do things all on his own with a supporting cast of skill position players that still aren't producing enough.

Colorado - Despite an encouraging performance from Sefo Liufau and Nelson Spruce, the Buffs got steamrolled by their rival in the fourth quarter in a game that they needed to win to prove that they are in fact headed in the right direction under Mike MacIntyre. The Buffs still looked better than they did under Jon Embree and they have plenty of more opportunities to turn 2014 around, but getting pounded by a mid-level Mountain West opponent in their opener is deeply concerning for Colorado.

The Unknown

UCLA & Washington legit? The Bruins and Huskies were supposed to have their best teams in more than a decade, but both struggled to beat heavy underdogs and had offenses that couldn't score. We're these just opening game hiccups, or are these teams both a little bit overrated?

Ready for primetime? Oregon, Stanford and USC rolled in favorable opening week match-ups, but all three play in some of the conference's biggest games of the season in just the second week of the season. We will find out if Oregon can finally handle an elite physical team against Michigan State next week and how the Trojans and Cardinal stack up against each other in a phenomenal Pac-12 showdown.