clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pac-12 The Good, The Bad & The Unknown Week 3: Pac-12 not as impressive as billed going into 2014

Most of Pac-12 programs haven't lived up to the hype thus far in 2014.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

The Jerry Neuheisel moment - In a cynical world of sports, Jerry Neuheisel coming off the bench and commanding UCLA past Texas in crunch time with his dad watching is one of those rare fun things that was truly fun.

Pac-12 quarterbacks - The conference truly was in good hands this week - Connor Halliday threw for 500 yards and six touchdowns, Marcus Mariota had another one of this mind bogglingly efficient performances in an easy win, Kevin Hogan was good, Cody Kessler was huge in a loss, Neuheisel was impressive off the bench, Taylor Kelly as good as he has ever been before getting hurt and Anu Solomon, Cyler Miles and Sefo Liufau looked like future stars.

Oregon's path to the Playoff - The rest of the Pac-12's less than impressive start (more on that later) has to look good to the Ducks, who already have a major non-conference win in their pocket. With just about every Pac-12 team that came into high expectations (except Oregon) not looking as good as advertised thus far, the Ducks could have a much easier path to the Playoff than anticipated.

Shaq Thompson - Myles Jack better watch out, because the Pac-12 might have a new two-way star in Thompson, who scored his second and third touchdowns in the past two weeks with two defensive touchdowns against Illinois. The former five-star recruit looks like he is going to start fulfilling his unlimited potential.

Isiah Myers and Devon Cajuste - Yay for lesser known Pac-12 receivers putting up video game numbers, particularly Myers who had 11 receptions 227 yards and three touchdowns against Portland State.

UCLA and USC going down to the wire at the same time - I can't remember the last time I had as much fun flipping between prominent Pac-12 games.

Arizona's freshman backfield duo - Anu Solomon and Nick Wilson are going to be frustrating Pac-12 defenses for a while in Rich Rodriguez' offense.

The Bad

Injuries to Pac-12 quarterbacks - Sounds like Brett Hundley will be back pretty soon, but still sucked to miss him shining on a national stage and any time without Taylor Kelly is a loss to the entire Pac-12 whenever they aren't playing Arizona State. Losing the conference's #2 and #3 quarterbacks in my opinion in week three, for any amount of time is a downer.

USC's stamina and depth - Traveling across the entire country to take on a sneaky physical team a week after taking the Stanford battering ram for four of the toughest quarters imaginable was a recipe for disaster for a team that is still dealing with their sanction depth problems.

USC's vibe change - Oh how a week changes things in college football. Just a week ago it looked as if the Trojans lost the kind of game that the team they want to be needs to pull out, but just how quickly their fans turned is a bit alarming to me.

The Pac-12 thus far - It pains me to say it, but I have not been very impressed with the Pac-12 so far in 2014. Maybe the conference spent the off-season (cliché warning) reading its press clippings, but every team, other than Oregon and maybe Cal (Utah and Arizona schools still pending review) has looked disappointing at least at times. I'm hoping to see more from Washington and UCLA as the season progress and more consistency from Stanford and USC particularly.

The Unknown

The "real" (insert Pac-12 team) - As I said a second ago, almost all of the Pac-12 has looked like different teams at times. For example, is USC the team that outtoughed Stanford in Palo Alto or the one that got trucked in Boston or is Washington State  truly as bad as they looked in the first two games, or are they going to be competitive in the Pac-12. Almost all of the conference is in the situation right now.

Taylor Kelly's return - UCLA's unimpressive start and USC's inconsistency looked promising in regards to having Arizona State compete for the South championship again, but Kelly's injury puts all of that into question. As far as I know, Kelly's return is a complete unknown, making the rest of Arizona State's 2014 pretty much unknown.

Second in the Pac? Oregon is the leader of the Pac until proven otherwise, but who is the challenger?