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The good, the bad & the unknown week 8: Earth meet Utah, Utah meet Earth

Week eight saw the rebound of the LA schools.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Clay Helton and USC's ship - Saturday was a save the wagon game for USC and Helton got his bunch to show up in the way they should and make a giant first step towards salvaging the season. The Trojans are right back to being a major factor in the South.

USC's defense and Cameron Smith - The Trojans' soft defense was a big reason why they had been struggling in 2015, but they played by far their best game of the season against Utah, led by Smith's three picks.

Josh Rosen - The true freshman is going to have his good weeks and his bad weeks... this was a very good week.

The South race - The South race is back baby. Utah had a chance to just about bury everybody else against USC, but the Trojans won to keep it interesting. I still really like where Utah sits, but things are still wide open down in the South.

Luke Falk & Washington State's revival - The Cougars are playing a Halloween night game in Pullman with Stanford with the chance to grab first place in the North. Please find me someone who saw this coming. Falk's development into looking like one of the QBs Leach had at Texas Tech is a big part why.

Christian McCaffrey - Stanford somehow found a running back that is both physical and a home run threat. That continues to be really bad news for the rest of the conference. The Pac-12's best Heisman candidate right now.

Colorado gets a Pac-12 win! Way to go Buffs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bad

Pac-12 Playoff - We aren't even out of October yet and Stanford looks like the conference's only legit Playoff contender and even they need some help to get to the final four.

The return of old Travis Wilson - One of the reasons Utah was rolling in 2015 was Wilson's progression. They need him to shake off a bad performance against USC if they hope to win the conference.

UCLA injuries - The Bruins are having as unlucky of an injury season as I can ever remember in the Pac-12.

Arizona QB - Sad to see a guy like Anu Solomon who looked like he might end up being a really good Pac-12 QB continue to struggle.

Washington's offense - Outside of freshman star Myles Gaskin, Washington's offense is inexcusably bad. Especially since they are squandering having an elite defense for the second-straight year by hanging them out to dry. The Washington defense is the Felix Hernandez of college football.

The Unknown

Pac-12 Playoff chase? Can Stanford avoid that late-season slip up that has cost them shots at the national title so many times in the recent past? Can Utah win out and give themselves hope at the unthinkable?

South race? Utah still sits in a good place with a nice schedule the rest of the way, but the LA schools made a nice statement this weekend.  How is this one going to play out?

USC? Can this team rally around Helton the way they did Ed Orgeron a couple of years ago and become a very good team, or was Saturday just a one-time thing?

Utah? The Utes finally got tripped up the way many thought they eventually would? Were they just a good team that looked great or are they a great team that struggled in a tough game?

Is Washington State for real? The Cougars are playing for the North lead in late-October, but they also could be a little overrated due to a favorable early Pac-12 schedule. We will likely find out if that is truly the case Saturday against Stanford.

Is Arizona done? A home loss to Washington State confirmed the Wildcats are kind of a mess this year and their schedule gets tougher from here. Can they get the wheels back on the wagon?

Oregon State Pac-12 win? The Beavers squandered their likely best shot for a Pac-12 win against Colorado? Can they upset someone in the final stretch of the season?