Washington ending “The Streak” - The Huskies didn’t just end their 12-game losing streak to the Ducks, they did it with a 70-21 trouncing where the Huskies looked like the Ducks used to and the Ducks looked like the Huskies used to during that dominating streak by Oregon.
Jake Browning - Washington cleaned up Oregon with great performances across the board, but their budding star at quarterback was the brightest star, tying a Pac-12 record with eight touchdown - six passing and two rushing. Oh, he was also 22-28 for 304.
Cougs! - The Cougars kept pace with their in-state rivals and got their own blowout of Stanford, on the road. Luke Falk was his usual self with 350 plus passing and four touchdowns and the Cougar defense stood tall, stuffing Christian McCaffrey for just 40 yards total rushing/receiving. Watch out for the Cougars to bounce back again and be a major player in the North.
The State of Washington - The past two weeks have been pretty astounding for the long-suffering Washington schools against the recent Pac-12 powers of Oregon and Stanford. The past two weeks, the Cougars and Huskies outscored the Ducks and Cardinal by 131 points. We could be setting up for one epic Apple Cup in Pullman.
USC - I’ll put it this way. The Trojans aren’t great, but they are good, and that’s going to maybe be enough to win the South this year.
Oregon State - That was a program-building win for Gary Andersen. Beating Cal in Corvallis won’t set the world on fire, but it was exactly the kind of win the Beavers and Andersen needed to start turning the corner.
Utah - The Utes did what they do and needed to do, just methodically grinded out a win against a solid South foe. They should be the only team other than Washington in the Top 25.
Oregon - The Ducks are a disaster. They look like a completely different team and outside of a couple standout players in a couple of spots, they don’t have much for opponents to be scared of. The worst thing for their situation might be that they are still a target in the Pac-12 that opponents don’t just want to beat, but want to punish for the lopsided scores they have put on programs in recent years.
Stanford - The Cardinal seem to have fallen off a cliff the past two weeks. Their defense which had only given up a few 40-point games the past five years or so has given up to in-a-row and their offense looks like the worse in the Pac-12 right now with opponents selling out to Christian McCaffrey and daring the Cardinal to beat them with someone else.
Preseason stars - Christian McCaffrey, Royce Freeman, Josh Rosen, JuJu Smith-Schuster...the guys who were supposed to carry the flag of the conference this year have performed, but are far from Heisman contenders.
Pac-12 Playoff hopes - Barring a miracle, it looks like it’s Washington or bust for the Pac-12’s Playoff hopes this year just a week into October. Plus, due to a strong top-tier of teams this year and Washington’s weak non-conference schedule combined with a weak in-conference field, the Huskies will likely have to run the table to get in.
Oregon and Stanford? The Pac-12’s recent powers are a combined 2-5 in the Pac-12 right now. Can these programs pick it up and even get back to competing in the conference this season, or are we seeing two programs which didn’t really make a whole lot of sense as powers, finally officially slipping back down the ladder?
Christian McCaffrey? For a while, McCaffrey was carrying Stanford’s offense on his back, but he can’t even do that anymore. Have the limitations of the rest of the Stanford offense, turned him into a Heisman afterthought?
Josh Rosen? How serious is Rosen’s injury? The Bruins don’t look like they can afford to lose Rosen for even one game.
Washington’s Playoff hopes? The Huskies are right in the Top 4 fray halfway through the season, but they are up there with some juggernauts like Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State. Can the Huskies maintain what they are doing after this coming bye week and hang with the big dogs of college football?
Washington State? Don’t look now, but the Cougars are looking like the second-best team in the conference. Have the Cougars just caught reeling Oregon and Stanford teams, or are they ready to make a serious run towards the Pac-12 Championship Game?
USC? The Trojans are lurking. As I mentioned earlier, they are not a great team, but they have the potential to make a sneaky run in the heart of the Pac-12 schedule the way they did last year. Can they do it again?
Pac-12 QBs? The quarterback position is a major question mark all around the Pac-12 outside of a few standouts. Oregon and Stanford are drowning without serious signal callers, Josh Rosen is at least somewhat injured, Arizona State is an injured mess, and Arizona and Colorado are injured at the position.