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Pac-12 the good, the bad, & the unknown week 2: Pac-12 thrills after dark

The Pac-12 thrilled after dark, but overall, still had a bit of an underwhelming weekend

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Utah Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Kalen Ballage - Eight touchdowns? No problem. Let’s also not forget Ballage ran for 137 yards on just 10 carries and had 48 yards on just two receptions. The rest of the Pac-12 should take note about this scary playmaker going into conference play.

Utah’s defense - Utah’s defense doesn’t look to have lost a step from last season. They controlled BYU’s offense, forced them into three turnovers and made the big stop when they needed to.

USC’s rebound - Okay, stomping Utah State isn’t like turning around and beating Notre Dame or something, but the Trojans did exactly what they needed to do to show that their blowout against Alabama hopefully had more to do with Alabama being unstoppable than them being terrible.

Dakota Prukop - The report on Oregon’s new grad transfer QB going into the season was that he was more of a runner than a passer, but that hasn’t been the case thus far. He filled it up for the second-straight week, this time against an ACC opponent, going 21-31 for 300 plus and three touchdowns.

Sefo Liufau & Colorado - Liufau is building into one of the Pac-12’s better stories of the year as a guy who looked like he might have to miss the season not long ago, but who is now potentially turning into a star. Plus, the Buffs again looked like a team that might be ready to compete in the Pac-12.

Jake Browning - Browning has looked like the conference’s best sophomore QB so far. (Yes it was against Idaho), but he put in a 23-28 game for just another 300 yards with five touchdown strikes.

Pac-12 After Dark - The Pac-12 brightened up a boring national weekend with numerous great games taking place at once. Saturday night had the feel of the first two days of March Madness with 3-4 tight games taking place at once you had to follow.

Next Week - Saturday can’t come soon enough as the Pac-12 has a stellar slate scheduled for next weekend. USC/Stanford, Oregon/Nebraska, Cal/Texas, UCLA/BYU & Colorado/Michigan. Can’t wait.

The Bad

Another underwhelming week - Utah got a nice razor thin win in the Holy War and Arizona State out-bombed Texas Tech, but other than that, the Pac-12 underwhelmed again a little bit. Washington State and Cal lost to Mountain West opponents (albeit powers and on the road), Arizona struggled with Grambling State, and UCLA let UNLV hang with them. Not the worst weekend ever, but the Pac-12 can do better.

A few Pac-12 defenses - Arizona State, Cal and Oregon still look to have some pretty bad defenses this season. Washington State and Arizona are still fairly suspect as well.

National buzz - It is still pretty quiet in the national landscape this early, but I can’t help but feel the Pac-12 is a bit of an afterthought nationally at this point.

The Unknown

Josh Rosen? Rosen hasn’t been bad, but he certainly hasn’t lived up to the sky high expectations set for him going into this season. He will have the chance to prove himself next week against a BYU defense which has held Pac-12 opponents to less than 40 points in two games thus far and frustrated QBs.

Oregon? The Ducks clearly aren’t the team they were in the Chip Kelly/Marcus Mariota years, but they can still score and Dakota Prukop has looked like a solid replacement thus far. Are the Ducks the conference’s best contender after Stanford this year, or have they just scored well against weak competition?

Can Washington State recover? The Cougars are the best 0-2 team in the country, but they are still 0-2. They showed a lot of heart by rallying against Boise State, but couldn’t pull off the win. Can they regroup and have another outstanding in-conference run?

Is the Pac-12 wide open? I don’t know if I can remember a recent early season where the conference seemed more wide open. Stanford is the clear favorite by default, but they haven’t proven anything. Washington looks for real, but against bad competition and Oregon looks to still be scary on offense, but really bad on defense. The South looks once again full of good, but not great teams. Is this one of those seasons where truly any team could win the conference, or will the hierarchy start to shake out next week when schedules get tougher again?