The PAC-12 has been battling the SEC for top conference honors in college football, but after week 1 of the season, the PAC-12 is still looking up at the SEC.
With five teams in the top 25-preseason rankings, fans expected more out of the conference in the opening week.
Teams like Stanford were unrecognizable, while others simply failed to impress against weaker opponents. The “Conference of Champions” left much to be desired and as we head to Week 2.
Here’s how the top 5 rank.
No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils
Many feel ASU is the team to watch this year in the PAC-12 but their loss to Texas A&M shone a spotlight on some areas in need of improvement. Senior quarterback Mike Bercovici only completed 25-of-41 passes for 199 yards, he threw for one touchdown and ran for another but he was sacked nine times.
The Sun Devils ended the day with only 291 yards of total offense while A&M put up 425 yards on the ASU defense.
No. 4: Utah Utes
One of the newer members of the PAC 12, Utah began the season outside the top 25. They started strong by taking down Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines in the season opener, officially putting them on the radar.
The Utes defense dominated Michigan, holding them to just 355 yards and forcing 3 turnovers. Utah’s offense was not as impressive, totaling 337 yards on offense and only reaching the end zone twice.
Star tailback, Devontae Booker, only ran for 69 yards but did look special at times.
No. 3: UCLA Bruins
The question going into week 1 was do they have a quarterback to replace Brett Hundley, and the answer is yes.
Jim Mora proved he made the right call by starting true freshman Josh Rosen.
While UCLA as a whole showed room for improvement, Bruin fans can relax after watching Rosen go 28-for-35 for 351 yards and 3 touchdowns in his college football debut.
No. 2: Oregon Ducks
The big concern for an always-deep Oregon team is that Heisman winner, Marcus Mariota, would not be returning. His replacement, Vernon Adams led the ducks’ offense to over 700 yards of total offense, throwing for 246 yards while the running game produced 485 yards.
It’s safe to say the Adams era has begun.
The Ducks look good but what keeps them from the top spot going into week 2 is that they allowed 438 yards passing on defense along with 42 points to Eastern Washington.
No. 1: USC Trojans
Returning QB Cody Kessler was off on a couple of throws and was sacked 5 times in the first half, but he still managed to lead the Trojans to a landslide victory over Arkansas State.
But it’s the sheer depth of the team (22 players made their debut-13 were true freshman), their discipline (they only committed 3 penalties) and their strength on both sides of the balls that have them atop the PAC 12 heading into week 2.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports