Around The Conference Table: Week 1
Permission to enter the zoom call.
This season we go around our writers for their takes on the other conference games that went on in gameweek.
NAU @ ASU (ASU wins 40-3)
Avi Kunnath: Arizona State: still not worse than Arizona, so that's good for them. The beatings might be coming.
Piotr T Le: ASU was surprisingly meh. I was expecting the Sun Devils to fall apart but yet they had a look of a team and not a loose gagle of uniformed players.
Christopher_h: Like Cal, they got off to a slow start but eventually were far too much for NAU talent-wise. ASU looked better than I thought they would, and RB X Valladay looked like a particularly bright spot.
TD_24: Emory Jones is a great athlete. Let's see if he can lift ASU up a bit in league play.
TCU @ Colorado (Colorado loses 13-38)
Avinash - Karl Dorrell is owed $5 million by the Buffs if he's fired this year, $4 million in 2022, and $3 million in 2023.
Piotr T Le - YIKES. When a Sonny Dykes defense can hold you to 13 you do not pass go, do not collect $200, straight to coaching jail.
Christopher_h - This was the ugliest game I saw all weekend. Sonny Dykes-led TCU couldn't move the ball at all until the starting QB Chandler Morris was injured and Max Duggan came in to run the ball down Colorado's throat. Colorado looks even worse than last year and seems poised for the Pac-12 cellar.
SG Bear - It could be a long season for the Buffs. JT Shrout didn't miraculously stop playing like JT Shrout, so the Buffs will likely have to stick with Brendon Lewis. They may struggle to win two games this season.
TD_24 - Max Duggan goes fast. Colorado will definitely be last.
Bowling Green @ UCLA (UCLA wins 45-17)
TD_24 - The Bruins will be good but DTR running 10 yards backwards when getting sacked will never cease to amaze.
Christopher_h - Haven't watched this one yet, but that's okay, neither did UCLA fans.
Avinash - UCLA does not play a real football team for a month. It's a bit of a waste of a non-conference schedule.
Oregon @ Georgia (Oregon loses 3-49)
TD_24 - Starting Bo Nix was Dan Lanning's first mistake. Scheduling the game as a whole ended up being a mistake.
SG Bear - At the risk of being painfully obvious, the difference between good and great is enormous. The 12 Team CFP is going to have some blowouts.
Christopher_h - Georgia made Oregon look like an FCS school that didn't belong on the field with them. Not a great start for the Dan Lanning era. I'm sure Georgia will be in national title discussions, but their murder made them look like they're on the downswing. For the Pac-12's sake, I hope Oregon does terrible this year.
Piotr T Le - Cooked duck is apparently a dish served well in Georgia. When will Chick-Fil-A start selling it on their menus?
Avinash - Georgia is probably the best team in football and they know Bo Nix pretty well, so this result isn't a huge surprise. The BYU game in two weeks should be more telling of where Dan Lanning can get them this year.
Arizona @ San Diego State (Arizona wins 38-20)
TD_24 - Jayden De Laura is very good will very much uplift Arizona in league play. Him and Tetairoa Mcmillan will be a duo to watch for years to come.
SG Bear - They said Arizona was going to surprise people how good they are. Count me as one of them. They are legit.
Christopher_h - Arizona basically dumped their team and started over, and they look much better than last year. Not just former Wazzu QB Jayden de Laura, but UTEP transfer WR Jacob Cowing and freshman WR Tetairoa McMillan looked very good. Conversely, SDSU did not play like a team that went 12-1 last year. Cowing beat the same defensive back repeatedly on the same exact play, and SDSU never adjusted. Arizona on the rise, SDSU on the fall.
Avinash - Arizona went full portal to rebuild and it paid dividends. This is a critical place for Cal to keep rebuilding, particularly with recruiting getting more shaky by the year.
Rice @ USC (USC wins 66-14)
TD_24 - This offense is scary. Caleb Williams will look like MJ in this league.
SG Bear - Sure, teeing off on a bad team's second string QB doesn't mean much, but yeesh.
Christopher_h - If you're old enough to remember how bad USC fans were in the Pete Carroll era, then you probably know what's coming. USC is very good, and Lincoln Riley has no problem running up the score with his insufferably arrogant USC players (to put it nicely).
Avinash - I'm not ready for the USC flags to come out everywhere. You are not ready. It's going to get really, really annoying out here.
Utah @ Florida (Utah loses 26-29)
TD_24 - Man I'm heartbroken for the Utes who I wanted to win so bad and probably should have won. They'll likely get it figured out and still be a Pac 12 Championship representative.
Christopher_h - What's with ESPN and their insistence on showing players puking? Jeez. Although I think Oregon may be overrated, I think Utah probably still contends for the Pac-12 title, so this difficult OOC matchup doesn't look good for the conference.
Avinash - This is a really tough loss for the Utes, who basically have to win out to make the Playoff, and no one has ever gone undefeated in Pac-12 play. Pencil in USC-Utah as the early game of the season.
Colgate @ Stanford (Stanford wins 41-10)
TD_24 - Not even toothpaste can clean up some furd special teams.
SG Bear - Who schedules Colgate, honestly?
Christopher_h - No joke, I literally fell asleep during this game.
Piotr T Le - Stanford is a university that only produces that one contrarian dentist in the panel of 10 for Colage toothpastes.
Avinash - Term sheet successful for acquisition of toothpaste brand, maybe Stanford will drop it in the Metaverse where you can buy it in marked up NFTs.
Idaho @ Wazzu (Wazzu wins 24-17)
TD_24 - This was my biggest surprise of the night. Defense was amazing for Wazzu but the special teams and offense almost made them unleash a new version of Coug'in it. They better figure it out since they head to one of the toughest atmospheres in Wisconsin next week.
Christopher_h - Haven't watched this one yet at the time of writing, but Idaho isn't a top FCS team, so Wazzu's struggles are not a good look here. Cal plays Idaho next year.
Piotr T Le - Buddy ol' pal Wazzu. The old case of the Cougs nearly Coug-ing it early in the season to lul the Pac-12 into complacency only to bite someone's throat out... Cal for example.
Avinash - Washington State is definitely going to be a mystery all season. Wisconsin could be rough but at least the beer will be great.
Boise St @ Oregon St (Oregon St wins 34-17)
TD_24 - Playing in Reser is always a nightmare just ask Hank Bachmeier.
Christopher_h - Oregon State is now a solidly bowl-bound caliber team, and if they play the way they did in the first half, they're a difficult matchup for most teams in the conference. However, they were a mess in the second half, and were lucky that Boise State was playing particularly terrible (5 turnovers, benched their long time starter QB, and their RBs had 25 total yards on 17 carries). Boise St, SDSU, Hawaii, etc... not looking like a very good start for the MWC.
Avinash - Oregon State looks fun. Which I don't think is very fun for us.
Kent State @ UW (UW wins 45-20)
TD_24 - The ceiling of this team relies on how many stops the defense can get this year. A change from prior years but the UW offense should be top half/top quarter of the conference this year.
Christopher_h - Didn't see this yet, but UW took care of business. Better than they did last year, when they dropped one to FCS Montana.
Avinash - Washington looks fun. Which I don't think is very fun for us..
Any other thoughts?
TD_24 - All things considered, Cal got out unscathed. I'll take it.
Christopher_h - Cal did just as well as I expected if you ignore the 1st quarter. I think Jack Plummer and his accuracy will improve after shaking off that rust.
Avinash - USC-Stanford will be one of those wild ones. Be prepared to hate USC again in all the ways you haven't missed or be prepared to start projecting how Shaw-ball and midfield surrender punts are the key to surviving nuclear winter and climate collapse.