Around The Conference Table: Week 3
Recording in progress.
This season we go around our writers for their takes on the other conference games that went on in gameweek.
South Alabama @ UCLA (UCLA won 32-31)
TD_24 - UCLA escapes. They might not actually be as good as people think but it all remains to be seen.
Christopher_h - I hoped for Sun Belt upset magic and was so disappointed when UCLA came back to win it.
SG Bear - Yookla gets saved by a head-scratching decision to not kick a FG to go up by five with less than 3 minutes to go. I think this is a blip and they'll be sturdy the rest of the year.
Berkelium97 - UCLA was a very dumb coaching decision (South Alabama's decision to go for it on 4th and 2 at the UCLA 22 rather than kick a 39-yard field goal) away from possibly losing this one. This may not be another of Chip Kelly's bowlless teams, but they're definitley not contending for the Pac-12 title.
Piotr T Le - Despite the pain of being a Cal fan, boy does it feel worse to be a UCLA fan. Winning by the skin of one's teeth against South Bama at home and that is only because someone on the South Alabama team out galaxy brained the Colts' on special teams and tried for a conversion despite a gettable FG. Unlike Cal UCLA has an offense with a 5th year top tier QB and much better skill player recruiting and yet it took them to the literal last second to win their cupcake. At least Cal had to do it against UNLV.
Rob Hwang - Did UCLA really just play two schools from Alabama (not named Alabama or Auburn) in back to back weeks?
BYU @ Oregon (Oregon won 41-20)
TD_24 - The Ducks seem to be turning it around. I can't wait for their matchup vs Washington State.
Christopher_h - Was rooting for Christopher Brooks this game, but Oregon's lines proved to be too much for BYU... which somehow makes Georgia look to be on another level entirely.
SG Bear - I certainly thought this game would be earlier. Ex-Golden Bear Christopher Brooks has had difficultly generating reliable running yards. Oregon, USC, and Utah are still the class of the Pac and I think this proves they'll handle almost everyone pretty easily.
Berkelium97 - Raise your hand if you thought Oregon would be going into the 4th quarter with a 31-point lead. If your hand is still raised, you're lying. Very impressive performance to smash the Stormin' Mormons like that.
Piotr T Le - Oregon had the ability to beat BYU the whole time, all they needed was good Bo Nix to come to play. The national media assumed BYU would begin their CFP push at Autzen only to get pushed around by the Ducks.
Colorado @ Minnesota (Colorado lost 7-49)
TD_24 - I'm not sure if Karl Dorrell makes it through the season.
Christopher_h - Each loss is more embarrassing than the last. I'm pretty sure Colorado has given up on football here.
SG Bear - Oh my goodness. CU looked hapless. Like terrible on both sides. They could be winless.
Berkelium97 - Karl Dorrell has to feel good that he wasn't the first Pac-12 coach fired this season.
Piotr T Le - Pac-12 2020 Coach of the Year Karl Dorell! Probably a bottom 5 team in the nation right now which means that once they face Cal we either blow them out or the game comes down to the wire cause #JustCalThings
Rob Hwang - Imagine being paid to hire Karl Dorrell.
Colorado State @ Wazzu (Wazzu won 38-7)
TD_24 - Washington State's defense has given up a total of 24 points through three games. No matter how you slice it that's pretty good.
Christopher_h - Washington State is quietly developing into a solid team. The Pac-12 North is surprisingly strong this year.
SG Bear - It's tough to read too much into this game. CSU is bad. And Wazzu is part of that third-quartile teams of the Pac that should probably be underdogs but will somehow beat a good team. I'd put Cal in that tier.
Michigan State @ UW (UW won 39-28)
TD_24 - I tried telling you guys to buy stock in the Washington offense. Just have to keep Michael Penix Jr healthy.
Christopher_h - Big game for Michael Penix (have to triple-check my phone's autocorrect here) and Ja'Lynn Polk. UW looks to be a much more offensive-minded team this year.
SG Bear - Man, U Dub made the Spartan defense look bad. They're going to be tough to beat.
Berkelium97 - UW looks good. Like, contending-for-the-Pac-12-title good. If Penix can clean up some of his inconsistency (e.g. occasionally missing wide open receivers), this will be a very difficult offense to stop. Although I'm wondering how much of that offensive explosion was due to MSU's ineptitude, because that was some garbage coverage by their secondary.
Piotr T Le - I get tired of the national media, it is more evident that most guys on big pods just scoreboard watch anything west of the Mississippi and couldn't name 5 players on any Pac-12 team even if their life dependent on it. Most were surprised that UW would a 3 point favorite over a 11 ranked Mich. State. The only thing I was surprised over is how good RGIII was as an announcer.
Montana State @ Oregon State (Oregon St won 68-28)
TD_24 - Oregon State vs USC next week has my intrigue.
Christopher_h - Montana State was in the FCS Championship last year, and OSU dismantled them. Another surprisingly strong win for the Pac-12 North.
SG Bear - Jonathan Smith has got something magical going on at OSU.
SDSU @ Utah (Utah won 35-7)
TD_24 - Utah got very physical and SDSU wilted.
Christopher_h - I don't think SDSU is nearly as good as they were in recent years, but Cam Rising picked them apart.
SG Bear - Utah is still pretty darn good. Not USC good. But fight UCLA for 2nd good.
Rob Hwang - That Florida loss is going to be fuel for this team the ENTIRE season.
Fresno State @ USC (USC won 45-17)
TD_24 - USC continues to score points in bunches. Several key injuries to Evan Williams and Jake Haener will make life difficult for the Bulldogs in the future.
Christopher_h - Fresno State kept things close with OSU, but this one wasn't.
SG Bear - Yikes. And this is how good they are with new coaches, new teammates, new system, new everything? They are frightening.
Berkelium97 - This offense is horrifying.
Piotr T Le - Good USC = insufferable USC fans. Such is life in eastern europe...
North Dakota State @ Arizona (Arizona won 31-28)
TD_24 - NDSU ran like bulls on the ground but Arizona finally stiffening up in the 4th quarter saved them from an upset.
Christopher_h - From an embarrassing loss to a middling FCS team last year to a win over the defending FCS champs, it's amazing what replacing entire roster with transfers can do.
SG Bear - Jayden de Laura is still himself, so he's good for a game or two and then will not have a great game. God, I hope he's the latter.
Piotr T Le - Arizona is on the up and up with this win. NDST has not lost a FBS match up in a long time and despite their FCS affiliation they are a very good team. De Laura has one of the largest ranges of "holy crap" plays both good and bad.
Rob Hwang - It’s gonna be a ridiculous game against them this week isnt it…
Eastern Michigan @ Arizona State (Arizona State lost 21-30)
TD_24 - Well there goes the Herm Edwards era.
Christopher_h - Did not have an EMU upset and immediate Herm Edwards firing on my bingo card here.
SG Bear - The dumpster was already smoking and smelled of gas. This is the point where you hear a big whooosh of ignition and you hope that nobody innocent gets hurt in the aftermath.
Piotr T Le - ASU despite losing won the game by having a cause to fire Herm. I am a little sad that we're getting the better of the Zona teams this year.
Any other thoughts?
Christopher_h - It's hard to tell on the broadcast (mainly because ND's green pops a lot more than Cal's blue), but there were a TON of Cal fans at Notre Dame. Really proud of how Cal fans traveled.
SG Bear - Preseason pretty much solidified what everyone was saying about the teams with the minor adjustments that perhaps Arizona, WSU, and Oregon State are slightly better than anticipated and ASU, Utah, and CU are worse. Cal's O and D lines are worse than I thought and unless they can be miraculously improved, I'm looking at 3-6 vs. conference and 5-7 overall.
Piotr T Le - Despite being screwed over by the refs I do think that there are worst fate than being a Cal fan: being a UCLA fan.