I just don't even know what to say.
This was as crazy a week as I have ever seen in college football, and the Pac-12 was ground zero for that insanity. Arizona takes out Oregon. Utah upsets UCLA. Arizona State knocks off USC on a hail mary, and Washington State sets the all-time passing record, but Cougs it in an historically epic fashion.
As the chaos settles, fans are left figuruing out what to make of the weekend. However, the winner is clear:
1. Pac-12 Referees
The Pac-12 referees clearly won the weekend. They were at peak form all weekend, having direct impacts on results across the conference. Oregon had a pretty clear fumble recovery vs. Arizona that wasn't reviewed, and then the referees felt comfortable calling a celebration penalty on the game's pivotal play to boot. An apparent touchdown to give Washington State the win over Cal was called down and failed to be reviewed. A phantom running into the kicker call gave UCLA a second chance at a game-winning field goal against Utah. Notre Dame-Stanford was full of bad calls. Colorado's Mike MacIntyre chased the referees off the field, screaming at them the whole way.
Officiating is a hard job. Football is a hard game to officiate. But in no other conference are the officials so consistently a part of the storyline. Officiating in this conference is a weekly dumpster fire, and it severely detracts from the product on the field. We cannot keep having these issues every single week.
1. Oregon (4-1, 1-1)
The Pac-12 consists of a number of flawed teams, and Oregon's flaws were on full display Thursday night against Arizona. The offensive line is just so injured that it's ineffective, though Jake Fisher coming back as early as this week will help tremendously. As for the defense...yeah, I have no idea. But in spite of these flaws, Oregon may still be the least flawed team in the North. I wouldn't be surprised if 6-3 wins this division.
2. Stanford (3-2, 2-1)
That defense is going to keep a lot of people down, but can they score enough points to win? Considering that no other team in this division actually plays defense, the answer is that they'll probably find a way.
3. California (4-1, 2-1)
This team is a hail mary deflection away from being 5-0. They also a properly called WSU TD away from being 3-2. This is a very potent offense, but Cal will lose many more games as they move into the meat of the schedule.
4. Washington (4-1, 0-1)
UW managed to find a way not to give up any points to BYE, an impressive feat considering how their defense has played this season. A sure shootout at Strawberry Canyon awaits.
5. Oregon State (4-1, 1-1).
Meh. Just meh.
6. Washington State (2-4, 1-2)
Connor Halliday set the all time Divison I passing record, and it wasn't enough to win. We're used to seeing Cougings. But I'm not sure Washington State has ever Coug'd it in quite that epic of a fashion.
1. Arizona (5-0, 2-0)
The Wildcats are undefeated and hold the conference's best win, and you'll likely hear prognosticators write en masse this week about how Arizona is the Pac-12 team we actually have to watch out for in the playoff. Then they'll lose to USC and Washington State in the next two weeks because, like the rest of this conference, they don't play any defense.
2. Utah (4-1, 1-1)
This might actually be the best team in the conference. They play good defense. They have a passable offense. And I have no idea how they freaking lost to Washington State. This conference, man.
3. UCLA (4-1, 1-1)
I can't wait for Oregon/UCLA next week. It will be a battle of two very wounded, very dangerous animals. Of course, if Oregon wins, cue up the Bruins Nation fire Jim Mora watch.
4. Arizona State (4-1, 2-1)
Everyone wrote off ASU after Taylor Kelly got hurt and they got blown out by UCLA. But they don't have to play Oregon and are a very real sleeper possibility in the South.
5. USC (3-2, 2-1)
Hey, SC fans. We told you so! The drive for seven is alive and well, as Seven Win Sark does all he can to live up to his name.
6. Colorado (2-4, 0-3)
One of these things, is not like the other ones. One of these things, doesn't belong...
Washington State at Stanford
Oregon at UCLA
Washington at California
USC at Arizona