Pac-12 has three undefeated groups, lowest amongst Energy 5 leagues
For his or her 2-Zero begin, Chip Kelly and the UCLA Bruins will seem on “prime time” this weekend.
“Within the Philippines,” the Bruins coach cracked a few 10:45 p.m. Jap kickoff Saturday towards Fresno State. “So let’s placed on a great present for the individuals in Manila.”
For the sake of the Pac-12, too, as a result of the record of convention groups who stay undefeated has dwindled to a few after simply two video games. It’s the bottom quantity amongst Energy 5 conferences.
The stress of elevating the Pac-12’s profile — and acquire that inside monitor into the school playoffs — could fall extra squarely on the shoulder pads of No. Four Oregon, No. 13 UCLA and No. 19 Arizona State.
“It’s actually early. I imply, you’re nonetheless in a survive and advance sort of vibe for all of those groups,” mentioned Petros Papadakis, a college football analyst for Fox Sports. “They’re nonetheless looking for their id. Nearly everyone is in that mode, regardless of who you might be. So I’m unsure they really feel the stress of, ‘Hey, we’re carrying the torch for the convention.’”
The Pac-12 at present has as many unbeaten groups as Convention USA. The league trails the opposite Energy 5 conferences — the ACC has 5 remaining; the Large 12, six; the Large Ten, seven; and the Southeastern Convention, 10, together with six of seven within the SEC West Division.
These three unblemished Pac-12 groups can’t afford a misstep this week. Not with Pac-12 South favourite Southern California falling out of the rankings after a loss to Stanford, which additionally led to the firing of coach Clay Helton. Not with Utah tumbling every week in the past in a loss to rival BYU. Not with Washington off to a 0-2 begin for the primary time since 2008.
Assume a Pac-12 staff has a shot on the nationwide title sport?
“Truthfully, I feel it’s extra necessary for the Pac-12 that USC make the correct rent going ahead, so far as like a very big-name coach and a very big-name employees. That is one thing the entire convention can use to leverage the brand new TV deal, no matter that’s going to be,” Papadakis mentioned. “That’s far more necessary than having an Oregon play, say, Georgia — until any person can win all of it.”
The Geese are driving excessive after a win at Ohio State — their first street victory over a top-five staff since beating Stanford in 2011.
“Large sport for Oregon; massive sport for the Pac-12,” Geese coach Mario Cristobal mentioned on the staff’s web site.
Subsequent up: Stony Brook, an FCS staff out of New York. The Geese need to prolong their profitable streak at Autzen Stadium to 14 straight video games.
The Solar Devils journey to Provo, Utah, to tackle a tenacious BYU staff, which has already overwhelmed Arizona and Utah.
Then there’s UCLA, an 11 1/2-point favourite, based on FanDuel Sportsbook, over Fresno State. Preserve this in thoughts: The Bulldogs threw a scare at Oregon on Sept. 4 (falling 31-24) and beat the Bruins in 2018.
Kelly resorted to an acronym, “TBU,” in describing the relevance of a loss from ’18: “‘True However Ineffective,’ so we’re good on that,” he mentioned. “Has nothing to do with what’s happening now. … We give attention to this season and this season solely.”
Kelly mentioned the preparation doesn’t change a lot for his staff with the late begin. However it could imply these followers on the East Coast will likely be quick asleep by the point this one ends.
“At the least individuals in Manila waking up Sunday morning will get an opportunity to look at the Bruins play,” Kelly mentioned. “So hopefully there are some Bruins followers there.”
A fast recap of final weekend: Arizona dropped its 14th straight sport in a loss to San Diego State; Colorado could not maintain on late in falling to Texas A&M, which slid to No. 7 in the newest ballot; Oregon State beat Hawaii; Washington State cruised previous Portland State; Arizona State took care of enterprise towards UNLV; and Cal misplaced 34-32 at TCU regardless of Chase Garbers passing for greater than 300 yards.
What to make of all of it: The Pac-12 appears to be like top-heavy behind Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State. The actual trick will likely be not beating one another up as soon as league play hits. Key dates to recollect will likely be Oct. 2 when UCLA hosts Arizona State and Oct. 23 because the Bruins welcome Oregon to city. The Geese and the Solar Devils do not meet this season, until they each make it to the Pac-12 title sport.
A bit of trivia: The final staff from the Pac-12 (really Pac-10 again then) to go undefeated by way of the convention was the Geese in 2010, after they had a sure coach named Chip Kelly in cost.
In Yr Four in Westwood, he’s acquired the Bruins off to a quick begin, together with a win over LSU.
“I don’t assume it’s the tip of the world that there will not be a bunch extra undefeated groups at this level,” Papadakis said. “The dearth of undefeated groups is a small story in comparison with the best way UCLA and Oregon dominated these video games in the best way they did. That’s the largest takeaway.”