Welcome to our Pac-12 midseason review, which, in fact, comes just before the midpoint for four teams…
Biggest Story I: One Big Victory, Many Bad Losses
Oregon’s breakthrough victory at Ohio State in week two prevented what would have been an otherwise unsuccessful September for the collective, with three losses to Brigham Young, two losses to San Diego State, two defeats to FCS opponents and one against Group of Five. Loss record. Opponents’ poor execution, questionable coaching, stiff competition and the 2020 season contributed to the situation.
Greatest Story II: In-Season Termination
Two head coaches have been fired since the season began, both on Monday and both (incidentally) after playing Stanford – but for very different reasons: USC dropped Clay Helton for disqualification, while Washington State Nick Rolovich was fired because he failed to comply. State vaccine mandates Meanwhile, the fate of Harm Edwards at ASU remains uncertain due to the NCAA investigation. The level of upheaval is unprecedented. What is this, SEC?
Greatest Story III: What If?
Turns out, at least four teams started the wrong quarterback in the season opener. It’s certainly worth thinking about if Oregon State had started Chance Nolan, Utah would have picked Cam Rising, Stanford would have committed Tanner Mackie and Arizona would have started Jordan McCloud, so how about opening weeks. Come to the fore
Best Coach: Kyle Whittingham of Utah
We looked at Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith but ultimately picked Whittingham for on- and off-the-field reasons. Utah is the only unbeaten team in conference play and continues to lead the South despite suffering the death of defensive back Aaron Lowe. Incidentally, the hotline published a twitter survey This past weekend has been asking the very same question. Whittingham received 38.1% of the nearly 2,000 votes, while Smith received 37.2%.
Best Offensive Coordinator: Brian Lindgren of Oregon State
The Beavers don’t have the flashiest stats or the most flashy style, but they know who they are (ground-and-pounds), they’ve been remarkably consistent, and they’re a good fit for personnel as well as any team in the conference. do the maximum. We also considered ASU’s Zak Hill, who has done a good job on a weekly basis.
Best Defensive Coordinator: Tim DeRuiter of Oregon
This selection may have come as a surprise and is largely based on the same game, but it was NS Play. If not for the Ducks’ victory at Ohio State, the Pac-12 would be out of the playoff race. And if not for DeRuyter’s brilliant game-plan, the Kayvon Thibodeaux-less Ducks would never have brought down OSU.
Best Offensive Player: USC Receiver Drake London
London was our Precision Pick for Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and has the most impressive physical strength in the conference on that side of the scrimmage. His numbers are off the charts: 11 catches and 138 yards per game (more than the entire Colorado team). It’s not his fault that the Trojans can’t execute consistently on the other 21 positions.
Best Defensive Player: Utah Linebacker Devin Lloyd
Lloyd finished the first half with a tour-de-force performance against Arizona State. He is second nationally for losses and has five sacks and two interceptions. Of course, Lloyd’s candidacy is aided by an injury to Thibodaux. It would have been nice to evaluate both the players in full force.
Best Transfer: UCLA TB Zach Charbonnet
The Michigan arrival is a no-brainer selection, especially given the lack of viable candidates in quarterbacks. He averages 99.6 yards per game and most importantly, UCLA’s running game is imbued with next-level physicality, despite sharing duties with Briton Brown.
Best Wins: Oregon 35, Ohio State 28
Take some time to consider the Pac-12 season if the Ducks were defeated in Columbus. Will be out of playoff race Now, mid-October – similar to Sun Belt and Conference USA.
Worst Loss: Montana 13, Washington 7
It looks bad, doesn’t it? Well, it’s worse than it looks for two reasons: 1) the Huskies were leading at the start of the fourth quarter and got out 10-0 down the stretch, and 2) the Grizzlies lost two games to Big Sky – they didn’t. The level is also not very good. Luckily for second year coach Jimmy Lake, UW fans are super forgiving.
Best State: Oregon’s Turnover Margin
The Ducks are number 5 in the country and second in the most important position among Power Five teams. He has forced 13 turnovers and done only four, averaging for a whopping margin of plus-1.5 per game.
Worst case: ASU penalty
The Sun Devils are third in the country in penalty yards per game (89.7), second-to-last in total penalties (67) and penalties per game (9.6). This lack of discipline led him to victory at BYU and contributed heavily to his downfall at Utah.
Best Sport: Fresno State 40, UCLA 37
It had all the ingredients needed for the #Pac12AfterDark thriller, including another performance from Fresno State quarterback Jake Hainer. In case the details are vague, know this: There were five touchdowns in the last eight minutes, and the game winner came in with 14 seconds remaining.
Worst Luck: Arizona
When the struggling Wildcats thought they had identified a quarterback who could save the season, they lost Jordan McCloud to major knee and ankle injuries. A week later, his replacement, Gunner Cruz, lost for the season, as well (injury to the thumb). So Arizona is down by third-stringer Will Plummer and some walk-ons. Does Jade Fish have hair left?
Most confusing result: Stanford 42, USC 28
The Whopper of Week Two indicated that Stanford was good enough to compete. Instead, it only prompted the elimination of Clay Helton and indicated additional debris at the Coliseum: two weeks later, the Trojans lost 45–27 to Oregon State; Two weeks after that, they lost to Utah 42–26. He played three consecutive home games and allowed 129 points. How have the non-mighty fallen?
Best Overall Growth: No Disruption
Given vaccination rates across the conference, we did not expect COVID to force a postponement or cancellation. But wildfires were another matter – an ominous, shifting as well as wind threat to competition and public safety. Fortunately, the worst fears have not materialised. And now, this week, it’s raining in the Pacific Northwest and an atmospheric river is falling in northern California. Thank goodness.
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