When the college football season started, the Pac-12 South figured to be a three-team race. The UCLA Bruins have won the division the past two years, before falling to the Pac-12 North champion in the conference title game.
The Arizona State Sun Devils were considered a "dark horse" in the Pac-12, picked in the preseason to finish second in the division by a majority of the conference's media contingent. The third team was thought to be USC, the Trojans are always loaded with talent and have some of the most dangerous weapons in the conference.
Through four weeks of the season, the South has had its ups and downs. UCLA may be better than most expected, and USC may be worse. Through three games, the Sun Devils are where most thought they would be, sitting at 2-1.
Three of the division's six teams sit undefeated. Some are untested, however it seems clear through four weeks, that the Pac-12 South is up for grabs.
Arizona State (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12)
The Sun Devils thumped Sacramento State in their first game and narrowly escaped Wisconsin in their second contest. Arizona State fell behind 29-0 in the first half against Stanford, before storming back to make the final score respectable, at 42-28.
Through three games, Arizona State ranks 8th nationally in passing offense. Marion Grice leads the nation in touchdowns, and Jaelen Strong has emerged as one of the best wide receivers in the conference.
The road does not get easier for the Sun Devils, as the team faces USC, Notre Dame and Washington in the coming weeks.
Arizona (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
On paper, the Wildcats have been impressive through three games of the season. Arizona ranks 5th in the nation in rushing yards, and 3rd in points allowed per game. The Wildcats have outscored opponents 131-26 this season, winning each game by at least 30 points.
However, the Wildcats have played Northern Arizona, UNLV and UTSA. Arizona has faced the easiest non-conference schedule of any team in the division. The Wildcats remain untested.
Arizona boasts two rushers with over 230 yards and senior quarterback B.J. Denker has been as good as he needs to be. He has thrown for just 326 yards in three games, but has not thrown an interception. The Wildcats face Washington and USC in the coming weeks, meaning we will find out just how good this team is.
Colorado (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
The Buffaloes have already exceeded their win total from 2012. Mike MacIntyre's dynamic passing game has been in full effect early on in the season. Quarterback Connor Wood has 741 yards and six touchdowns through two games this season. Wide receiver Paul Richardson has 417 receiving yards and four touchdowns this season.
The Buffaloes opened up their 2013 campaign with a victory over Colorado State, their first since 2010. Colorado got a scare from Central Arkansas, however the Buffaloes pulled away late for a 38-24 victory.
Colorado's game against Fresno State on September 14 was postponed due to flooding. Up next for the Buffaloes is a matchup with Oregon State.
Utah (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12)
Despite their 0-1 start to Pac-12 play. Utah lost 51-48 to Oregon State in overtime. Utah came came back from a 10-point 4th quarterback deficit to tie the game with 21 seconds left. Oregon State won the game on a Brandin Cooks 6-yard touchdown pass from Sean Mannion.
Utah has victories over in-state rivals Utah State and BYU and a 70-7 win over Weber State. Sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson has nine touchdown passes and 1,118 yards this season and Dres Anderson has 404 receiving yards.
UCLA (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
The Bruins were the preseason pick to win the division, and the Bruins have looked the part early in the season. After thumping Nevada in their season opener, UCLA sent a message with a 41-21 victory on the road against Nebraska. The Bruins scored 38 straight points in the blowout.
UCLA ranks 3rd nationally in scoring offense and 12th nationally in rushing yards. The Bruins are incredibly balanced on offense, averaging 330 passing yards and 284.3 rushing yards per game.
After a week off this week, UCLA plays Utah and California, before road battles against Stanford and Oregon in mid-October.
USC Trojans (3-1, 0-1)
The Trojans have not been pretty on offense this season, only averaging 163.5 passing yards per game. USC ranks 95th nationally in points per game.
The Trojans' have been stout on defense, giving up just 11 points per game. However, a three-point victory against Utah State and a defeat to Washington State is not impressing fans in Los Angeles.