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Pac-12 Football: South gets interesting after Utah loses to USC

Your weekly update on what we learned in the Pac-12.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

As we pointed out earlier, the Pac-12 is getting interesting, particularly the South division. With another week in the books, here's what we learned about the 12 teams in Week 8.

Arizona Wildcats (5-3, 2-3 in Pac-12)

Fading fast.

After winning the Pac-12 South in 2014, Arizona has had a disappointing 2015 season. A week after needing a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat bottom-dwelling Colorado, the Wildcats were upended by Washington State, and their chances of winning the South dwindle down to being very slim.

Arizona State Sun Devils (4-3, 2-2)

Recovering what's been lost.

The Sun Devils offense has been underwhelming, but the team hopes its week off can help change that and get things into gear. The road to the Pac-12 title game is being led by those ahead of them in the standings, but if the Sun Devils finish the year off strong, they'll have a chance.

California Golden Bears (5-2, 2-2)


Cal's hopes of coming away with the North division aren't completely dashed thanks to Utah's loss this past week, but the Golden Bears failed to take advantage of an opportunity to surge in the standings. The Golden Bears need to turn things around quickly, or they will find themselves falling short of their season goals.

Colorado Buffaloes (4-4, 1-3)

Still fighting.

Colorado is now 4-4. With bowl eligibility looming on the horizon, the Buffaloes have a chance to finish the year off with the best record since Mike Macintyre took over as head coach of the program.

Oregon Ducks (4-3, 2-2)

Vernon's the man.

Following their six-point win over Washington, the Ducks got a week off before taking on Arizona State. With Vernon Adams finally healthy and Royce Freeman continuing to run like a man possessed, the Ducks offense is still something to be respected. Oregon will be able to ride its play for the rest of the year.

Oregon State Beavers (2-5, 0-4)

Couldn't hold on.

In a battle of two of the worst teams in the conference, the Beavers were unable to hang on. We've said it before: this is a young team that has better days ahead. We'll see if the Beavers can compete throughout the rest of the season.

No. 8 Stanford Cardinal (6-1, 5-0)


The Cardinal are now arguably the hottest team in all of college football. With Utah going down this week and the South division a mess, Stanford deservedly should be considered the best team in the conference and the favorites to represent the North in Santa Clara in December.

No. 24 UCLA Bruins (5-2, 2-2)

A glimpse of the future.

Injuries didn't keep the Bruins from blasting the Golden Bears on Thursday night. Quarterback Josh Rosen completed 34-of-47 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns, seemingly driving against the Cal defense at will. This is the type of performances we can count on seeing from Rosen in the future, and it's why UCLA remains a threat moving forward in the fallout of the Pac-12 South.

USC Trojans (4-3, 2-2)

Vegas knows.

During the week, the Trojans were favored over the Utes by 3.5 and then 6.5 by Saturday. Many were wondering how on earth a USC football team in such flux could be expected to beat the No. 3 team in the country. did. And did so rather easily, winning 42-24. This is still a dangerous Trojans team considering its talent. Don't count USC out as the South gets interesting.

No. 13 Utah Utes (6-1, 3-1)

Old habits.

The Trojans were able to keep running back Devontae Booker in check for most of the game, which meant the Utes' offense once again would hinge on the success of quarterback Travis Wilson. Wilson faltered this time around, throwing four interceptions during the loss, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Utah is still in the lead in the South, but they are very much vulnerable following the loss.

Washington Huskies (3-4, 1-3)

Playing with the big boys.

The Huskies were able to keep things close early on against Stanford, but were ultimately outmatched. This young team will continue to give conference foes fits, and its development over the course of the next few weeks is something to keep an eye on.

Washington State Cougars (5-2, 3-1)

Heeeeeere's Wazzu!

Since their season-opening loss to Portland State, the Cougars have posted a 5-1 record, including their current three-game winning streak. Their matchup against Stanford this week is one to watch, as it provide us a better indication of how serious to take Wazzu moving forward.