If it’s all about numbers then consider the Pac 12, through Sept. 15, as a seven-word quote from 2006:
“They are what we thought they were.”
Former Stanford Coach Dennis Green (RIP), then with the Arizona Cardinals, famously uttered that line about the Chicago Bears.
It sums up beautifully, if not perfectly, what we anticipated for the Pac 12 in 2018.
Some schools have performed better than expected (Colorado, Cal, Arizona State) and some worse (UCLA, Arizona), but it all comes back to a Seinfeld episode: “Prognosis Negative.”
The Pac 12 was only lucky the Big Ten (particularly the West Division) also played.
Larry’s League enters the last half of September with only a thread-the-needle path to the college football playoff.
Washington appears the best chance but wasn’t helped that its quality loss, Auburn, lost at home last weekend to Louisiana State.
Quarterback Jake Browning, despite being a fourth-year senior, continues to make questionable decisions under pressure. Browning keeps trying to make plays he can’t make and was lucky his fourth-quarter interception at Utah did not cost his team in a 21-7 win.
Stanford is highly ranked and looking rock solid but faces a series of land mines starting Saturday night at Oregon. The Cardinal then play at Notre Dame, Utah, at Arizona State, Washington State, at Washington.
Bryce Love, who entered the season as a leading Heisman candidate, is no longer one after being held to 29 yards against San Diego State and sitting out Saturday’s win over UC Davis with an undisclosed injury. Love is expected back for this week’s undisclosed game in Eugene.
Oregon is 3-0 but coming off a non-conference schedule that will be laughed at harder by the selection committee than old episodes of “Benny Hill.”
Austin Meek, of the Eugene Register-Guard, summed Oregon up perfectly after a ho-hum 35-22 win over San Jose State.
“I don’t know if the Ducks are a good team. Honestly. I don’t.”
Last year, USC became the first South Division team to win the Pac 12 title.
This year, USC is 1-2 and coming off a 37-14 loss at Texas as conference power has pinged back toward the Canadian border.
The Pac North is 15-3 overall while the South is a 9-9 muddle of murk. Here’s the full story: The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.