Gary Andersen was the first Power Five coach dismissed this season, and for good reason. The Oregon State Beavers are one of the worst teams in the nation, they haven’t beaten an FBS program all year.
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While the Trojans are atop the South Division standings, they are firmly out of the national championship picture. Inconsistency and inefficiency has led to a disappointing 7-2 record. Despite their struggles, the Trojans are still far and away the most talented team in the division.
The Arizona Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in the nation of late, and they got off to yet another blazing start Saturday evening. In front of a loud and raucous homecoming crowd, the ‘Cats raced out to a ten point lead over fifteenth ranked Washington State Cougars. Unfortunately for Arizona, a muffed punt gave the favored Cougars a chance to crawl back into the contest. A flurry of activity followed as Arizona scored ten unanswered points. The Cougars answered with a late touchdown, but the ‘Cats responded with a 57-yard field goal by Josh Pollack, making the halftime score 23-14.
While the game of football has been home to numerous innovations over the last 100 years, few have changed the game like the spread. An offensive system that was once employed by teams lacking in talent, the spread has become the scheme of choice an overwhelming majority of collegiate programs.
It’s been a long, long time since the Washington State Cougars could realistically dream of Pasadena. In fact, most don’t remember the Cougs last Rose Bowl appearance, which happened in 2003. Mike Leach has done what many thought was impossible, he has brought elite football back to the Palouse.
Justin Wilcox and the California Golden Bears entered the season with low expectations. Little was expected from the first year head coach, Wilcox inherited one of the least talented teams in the Pac-12. Despite being counted out and having little support outside of their locker room, the Bears have become one of the biggest surprises of the young season.
Saturday, the ‘Cats exorcised some demons, defeating the Bruins 47-30 in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. The victory puts the ‘Cats in the thick of the South division race and are now two wins away from bowl eligibility.
Jim Mora entered the 2017 season as a coach on the hot seat, and little has changed. His UCLA Bruins have been one of the most inconsistent outfits in the nation. The Bruins possess an explosive offense led by one of the finest quarterbacks in the country. Unfortunately for Mora his defense is one of the worst in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Mike MacIntyre and the Colorado Buffaloes football team entered conference play untested and rarely challenged. The Buffs cruised through a middling non-conference schedule beating Colorado State, Texas State and Northern Colorado.
The Arizona Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in the country with over sixty true and redshirt freshmen dotting the roster.
Kyle Whittingham is the third-longest tenured coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, for good reason. Whittingham has built a consistent winner in Salt Lake City. The Utah Utes have won a combined 27 games in the last three years, including nine games in 2016.
Sean Kugler’s return to his alma mater has gone from a dream come true to an endless nightmare. The University of Texas at El Paso has reached one bowl game during his four-year tenure, and are projected to spend the postseason at home yet again.
Arizona football has multiple keys they need to achieve to beat Houston on Saturday. One major key is being able to figure out defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio's defense.
Major Applewhite has huge shoes to fill. Not only is Applewhite a first time head coach, he is succeeding Tom Herman, one of the hottest young stars in the coaching profession. Herman, Kevin Sumlin and Art Briles all parleyed success at the University of Houston into jobs at Power Five schools.
On Saturday, the Arizona Wildcats returned to the game’s land based past, rushing for 506 yards in a convincing 62-24 victory over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.
The Arizona Wildcats enter the 2017 season with more questions than answers. A disappointing close to the 2017 recruiting cycle and a disastrous 3-9 campaign last year have some people doubting the direction of the program
Year one of the Marcel Yates era wasn’t a rousing success. The first-year defensive coordinator struggled to field a defense worthy of a Power Five conference school. A lack of depth at every position led to the Arizona Wildcats’ defense being one of the worst outfits in the country.
Last fall was an unmitigated disaster for UA football. The Wildcats went 3-9 and were overmatched most of the season. Arizona lost eight consecutive conference games, and only a stirring victory over rival ASU kept the ‘Cats from going winless in Pac-12 play.
Analysis: Washington seeks to make return trip to College Football Playoff, but underrated Stanford may surprise them
In every major college football conference, one division usually stands above the rest. The SEC has the West, the ACC has the Atlantic, and the Pac-12 has the North.
The South is rising once again, with the Men of Troy leading the way. USC may be on the verge of something special, but they won’t roll through the division unchallenged. Utah and Colorado will provide resistance, while talented UCLA lurks in the shadows.