Five nuggets as we look ahead to Week Two …
1. Pro production
The NFL season begins this week, which means active rosters have been set.
Washington leads all Pac-12 programs in the number of players who made the final cuts with 27, followed by UCLA (24), Stanford (23) and USC (20.)
(The Bruins recruited well and produced a load of pros during the Jim Mora era but didn’t win as much as the talent would suggest.)
However, Washington doesn’t even crack the top 10 nationally with that number.
According to USA Today, Alabama (shocking!) leads all schools with 58 players on current rosters while Iowa is No. 10, with 30.
The Arizona Cardinals have the most Pac-12 alums (11), per the conference office.
2. Here’s a trap, there’s a trap.
Washington, Oregon and Utah are in classic trap situations Saturday thanks to the triple whammy of an anticipated Week One debut, a cupcake matchup this week and a big game in Week Three.
— The Huskies smashed Kent State to start the Kalen DeBoer era and host Michigan State next week. Saturday, they face Portland State.
— The Ducks took a gut punch last weekend, courtesy of Georgia, and host Brigham Young in Week Three. Will they muster a respectable effort against Eastern Washington on Saturday?
— The Utes not only lost at Florida in brutal fashion but had to spend an extra day in Gainesville because of aircraft issues. Next week, they have a revenge game against San Diego State. In between, it’s Southern Utah.
All three should win handily, but we suspect at least one will struggle into the second half.
The most vulnerable? Oregon.
3. Audience matters
Week Two doesn’t bring a high level of national television exposure for the Pac-12.
There are five games on the Pac-12 Networks along with one on FS1 and another on CBS Sports Network.
Of the three on broadcast television, two overlap: Colorado vs. Air Force is on CBS at 12:30 p.m., the same time as Washington State’s matchup at Wisconsin, which is on FOX. (Former Washington quarterback Brock Huard is the game analyst.)
Both Pac-12 teams on the over-the-air telecasts are 17.5-point underdogs.
The third game slotted for broadcast television is Stanford-USC on ABC with analyst Kirk Herbstreit on the call.
4. Arizona’s math test
A quick look at the postseason math suggests a victory Saturday over Mississippi State would put the Wildcats in premium position for a postseason berth.
Why? Because Colorado is on the schedule.
If we’re being candid, the Buffaloes sure look like a winnable game for everyone.
(Perhaps that changes if they switch quarterbacks to JT Shrout.)
Put another way: The Wildcats would have two wins in the bank and a third within reach if they upset the Bulldogs this weekend.
With three, they are halfway to bowl eligibility.
5. Odds and ends
— USC is ranked in the top-10 of the AP poll — the Trojans are, in fact, No. 10 — for the first time in five years.
— Oregon has won 19 consecutive home games, the third-longest active streak in major college football (behind Clemson and Cincinnati).
— With a victory this week, Stanford coach David Shaw would tie USC legend Howard Jones with 65 conference wins, good for fifth place on the career victories list. UCLA’s Terry Donahue is No. 1, with 98.
— With a win this week, Oregon State would be 2-0 for the first time since 2014.
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