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Pac-12 Weekend Review: South Division Carries Conference in Roller-Coaster Weekend

UCLA's big win over LSU carried the Pac-12 in an otherwise overall lackluster weekend  from the conference.

The opening weekend of college football typically provides some type of madness, as teams are taking the field against live competition for the first time. Pristine matchups such as Alabama-Miami and Clemson-Georgia headlined the first of many Saturdays filled with college football, a welcome sight for many while the pandemic continues. 

After forming an alliance with the ACC and Big Ten, all eyes were on the Pac-12 as the conference looks to take a step forward and (hopefully) provide a potential suitor for one of four spots in the College Football Playoffs. 

Prior to the season, Pac-12 heavyweights such as Oregon, USC and Washington felt as if they could make a strong run. 

Week 1 of the season proved the Pac-12 has teams all over the spectrum, with the strongest outputs on Saturday coming out of Los Angeles. 

South Division Wins 5 of 6

The biggest victory for the Pac-12 came from a 38-27 UCLA victory over LSU in the Rose Bowl, as the 16th-ranked Tigers couldn't escape Pasadena with a win. 

Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson rebounded in stellar fashion after a poor outing last week, completing 9 of 16 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns and an interception. UCLA also added another 210 yards on the ground in the Pac-12's first victory over an SEC school since 2008. 

The rest of the South division, containing three ranked teams in USC (15), Utah (24) and Arizona State (25), won their three  games by a collective average of 37-13. Colorado also defeated Northern Colorado 35-17 to improve to 1-0 on the year. 

The South's lone blemish? Arizona, the expected culprit. The Wildcats, favored by many to remain in the cellar of the Pac-12, fell to BYU 24-16 in Las Vegas. Arizona may end its losing streak of 12 consecutive games (the longest streak in the nation) next Saturday, as they're listed as favorites against San Diego State. 

As for the North division, not many great things can be said for the top part of the Pac-12's compass. 

Ducks Squeak Past Fresno State for North's Sole Victory 

There's no sugarcoating it: The Pac-12 North division did not have a good week of football. 

Five of six teams lost on opening weekend, and even the one victory (Oregon) was down to the wire against a hungry Fresno State team at Autzen Stadium. Star Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (ankle) did not play the second half in their 31-24 victory over the Bulldogs, where Oregon trailed Fresno State in the early stages of the fourth quarter.

Oregon managed to pull out its close home opener, something Washington couldn't prove capable of doing. The 20th-ranked Huskies fell 13-7 at home against visiting Montana thanks to three Washington turnovers by quarterback Dylan Morris. Montana, which were 22.5-point underdogs heading into the game, upset the Huskies despite losing the battles in offensive yards and time of possession. 

The rest of the North didn't appear much stronger, either. Cal, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State all walked away without a win in Week 1. Cal and Washington State's losses came by a combined eight points, while Stanford and Oregon State saw their respective losses away from home. 

Overall, the Pac-12 came away an even 6-6 across competition this week. The conference is in for a very big slate of games next weekend, with national matchups such as Oregon-Ohio State, Texas A&M-Colorado, Washington-Michigan and Utah-BYU being the most notable. 

Donnie Druin is a Deputy Editor with AllSunDevils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin, and AllSunDevils @AllSunDevils. Like and follow AllSunDevils on Facebook, and for more ASU news visit