Week 4 for most Pac-12 Conference football teams is the opening weekend of league play. It's a chance for nearly everyone to start over after some rough non-conference outings.
Everyone has a loss except for Oregon, which basically ruined Ohio State's season, good for the Pac-12. Everyone has the same coach they began the season with except for USC, which said goodbye to Clay Helton, with an early-season firing not at all good for the league.
While only the Ducks still have a chance to go unbeaten, everyone remains in contention for the league championship game and still upbeat about their prospects for a decent season.
While non-conference games provide much-needed dress rehearsals, Pac-12 outings, in most cases, are much more relevant.
After all, what is a three-touchdown victory over Montana going to tell you? A 3-TD win, right? Oh wait, that didn't happen. The game did, but not the expected outcome.
Either way, the surprisingly slow-starting University of Washington football team (1-2) should give a much better accounting of itself in Saturday's league
Of course, USC is way ahead of everyone in conference play, having turned in a pair of Pac-12 outings that have revealed a lot about this team. Its 42-28 loss to Stanford cost Helton his coaching job.
The following week, the Trojans, with former Washington Husky graduate assistant Donte Williams serving as interim coach, faced Washington State in another testy situation that turned out much better. After starting slow and losing quarterback Kedon Slovis, USC found itself in a 14-0 hole but went on to score 45 unanswered points to beat the Cougars.
Early conference returns show Stanford at 1-0, USC 1-1, and WSU 0-1.
The Huskies look like they might have awoken from a two-game slumber to steer their season in the right direction. After deflating defeats at the hands of Montana and Michigan, the UW looked much more formidable against Arkansas State.
A true test for the Huskies will be a California program that has played them tough the last few years, with the Bears winning by 1 and 2 points. Traditionally this has been a defensive struggle, but Cal comes in to Husky Stadium after giving up 30 points to FCS Sacramento State.
Kaila Olin, Mike Martin and Trevor Mueller preview the conference match-ups for Week 4.