Surprising Contenders showing up in College Football 

Pac-12 has four in AP top 25, WSU, OSU on the brink



WSU quarterback Cameron Ward throws a pass during an NCAA football game against Colorado State, Sep. 17, 2022, in Pullman, Wash.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

The third week of college football has come and gone with many teams exceeding expectations and solidifying themselves as playoff contenders. The Pac-12 has four teams in the AP top 25, with three of which being in the top 15. Many could and should argue that there should be a fifth team that hails from Pullman but I digress …

Following week three, there remain 33 undefeated teams, but not all of them are contenders.

College Football Gameday headed to Boone, North Carolina to visit Appalachian State after their upset of the ranked Texas A&M Aggies. They were on the brink of losing to Troy, showing that college football truly is unpredictable week to week.

To beat Troy, it came down to a last-second prayer of a Hail Mary that by some miracle was caught and run into the endzone.



On the opposite side of the spectrum, reigning champ and No. 1 ranked Georgia dominated South Carolina by a score of 48-7. The defense of the Bulldogs that had carried the team all the way last season still looks dominant even after losing several key players to the NFL.

So far this season, the Bulldogs have outscored opponents 130-10 and if they are able to keep this up, there may be no point in finishing out the season. Everyone should give up and give them the trophy to avoid embarrassment.

For the most part, the Pac-12 had a fantastic week. Some teams played well and got some big wins. Some teams play in the Rose Bowl and embarrassed themselves with their complete lack of attendance … looking at you UCLA.


Other than some schools having attendance issues in one of the best stadiums, all but two teams in the conference have winning records and five teams are undefeated. In a shock to most of the football world, both WSU and OSU have started 3-0 for the first time since 1915.

And despite that 3-0 record as well as a win against a top 20 team, WSU has somehow managed to now crack the top 25 AP poll. Even after beating that team on the road and dominating CSU in their most recent matchup, the Cougs stay the underdogs.

Unlike the Cougs, University of Washington got some love in the most recent poll. While they did beat a ranked Michigan State team, they did so on their home turf.

Back to the better Washington football team, Daiyan Henley dominated for the Coug defense, racking up an impressive 13 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles. His performance earned Henley Pac-12 defensive player of the week.

In other news for the Pac-12, Oregon Football beat up on the then No. 12 ranked BYU Cougars. The drama went beyond the field. Before the game, the BYU football team honored the late Spencer Webb.

You may be thinking, “that’s a super nice gesture, how is that leading to drama?” And you would be completely justified in thinking so. The drama comes from the side of the student section of the Oregon Ducks.

During the game, the fan base would start a “f*** the Mormons” chant. While not something that is unique to Oregon, it feels quite different when they honored one of your players pre-game.

I cannot discuss this drama without acknowledging the nuance of the subject. WSU hosted BYU last season and if you were too close to the student section, you would easily have heard several similar chants.

Many believe that these chants are justified due to certain beliefs commonly held and associated with the Mormon religion, as well as many individuals suffering religious trauma at the hands of the Latter-day Saints church.

Based on the nuance of the subject, I believe it to be up to the university and individual to decide to what extent these chants should be allowed if at all.

We look forward to some big matches coming up in week four of college football, and it would not be college football if this Saturday was boring.

Week four will bring upon a fair amount of interesting games that could end up being trap games.

I look at No. 3 Ohio State hosting Wisconsin. OSU has faced little competition this year and Wisconsin with a loss to the Cougs on their belt will look to fix their mistakes and head to Columbus and take down the Buckeyes.

Another potential trap game is Clemson at Wake Forest. Many fans are low on the Tigers and Dabo Swinney, attributing his success to his generational quarterbacks rather than his coaching ability. If Clemson falls on Saturday, many people will not be too surprised.

One of the biggest matches coming up this week is that of the WSU Cougars hosting the No. 15 ranked Oregon Ducks. The last time a ranked Oregon team came to Pullman in a non-covid shortened season was the famous ESPN College Gameday 2018 game.

The Cougs will look to recreate that magic and prove to everyone that they are contenders and Jake Dickert is the savior of football in Pullman.