The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Pac-12 shockingly sits as top Power 5 Conference after week one

Conference as a whole undefeated through the first week of play
WSU wide receiver Lincoln Victor jumps for a pass during an NCAA football game against Colorado State, Sep. 17, 2022.

Through the first week of the 2023 college football season, the Pac-12 Conference stands alone as the best Conference in terms of winning percentage, as all 12 teams won their first week games and USC won their week zero game to sit at 2-0. 

After Sunday’s games, the Pac-12 is 13-0, the ACC is 8-4, the Big 12 is 10-4, the Big 10 is 10-4 and the SEC is 13-2. While all five boast clear, impressive records, only one remains undefeated. 

Not only did the Conference as a whole deliver, it also features the most interesting season-long storyline with its collapse, as well as having some of the best individual storylines, like Colorado and Deion Sanders. Even more on the national stage were some notable Heisman contenders with the reigning winner Caleb Williams, Michael Penix Jr. Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter and more.

Top games of the first weekend: 

WSU vs. Colorado State 

Offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle showed out in his first game in the position, as his playcalling led to an offensive explosion of 50 points, more than any game from last season for the Cougs. 

Cam Ward threw for 451 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 40 more yards on the ground. Lincoln Victor had a fantastic game, catching 11 passes for 168 yards, but not catching one of Ward’s three TDs. 

Defensively, Jaden Hicks had a pick-six as well as having 0.5 sacks, and overall a great game. Dean Janikowksi showed off his powerful leg with a 55-yard field goal that would have been good from even further. 

Despite coming in as upset potential, the Cougs proved that they are a good team for 2023. The 26-point win sets the tone for the rest of the year and into their big matchup at home against a ranked Wisconsin team Saturday. 

No. 14 Utah vs. Florida 

Despite missing several key pieces of their core, the Utah Utes came out on top against Florida 24-11. In place of injured Utah QB Cameron Rising, the Utes looked to Bryson Barnes to take most of the work. He did enough to get the win, going 12-of-18 through the air for 159 yards and a one TD. 

But the Utes’ defense won them the game, with several key sacks and an interception that helped in allowing just 11 total points for a Florida team expected to be a good team with transfer QB Graham Mertz leading their offense. 

No. 17 TCU vs. Colorado 

Colorado already looks to be a perfect Big 12 team, with a great offense and a defense that refused to stop the other offense. In the offensive shootout, the Buffaloes barely beat last year’s national champion runner-ups in TCU, 45-42. 

This Horned Frog team is nowhere near as good as 2022, but it is still a respectable opponent for Deion Sanders to try to prove his recruiting philosophy against. Shedeur Sanders is already breaking records with the most passing yards in a game in Colorado program history, with his 510 yards doing the job. 

Two-way star Hunter already looks like a legit Heisman hopeful, having 11 catches for 119 yards and grabbing an interception on defense, a clutch red-zone diving interception for that matter.  

No. 21 North Carolina vs. South Carolina 

Drake Maye is a near-lock to be a first-round pick and has Heisman potential, but while other QBs had solidifying games for their cases, he struggled. Maye went 24-for-32 for 269 yards and two TDs but also threw two interceptions. 

Those two picks were not enough for South Carolina to win, as the North Carolina defense had a “bend, don’t break” strategy. Gamecock QB Spencer Rattler threw for 353 yards, but the South Carolina team had negative rushing yards (-2), and the North Carolina defense had several sacks and QB pressures throughout the game. 

No. 5 LSU vs. No. 8 Florida

Usually, week one matchups do not have College Football Playoff stakes unless it is a huge upset, but this match had those stakes no matter what witht wo top 10 teams with expectations to compete to win it all. This game got the Sunday primetime spot and lived up to the hype. 

LSU had a close lead at the half, up 17-14, but it was all Florida State from there on out. The Seminoles scored 21 in the fourth quarter alone, leading to a 45-24 victory and the FSU team cementing themselves as true contenders. 

Jordan Travis went 23-for-31 for 342 yards and four TDs. While he threw one interception, he made up for that with a fifth total TD coming from his legs. The second-half Seminoles dominated in front of a massive audience, proving that perhaps this year, the preseason hype is legit.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Editor-in-chief
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be EIC starting in summer 2023 and enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
HAILEE SPEIR, Evergreen photo editor
Hailee Speir is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Hailee is a junior English education major from Spokane, Washington. Hailee started working for the Evergreen in fall 2021 as a photographer.