6 notes from a college football weekend

Three weeks later, the 2022 college football season continues to entertain.

The third week didn’t have the trouble of the second week, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. The sports scene is becoming more and more visible, including where public schools like BYU and Utah are standing and how well the Pac-12 and Mountain West conferences are this year.

Here are six takeaways from the latest college football game.

Utah is building for something

Utah’s Mika Bernard (2) runs the ball down for the first time and is tackled by Dez Malone (32) of the San Diego State Aztecs at Rice-Eccles Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Utes won 35-7.

Ben B Brown, Desert News

It is always difficult at the beginning of the season to accurately determine how good a team is.

Pre-season surveys are based more on past results and reputation than anything else, plus there are no pre-season games where teams can work out the kinks without repercussions.

After losing to Florida in the first week, Utah’s football playoff hopes appeared to have taken a serious blow, as was the public perception of Oates nationwide.

Two weeks later, though, Utah settled into being about what was expected – one of the best teams in the West and, if all goes well, a potential CFB participant.

San Diego State isn’t the program it has been in years past, but the Utes handled the Aztecs 35-7, a score that doesn’t accurately capture how dominant Utah is.

Despite the slow start, Utah was simply better than SDSU in all three phases – attack, defense and special teams – and it wasn’t really close.

Perhaps most encouraging, Otis’ defensive front was brave against escape, which was not the case against Florida.

Neither Southern Utah nor SDSU are the caliber of opponent Utah will face as the year goes on, but it appears that Utes have successfully bounced back from the loss to the Gators and settled back in as a legitimately good team, with the potential to be great.

What do I do from BYU’s resounding loss?


Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Garen Hall (3) hit an Oregon Ducks hit by Brandon Dorles (3) at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Saturday, September 17, 2022. No foul was called.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Desert News

BYU had the opportunity to do something special on Saturday on her trip to Oregon. A win over ducks would likely jump the Cougars into the top ten in an AP poll, and set BYU for a wharf tour in a bowl of six New Year’s.

After being convincingly outdone by the Ducks, BYU’s hopes for a truly great season took a serious blow.

There is still a way for BYU to make an excellent bowl game and another winning double-digit season still a possibility. Beating the Ducks would have given the Cougars an argument for being the best team in the West.

BYU has a lot to work on after the loss, including the weaknesses exposed by Oregon.

Such as Jay Drew wrote the Deseret News“The Cougars were mired in trenches on either side of the ball,” and “Oregon outperformed the edges in talent, pace and speed” was evident.

BYU coach Kalani Setaki was in agreement on the Oregon pace.

“They have a lot of athleticism and speed on their team,” he said. “They are a great team. They are ranked for a reason, and they should definitely go up in the standings.”

There is plenty of time for BYU to turn things around, with games against Wyoming and Utah State on the schedule before the Cougars face two of the top three remaining Tests of the season – Notre Dame and Arkansas.

The ducks’ loss didn’t spoil the BYU season, but the margin of error is much smaller now.

Can Utah change its season?


Utah State coach Blake Anderson responds as Alabama advances during the first half of a NCAA college football game on Saturday, September 3, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Vasha Hunt, news agency

Utah State did not play over the weekend, which gave the Aggies a chance to lick their collective wounds after dismal losses at Alabama and Webber State in consecutive weeks.

At 1-2 aggregate score, Utah State is currently far behind the team that won the Mountain West Championship last season, and the Aggies know that.

“The open week came at a good time for us,” said Utah State coach Blake Anderson. We have been emotionally beaten. The season has not gone the way we want it to and we are still struggling to find out who this football team is.”

Cautious optimism reigns in Logan after the farewell and we hope the season will soon turn in favor of the Aggies.

“We have to figure out what this team can do, what we’re good at, and what we can hang our hat on,” Anderson said. “…we had a really good week. The guys were open to training. The guys were very responsible all the way.”

“Great conversations with just about everyone in the field. … We have a lot of really good practices, one of the best practices last night, and if we keep working in this way, this group will improve quickly.”

Mountain West appears to be open more widely than ever this year, especially after Wyoming’s defeat of the Air Force, but with the Aggies starting to team up against UNLV this coming weekend, any improvement must now happen in Utah or it could come out. season of observing.

Is the Pac-12 better this year?


Washington State running back Kannon Katzer holds the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado State, Saturday, September 17, 2022, in Pullman, Washington.

Young Kwak, news agency

Don’t look now, but the Pac-12 could be a deep and solid conference this season.

After the first week, that idea seemed to hold little validity, after Utah and Oregon lost games to Florida and Georgia, respectively.

Since then, USC, Washington State, Washington State and Oregon have all shined on their way to scoring 3-0.

The Trojans dominated their three rivalries, most recently against the Fresno State force in Mountain West. Washington beat Michigan State, while Washington State beat Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Oregon beat the two Mountain West-Boise State and Fresno State race candidates.

Throwing in Utah and Oregon recovering from its early season losses, the Pac-12 has six teams that can, and should, contend for the conference crown (UCLA is undefeated but the Bruins were perhaps the least impressive undefeated team in the country).

Is the Pac-12 on the same level as the SEC or the Big Ten? Probably not, but the conference looks deeper than last season and could be good enough to make some noise at the end of the season.

Could the mountainous west be more open?


Wyoming quarterback Andrew Paisley holds the ball during a college football game against Illinois on Saturday, August 27, 2022, in Champaign, Illinois.

Charles Rex Arbogast, The Associated Press

On the surface, Wyoming’s victory over the Air Force on Saturday was not very surprising.

Sure, the Hawks are expected to compete for the Mountain West Championship while the Cowboys are not, but turmoil occurs in team play all the time.

Throw in early-season performances for traditional powers like Boise State, San Diego State and Fresno State — who are 4-5 overall overall — and yet Mountain West looks as open as it has been for years.

During the first month of the season, no Mountain West team was undefeated, and every team except Colorado State had at least one win.

No team has impressed, except perhaps UNLV, who may have their best team in a decade.

The conference is wide open, or so those competing in it have believed.

“I think it’s really competitive across the board,” said Anderson, the USU coach. “I think it’s a ball game for anyone on a particular Saturday. We haven’t had as success against the Power Fives as we did a year ago, but in terms of playing across conference lines against each other, I think everyone can win.

“The encouraging thing is that we have a chance and the frustrating thing is that everyone is good enough to beat you.”

Is there a better story than KS?


Kansas head coach Lance Leibold during the second half of a NCAA football game against Houston, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Houston.

Eric Christian Smith, news agency

Kansas undefeated. The Jayhawks 3-0, with a Big 12 contest win.

Once again, Kansas was not defeated.

For more than a decade, Kansas has been the worst Power Five in college football, with apologies to teams like Vanderbilt, Arizona, Georgia Tech, and others.

But not much anymore.

Lance Leipold worked wonders in Lawrence, turning the Jayhawks into a competitive team.

At worst, the Jayhawks could ruin some seasons in the Big 12, and at best they could legitimately finish towards the top of the conference standings, which they haven’t done since 2007.

Kansas has already had its best single-season win at any time in the past 12 years and is on track to qualify for its first ball game since 2009.

Leibold has been rumored to be a candidate for Nebraska’s next head coach, and with good reason. The Jayhawks are the best storyline in college football right now and host the unbeaten Duke on Saturday, with a chance to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2007, the same year he played for Kansas and beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.