Pac-12 weekend wrap: On true contenders, false hopes, big kicks, bad defense and non-conference scoreboard watching

Jon Wilner wraps up the weekend that was in the Pac-12 and gives his thoughts on who’s rising and falling in the conference.

The Hotline posted quick hits over the weekend. Here’s an in-depth review of Week Three.

Theme of the Week I: Late drives.

Pac-12 defenses couldn’t get off the field when they needed to with little time left and so much green to protect.

Arizona State yielded a 12-play, 90-yard touchdown drive to Texas Tech, resulting in the winning margin for the Red Raiders.

Stanford allowed an 11-play, 75-yard drive that gave San Diego State the lead with less than one minute remaining.

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USC allowed a 12-play, 91-yard touchdown drive that gave Texas the edge with 45 seconds left (only to have Sam Darnold counter for the Trojans).

UCLA’s defense actually kept Memphis out of the end zone for the final 10 minutes. But the first 50 weren’t so good.

Theme of the Week II: Slamming into reverse.

With the non-conference season essentially complete (except WSU-Nevada and Stanford/USC-Notre Dame), it’s time for Pac-12 teams to start rooting for the conquered and conquerors.

The conference needs Texas to show well in the Big 12, Texas A&M to hold its own in the SEC West and Nebraska to regroup quickly.

It needs San Diego State to win the Mountain West — goodness, it needs SDSU to win the Mountain West — and it absolutely needs Notre Dame to win all but two games on its remaining schedule.

The better the competition, the better the Pac-12 will look relative to Power Five peers in the selection committee room.

Theme of the Week III: Dead end approaching.

But here’s the problem: The Pac-12 doesn’t have a single victory over a team in the current AP poll.

it doesn’t even have a victory over teams in the ‘Others receiving votes’ category.

It’s 0-2 against current top-25 teams — both losses to No. 22 San Diego State — and is 0-3 against “OTV” teams (Houston, Texas tech and Memphis).

The poll will fluctuate, of course, but there is a much-better-than-decent chance that the conference will end the season oh-fer against out-of-conference ranked opponents.

That could have an impact on College Football Playoff seed … and inclusion.

Game of the Week: USC 27, Texas 24 (2OT).

Stunning comebacks, storied programs, pulsating finish, playoff implications and high, high,…

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