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Pac-12 conference undefeated after Week 1 despite uncertain future

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Despite having only two teams committed to the conference beyond the 2023 college football season, the Pac-12 is off to one heck of a start. 

For the first time since 1932, every Pac-12 school won its season opener, according to ESPN Stats & Info. 

A view of the Pac-12 logo on the field

An overhead view of the PAC 12 logo on the field during the second half of a game between the Oregon Ducks and the Portland State Vikings at Autzen Stadium on Sept. 2, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. (Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

The conference is 13-0 as No. 6 USC moved to 2-0 on the season after defeating San Jose State in Week Zero and Nevada in Week 1. 

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No. 18 Oregon State was the last remaining Pac-12 school to kick off the year, taking on San Jose State on Sunday. 

The Beavers defeated the Spartans 42-17 as transfer quarterback DJ Uiagalelei accounted for five touchdowns in his debut. 

Uiagalelei, who transferred from Clemson in the offseason, was 20-25 for 239 yards and three touchdowns through the air, adding two scores on the ground. 

“I had fun today,” he said. “It was exciting. It was just fun to be out there and be able to play football again.”

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DJ Uiagalelei throws against San Jose State

Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, #5, throws the ball as San Jose State defensive lineman Mata Hola, #94, approaches in the first half of an NCAA college football game in San Jose, California, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

Oregon State is looking to build on a 10-win season in 2022 as head coach Jonathan Smith enters his sixth year in Corvallis. 

“I thought he saw it well, played with composure,” Smith said. “He distributed the ball, got us in the right run plays, got a couple protection checks that were critical on some throws. Without watching the tape, I thought he was really efficient.”

The future of the Pac-12 conference appears bleak as 10 schools will play in different conferences next season. 

One year after USC and UCLA announced their intention to join the Big Ten, Oregon and Washington did the same in August. Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah will head to the Big 12 after the 2023-24 seasons. 

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Caleb Williams against Nevada

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams, #13, celebrates a touchdown during a game between the Nevada Wolf Pack and the USC Trojans on Sept. 2, 2023, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On Friday, the ACC Board of Directors voted to admit Stanford, Cal and SMU as full members starting in the 2024-25 school year, leaving the Pac-12 with just Washington State and Oregon State committed beyond the academic year. 

While the “Conference of Champions” will cease to exist as it has been known for decades, the 2023 football season is the Pac-12’s best chance to snap a six-year absence from the College Football Playoff. 

The Pac-12 has five teams in the preseason top-25. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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