If UCLA thought its wins over Washington and Utah were big the past 2 weeks, imagine how big this bye week was for the Bruins.

Not only did they get a chance to rest up and get healthy heading into a pivotal matchup with Oregon at Autzen Stadium next weekend, but UCLA moved up to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 after its heated rival dropped a huge game at Utah. Now with the Trojans on the outside of the Playoff picture and looking in, all eyes are on the Bruins next week.

How much of that potential is fact and how much of it is fiction? Read below.

1. Impression: UCLA wins the bye week

It doesn’t feel all that long ago that UCLA fans were calling for Chip Kelly’s head, dissatisfied with a 10-21 start to his tenure and a general malaise that had set over the program. Even an 8-win season by the Bruins last year did little to appease Bruins fans who long for their first Rose Bowl bid this millennium.

Then UCLA went out and started the season 6-0 with back-to-back wins over ranked Pac-12 opponents, and all of a sudden, Kelly is the darling of Westwood.

But even Kelly couldn’t imagine the Bruins’ fortunes on Saturday. His team now stands alone atop the Pac-12 at 3-0 in conference play and 6-0 overall, just ahead of Oregon, which is also 3-0 in conference play but 5-1 overall.

Next week’s matchup between UCLA and Oregon will determine the fate of the Pac-12 season. The Ducks, with a brutal loss to Georgia in Week 1, have a long, long road to climb if they want to even sniff a Playoff berth. With a win, the Bruins would boast victories over No. 15 Washington, No. 11 Utah and 10th-ranked Oregon. With one matchup with a ranked team remaining — USC in Week 12 — would the Bruins have enough juice to make up ground?

Verdict: First impression

2. Impression: USC can still win the Pac-12

This isn’t just a reflection of the Trojans’ loss to Utah on Saturday, but of the two other losses they suffered: Jordan Addison and Eric Gentry.

Not only was the USC defense exposed in a big way, not only did the Trojans fail to record a sack, but Gentry’s loss would leave a gaping hole. It didn’t look good for one of the team’s emotional leaders, who hopped out of the medical tent and back onto the field to fire up his team late in the game.

Addison won’t be so easy to replace either, should his knee injury sideline him for an extended period. The reigning Biletnikoff Award winner had already crossed the century mark and looked like a more involved piece of the USC puzzle than he had in weeks, catching 7 passes before he went down on a 10-yard run late in the 3rd quarter.

Without them — heck, without either one of them — and USC can kiss its title chances goodbye. Suddenly, the Trojans’ talent doesn’t appear so abundant.

Verdict: False impression

3. Impression: David Shaw saved his job with win at Notre Dame

Stanford’s win in South Bend would have been the kind of victory to truly celebrate if it didn’t feel like the Cardinal were already the walking dead.

A 1-4 start, which includes a 4-game losing streak, was not what Shaw expected in what was supposed to be a bounce-back year. Or, what needed to be a bounce-back year, at least.

After the team’s first win over an FBS team in a year, Shaw needs to build on the momentum next week in a winnable matchup against Arizona State. Then comes UCLA, and the Cardinal have played spoiler to the Bruins before.

But if Shaw doesn’t keep his foot on the gas pedal, he’s going to have to really sell a vision to stay at the helm.

Verdict: False impression

4. Impression: Utes played themselves back into Pac-12 title race

After last Saturday’s brutal loss to UCLA, you could be forgiven if you wrote off No. 20 Utah as a Pac-12 contender.

The Utes were run off the field by a Bruins squad that they’d owned over the last half-dozen years. It wasn’t even really close. UCLA just looked like the bigger, badder, tougher team.

Well on Saturday, after letting USC set the tempo in the first half, the Utes burst through in the second half to claim a 43-42 last-minute win over the Trojans and re-enter the Pac-12 title race. A Nov. 19 matchup with Oregon looms large — if the Ducks get through UCLA and the Utes stay true until that fateful Saturday, the league race may be decided then.

That’s good news to Utah, which just a week ago felt like it was out of it.

Verdict: First impression

5. Impression: The Pac-12 is out of the Playoff race with 6 weeks left

And speaking of out of it …

UCLA’s big bye week leaves it in the driver’s seat of the Pac-12 with 6 games remaining. But a cupcake nonconference schedule does not reflect well on the Bruins, nor on the conference.

While the Georgias of the world were taking on Oregon in Week 1 — and smashing the Ducks, 49-3 — the Bruins were playing Bowling Green, Alabama State and South Alabama in successive weeks. UCLA made easy work out of the first 2 opponents, but South Alabama played the Bruins surprisingly tough, and instead of UCLA getting the benefit of the doubt, the team has little to show for its first 3 weeks of play.

Of course, the final 3 weeks mean a heck of a lot more than the first 3 weeks, but with the Bruins undefeated and the Ducks having to explain that season-opener away, the Pac-12 isn’t in a good position.

Verdict: First impression

6. Impression: Cal still has a chance for a bowl bid

Talk about coughing up the postseason. The Bears might have just fumbled away their chance at a bowl bid.

A loss to Colorado is just about unforgivable, but not as unforgivable as Cal’s schedule over the next 6 weeks. The Bears must face Washington, Oregon, USC, Oregon State Stanford and UCLA down the stretch. That list includes 4 of the league’s top 5 teams. The Beavers and Cardinal are no pushovers, as they proved today.

Where do you find 2 wins in that group?

Verdict: False impression