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Pac-10 Power Rankings: Halfway Point

We're nine games in to the Pac-10 schedule, and there are nine more to go. Biggest surprise? I've gotta go with the Beavers. Biggest failure? I'll go with the Sun Devils. Here's the rest of my ballot.... feel free to agree or disagree in the thread below.

  1. Washington (16-5, 7-2) - Guard Justin Dentmon looks like a lock to follow OSU's Roeland Schaftenaar as Pac-10 player of the week. He was 7 of 12 from three-point range and scored 23 points against Arizona on Thursday (the Huskies lost...) and then scored 30 points to help is team defeat Arizona State on Thursday. Freshman Isaiah Thomas added 25 points in the win against ASU. They continue to hang on to the #1 spot in my poll, due to their win over UCLA last week in the first meeting between those to schools. This week: The Huskies will travel to the Bay Area to play Cal and Stanford.
  2. UCLA (17-4, 7-2) - The Bruins have tripped up against Washington and Arizona State this season, but those are two of the best teams in the conference. UCLA got back on the right track this week with two wins at home against Cal and Stanford. On Saturday, Darren Collison, Alfred Aboya, and Jrue Holiday each scored 15 points. There was a stretch between the first and second halves where UCLA went on a 40-14 run against the Cardinal, as they went on to win 97-63. This week: It's rival USC on Thursday.
  3. Arizona State (16-5, 5-4) - Swept, at home, against the Washington schools? I never would have suspected it, but the Sun Devils are 5-4 through the first half of the Pac-10 schedule. That's what Oregon State's record could have been, had the Beavers made some free throws against Washington State. Sophomore sensation James Harden is averaging nearly 22 points per game, and Jeff Pendergraph is getting about 14. This week: Eugene and then Corvallis. 
  4. USC (15-6, 6-3) - Solid weekend for the Trojans, as they defeated the Bay Area schools at home. They defeated Stanford by a mere one point, but beat the Golden Bears by eleven, with help from Taj Gibson's 32 points on the weekend. The Trojans have now won five of their last six, having tripped over Oregon State, UCLA, and Washington the first time around the Pac-10 schedule. This week: rival UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
  5. Cal (16-6, 5-4) - Mike Montgomery's bunch have lost four of their last five, with the only win in that five game stretch coming against Oregon, who didn't win a game in their first trip around the Pac-10. The Golden Bears better figure something out quick, as top-ranked Washington will invade Haas Pavilion on Thursday night, followed by the Cougars on Saturday. You'd expect the Bears to lose to the Huskies and beat the Cougars, but they need to pull of a sweep to get back up the Pac-10 standings. This week: Washington and Washington State at home. 
  6. Oregon State (10-10, 4-5) - The Beavers have won four straight since Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, with wins coming against Cal, Stanford, Cal State Bakersfield, and the Oregon Ducks. Craig Robinson started his relationship with the most-oftenest played rivialry game in College Basketball history on a positive note-- with a 57-54 win. They Beavers may have missed six free throws in the final 1:20, but that's why you have a guy like Roeland Schaftenaar who banks in threes from 25 feet deep to give your team a big enough cushion to seal the win. This week: Arizona and Arizona State at Gill.
  7. Arizona (14-8, 4-5) - Lute Olsen can still be spotted at most Wildcat home games, but Arizona has been hot and cold under interim-man Russ Pennell. In the first trip around the Pac-10, the Wildcats were swept by Cal and Stnaford, swept the Oregon Schools, were swept by UCLA and USC, lost to rival Arizona State, then swept the Washington schools. And also, during that stretch, Chase Budinger got stomped on by Houston's Aubrey Coleman. Where will the Wildcats go during the second half of the Pac-10 season? Hard to say. We'll find something out Thursday when Arizona comes to Gill. This week: Corvallis, then Eugene. 
  8. Washington State (12-9, 4-5) - The Cougars found a way to beat Arizona State on the road, but after the loss to Washington, the Cougs are just one of their last four games heading into the second half. They split their home games with the Bay Area schools earlier in the year, but they'll need a sweep this weekend at Cal and Stanford to get back over .500 in conference play. This week: at the Bay Area schools.  
  9. Stanford (13-6, 3-6) - The Cardinal have lost three straight, and won just three games in the first half of the Pac-10 season. They beat Arizona, Cal, and Oregon, all teams who are struggling so far this season. They have three straight games at Maples Pavilion, including a non-conference game with Cal State Bakersfield that could revitalize their season. This week: Washington and Washington State at Maples. 
  10. Oregon (6-15, 0-9) - If the Ducks lose the rest of the games on their schedule, they'll finish with the exact same record (6-24, 0-18) that Oregon State did a year ago. But Ernie Kent is not stopping to that level, saying that this is a completely different situation: "The difference in the game was all the missed layups. That's been the tale of this team all season long." Really, coach? This week: Arizona State, then Arizona. 
Again, your perspective is more than welcome.