Welcome to the first edition of our 2017 Power Rankings. Yeah, we’re a bit late to the game, but at least we saved ourselves the frustration of the Beavers dropping from the middle of the ranks (where some of us thought they would be) to the bottom.
1. Washington (#6 in AP Poll, 6-0 overall, 3-0 conference)
Of the two unbeaten teams left in the conference, the Huskies have the most impressive resume. While they have been heckled for the weakness of their non-conference schedule, what they have done defensively is impressive. They rank second in the nation for total defense (228.8 ypg) and third in for score defense (10.2 ppg).
Up next: At Arizona State
2. Washington State (#8 in AP Poll, 6-0 overall, 3-0 conference)
As the only other unbeaten in the conference, the Cougars have made it from the preseason unranked to the top ten. While they have been known for their air raid offense the last few years, the team on the Palouse has finally developed an opportunistic defense to go along with their gunslinging style.
Up next: at California.
3. USC (#13 in AP Poll, 5-1 overall, 2-1 conference)
The Trojans got back on the winning track by beating the Beavs at home. While the score was lopsided, the men of Troy did not look impressive due to a number of miscues (some of them unforced). Fortunately, they will face their second straight opponent that’s trying to find consistency from a backup quarterback.
Up next: versus Utah.
4. Stanford (#23 in AP Poll, 4-2 overall, 3-1 conference)
Stanford made its way back into the national ranks by beating a ranked Utah team on the road despite a pedestrian performance from Bryce Love (okay he still got 152 yards). They would be better off if they could settle on a quarterback.
Up next: versus Oregon.
5. Utah (RV in AP Poll, 4-1 overall, 1-1 conference)
Since replacing injured starting quarterback Tyler Huntley, backup Troy Williams has struggled to find a rhythm (50% completion rate this season). The Utes suffered their first loss this last weekend to Stanford and now have to go to Los Angeles where they haven’t beaten the Trojans since 1916.
Up next: at USC.
6. UCLA (3-2 overall, 1-1 conference)
The Bruins could easily be 2-3 right now if it weren’t for the second largest comeback (or meltdown) in FBS history. I bet they’re happy they got a bye last week so they could watch their next opponent’s quarterback break a college record (more on that in a bit).
Up next: at Arizona.
7. Arizona State (2-3 overall, 1-1 conference)
Not sure what to make of Arizona State right now. They’ve lost to three respectable teams and beat Oregon, but struggled to separate from New Mexico State in their opener. All I know is that the next few contests will be tough as they play three of the top five teams in consecutive weeks.
Up next: versus Washington.
8. Oregon (4-2 overall, 1-2 conference)
The Ducks looked poised for a big turnaround year after a fast start, but after the injury to starting quarterback, Justin Herbert, they fell flat against Washington State. If a quarterback doesn’t get settled for them, the next four weeks will be rough as three of them are on the road at Stanford, UCLA, and Washington.
Up next: at Stanford.
9. Arizona (3-2 overall, 1-1 conference)
Arizona broke into the conference win column after their backup quarterback shredded the Colorado defense for 327 rushing yards (breaking the record for FBS quarterbacks). You’d have to imagine that Khalil Tate will continue to give Pac-12 defenses fits for the rest of the year.
Up next: versus UCLA.
10. California (3-3 overall, 0-3 conference)
The Bears have fallen back down to earth after surprising everyone with their 3-0 start. They have had a tough three game stretch with USC, Oregon, and Washington in consecutive weeks, and things won’t get easier this week with Wazzu visiting this weekend.
Up next: versus Washington State.
11. Colorado (3-3 overall, 0-3 conference)
Another team on a three game losing streak after a 3-0 start, the Buffs may be finally feeling the effects of of their key departures from a year ago. They really should be ranked above Cal, but they did just give up 327 rushing yards to a backup quarterback (did anybody else have flashbacks to Mark Banker’s defenses?), so I thought that was worthy of a bump down. Good news for the Buffs is they play our twelfth ranked team this week.
Up next: at Oregon State.
12. Oregon State (1-5 overall, 0-3 conference)
The Beaver community was hit hard this week with the sudden departure and Gary Andersen. It makes you wonder what will be going on in the minds of the players as they take the field on Saturday. In the battle of winless conference foes, Oregon state will be led by interim head coach Cory Hall. Will the change spark a fire under this team? Don’t count on it.
Up next: versus Colorado.