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Pac-12 Notebook: Week 4 Power Rankings

Week 4 in the Pac-12 brings even more shakeup in this week’s power rankings...

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Cal Poly at Oregon State Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another week of college football has come and gone, and now we are beginning to really hone in on the top teams in the nation. We witnessed a few more upsets this past weekend, so let’s break down the rankings for this week...

#12. UCLA Bruins (0-3 Overall)

This weekend’s matchup against Oklahoma got very ugly, very quickly for UCLA. A team as bad as UCLA played about as well as they could against a legitimate playoff contender and Heisman front-runner. The Sooners tallied up 300 more total yards than UCLA, and forced two turnovers against the Bruins. This was expected to be a bad game for UCLA, and the game went about exactly as we all thought. UCLA is looking at a grim season and it may not get much better against the high-flying Wazzu offense this weekend.

Next Opponent: @ #19 Washington State

#11. Oregon State Beavers (1-2 Overall)

WE ARE OUT OF THE BASEMENT. Your eyes are not deceiving you, Beaver Nation. Oregon State is no longer last on this power rankings list. The Beavers played a well-rounded game against an outmatched opponent in Cal Poly. Jake Luton was very good in his performance, and Champ Flemings delivered huge breakout game for the sophomore. Not to mention, Flemings snagged a highlight reel catch that caught everyone’s attention (including Randy Moss). Plus, the defense played well and gave Cal Poly nothing all day long. This was a game the Beavs needed to win, and they turned in a complete game for the first time this season.

Next Opponent: Bye

#10. Stanford Cardinal (1-2 Overall, 0-1 Conference)

After my bold claim that Stanford looked legit in week one, they have turned in back-to-back dreadful games. This past week against UCF was a beatdown from the opening quarter. The Golden Knights hung up 21 in the first quarter, and forced Stanford out of their game plan before the game even got going. In his first game back since his injury, KJ Costello looked average and wasn’t able to do much against the fast UCF defense. It didn’t help Costello’s case that there was no run game and a lackluster defense, neither. This team has played astoundingly poorly for a David Shaw squad. Stanford will need to start winning fast, or they could be in danger of missing a bowl game altogether.

Next Opponent: vs #16 Oregon

#9. Colorado Buffaloes (2-1 Overall)

The Buffs dropped a tough game against a solid Air Force team in overtime this week. After the boost this team got from their win over Nebraska, it has to be disheartening to drop a close one like this. Outside of Laviska Shenault Jr., the rest of the Colorado offense looked pedestrian. Still, Colorado was in position to win this game, and that is important too. So far this season, Colorado has shown they can be a competitive team in every game this season.

Next Opponent: @ #24 ASU

#8. Arizona Wildcats (2-1 Overall)

The Wildcats shocked a lot of people with their win over Texas Tech. Arizona managed to grind out a hard fought win and put their season back on track as they prepare for conference play. Khalil Tate made his impact felt, as he busted off an 84-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Gary Brightwell also had a solid day, as he rushed for over 80 yards and two touchdowns. A win like this can give a team a huge boost of momentum, which is something the Wildcats desperately needed.

Next Opponent: Bye

#7. USC Trojans (2-1 Overall, 1-0 Conference)

After throttling Stanford in week 2, the Trojans came crashing back down to Earth as they took on a hot BYU Cougars squad. BYU managed to pull out an overtime win for the second time in two weeks against the Trojans in a hard-fought game. QB Kedon Slovis had a less than stellar performance as he threw three interceptions on the day. RB Vavae Malepeai was the standout star for the Trojan offense with over 100 total yards and a touchdown on the day. USC will need to regroup quickly, as they will have to prepare for the current top team in the Pac-12 South, the Utah Utes.

Next Opponent: vs #10 Utah

#6. #23 Cal Bears (3-0 Overall, 1-0 Conference)

Cal has been a surprise team for certain to this point in the season. Cal cracks the top 25 for the first time this season after getting to a 3-0 start with their win against North Texas. Cal manages to get things done with a stellar defense, and just enough offense to get by. It’s certainly a fun sight to see Cal playing good football, but they could run into trouble this weekend. The Bears will need to stay on point, as Cal will travel to Mississippi to take on a solid Ole Miss team.

Next Opponent: @ Ole Miss

#5. #24 Arizona State Sun Devils (3-0 Overall)

In quite possibly the ugliest football game of the season so far, ASU knocked off #18 Michigan State to earn a spot in the top 25. ASU is now 3-0 on the year and is beginning to emerge as a contender for the Pac-12 South. In a win where their offense failed to get more than 220 total yards, the Sun Devils found a way to pull out a hard win (though you could also say this win is due to Michigan State’s inability to count). Arizona State has proven they can win ugly, so now they have to prove that they can keep winning. They will get another challenge this weekend from a tough Colorado team.

Next Opponent: vs Colorado

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Arizona State at Michigan State Photo by Allan Dranberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#4. #22 Washington Huskies (1-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference)

The Huskies quickly moved on from the loss to Cal to bury Hawai’i this weekend. Jacob Eason and the boys from Seattle poured it on early against a quality Hawai’i team. The defense still gave up a few big plays, but a good part of that is due to Hawai’i’s dangerous offense. Still, U-Dub once again looked very good. It’s performances like this one that reminds us why this is still one of the top teams in the conference.

Next Opponent: @ BYU

#3. #16 Oregon Ducks (2-1 Overall)

Oregon wrapped up their non-conference schedule with a commanding win over Montana. Justin Herbert was electric all game as he threw for over 300 yards and five touchdowns. In addition, Travis Dye gave the Ducks a potent threat on the ground as he rushed for over 100 yards in this game. What was most impressive is how the Ducks held a strong FCS team to less than 250 total and just three points. After a tough loss in week one, the Ducks are slowly building momentum as they prepare to take on their slate of conference games.

Next Opponent: @ Stanford

#2. #19 Washington State Cougars (3-0 Overall)

The Cougs received their first legit challenge of the season against a quality Houston Cougars team. As a surprise to no one, Anthony Gordon looked stellar and slung the rock for 440 yards and 3 touchdowns. What is so impressive about Gordon’s game is how much he spreads the ball around. Nine different players recorded a reception this week, and this show of distribution is a huge testament to a quarterback’s efficiency in an offense. Mike Leach has found another stud to put under center, and that QB has the Cougs humming along right now.

Next Opponent: vs UCLA

NCAA Football: Idaho State at Utah Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

#1. #10 Utah Utes (3-0 Overall)

As the Utes wrapped up their final tuneup game of the year, the Utes made sure they took care of business and put their opponent away early in this game, The Utes put up 24 points before halftime to quickly put this game out of reach for Idaho State. Tyler Huntley was fantastic as a passer this week as he threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns while Zack Moss bounced back with a 100 yard game of his own. When Huntley and Moss are both putting up numbers like these, the Utes offense is downright scary. Oh, and how could I forget that the Ute defense pitched a shutout and gave up 116 TOTAL yards. The Utes defense is for real, and this team is in the driver’s seat of the Pac-12 for the time being.

Next Opponent: @ USC

Week three has begun to show us the tiers in the conference. And the power rankings have begun to settle as a result.

What are your thoughts? Should one team be higher? Lower? Let us know in the comments section!