Welcome back to the Pac-12 football power rankings. Another week has gone, and the conference makes even less sense than the prior week. But still we trek on!
What sort of shake-ups will we see in the rankings this week? Read on to find out!
#12. Oregon State Beavers (1-2 Overall)
Well here we are again. I had a tough time ranking the 11 and 12 spot, but UCLA taking down a top 20 team warrants them a short rise in the rankings. Oregon State had no game this past weekend, as they will prepare for a down Stanford team in hopes of creating a win streak.
Next Opponent: vs Stanford
#11. UCLA Bruins (1-3 Overall, 1-0 Conference)
UCLA. Holy cow where do I start. The Bruins took down the Washington State Cougars in a game that can only be described as #Pac12AfterDark. In a 67-63 barnburner, UCLA put up over 650 total yards with QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson put up over 500 yards passing, over 50 yards rushing, and seven combined touchdowns. The dude was the entire offense for the Bruins. Easily the biggest part of UCLA’s win can be attributed to six turnovers, and they needed each one. This is a great win for Chip Kelly, and it could be a catalyst to start racking up some wins as they now travel to Arizona.
Next Opponent: @ Arizona
#10. Stanford Cardinal (1-3 Overall, 0-2 Conference)
Stanford may have lost to a superior Oregon team, but they played far better than anyone expected. Limiting Oregon to just 320 yards is an accomplishment. But it didn’t help that KJ Costello and the offense had absolutely nothing going all night. It has to be frustrating for David Shaw to see his team flip-flop so much on what’s going wrong. Against UCF, Stanford had no defense, this week they had no offense. Shaw will need to right the ship fast, as Stanford could also be walking into another tough matchup against the Beavs this weekend.
Next Opponent: @ Oregon State
#9. Arizona Wildcats (2-1 Overall)
The Wildcats had a bye this past weekend. This weekend they will face a UCLA team coming off their first win of the season. Arizona may be a better team, but UCLA is riding a wave of momentum which could be a danger to the Cats.
Next Opponent: vs UCLA
#8. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference)
Immediately after their introduction to the top 25, Arizona State walked smack into a trap game against the Buffs. The Sun Devils defense had driven much of their success, allowing 21 total points through the first three games of the season. However against the Buffs, Colorado hung up 24 points in just one half. Arizona State couldn’t stop the Buffs for much of the night. Jayden Daniels played a decent game, but it wasn’t enough to take down Colorado. ASU now preps for a dangerous Cal Bears team on Friday night.
Next Opponent: @ #15 Cal
#7. Colorado Buffaloes (3-1 Overall, 1-0 Conference)
On the flip side of the game we just talked about; Colorado pulled out a good win against a quality team. This was an essential win the the Buffs needed to bounce back after the loss to Air Force. Steven Montez was dealing against the Sun Devils, and played a massive role in helping the Buffs win. The Buffs have looked like a strong team this season, and are now halfway to bowl eligibility. After a hard fought win, the Buffs get a bye this week to recover.
Next Opponent: Bye
#6. #21 USC Trojans (3-1 Overall, 2-0 Conference)
In what could be the biggest win of the season for USC, the Trojans need to turn to their third string QB after Kedon Slovis went down with an injury. I don’t think anyone anticipated Matt Fink coming in and shining against one of the top defenses in the nation, but that’s exactly what he did. The former third-stringer threw for 351 yards and three TDs. The run game for USC was stifled the entire night, which makes Fink’s performance all the more impressive considering he had no run support. FInk’s play elevated the rest of the team, and has USC in the driver seat for the South in the early season.
Next Opponent: @ #17 Washington
#5. Washington State Cougars (3-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference)
You almost have to feel bad for Anthony Gordon. The kid balls out and throws for nearly 600 yards and 9 TDs (which broke Gardner Minshew’s record for most Wazzu TDs in a game), and can’t get any help from his defense as they allow 67 points to one of the worst teams in the conference. Now, turning the ball over 6 times doesn’t help. Still, Wazzu was in position to win down the stretch. They still control their own fate and could make a run at a New Year’s Six bowl, as this team is talented enough to do so.
Next Opponent: @ #19 Utah
#4. #15 Cal Bears (4-0 Overall, 1-0 Conference)
Cal is the last undefeated team in the Pac-12. Just like we all predicted. Yeah, I’m totally kidding. Seriously though, Cal’s start to the season has been incredibly impressive, as they have taken down quality teams such as Washington and now an SEC foe in Ole Miss. Their defense has been the strongest part of their hot start and now the offense is picking up the slack to make this a complete team. Cal has proven they can hang with very good teams and are in prime position to make a statement in the Pac-12.
Next Opponent: vs Arizona State
#3. #19 Utah Utes (3-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference)
Losing this game was a tough blow for Utah. Not only will they lose their top 10 ranking after just earning it, but losing to USC gives the Trojans an inside edge on the South side of the conference. Tyler Huntley and the Utes offense as a whole took a step back as they struggled to gain any sort of momentum throughout the game. In addition, the vaunted Utah defense allowed a third string QB to come in and light them up in a big Pac-12 South game. Regardless of the disappointing loss, Utah is a team that still has one of the better chances at a New Year’s Six bowl. They will bounce back.
Next Opponent: vs Washington State
#2. #13 Oregon Ducks (3-1 Overall, 1-0 Conference)
Oregon pulled off a tough win against Stanford to open their conference play on the young season. Justin Herbert and the offense were not their usual selves, but they did just enough to secure a win. It was actually the Ducks defense that stepped up and held Stanford to under 250 total yards. The offense’s performance was not ideal by any means, but if they can come around and supplement the defense, the Ducks could become the scariest team in the Pac-12 as conference play opens up.
Next Opponent: Bye
#1. #17 Washington Huskies (3-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference)
The Huskies reclaim the top spot in this week’s power rankings as they kept rolling. U-Dub took down a good BYU team that has been playing well up till this point in the season. After losing to Cal, Washington has posted back-to-back weeks with over 45 points scored. Jacob Eason has the dogs humming on offense as he has firmly cemented himself as a top QB in this conference. As usual, Chris Peterson has the defense balling out. All of this is adding up to another year of the Huskies being the top dogs in the conference (pun intended).
Next Opponent: vs #21 USC
After the wackiness of week 4 in the Pac-12, we saw a shakeup in the rankings. And I’m certain there will be many more to come.
What are your thoughts? Should one team be higher? Lower? Let us know in the comments section!