Welcome to the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 2. The conference had a strong week one at 8-4. A team from the Pac-12 has a real chance to make the College Football Playoffs in 2019. However, those chances took a real blow with Oregon’s loss to Auburn. There is a lot of football left to be played and it’s not over yet. The conference has a chance to quiet all the outside noise about money and tv deals, and the Pac-12 network by winning the rest of their non-conference games.
Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 2:
Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games. The Pac-12 Power Rankings will available on Unafraid Show every Monday morning. Make sure you send your comments and grievances to firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. Oregon State Beavers (0-1)
Last Week: 36-52 (L) OSU
The Oregon State offense put up nearly 450 yards of offense against Oklahoma State. A productive offense was a welcome sight for their fans However, Oregon State gave up nearly 600 including 352 on the ground. It is going to be a long season for the defense if they cannot stop the run. Pac-12 running backs will be looking to pad their stats on Beavers week.
11. Arizona Wildcats (0-1)
Last Week: OPEN
Arizona mercifully had an open ween last week. They needed time to mentally recover from losing to Hawaii. They get a chance to redeem themselves in an expected blowout win against Northern Arizona… I really hope I didn’t just jinx them.
10. UCLA Bruins (0-1)
Last Week: 14-24 (L) Cincinnatti
After week 1 I could not have lost any more hope in my darkhorse Pac-12 South pick. Chip Kelly’s offense is totally unrecognizable from his Oregon days. UCLA wasn’t fast, efficient, or explosive. Dorian Thompson-Robinson appeared to have a regression from his freshman year in week 1. If he is not better against San Diego State this week we may see a change at QB. Coaches say teams make the biggest improvements from week 1, so there’s hope.
9. Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)
Last Week: 52-31 (W) vs Colorado State
A win is a win for Colorado. They snapped their 7-game losing streak dating back to last season. Mel Tucker has his team on the right track. The best part of the win was that they did it without a big game from their best player Laviska Shenault. He only finished with a combined 6 touches for 83 yards and 1 touchdown. The bad news is that they gave up 505 yards of total offense including 374 passing yards to an inferior CSU team. Next week will be a real test as Nebraska rolls into town.
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8. Cal Golden Bears (1-0)
Last Week: 27-13 (W) vs UC Davis
Cal was expected to blow the doors off of UC Davis, but they got a scare through the first three quarters. The defense was stout as usual but the quarterback play by Chase Garbers left a lot to be desired in the first half. He did rally to end up with a respectable 238 yard, 2 touchdowns, 1 int day. Justin Wilcox has to be hoping that his young QB just had first-game jitters and will be better going forward. The bright spot was Christopher Brown Jr. who rushed for 197 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries. We will see what this team is made of next week at Washington.
7. Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0)
Last Week: 30-7 (W) vs Kent State
This was totally a good news, bad news game for ASU. The good news is that they won. Freshman Qb Jayden Daniels played well. Eno Benjamin picked up from where he left off last season. The bad news is that the Sun Devils only scored 30 points against Kent State. The offensive line allowed too much pressure on Daniels. Next week should be another cakewalk for ASU against Sacramento State. I don’t even understand why power 5 schools are even allowed to schedule FCS teams.
6. Washington State Cougars (1-0)
Last Week: 58-7 (W) vs New Mexico State
I am completely unimpressed by a 50 point win over one of the worst FBS teams in college football. Anthony Gordon got the start at quarterback and lit it up to the tune of 420 yards and 5 touchdowns. Max Borghi also added 128 yards and a touchdown on the ground. We will have no clue what this team is made out of until they get to Pac-12 conference play. Northern Colorado and Houston should be wins the next two weeks for the Cougs.
5. USC Trojans
Last Week: 31-23 (W) vs Fresno State
Before the game, I said USC would win but do little to quiet the uncertainty about Clay Helton’s job security. That is exactly what happened. The team had opportunities to put Fresno State away but just couldn’t get it done. To make matters worse, starting quarterback JT Daniels was lost for the season with a torn ACL and MCL. Now Helton must either turn to either freshman Kedon Slovis or a player who just entered the transfer portal (Sears). USC is still talented enough to finish the season atop the Pac-12 Power Rankings, but it’s unlikely.
4. Utah Utes (1-0)
Last Week: 30-12 (W) vs BYU
Impressive win by Utah in the ‘Holy War’ against BYU. Their defense absolutely locked everything down in the second half. Zack Moss returned from injury with a vengeance. He finished with 29 carries for 187 yards and 1 touchdown. Tyler Huntley only threw for 106 yards and was not impressive, but he didn’ need to be. After one week, Utah is the class of the Pac-12 south.
3. Washington Huskies (1-0)
Last Week: 47-14 (W) vs Eastern Washington
Much like Washington State and Arizona State, it is hard to move up the Pac-12 Power Rankings playing FCS or Mid-American Conference teams. The Huskies did completely dominate, as expected, so they earned high marks for dominance but no marks for quality wins or schedule played. Chris Petersen showed that no matter how many players he loses to the NFL, Washington won’t be rebuilding, only reloading. Jacob Eason looked as good as advertised. If he can put up a top tier game against Cal’s nasty pass defense I will be a believer.
2. Oregon Ducks (0-1)
Last Week: 27-21 (L) vs Auburn (in Dallas)
Why on earth do I have an 0-1 team #2 in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 2? The Ducks played the toughest game in the nation in Week 1 against Auburn. They performed well and the game looked like a win that got away. The offense was much too conservative in the second half and let Auburn steal the game. The Ducks defense looks fast, physical, and well-coached. Oregon’s offensive line held their own against the best defensive line in the nation. The Pac-12 could be theirs to claim if they keep the pedal to the metal all game.
1. Stanford Cardinal (1-0)
Last Week: 17-7 (W) vs Northwestern
Stanford had the second toughest opponent of week 1 with Northwestern. Their defense was extremely impressive. They held Northwestern to 210 total yards. Right when the Cardinal started rolling offensively in the first half their quarterback KJ Costello was knocked out with a concussion on an uncalled targeting call. In the second half, Stanford more or less just took the air out of the football and held on for deal life for a 17-7 win.
Stanford’s win was not pretty, but it was a win against a quality opponent nonetheless. The Cardinal deserves to be on top of the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 2.
Check back every Monday for the Pac-12 Power Rankings.