Welcome to the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 3. There are major shifts in the conference power rankings after a couple of conference games in week 2. Cal shocked the world (except me) and beat Washington for the second year in a row. Washington State fans want respect after blowing out two doormat teams. There is a fight for the worst team in the conference by Oregon State and UCLA. 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. Oregon, Utah, and USC seem to be the only teams with a real shot at the playoff left.
- Hawaii has defeated two Pac-12 teams. If they beat Washington this week I will include them in the Pac-12 rankings for the remainder of the season.
For Reference Check out the Pac-12 Power Rankings from Week 2
Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 3:
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 email@example.com.
12. Oregon State Beavers (0-2)
Last Week: 28-31 (L) Hawaii
This loss to Hawaii was awful. The Rainbow Warriors already knocked off Arizona so OSU should have been ready. They were able to run the football all day but kept trying to pass the football. Jermar Jefferson ran for 183 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. I am looking for wins on the Beavers schedule. The only one I can find is next week against Cal Poly.
11. UCLA Bruins (0-2)
Last Week: 14-23 (L) San Diego State
UCLA is fighting extremely hard to displace Oregon State as the worst team in the conference. It is inexplicable why the Bruins are so bad. Dorian Thompson-Robinson was statistically better and only had one turnover vs SDSU. But he was still not good enough for his team to stay in the game. I am not sure why Chip Kelly does not speed up the offense like he did at Oregon with Darren Thomas to keep defenses off balance. I am scared of what the score will be this week against Oklahoma.
10. Arizona Wildcats (1-1)
Last Week: 65-41 Northern Arizona
Wildcats’ fans will tell you that the second string gave up all these points to Northern Arizona. However, the second string is still part of the team. These teams are playing football so players will inevitably get hurt and those second-team players will have to play meaningful snaps. Ralph Amsden is still an Arizona and Khalil Tate truther. He believes they will somehow become a competitive team in the Pac-12, but we all know they won’t.
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9. Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0)
Last Week: 19-7 (W) vs Sacramento State
No team scared me more in a win than ASU. If Sacramento State had an accurate quarterback they may have given Sun Devils fans a heart attack. Their offensive line had a tough time protecting Jaylen Daniels and creating running lanes for Eno Benjamin. The good news is that Herm Edwards has his team 2-0. They will be bound for a bowl game if by some miracle they can slip by Michigan State.
8. Washington State Cougars (2-0)
Last Week: 59-17 (W) vs Northern Colorado
I know Wazzu fans are frustrated with these rankings. Fans in my mentions on Twitter and emails keep saying it’s ridiculous they aren’t higher because WSU has the “most efficient offense in the nation”. They also have one of the worst schedules in the nation. They have played one of the worst FBS teams and an FCS team. Wazzu has a QB that nobody has seen play real competition. So, they may skyrocket up once they play someone. Remember how everyone thought Jacob Eason was Payton Manning until they played Cal?
7. Stanford Cardinal (1-1)
Last Week: 20-45 (L) at USC
I held out hope that quarterbacked KJ Costello would be able to play against USC (I like to see good football games). He missed the game and it was clear that the Cardinal missed him. They came out and looked good initially but were ultimately overwhelmed by USC’s receiving core. Next week against UCF will give us a lot of insight on how good this team is.
6. Colorado Buffaloes (2-0)
Last Week: 34-31 (W) vs Nebraska
The Buffaloes sleepwalked through the first 2.5 quarters. It took a ridiculous 24 point fourth quarter to come back and send the game to overtime. The thing we do know about Colorado is they are more mentally tough than last season. Wins over Colorado State and Nebraska are a solid start to the season. Their dominance has not been there but quality wins get high marks.
5. Washington Huskies (1-1)
Last Week: 19-20 (L) vs CAL.
On the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, I was asked if I thought the 2-hour lightning delay that forced a lot of Huskies fans to their cars and ultimately home had an effect of the outcome. My answer was that Huskies fans are fantastic and loud, but I don’t believe it impacted the game. Cal’s defense is just suffocating. Jacob Eason appears to be better than Jake Browning but not has great as advertised. UW should have a great season, and don’t be surprised if their running back Ahmed has a couple 200+ yard games.
And then there is this twitter interaction with Cal’s defensive back coach Gerald Alexander and former Huskies WR Dante Pettis.
4. USC Trojans (2-0)
Last Week: 45-20 (W) vs Stanford
You never want to see a player injured but USC has the right man at QB now. Kedon Slovis isn’t the typical 4-5* kid that we normally see at USC. He was an under the radar recruit who most thought would just fill the roster out in case of an emergency. Slovis clearly has other plans. Slovis finished 28/33 for 377 yards and three touchdowns.
USC looked absolutely dominant against Stanford after the first quarter. Can they keep up that high level of play through the rest of the season?
3. Utah Utes (2-0)
Last Week: 35-17 (W) vs Northern Illinois
Utah is just solid. They are a good team who is well-coached with NFL talent on defense and at RB. The Northern Illinois game did expose another possible weakness of the 2019 Utes. There were multiple times where the speed of NIU gave Utah trouble. That means playing USC and a potential matchup with Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game could be problematic.
If I have said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times, Tyler Huntley will need to be GREAT 2-3 times this year if the Utes are to win the conference and make a Rose Bowl of CFB Playoff appearance.
2. Cal Golden Bears (2-0)
Last Week: 20-19 (W) at Washington
When I watch Cal play the only thing I think is “what if”. What if the Golden Bears had a really good QB? If they did they would be a top 5 team. This team is so well-coached and tough. They are fun to watch. The problem is that if they need more than 20 points against a top opponent they can’t get there without scoring on defense.
Cal scored major points in the rankings this week for beating a team most thought had a shot at going undefeated.
1. Oregon Ducks (1-1)
Last Week: 77-6 (W) Nevada
The Ducks made a statement against Nevada who beat Purdue in week one. Their offense still needs to prove it in conference play. And they need to play well on the road because Oregon has struggled away from home the last couple of seasons. After two games, it looks as if the Ducks have their most stout defense of the last 15 years. As of now, the boys from Eugene look to be the favorites to win the Pac-12. They deserve to be #1 on the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 3.
Check back every Monday for the Pac-12 Power Rankings.