Welcome to the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 5. Between the amazing UCLA comeback against Washington State and referees in the Ole Miss game, the Pac-12 was the buzz of the nation after week 4. It is clear that the Pac-12 is getting respect nationally because there are five teams ranked between 11-21. Oregon, Washington, Cal, and USC all have a shot at winning the Pac-12 and landing a berth in the College Football Playoff Top 4 if things shake out in their favor.
For Reference Check out the Pac-12 Power Rankings from Week 4
Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 5:
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 (1-2)
Last Week: IDLE
The Beavers got to enjoy their win for another week and put in new wrinkles for Stanford. At this point, that looks like a very winnable game for OSU. It is at home against a wounded Stanford. They just have to figure out a way to stop the run. Right now, OSU is dead last in the Pac-12 against the run giving up 207 ypg.
11. Stanford Cardinal (1-2)
Last Week: 21-6 (L) at Oregon
This team is headed in the wrong direction fast. We have seen cracks in the David Shaw system for the last couple of years, but the dam finally broke. He is part of the Jim Harbaugh coaching tree and they both are suffering the same fate. Neither can produce any kind of effective or explosive offense for the last two seasons. Other teams have adjusted to Stanford’s running attack and David Shaw has been unwilling to change his offense. If they lose to Oregon State, the Pac-12 world will be in shock.
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10. Arizona Wildcats (2-1)
Last Week: IDLE
Arizona should feel good about themselves on the heels of their Texas Tech victory and week off. Khalil Tate is now their leading passer and rusher again. Over the last two games, Arizona has looked more like the 2017 team that saw Khalil Tate be dynamic with his legs. Their biggest issue is on defense. The Wildcats are giving up 33 ppg and 484 ypg, both of which are 2nd to last in the Pac-12. Big game vs UCLA this week.
9. UCLA Bruins (1-3)
Last Week: 67-63 (W) Washington State
Epic comeback for the ages by UCLA. By now, you would have to be living under a rock to have missed highlights of their 32-point comeback in a quarter and a half against Washington State. I am left with more questions about this team than answers. Did the “light” come on for QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson? Did Chip Kelly find his offensive groove again? Was the second half of the Wazzu game the real UCLA, or are they the team that couldn’t score more than 14 points their first three games? If they can put together a string of victories they will find themselves flying up the Pac-12 Power Rankings.
8. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1)
Last Week: 31-34 (L) vs Colorado
Herm Edwards summed up the difference between college and pro teams perfectly. He said pro teams are consistent and you know what you will get on a week in and week out basis. College teams are inconsistent from week to week. His Sun Devils were the epitome of that in week 4. Their offense had struggled against Sacramento State and Michigan State while their defense was stout. Against Colorado, their offense was explosive and their defense was porous.
7. Washington State Cougars (3-1)
Last Week: 63-67-28 (L) vs UCLA
Coug’d it. College football fans got to see a ridiculously improbable comeback. But, there is another side to the story. Washington State has to pick up the pieces after a historic collapse. Will they regroup and play well against Utah on the road this week, or will they let UCLA beat them twice?
The Cougars only improved their amazing offensive numbers against UCLA. Anthony Gordon is leading the nation in passing yards and touchdown passes.
6. Colorado Buffaloes (3-1)
Last Week: 34-31 (W) vs Arizona State
Mel Tucker’s team can’t play defense yet, but they can score points and they are battle-tested. The good news is that they finally started fast. They fell behind early in their last two games but came out strong versus ASU. The Buffaloes get a week off in week 5. Their fans have to be happy about this 3-1 start but know that they will have to finish strong to make a bowl game.
5. Utah Utes (3-1)
Last Week: 23-30 (L) vs USC
This had to be a deflating loss for Utah. They were preseason Pac-12 favorites, ranked #10 in the country and had rolled through non-conference play. However, I have been saying it since the season started, their offense will be their demise. We all know their defense is usually spectacular, but to win championships, your offense will need to save the day sometimes. Utah’s offense and QB Tyler Huntley aren’t built to score a lot of points or have amazing passing days. This is still a really good team that can win the Pac-12 South but will need to regroup.
4. USC Trojans (3-1)
Last Week: 30-23 (W) vs Utah
New QB, no problem. USC has started three different quarterbacks this season and has won three games. That is a huge testament to Graham Harrell and Clay Helton for having the young guys ready. It is also, really easy to be a 300-yard passer when you have the best receiving core in the nation to throw to. Many people expected Clay Helton to be 1-3 and on the way out the door at this point in the season. He’s proving he won’t be fired without a fight.
USC fans are so conflicted, they are happy to be winning, but frustrated that Clay Helton is the one leading them.
3. Washington Huskies (3-1)
Last Week: 45-19 (W) vs BYU
Since their loss to Cal, Washington has put down two impressive performances. They dismantled Hawaii and BYU. It seems like Jacob Eason and this offense are in a real groove. Can they continue to put up these types of offense performances against the top defenses in the conference, Oregon, and Utah?
The Huskies were in this position last year and still managed to win the Pac-12 and get a Rose Bowl berth.
2. Cal Golden Bears (4-0)
Last Week: 28-20 (W) at Ole Miss
What in the hell got into Chase Garbers against Ole Miss? He passed for 357 yards and 4 touchdowns. Do you realize that is about 15% of his career total passing yards? If he can continue this high level of play, Cal can go undefeated and win the Pac-12. their defense is suffocating and unrelenting. Imagine what happens when Justin Wilcox gets a team full of 4-5*athletes.
1. Oregon Ducks (3-1)
Last Week: 21-6 (W) Stanford
The Ducks are putting the conference and nation on notice they are back. Justin Herbert has put up excellent passing numbers despite missing the best parts of their receiving corps for all of this season. Oregon’s defense is #13 in the nation for total defense and hasn’t allowed a touchdown in three straight games. The only thing that can slow the Ducks down is their inability to generate explosive running plays this season. If they get the running game on track this team has enough momentum to propel them to the College Football Playoff.
Check back every Monday for the Pac-12 Power Rankings.