Pac-12 Football Review: Senior Bowl, Clay Millen Offers, Todd Orlando

Welcome to the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 11. Overall, it was a great week for the conference. The two best teams had great performances on national television while the east coast was still awake. However, Pac-12 refs managed to steal the show and become the center of attention. The officiating is so bad that even commissioner Larry Scott who said Pac-12 referees were on par with other conferences at Pac-12 Media had to admit what we all know:

“I sit through a review every single week with David Coleman, the head of our officiating, and I can tell you there’s a significant number of mistakes every week,” Scott said according to Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times.

Players and fans deserve better than to have crucial games be affected by horrendous officiating.

A few weeks ago a writer put out a parity “Pac-12 simulator” for the rest of the season that had every team finishing between 5-7 and 7-5. With the exception of Oregon and Utah, he was not far off. There is a logjam of parity and averageness below the two elite teams. Weirdly, UCLA is still alive to win the south, but that would require beating Utah.

If Oregon and Utah meet with 1-loss in the Pac-12 Championship, the winner should land a spot in the College Football Playoff Top 4.

For Reference Check out the Pac-12 Power Rankings from Week 10.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 11:

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 immad@unafraidshow.com.

12. Colorado Buffaloes (3-5, 1-4)

Last Week: 14-31 (L) at UCLA

Things are continuing to spiral out of control for the Buffaloes. They have lost five straight games and six of their last seven. Colorado has only been competitive in two of the six losses. Mel Tucker’s team appears to have quit on him the same way they quit on Mike MacIntyre when they lost seven straight to close last season. Those same players are there, which means the roster and program need a complete overhaul.

The Buffaloes are recruiting a lot of junior college players which should add a lot of depth and hungry new talent for 2020. With Stanford, Washington, and Utah left on the schedule the Buffaloes might drop eight straight to finish the season.

11. Arizona Wildcats (4-5, 2-4)

Last Week: 28-56 (L) vs Oregon State

Pac-12 Power Rankings

The Wildcats are a complete disaster. It is clear that this team is short on top tier playmakers on both sides of the ball. But, that is not even their biggest problem. For weeks I have noted that this team has no identity. Kevin Sumlin has continuously played quarterback shuffle between Khalil Tate and Grant Gunnell. The two quarterbacks couldn’t have more different styles of play. This causes confusion amongst the players and doesn’t allow Arizona to built offensive continuity.

Sumlin also fired his defensive coordinator Marcel Yates last week. The team proceeded to give up 56 points and 572 yards of total offense. Arizona moved into last place in the Pac-12 in total defense (481 ypg) and scoring defense (37.3 ppg).

10. Cal Golden Bears (4-4, 1-4)

Last Week: IDLE

Cal had a week off which means they are one week closer to getting their quarterback Chase Garbers back. The Bears broken offense has had a dramatic effect on their defense. Bad field position and turnovers have consistently put the defense in positions that even the ’85 Chicago Bears couldn’t defend against. Cal’s defense knows that do have any shot this week against Washington State, they must score points with a pick-six or fumble-six.

At this point, it would take nothing short of a miracle for Cal to make a bowl game.

9. Washington State Cougars (5-4, 2-4)

Last Week: IDLE

Washington State

The Cougars are statistically the best offense in the Pac-12. They average 41 points per game and 521 yards per game. The floor has just fallen in on the moral of Wazzu since blowing a 32-point lead against UCLA. Mike Leach has three games to find one win to get his team to their 5th consecutive bowl game.

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8. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-3, 2-3)

Last Week: IDLE

There is a term in the NFL called the “rookie wall”. That is when rookies have played more snaps and have been grinding for consecutive weeks than they did in college. Arizona State has hit the college version of that. Herm Edwards’s team is extremely young at key positions and it is starting to show.

They lived on the edge and won many early-season games by the hairs on their chinny chin chins. Now, as the season grows longer their focus faded and their youth is showing. This off week should revive the Sun Devils and they should perform much better against USC this week.

7. Washington Huskies (5-4, 2-4)

Last Week: 28-33 (L) vs Utah

Hunter Bryant Washington Hawaii

We cannot ignore the results and allow any bias to affect the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 11. Chris Petersen is a really good coach and Washington is a talented football team. However, they are 2-4 in conference play with losses to Cal, Stanford, Oregon, and Utah. Teams are their record, and UW is a middle of the road Pac-12 team right now despite playing close games against Oregon and Utah.

Jacob Eason is such an enigma to me. In the Utah game, he made throws in the first half that prove he could be an NFL 1st round pick. Then he proceeded to throw two awful interceptions including a pix-six that turned the game in Utah’s favor.

The Huskies are a young football team on defense and should be much better next season. However, the Washington fans seem to be growing impatient with the coaching staff’s lack of signature wins.

6. Stanford Cardinal (4-4, 3-3)

Last Week: IDLE

Stanford has been extremely beaten up this season, particularly at the quarterback position. The Cardinal have been night and day depending on their quarterback situation. If the quarterback is KJ Costello or Davis Mills the team can function passing the football which then opens up their running game. Hopefully, the off week allowed the team to get healthy and they can get the six wins needed to get to a bowl game.

5. Oregon State Beavers (4-4, 3-2)

Last Week: 56-38 (W) at Arizona

There is not an honest person around that could say they believed Oregon State would be second in the Pac-12 North after ten weeks of football. Jonathan Smith has far exceeded expectations in 2019. This is the same team that lost seven games by at least 21 points in 2018. Oregon State’s offense has carried them this season. The offensive combinations of Luton, Pierce, Jefferson, and Hodgins have been a nightmare for opposing defenses (except Utah). They are averaging almost 34 ppg and 431 yards per game.

Don’t sleep on DE Hamilcar Rashed for Pac-12 defensive player of the year. He leads the conference with 12 sacks.

Beavers fans who were just hunting to find winnable games on the schedule are now looking at the possibility of making a bowl game.

4. UCLA Bruins (4-5, 4-2)

Last Week: 31-14 (W) vs Colorado

Pac-12 Power Rankings UCLA

This cannot be real. UCLA is #4 in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 11. Who behind them do you put in front of a team that is 4-2 in the conference? NOBODY.

Chip Kelly has his team peaking at the right time. The Bruins even control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South. Win their last three games against Utah, USC, and Cal and they are in the Pac-12 Championship. I’m not a madman so I don’t see that happening, but just making a bowl game would be a huge victory.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson is growing up in front of our eyes and is making better decisions each week. Even UCLA’s defense has improved over the last few weeks. Their defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro has lit a fire under his team and they have responded.

If UCLA does the unthinkable and wins the Pac-12 South I am going to spike the football so hard on everyone who called me crazy in the preseason.

3. USC Trojans (5-4, 4-2)

Last Week: 24-56 (L) vs Oregon

USC doesn’t feel good to me at the three spot, but who the hell else could I put here? The Trojans are playing below expectations and have a head coach that nearly everyone believes will be replaced at the end of this season. But, they are the only team to beat Utah and are 4-2 in the conference.

USC was just demolished by Oregon. It was one of the first times that Clay Helton’s team looked like their will had been broken. His players play hard for him because they like him. College football is a results-based business and the results aren’t good enough for the Trojans.

2. Utah Utes (8-1, 5-1)

Last Week: 33-28 (W) at Washington

Is Utah better than Oregon? There are a ton of people in Salt Lake City and a couple of people in the national media who believe so. Kyle Whittingham has his team firing on all cylinders. They are tough, physical, and disciplined. The only knock on this team is that for the first time in a long time their kicking game is suspect.

I have said that Utah won’t be able to ride their defense and Zack Moss to the Pac-12 Championship game. I thought QB Tyler Huntley would have to have 2 special performances to get them there. But, that looks to be untrue right now. Maybe his special ability is his leadership and calming effect on the team.

Zack Moss is a workhorse. The only way to beat Utah is to stop him.

1. Oregon Ducks (8-1, 6-0)

Last Week: 56-24 (W) at USC

Oregon Ducks Pac-12 Rankings

The Ducks had a statement game against USC for the entire nation to see. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, they went on a 56-7 scoring run. Oregon is a complete football team. When Oregon’s offense, defense, and special teams are firing at the same time, they may be one of the four best teams in the nation.

To this point, Oregon looks like the toughest team in the Pac-12. They have faced injuries to starters and overcome having a target on their back every week. Every team in the Pac-12 wants to knock the shine off the Ducks. Week 11 is an off week for the Ducks to get healthy and mentally regroup for the stretch run.

Check back every Monday for the next Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 11.

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