Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 3: Upsets and Surprises

Pac-12 QB Rankings, June 15, Dress Rehearsal, Important Season for Pac-12 Coaches

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

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.

Pac-12 vs Mountain West Conference Football: The Failures of Larry Scott

USC v Fresno State football

Struggling to Beat a Non-Power 5 Conference

Remember, the Pac-12 is a Power 5 conference. Teams in a Power 5 conference should be able to routinely handle non-Power 5 conferences. However, time and time again, in Pac-12 vs Mountain West Conference football games, the Pac-12 is struggling. MWC teams routinely give Pac-12 programs significant trouble. How can that be the case?

Recent History of The Pac-12 vs Mountain West Conference

No, this isn’t just a recent problem because of Arizona and Hawaii. It goes beyond that. Since 2010 Pac-12 teams only have a 71.1% win-percentage against Mountain West Conference programs. Of the 64 wins and 26 losses against the Mountain West, the Pac-12 has won 11 bowl games. How many have they lost? 12. A sub-.500 record in bowl games against the MWC is inexcusable.

Against other Power 5 programs, the Mountain West has records of:

  • 5-7 against ACC 
  • 2-34 against Big-10 
  • 2-14 against Big-12 
  • 3-14 against SEC 

Overall, the ACC is the only conference with a worse record win percentage against Mountain West Conference teams. However, that is only out of 12 games. That sample size is much smaller and includes one bowl. Against all the other Power 5 conferences, the Mountain West is a small problem. So why does the Pac-12 struggle?

Money Matters

Should Larry Scott be blamed for Pac-12 vs Mountain West Conference struggles? Yes. When Larry Scott took over as the Pac-12’s commissioner, he made a very bold decision: to remove Pac-12 partnerships with major networks. Taking a bet on the Pac-12’s future success, it retained 100-percent ownership of media rights. But, much different than Larry Scott predicted, this didn’t cause the success promised.

Though the Pac-12 did grow its revenue from $100 million to $500 million since 2009, conference revenue lags behind other Power 5 conferences. In per-school revenue, the conference is $20 million behind other power leagues. Turning away from cable and other media networks is a big issue. Pac-12 games aren’t readily available around the country. Other Power 5 games are. While other conferences are reaping the rewards of growing revenue, Larry Scott’s Pac-12 is hitting a wall. 

Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps. Revenue is used for hiring coaches and staff, building and maintaining facilities, and most importantly: recruiting talent. Because of the lack of financial support, the Pac-12 has performed dreadfully in football. And not just in Pac-12 vs Mountain West Conference football games. The conference was only 3.53 points better than the average FBS team in 2018-2019, which was the lowest for any Power 5 conference in six years. Additionally, the Pac-12 holds three of the worst seven seasons in points better than the average FBS team. Moreover, only 2 of the 20 College Football Playoff teams came from the Pac-12. Also, the Pac-12 hasn’t had a national champion since the incredible 2003 and 2004 USC programs. 

It’s no wonder the biggest taunt against the Pac-12 is “The Pac-12 sucks.”

The Mountain West Conference is Rising

In recent years, Mountain West Conference football is on the rise. Even though the conference lost some of their better programs like TCU, BYU and Utah, they’ve regained prominence. With their upsurge in production, 2017 and 2018 were the MWC’s two best years in S&P+ ratings. 

Also, it is important to note the hot start the Mountain West Conference got off to in 2019. UNR beat Purdue, Boise State beat Florida State, Hawaii beat Arizona and Wyoming beat Missouri. Four upsets. Brilliant. Because of their growing success in football, the Mountain West Conference is capitalizing with new network deals. More money will likely make them more competitive.

No, the Mountain West Conference Isn’t Better than the Pac-12

While it is important to understand the growing success of the Mountain West Conference and the plateau the Pac-12 reached, the Pac-12 is still better than the Mountain West Conference. Most are not calling for the Pac-12 and Mountain West Conferences to switch places. Remember that even with their struggles, the Pac-12 still wins most of the time. In Pac-12 vs Mountain West Conference games, the Pac-12 programs wins 71.1-percent of games. 

Instead, many argue that the Mountain West Conference should become part of a Power 6. If the Mountain West Conference continues to stay competitive against Power 5 teams, this should be considered. However, Larry Scott continues to hold the Pac-12 back from financial success, the Pac-12 will slip. It is completely possible for the Mountain West Conference football becoming an equal to the Pac-12 in 10 years. 

Bottom line, we need Larry Scott and the Pac-12 to change things.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Reaction/Grades Week 1, Power Rankings Week 2, Injuries and Updates

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Reaction/Grades Week 1, Power Rankings Week 2, Injuries and Updates

Pac-12 Conference College Football Podcast

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the Pac-12 conference. They talk about the good, bad, and the ugly about the Pac-12. Join them in becoming a Pac-12 Apostle by subscribing and sharing the podcast. Send your thoughts, comments, and: 30 ranks to The best comments and rants will be included in the show. This week? Pac-12 Football week 1!

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden dissect and grade the Pac-12 Football Week 1 performances of each team in the Pac-12 conference. Through the first week of college football, the Pac-12 finished with a respectable 8-4 non-conference record. Oregon did lose the most important game to the conference to Auburn but gained a lot of respect in the process. The conference is not out of the College Football Playoff conversation. But will likely need to be undefeated the rest of the way.

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There were a few key injuries in week 1 the Apostles discuss. USC lost starting quarterbacks JT Daniels with a torn ACL/MCL. Washington Huskies center Nick Harris left the game early on but does not appear to seriously injured.

George and Ralph also reveal their Pac-12 Power Rankings for Week 2.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 2: Solid Start for the Conference

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 2

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

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.

Arizona Loses, Pac-12 Power Rankings, Larry Scott Rumors, Miller Moss Interview, Andrew Luck

Pac-12 Apostles Ep 5 Pac-12 Podcast college Football

On the Pac-12 Apostles Ep 5 podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are over the moon about the start of college football season. The opening game in the Pac-12 was a zero week game between the Arizona Wildcats and Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. George and Ralph break down Arizona’s loss. All the Apostles know that Ralph has a man-crush on Khalil Tate so he has some explaining to do about Arizona’s loss to Hawaii.

George and Ralph unveil their Pac-12 Football Preseason Power Rankings to start the season. They disagree on just about every team. Send us your Pac-12 Power Rankings to:

There have been rumors swirling around about Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott being replaced before season’s end. Will this happen? If so, who would be the prime candidates to replace him? Ralph enlightens us about the behind the scene whispers.

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The Apostles discuss clips from an interview Ralph did with Pac-12 quarterback recruit Miller Moss (Bishop Alemany). He shed light on where he believes the best college football is played and how he will make his commitment decision.

5* recruit Justin Flowe’s bodyslam.

Finally, on Pac-12 Apostles Ep 5, George and Ralph discuss the shocking retirement of Andrew Luck and Doug Gottlieb’s tweet.

Subscribe and contribute to the new Pac-12 Sub-Reddit.

Check back every Monday and Thursday for new Episodes of the Pac-12 College Football Apostles Podcast.

Pac-12 Football Preseason Power Rankings 2019-20

Preseason Pac-12 Power Rankings

Welcome to the Pac-12 Preseason Power Rankings. A team from the Pac-12 has a real chance to make the College Football Playoffs in 2019. The conference starts off with five teams in the preseason AP Poll. Oregon, Washington, and Utah all start the season ranked inside the AP top 14. The conference has a chance to quiet all the outside noise about money and tv deals, and the Pac-12 network by winning a national championship. Join and participate in the new Pac-12 Sports Subreddit for all your Pac-12 news, info, and smack talk.

Pac-12 Preseason Power Rankings:

The Pac-12 Power Rankings will available on Unafraid Show every Monday morning. Make sure you send your comments and grievances to

12. Oregon State Beavers

The Beavers should be markedly better in Jonathan Smith’s second season as head coach. Oregon State returns their top passer, running back, wide receiver, and top nine tacklers from last season. They finished 2018 with a 2-10 record and lost nine games by 17 points or more, so truthfully, there is nowhere to go but up. The best thing they have going is Sophomore running back Jemar Jefferson. He finished 4th in the conference in running as a freshman last year with 1,414 yards. Fans should expect another 2-10 season, but the games should be much more competitive.

11. Colorado Buffaloes

Mel Tucker’s first season as head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes should not be a bad one. He did not inherit a full rebuild like Jonathan Smith at Oregon State. Tucker returns veteran QB Steven Montez who has won big games. And they have the best offensive weapon in the conference WR Laviska Shenault.

The Buffaloes started last season 5-0 with wins over Nebraska, UCLA, and Arizona State. The back half of their schedule was much tougher, but losing seven games in a row seems more of a loss of confidence and focus than just being terrible.

10. Arizona Wildcats

The biggest wildcard in the Pac-12 is the Wildcats. On paper, this team looks very average. Their players don’t have a ton of recruiting stars behind their names, but when they play as a team they can be a force. If QB Khalil Tate can rekindle the magic from his sophomore season that landed him on magazine covers before last season, the Wildcats will make a bowl game. The combination of Tate and RB JJ Taylor in the read-option can a nightmare for defenses. But, can head coach Kevin Sumlin convince Tate not to worry about proving his passing abilities to NFL scouts and just play to his strengths?

9. Arizona State Sun Devils

A year ago so many people were questioning the hiring of Herm Edwards as ASU head coach. They said he was too old, hadn’t coached recently, and his “NFL model” would not work. Then the Sun Devils went 7-6, made a bowl game, and did a helluva job recruiting. Now all the critics are silent. Herm and his staff will have their hands full in the Pac-12 starting a freshman at QB. But they return eight starters including the 2018 Pac-12 leading rusher Eno Benjamin (1,642 yards, 16 TDs) who should make life a little easier.

8. Washington State Cougars

I am still irritated that the Cougars magical 11-2 season last year was not rewarded with a New Years’ Six Bowl game. They were passed but by the bowl selection committee for teams ranked lower and the conference didn’t make a big deal about it. They just took the scraps and stayed quiet about it.

Mike Leach’s ‘Air Raid’ offense gives Pac-12 teams fits when he has a good QB. Last year Gardner Minshew came out of nowhere to be an NFL draft pick after transferring from East Carolina. Can Leach recreate that magic with grad transfer Gage Gubrod or Anthony Gordon at QB? Word on the street is that Gordon has the edge for this job. Hence the #8 spot on the Pac-12 Preseason Power Rankings 2019. The Cougs also have Max Borghi who is expected to have a breakout season in 2019.

7. UCLA Bruins

Call me crazy, but this is the team I picked to win the Pac-12 south. I expect the Bruins to be much improved in 2019. Chip Kelly proved he is a great football coach in 2018. He is known for his up-tempo style, but by seasons end the Bruins were in three tight end sets running smashmouth football winning games. He adjusts his offense to whatever will win. The Bruins started the youngest team in the nation in 2018. Their 2-deep was full of lineup freshman and sophomores.

I expect that with a full offseason of work Chip will have a new wrinkle and magic trick up his sleeve. He made it to a national championship and won a ton of games with guys like Daron Thomas and Jerimiah Masoli at QB. So, he should be able to have success with expected sophomore starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

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6. Cal Golden Bears

There is only one thing that can keep Cal from back-to-back bowl games, quarterback play. If Cal could have switched QBs with ANY team in the conference they would have won 10 games in 2018. Cal’s defense was just devouring offenses. They only gave up more than 20 points six times in 2018. The Golden Bears held USC and conference champion Washington to a combined 24 points last season. Their defense returns seven starters including the best secondary in the Pac-12 and top 5 in the nation.

QB Chase Garbers is no longer a freshman and should be much better in 2019. If he plays really well, Cal could shock the Pac-12 world. I wanted to put them higher on the Pac-12 Preseason Power Rankings but the north division is just stacked.

5. USC Trojans

USC should have enough motivation to right the ship in 2019. They had their first losing record since 2000 and only the 3rd one since I have been alive (1981). The Trojans are playing for well-like head coach Clay Helton’s job. And they are being absolutely disrespected nationally. USC only got one vote in the preseason AP poll and are behind Appalachian State and Army.

QB JT Daniels should make huge strides in 2019 because he is throwing to the 2nd best WR core in the nation. The combination of St. Brown, Vaughns, and Pittman is special. USC is not short on talent, so anything besides a Pac-12 south title is a failure.

4. Utah Utes

The Pac-12 media (except me) is in love with Utah and even picked them to win the conference. The Utes are well-coached, play hard, and have a three clear cut 1st-2nd round NFL players (Zack Moss, Jaylen Johnson, and Leki Fotu). But, their Achilles heel this year will be their QB play. They play a very favorable conference schedule but have to play USC and Washington on the road. Tyler Huntley is back healthy at QB. He is a solid QB but Utah will need him to be special to manage 10 wins out of this schedule.

3. Stanford Cardinal

2018 was a huge disappointment for David Shaw and the Stanford Cardinal. Their 9-4 record looked fine on paper. But they could have been 11-2. Their inability to run the football with Heisman candidate Bryce Love was surprising. However, they did get some good news. They found out they have a sure-fire NFL QB in KJ Costello.

The thing I love about Stanford is that their schedule is always good. They don’t schedule themselves 2-3 easy non-conference game. But that could ultimately be their undoing in 2019. The Cardinal have Northwestern, at USC, at UCF, Oregon, and Washington in the first six weeks of the season, with no open week. OUCH!

2. Washington Huskies

The defending Pac-12 champions only return two starters on what was one of the nation’s best defenses in 2018. Their defense will still be well-coached but there will be a natural dip when you lose five starters to the NFL draft. Chris Petersen does believe he has an upgrade at QB in Georgia transfer Jacob Eason.

The Huskies have a very easy non-conference schedule so navigating the brutal Pac-12 north will be the only thing that stands between them and another Rose Bowl and potential CFB Playoff berth.

1. Oregon Ducks

There can be no excuses for the Mario Cristobal and Oregon in 2019. The Ducks have an NFL 1st round QB in Justin Herbert, the best OL in the nation, and a very solid defense. It all starts on Aug. 31against Auburn in the most important game a Pac-12 team will play this season. This game will determine the national respect of the Pac-12 in 2019.

Their road schedule (Stanford, Washington, USC, Arizona St) is tough, but they avoid Utah with the schedule rotation.

This is the season the Ducks must prove they “are back” as a national championship contender. They have a real shot at the CFB Playoff if they beat Auburn and don’t lose more than 1 Pac-12 game. However, undefeated would guarantee them a spot.

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

Preseason AP Poll has 5 Pac-12 Teams, USC Disrespect, Offensive Breakout Players, Most Important Players, Coaching Hot Seats

Preseason AP Poll has 5 Pac-12 Teams, USC Disrespect, Offensive Breakout Players, Most Important Players, Coaching Hot Seats

Episode 4 of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster, and Ralph Amsden was heated. The preseason AP Poll came out and it featured five Pac-12 teams but there was still massive disrespect for USC in the mainstream sports media. Fans don’t realize how big of an effect the preseason polls have on the College Football Playoff rankings. There were countless cases in 2018. Eleven of the top 25 teams in the 2018-19 Preseason AP Poll didn’t even finish ranked. In 2017, nine didn’t finish ranked. In 2016, 13 didn’t finish ranked. Commonly, those early-season matchups that were so hyped up turned out to be nothing burgers, but they did affect the CFB Playoff committee rankings.

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Jeremy McCarthy wrote an article on Unafraid Show about the 12 breakout Pac-12 Players and the Apostles discuss where he got it right and where he went wrong.THE 12: There are many players that are crucial to their team and entire Pac-12’s success. We rank them from 1-12. There are defensive lineman, offensive lineman, running backs, a wide receiver, quarterbacks on the list.

CASTING STONES: When will media members stop asking about what coaches are on the hot seat? Do they really expect answers to “how many wins it will take for a coach to keep his job?”

USC’s Athletic Director Lynn Swann was asked that about Clay Helton recently and of course, he gave a nothing answer.

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Colson Yankoff vs Washington, Pac-12 Stadiums Ranked, Recruits Leaving Pac-12 Country

Colson Yankoff vs Washington, best Pac-12 stadiums Ranked, Recruits Leaving Pac-12 Country, Pac-12 Podcast
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In Episode 3 of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, they deal with George Wrighster’s tweet about Colson Yankoff that sent Washington Huskies fans into a tailspin. They rank the best Pac-12 stadiums and tell everyone what is going on with recruits leaving Pac-12 states for other conferences.

Colson Yankoff is a former QB for Washington who transferred to UCLA.  Huskies coach Chris Petersen refused to grant a waiver allowing Yankoff to appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility at UCLA. Both Ralph and George hate the hypocrisy in the NCAA system. The NCAA claims the players are student-athletes who need to be protected but regularly treats them like employees. It is ridiculous that coaches can move as they please from school to school, but the players have restrictions. (0:00-11:59)

Recruiting matters in college football. The teams with the most talent have the best chance to win the CFB Playoff and National Championship. There are 64 recruits in the 2020 class with either 4-5 stars who live in Pac-12 states or neighboring states. With the exception of the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies, the conference is falling behind in the recruiting rankings for the class of 2020. The early signing period is not until December, but the USC Trojans are ranked between 60th and 68th depending on which recruiting site you like. (12:00- 23:41)

The greatest Pac-12 podcat in all the land also ranks the best Pac-12 stadiums from #12 to #1. Will the historic sites get the top spots, or will the stadiums with the biggest home-field advantage prevail? (23:42-End)

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