The Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 6 is based on three things: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here. Respect is not given, it is earned.
Take a peek at last week’s rankings here.
12. UCLA (0-4)
(L) Colorado 16-38
I believed UCLA had a shot to beat Colorado coming off their bye week. The Bruins put up a fight for the first half, but then it all went left after halftime. Their defense appeared to either tire out or lose mental focus in the second half. The schedule only gets rougher for Chip Kelly’s team for the rest of the season. I am not sure where this team finds a win. They can’t go 0-12 right?
11. Oregon State (1-4)
(L) 24-52 Arizona State
There are two stats that give you a lot of insight into the 2018 Beavers. Oregon State has allowed their opponent’s explosion plays of 30 yards or more 14 times in their first five games, which is worst in the Pac-12. They are also getting outscored by an average of nearly 15 points per game. Both of those stats mean there are only two things wrong with the Beavers: their offense, and their defense.
1o. Arizona (2-3)
(L) USC 20-24
Arizona has been doing a decent job of scoring since their disastrous first two games against BYU and Houston. Their biggest problem this season has been their defense. The Wildcats are only forcing turnovers on 5.9% of their opponent’s drives. And are only getting a sack on every 24 pass attempts. The good news for Arizona is that none of the teams in the South are particularly tough, and they still have a chance to win the division. However, the likelyhood seems low at this point.
9. Utah (2-2)
(L) Washington State 24-28
The Utes had their highest scoring game of the season last week (against a team not named Weber State). Their defense continuously shows up, but their offense fails to score enough points. It is always tough to win a lot of college football games when you only score 22 points per game. It is time to accept that the Utes are the same team they have been for the last 3-4 years.
8. Arizona State (3-2)
(W) Oregon State 52-24
The Sun Devils beat Oregon State soundly, as they were supposed to do. I’m still unsure what to make of a team that beats a pretty highly regarded Michigan State team only to turn around and lose the next week to San Diego State. Over the next month, Arizona State has Colorado, Stanford, and USC on the schedule. They could either go 3-0 or 0-3. This team is the best in the conference in turnover margin at +5. So, that should help.
7. Washington State (4-1)
(W) Utah 28-24
The Cougars offense is impressive. My heart says Wazzu looks like a top five Pac-12 team, but my head remembers their best win is against Utah. The Cougars only give up one sack every 58 pass attempts. The next closest team is Arizona State with one sack for every 35 attempts. If Washington State can continue to keep Gardener Minshew upright, they could knock off one of the North division heavy hitters.
6. USC (3-2)
(W) Arizona 24-20
The only reason USC has three wins is that they have the more talent than the teams they played. They are doing everything that typically results in losses. The Trojans are 11th in the Pac-12 in turnover margin, average under one touchdown pass per game, and give up the second most explosive plays of 30 yards to opponents. A lot of people are high on the Trojans winning the Pac-12 South; I am not. The team is talented enough to finish the season 10-2 but are more likely to finish 8-4.
5. Cal (3-1)
(L) Oregon 24-42
The Golden Bears have to figure out their quarterback situation. It is clear their offense is more explosive with Brandon McIllwain under center, but Chase Garbers is a better passer. Their defense is good enough to keep them in games, but their offense has to step up. Cal had a good start to the season, but the road only gets tougher from here. They still have games against Washington, Washington State, and Stanford left on the schedule. Cal is well coached, but they are short on talent to be highly competitive in the north division.
4. Colorado (4-0)
(W) UCLA 38-14
Colorado has earned their seat in the #4 slot of the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 6. However, I do not trust they are good enough to run the gauntlet ahead of them. Through four games, their offensive and defensive stats have been very impressive. But all four of their wins are against sub top 50 college football teams. If they can get past Arizona State this weekend, I will trust them more.
3. Stanford (4-1)
(L) Notre Dame 17-38
The Stanford offense and defense looked exactly the same against Notre Dame as it did against Oregon through three quarters. They were dominated. I am truly questioning my prediction of Stanford winning the conference. Bryce Love is injured and KJ Costello looked rather average against a good Notre Dame team. The Cardinal are trending in the wrong direction. But I realize David Shaw is good for 10+ wins per year, so he should get things turned around.
2. Oregon (4-1)
(W) Cal 42-24
Oregon bounced back from one of the most heart-breaking losses in recent memory. Teams often let a loss like that affect the next game, but the Ducks didn’t. This team is physical and talented. There is an outside chance this team could pull and Alabama and make the College Football Playoffs without winning the conference. Oregon is the best team in the conference offensively, and one of the best defensively as well. All eyes will be on their matchup against Washington in two weeks.
1. Washington (4-1)
(W) BYU 35-7
The Huskies have earned the top spot in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 6. Jake Browning had another solid week against BYU. Washington’s defense seems to be getting more and more stingy each week. They are best in the conference against the pass and have only allowed two explosive plays over 30 yards through five games. Oregon and Stanford are the only two teams that actually stand in the way of the Huskies winning the conference.
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