Pac-12 Football: Week 2 Power Rankings

Pac-12 Football Power Rankings Week 2

Week one for college football is in the books, and it’s time to see where everybody lands in the Pac-12 Football Week 2 Power Rankings. Overall the conference had a good week except for loses by Washington and Arizona. I know the Pac-12 wants more national television games, but these 7:45 pm PT kicks aren’t helping anybody. I live on the west coast, and I fell asleep before the BYU vs. Arizona game was over. So, there is no way old College Football Playoffs voters are watching the game in its entirety. The conference has to find a way to get SEC and ACC teams to come west, and nationally televised games are a way to get it done.

The results from week one still leave all the Unafraid Show Pac-12 Preseason picks alive. Here are the week two rankings:

12. Oregon State (0-1)

(L) Ohio State 77-31

You ordinarily don’t have much positive to say about a 77-31 loss, but there were quite a few positives for the Beavers. Oregon State played practically the entire game with their backup quarterback Connor Blount after Jake Luton was injured and scored 31 points against a top 5 team. The Beavers rushing attack was impressed as they rushed for 197 yards on 39 carries. Oregon State is clearly a much-improved team under Jonathan Smith. By the time Pac-12 play starts the Beavers will no longer be a gimme game.

11. UCLA (0-1)

(L) Cincinnati 26-17

This was not the game anybody expected in Chip Kelly’s debut. We all expected UCLA to struggle at times this season, but an anemic offense against Cincinnati was unexpected. By the end of the game, it was obvious why Kelly chose to start Wilson Speight at quarterback over Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Thompson-Robinson was pressed into action when Speight was knocked out of the game with an injury. The freshman showed flashes in relief but he’s not quite ready for the primetime. UCLA also has problems with their rushing defense and offensive line. Unless Chip Kelly can pull a rabbit out of his hat 2018 is going to be a rough season for the Bruins.

10. Arizona (0-1)

(L) BYU 28-23

I was absolutely confused watching the Arizona offense. Their greatest weapon is Khalil Tate’s legs and they didn’t unleash him at all. He finished with only 8 rushing attempts. It is almost like Kevin Sumlin wanted to make sure Tate’s passing ability was showcased. He finished the game 17/34 with 197yds 1 TD. Arizona will have to employ a lot more run-pass option to maximize Tate’s skill set and make their offense explosive. My preseason prediction for Pac-12 South winner looked super suspect.

9. Colorado (1-0)

(W) Colorado State 45-13

I was not sure how this game would go after the Buffaloes only won 17-3 last year and were shutout in the second half. Mike MacIntyre’s team dominated Colorado State from cover to cover. The key to Colorado’s success this year will be great play from junior quarterback Steven Montez. He lit up the scoreboard in week one to the tune of 338 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. He looks to have made significant progress since last season. If Montez can continue to play at a high-level Colorado will be strong in conference play, particularly at home.

8. Washington St (1-0)

(W) 41-19 Wyoming

I couldn’t be any more happy for the Washington State Cougars. After offseason tragedy, they were playing with heavy hearts but came out and got a win. Per the usual, Mike Leach found a way to get his  ‘Air Raid’ offense to score a lot of points. The Cougars defense was impressive in only giving up 209 total yards. The Cougars should cruise to 3-0 to start the season.

7. Arizona St (1-0)

(W) UTSA 49-7

It is so hard to judge teams when they play “Nobody State” in week one. However, a win is a win despite it not being very impressive. Manny Wilkins to N’Keal Harry is a deadly combination for the Sun Devils offense. Harry is a mismatch 1-on-1 for most cornerbacks so teams have to give safety help over the top which opens up the running game. Benjamin and Floyd were the beneficiaries in week one. Remember when I said I believed Arizona would win the Pac-12 South? I may have meant Arizona State.

6. Cal (1-0)

(W) North Carolina 24-17

The most impressive thing about Cal’s win over North Carolina was their defense. They forced 4 turnovers and held on even with mixed results from their quarterbacks. In just his second season Justin Willcox has turned 2016’s worst defense in the country into a respectable defense. The Golden Bears weakness is the quarterback position. Bowers, Garbers, and McIlwain all saw time under center, but neither of them was particularly impressive. It won’t matter how good Cal’s defense is if they don’t get better play from the QB position.

5. Washington (0-1)

(L) Auburn 21-16

What a horrendous loss to Auburn. The Huskies had every opportunity to win that road game masquerading as a neutral site game. The good news is that Washington showed they could bring their B game and compete with anybody. The bad news is that I was right about Jake Browning in the Pac-12 preseason rankings. I told ya’ll he would be the Achilles heel for this team after the media picked the Huskies to win the conference. Browning is a senior so we expected smart play but his game was marred with bad decision after bad decision. I was impressed with the Washington defense. They largely help Auburn’s tricky offense in check. The front seven dominated the game and showed it will be tough for Pac-12 teams to run the football against them.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Oregon

4. Utah (1-0)

(W) Weber State 41-10

After starting off down 10-0, Utah did exactly what they were supposed to do. They demolished a team with inferior talent. However, they must stop fumbling. The Utes fumbled three times during the game. If Tyler Hundley can stay healthy continue to play at this level the Utes will be a serious threat to win the Pac-12. He finished with over 250 yards passing and 4 TDs. Their defense looked tough. There seems to be a different feel to Kyle Whittingham’s team this year. Utah will be looking to finally get over the hump in the Pac-12 South.

3. Oregon (1-0)

(W) Bowling Green 58-24

The Ducks started the game extremely flat offensively and defensively. After they settled down, the game was a runaway. Justin Herbert was as good as advertised passing the ball. The running game featured 6 different running backs touch the football. Jim Leavitt’s defense looks to be even better and more physical than last year. I am so happy to see the pillow fights stop. The Ducks have no competition in their first three games. So the focus over the next three weeks will be keeping everyone healthy and being sharp for their week 4 matchup against Stanford.

2. USC (1-0)

(W) UNLV 43-21

Ordinarily, I would be critical of USC struggling with the likes of UNLV. But, the Trojans got the win with a freshman quarterback, new #1 running back and wide receiver. Those young guys will be walking into the fire this week. The Trojans travel to the farm to play Stanford. JT Daniels will have to grow up quick if USC wants to compete for the Pac-12 crown. USC needs to beat Stanford to calm the Clay Helton naysayers

1. Stanford (1-0)

(W) San Diego State 31-10

Stanford started extremely slow against San Diego State, but they put the pedal to the metal in the second half. Bryce Love was held to just 29 yards on 18 carries, but K.J. Costello showed up big time. Costello answered any questions about his ability to carry the load as a passer by finishing with 332 yards and 4 TDs. My one question about the Cardinal team surrounds the run defense. San Diego State’s Juwan Washington ran for 158 yards. If Stanford can sure up their run defense, they have a legit shot to win the Pac-12.

Blind Resumes: Who is the Most Dominant Pac-12 Team?

Most Dominant Pac-12 Team

Who Runs the Pac-12?

College football fans love debating other college football fans about hypothetical events. Most fans rely on emotions and feelings instead of stats and facts to drive their arguments and opinions. Conversations are always heated when Pac-12 fans debate the most dominate Pac-12 team. Unafraid Show has indisputable stats to solve these debates thanks to our friend @SportsPac12. We will use the blind resumes of the four most dominant Pac-12 teams over last two decades to determine who runs the Pac-12.

If we were judging, historically USC will always win this debate because they had such a headstart on everyone else in the conference except UCLA. So, we will focus on recent history to determine who runs the Pac-12. Anybody can have an outlier season and win a conference championship, but it is extremely difficult to maintain success longterm. Take an objective look at the blind resumes to determine who currently runs the Pac:

Most Dominant Pac-12 Team

Leave a comment to submit your vote for the Pac-12 Most Dominant Team!

Can you name the teams without google help?

No matter who your favorite team is, the future is extremely bright for the Pac-12 conference. The conference has the best coaching it has ever had from top to bottom. There are multiple national championships in store for the conference over the next decade.

Check out the Pac-12 preseason rankings and predictions for who is the most dominant Pac-12 team and who will win the conference.

Team A: Stanford Team B: USC Team C: Oregon Team D:Washington

For more thoughts on who is the most dominant Pac-12 team as well as more fresh, creative, powerful content for sports fans, check out my UnafradShow podcast.

Pac-12 Preseason Rankings: Who Will Win The Conference in 2018?

The 2018 season is just days away, so it is time for the Pac-12 Preseason Rankings. I think we can all agree that it is time for the “Conference of Champions” to finally see another championship in football. This year, the conference has at least three legitimate threats to hoist the national championship trophy. The conference has the best cast of coaches from top to bottom in the history of the conference. The question is which one of them will be the first to get to the promised land? The Pac-12 Champion will likely have to be undefeated to make the College Football Playoffs because we have learned the BCS and now the playoff rankings favor the SEC and ACC.

South Division

Per the usual, the South division is up for grabs. There has been a different winner every year since 2013 with only one team winning it twice. The media loves USC to win the South but I disagree. I believe the division will have one of it’s best races since 2014. The division has added Herm Edwards, Chip Kelly, and Kevin Sumlin as coaches so you know the next few years will be intense.

1.Arizona (10-2)

Potential Losses: USC, Utah, Oregon,

I know I am in the minority here, but the door is wide open for the Wildcats to win the Pac-12 South. They avoid Washington and Stanford on the schedule. USC is breaking in a new quarterback, top running back, and wide receiver. Every other game in the south is winnable when Khalil Tate is your quarterback. If Kevin Sumlin can muster something that even resembles a good defense the Wildcats will win the South.

2. USC (10-2) 

Potential Losses: Texas, Stanford, Arizona, Notre Dame

USC is one of those rare places where a coach can go 21-6 in his first two full seasons and the jury still be out on him as a coach. Welp, that’s the reality when you get absolutely housed by Alabama, Notre Dame, and Ohio State in the process. The Trojans have a lot of turnover at key starter offensive positions (QB, RB, WR). Clay Helton will need to do his best coaching job yet to get all those 5* players to get him 10+ wins again.

3. Utah (7-5)

Potential Losses: Washington, Stanford, Arizona, USC, UCLA, ASU, Oregon

Do not be surprised if Utah either wins the South or finishes second. Since USC is vulnerable the Utes will have a “Why not us” mentality heading into every game. Last season Tyler Hunley showed he is a real difference-maker at the quarterback position. Utah is always one of the toughest teams in the Pac-12 and 2018 will be no different. Kyle Whittingham has been extremely close to getting his team “over the hump”. Could this be the year?

4. UCLA (6-6)

Potential Losses: Oklahoma, Washington, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, ASU, USC, Stanford

The Bruins are predicted by most to miss a bowl game and finish 4-5th in the division. I’d agree that Chip Kelly is short on the players to run his system, but he’s still Chip Kelly college football juggernaut. Do not be surprised by any “outlier” results from this team. All eyes will be on their week 2 matchup at Oklahoma. If UCLA wins that game… scary. I do believe that teams like Arizona, Utah, and Arizona State better seize the opportunity to get a Pac-12 championship this season. It will get a lot more difficult as UCLA gets this thing rolling.

5. Arizona State (6-6)

Potential Losses: Everyone except UTSA, Oregon State, Colorado

I have no idea how Herm Edwards will do record-wise as the head coach of the Sun Devils, but I do know they won’t be winning the South this season. He hasn’t coached in ten years and hasn’t been a college coach in three decades. I do know that he will develop his young men into high character men and his team will play hard. Arizona State is one of those rare places that is not a powerhouse but could be. Arizona is a state with a good amount of high school talent, and close enough to California and Texas to get some of their most talented players.

6. Colorado (4-8)

Potential Losses: Everyone except New Hampshire

With the exception of their 10-4 season in 2016, the Buffaloes have had little success since joining the Pac-12. The good news is that Colorado has Junior quarterback Steven Montez back under center. Their best chance to steal a couple of games are against Oregon State, Washington State, and Cal.

North Division

The Pac-12 North Division is one of the toughest divisions in all of college football. Whenever you have three teams that can win a division, you know it’s tough. The king of the castle for the last two years has been the Washington Huskies. There will be a dogfight this season between Washington, Stanford, and Oregon. The media showed a lot of confidence that Washington will win the conference in the preseason poll. However, I firmly disagree.Cal, Washington State, and Oregon State do not have a chance to win the division, but there will be no SEC November cupcakes when they are on the schedule.

1. Stanford (11-1)

Potential Losses: Oregon, Washington

Stanford is consistent and coached by the best coach in the Pac-12. The difference between last year’s Stanford team and this year is the quarterback position. If K. J. Costello can stay healthy, the combination of him throwing the ball and Bryce Love rushing could prove too much for the Pac-12 and may earn them a spot in the CFB Playoff top 4.

2. Oregon ( 10-2) 

Potential Losses: Stanford, Washington, Arizona

There is no team that has a wider variance for the number of wins than the Oregon Ducks. They have a new head coach, a potential #1 NFL draft pick at QB, a much-improved defense, but are coming off back to back disappointing seasons. The Ducks entire season hinges on two things: keeping Justin Herbert healthy and beating Stanford week 4. If Oregon beats Stanford, Washington will be on upset alert.

3. Washington (10-2) 

Potential Losses: Auburn, Stanford, Oregon

It is hard to pick against Washington because they are talented and well coached. I love Chris Peterson’s defense, but their Achilles heel this year will be the quarterback. Jake Browning is a quality college quarterback, but Stanford and Oregon field much better options at the position. If Jake Browning raises his level of play against top-tier opponents the Huskies can win the Pac-12 and National Championship. But, I have a little sneaky suspicion there will be chaos in the North.

4. Cal (7-5)

Potential Losses: Oregon, Arizona, Washington, USC, Stanford

I really like the improvement that Cal made last season. The Golden Bears will be even better in Justin Wilcox’s second season. However, their schedule is rough and they don’t quite have the horses to compete with the top 3 teams. I would not be surprised if Cal sneaks a win against one of their “losses”.

5. Washington State ( 5-7 )

Potential Losses: USC, Utah, Oregon, Stanford, Cal, Arizona, Washington

Washington State is in a tough position. Mike Leach runs the ‘Air-Raid’ offense, but they are without their expected starter Tyler Hilinski at quarterback. His suicide sent shockwaves through all of college football. We all have Cougar nation in our thoughts and prayers this season. If you ever need help or are considering suicide please call 800-273-Talk.

6. Oregon State (3-9)

Potential Losses: Everyone except Southern Utah

There is nowhere to go but up for the Beavers as they only managed a single win last year. New coach Jonathan Smith will have the team more competitive, but they still have a long way to go. Their only opportunities for conference wins this year are Cal and Colorado. The goal should be getting one of those.

Championship Game

Arizona vs Stanford


Pac-12 Media Poll picks Washington to Win the Conference: They are Wrong!

Washington Huskies

The Pac-12 media poll is out. 37 of 42 media members who cover Pac-12 football voted Washington as their favorite to win the conference. If you let the media tell it, Washington should run away with the North division and the South will be competitive with USC winning. But, recent history tells us that the likely Pac-12 champion will be someone other than who the media picks. The media has only correctly predicted the winner of the Pac-12 title game twice since 2011 (Oregon 2011, 2014). 2018 will be extremely exciting for the Pac-12. This is the best coaching from top to bottom that the conference has ever had.

2018 Pac-12 Media Poll

The media will be wrong about their 2018 pick as well. Either Stanford or Oregon will win the North division and Arizona will win the South division. Washington is well coached and their defense will be solid per the usual, but Stanford and Oregon are lurking in the shadows. Stanford has the best coach, offensive line, and running back in the conference. If KJ Costello shows up in a major way, Stanford will be a treat to go to the College Football Playoffs. Oregon, on the other hand, is the biggest wildcard in the conference. They feature a new head coach, Mario Cristobal who will bring more of the SEC conference ground and pound to the Ducks. They also have the project top NFL quarterback prospect Justin Herbert and are very talented at all positions. Arizona is a major threat to USC in the South division. The Trojans are replacing their top quarterback, running back, and wide receiver all in the same season. Arizona has a nuclear weapon at quarterback in Khalil Tate. He has the ability to win any game for the Wildcats.

No matter who wins the conference should fair significantly better in bowl season than last year.

College Football: Pac-12 Coach Power Rankings 2018

Great players win games, but great coaches win championships. The Pac-12 always has plenty of great players and is littered with future first-round draft picks. The conference has also had coaching legends like Pete Carrol, John McKay, Terry Donahue, and Don James. Despite a rich history and tradition, the PAC-12 has never had a coaching roster as good as the upcoming 2018 season. From top to bottom, the conference is now full of some of the best coaching minds. Only the Big Ten (Meyer, Chryst, Franklin, Harbaugh, Dantonio, etc) can rival the coaching lineup the Pac-12 now has in its arsenal. Six of these coaches are in their first or second year at their schools, but all are making noise on the recruiting trail and creating a footprint on the college football landscape. Over the next 2-3 seasons, the Pac-12 collectively will have it’s highest finishes on the recruiting trail.

Despite last year’s abject failure as a conference, the future of the Pac-12 conference is extremely bright and will soon claim multiple national championships.

On to the coaches:

12. Oregon State- Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith is the biggest unknown of all the Pac-12 coaches. He put up big numbers as the offensive coordinator at both Washington and Montana. The best news for Smith is that there is nowhere to go but up for the Oregon State Beavers. They haven’t won one conference game in two of the last three years. The bad news for OSU is that is Smith is successful he won’t be in Corvallis long.

11. Colorado- Mike MacIntyre

To say that Colorado has struggled since joining the Pac-12 would be an understatement. MacIntyre took over the program in 2013 and has only been able to win more than 5 games once. In his defense, the university absolutely mishandled a powerhouse of a program and burned it to the ground before he got there. The school has not made a commitment to winning, and until they do the Buffaloes will continue to be Pac-12 bottom feeders. There are few coaches who could do better given what MacIntyre has had to work with.

10. Arizona State- Herman Edwards

The Herm Edwards experiment at Arizona State is either going to be feast or famine. Herm was a good NFL coach and is an excellent leader. But, he has never been a college head coach and hasn’t coached football in 10 years. It initially felt wrong ranking him this low, but their recruiting class wasn’t particularly special and he wasn’t able to retain his offensive and defensive coordinators. If Herm does well, re-ranking the coaches at the end of the season is going to be a nightmare.

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