For the first time ever, Go Joe Bruin is creating our own, unique Pac-12 Power Rankings. Here they are:
1. Oregon (4-0). They kicked Arizona’s ass last week, destroying them with a late furry of scores, 49-0. To Arizona’s credit, they had their fair share of chances to take an early lead, but Oregon was just that damn good late and entirely separated themselves from the rest of the conference.
2. Oregon State (2-0). When was the last time you saw Oregon State being just behind Oregon in anything? We know they’ve only played two games, but those two games saw them beat two top-20 teams with incredible defensive grit and a smart, tightly-controlled offense that’s apparently benefiting from head coach Mike Riley calling plays again.
3. Stanford (3-0). We know, you’re weirded out that Stanford is ranked ninth in the country but third in the Pac-12. Well, they didn’t play this past Saturday, and while we aren’t penalizing them, we’re rewarding OSU for playing the way they have. Fittingly, Oregon State and Stanford are also in a battle for best defense in the Pac-12, where both held UCLA and USC — two of the more explosive offenses in the conferences — to just two touchdowns each (and 17 and 14 points respectively).
4. South Cal (3-1). The Trojans needed to bounce back against California to prove to themselves that the loss against Stanford wasn’t anything to be entirely concerned about. And to a degree, they did, and the USC ground game dominated the Golden Bears, who were primed for an upset after narrowly losing to Ohio State last week.
5. UCLA (3-1). Losing to Oregon State sucks, but OSU is very damn good. UCLA has issues offensively that they need addressed but the defense looks to be almost on par with that of Oregon State and Stanford (although the UCLA secondary is easily the weaker of the three).
6. Arizona State (3-1). Beating Utah the way the Sun Devils did was very impressive, even if it looks like Utah is on pace for one of their worst seasons in well over a decade. ASU looks solid so far under new head coach Todd Graham and it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re challenging for the Pac-12 South division title late in the season. Also, they have really hot women there.
7. Arizona (3-1). Had Arizona stayed competitive with Oregon, they may have jumped ahead of UCLA and South Cal, but because they couldn’t convert on those approximately 230934 trips to the red zone, and because Oregon decided to only play big boy football in the fourth quarter, Oregon blew ‘em out and Arizona looked like a joke in the process. They aren’t, mind you, but their showing will be hard to get over.
8. Washington (2-1). It’s not entirely fair to put them in the bottom quarter of the Pac-12, but the rest of the conference above them has received votes in this week’s AP poll. Washington bounced back against SDSU two weeks ago after a horrifying LSU loss, but a game against Stanford next week will be all-revealing.
9. California (1-3). Cal isn’t that awful, despite being close to the bottom-feeders of the Pac-12. Losing to USC 27-9 looks awful, but it wasn’t the blowout the Trojans were hoping for, even though it was entirely disappointing for the Berkeley Golden Bears.
10. Utah. (2-2). Who knows what to make of the Utes this year? Me neither. ASU castrated Kyle Willingham and chatters of his seat getting hot have emerged. This comes after beating No. 25 BYU, which came after losing to WAC team Utah State which came after slaughtering Northern Colorado. Good God.
11. Colorado (1-3). Ha, you thought Utah was bad? How about the Buffaloes, which can’t seem to stop losing to much-lower-tier programs. But they’re not ranked last here because they managed to beat someone who’s looked equally awful…
12. Wazzu (2-2). We’re not sure how Washington won two games, but we do know that those two games were narrow wins against UNLV and Eastern Washington (yikes) while getting demolished by BYU. They also lost to Colorado, which was on pace for a winless, 0-12 season. But Mike Leach, so I guess there’s that.