Pac-12 Football: Go Joe Bruin power rankings for Week 3

TEMPE, AZ - OCTOBER 19: The 'Pac 12' logo is displayed on the filed during the college football game between the Washington Huskies and the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Huskies 53-24. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TEMPE, AZ - OCTOBER 19: The 'Pac 12' logo is displayed on the filed during the college football game between the Washington Huskies and the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Huskies 53-24. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Though it is still early in the 2018 season, a lot of things have become apparent with Pac-12 Football. Will these trends continue or are we in for some shakeups?

After just two weeks of college football, it is still a mystery how good (or bad) some teams really are, especially with Pac-12 football. For schools who dominate their easy non-conference schedule, a 2-0 record can be really deceiving.

RELATED: The Pac-12 South Division Is Not What You Think It Is

Yet for other schools, a 1-1 or even 0-2 record could be deceiving due to playing better competition early on. With that in mind, Go Joe Bruin takes a look at how teams from the Pac-12 stack up in this week’s Power Rankings.

Last Week Results (Rankings reflect AP Poll at time of game)

  • 17) USC lost at 10) Stanford 17-3
  • 9) Washington won versus North Dakota 45-3
  • 10) Stanford won versus 17) USC 17-3
  • 23) Oregon won versus Portland State 62-14
  • Utah won at Northern Illinois 17-6
  • Arizona State won versus 15) Michigan State 16-13
  • Cal won at BYU 21-18
  • Arizona lost at Houston 45-18
  • Washington State won versus San Jose State 31-0
  • Colorado won at Nebraska 33-28
  • UCLA lost versus 6) Oklahoma 49-21
  • Oregon State won versus Southern Utah 48-25

Related Story. Know Your Opponent: UCLA Football vs. Fresno State 2018. light

PAC-12 Power Rankings Week 3

1. Stanford Cardinal (2-0)

Last Week Ranking: 3 | Next Opponent: UC Davis

Beat a decent Group of Five team while having their top offensive weapon shut down? Check. Dominate a fellow Pac-12 team? Double check. The first two games of the season for Stanford could not have gone better. When Bryce Love gained just 29 yards against San Diego State, quarterback KJ Costello stepped up and threw four touchdowns. Last week it was the Cardinal defense that help lead David Shaw’s team to victory. After two games, Stanford looks like the most complete Pac-12 team.

2. Washington Huskies (1-1)

Last Week Ranking: 2 | Next Opponent: at Utah

After a close loss to Auburn, the Huskies got back in the win column by dominating North Dakota 45-3. Washington’s talent is undeniable and their next three games (at Utah, ASU, and a better than expected BYU) will show us if they are true contenders for both the PAC-12 Championship and the College Playoffs.

3. USC Trojans (1-1)

Last Week Ranking: 1 | Next Opponent: at Texas

The Trojans were overmatched against a physically tough Stanford team last Saturday. Quarterback JT Daniels was held to 215 passing yards, threw two interceptions, and was unable to get USC in the end zone. Everyone knows how good Daniels is but it makes sense that the true freshman (who should still be at Mater Dei!) may need more than two games to get acclimated to the college game. Although, a trip to Austin this weekend could speed up his maturation process.

4. Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0)

Last Week Ranking: 6 | Next Opponent: at San Diego State

If you listen carefully as the sun sets in the Arizona Desert, you can hear the faint sound of Sun Devils Nation chanting one name…Herm. In his first year coaching from the college sideline since 1989 (San Jose State Defensive Backs Coach), Edwards has brought back excitement to Tempe. In beating Michigan State last week, ASU showed the Pac-12 two things: they can compete with any team in the conference and Manny Wilkins is a REALLY good quarterback. In two weeks, ASU travels up to Washington so the Sun Devils must avoid a trap game as they travel to an always tough San Diego State.

UCLA Football: Who is running the run game and can it get better?. light. Related Story

5. Oregon Ducks (2-0)

Last Week Ranking: 4 | Next Opponent: vs San Jose State

So far the Ducks are rolling through their fairly easy non-conference schedule (116th in the nation) averaging 60 points a game. This week should not be any different as they welcome a woeful San Jose State to Eugene. QB Justin Herbert has looked good throwing nine touchdowns to just two picks but their first real test will be when they open PAC-12 play with games vs Stanford, at Cal, and vs Washington. Getting both Stanford and Washington at home is huge and if the Ducks can come out of those game victorious, they have a chance to run the PAC-12 table.

6. Utah Utes (2-0)

Last Week Ranking: 5 | Next Opponent: vs Washington

Last week’s 17-6 victory at Northern Illinois was closer than the score would indicate. Chase Hansen’s 40 yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:36 left sealed the victory for the Utes. But for the first trip to Northern Illinois for any PAC-12 team, it was the result Utah wanted. This week the Utes open conference play a little early when they welcome Washington to Salt Lake City. After their game against the Huskies, Utah’s schedule doesn’t get any easier as they travel to Pullman for an early 9 am kickoff followed by a trip to Stanford.

7. Colorado (2-0)

Last Week Ranking: 10 | Next Opponent: vs University of New Hampshire

The Buffs are off to their third 2-0 start in a row but are looking for a better Pac-12 performance this year than last season’s 2-7 showing. Once again Colorado is able to score points but it’s been a tough defense holding their two (quality) opponents to 41 total points. If the defense can continue to play this way once conference games begin, the Buffs should return to a bowl game after a one year absence.

Related Story. UCLA's Statistical Progress After Oklahoma. light

8. California Golden Bears (2-0)

Last Week Ranking: 7 | Next Opponent: vs Idaho State

The win at BYU last week was nice as long as the Cougars don’t go into Madison and get destroyed by Wisconsin this weekend. South Carolina transfer Brandon McIlwain stepped in briefly at quarterback last week and looked really good completing 5 of 7 passes for 35 yards and also gaining 74 yards on the ground. This week against Idaho State McIlwain should see more action and give coach Justin Wilcox something to think about choosing his starting quarterback before their Pac-12 opener against Oregon.

9. Washington State Cougars (2-0)

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Last Week Ranking: 9 | Next Opponent: vs Eastern Washington

The Cougars have dominated their Mountain West Conference opponents so far this season with victories over Wyoming and San Jose State. Quarterback Gardner Minshew has looked comfortable in Mike Leach’s offense averaging 54 passes a game with a 66.7% completion rate. With an FCS opponent coming up this weekend, Washington State should enter their conference opener at USC with a 3-0 record.

10. Arizona Wildcats (0-2)

Last Week Ranking: 6 | Next Opponent: vs Southern Utah

There is one stat that is defining the Arizona Wildcats football team this year: Khalil Tate’s yards per rush. Last year Tate was running over opponents at 9.2 yards per carry. This year, with defenses focusing on Tate’s running ability, he has been limited to just 1.5 yards per carry. Couple that with the fact that Tate is only completing 51.9% of his passes and it’s no wonder Arizona has started 0-2. Their clash with Oregon State in two weeks could be a battle for the PAC-12 cellar.

11. UCLA Bruins (0-2)

Last Week Ranking: 11 | Next Opponent: vs Fresno State

Most people didn’t think the Bruins had a chance against Oklahoma last week and most people were right. At halftime being down 21-7 almost felt good but soon that good feeling turned to a queasy feeling to the tune of 42-7. A couple fourth-quarter scores made it look closer but the Bruins were outmatched all over the field. With a defensively tough Fresno State coming to The Rose Bowl Saturday night, UCLA has a real chance of starting the season at 0-3 for the first time since 1971!

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12. Oregon State Beavers (1-1)

Last Week Ranking: 12 | Next Opponent: at Nevada

It was tempting to put Oregon State ahead of UCLA this week after the Beavers’ big win over Southern Utah. Running back Jermar Jefferson ran all over the Thunderbirds defense for 238 yards. Unfortunately a win over an FCS team could be their only victory of the season. If Oregon State does manage another win, they may get out of the power rankings basement. But until then, they are stuck here.