Pac-12 Football: Go Joe Bruin power rankings for Week 4

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) /

Go Joe Bruin looks at Pac-12 football as they enter Week 4. There are a few teams that get a rest with bye weeks and a few that are diving right into Pac-12 play.

As the Pac-12 football nonconference schedule comes to a close, teams are starting to show their true colors. Schools towards the top of the Pac-12 took care of business; although, not as easily as expected.

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But teams in the lower three-fourths of the conference were unimpressive, either losing or beating up on an FCS team. Before the Pac-12 conference gets into full swing, GoJoeBruin takes a look at where the teams stack up.

Last Week’s Results

(AP rank at game time)

  • (9) Stanford beat UC Davis 30-10
  • (10) Washington beat Utah 21-7
  • (20) Oregon beat San Jose State 35-22
  • (22) USC lost at Texas 37-14
  • (23) Arizona State lost at San Diego State 28-21
  • Utah lost to 10) Washington 21-7
  • Colorado beat University of New Hampshire 45-14
  • Cal beat Idaho State 45-23
  • Washington State beat Eastern Washington 59-24
  • Arizona beat Southern Utah 62-31
  • UCLA lost to Fresno State 38-14
  • Oregon State lost at Nevada 37-own

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    Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 4

    1. Stanford Cardinal

    Last Week Ranking: 1 / Next Opponent: at Oregon

    Without Bryce Love, the Cardinal had early trouble against a pesky UC Davis team. Stanford turned to quarterback KJ Costello to pick up the slack throwing for 214 yards with two TDs. Junior running back Trevor Speights also added 87 yards on the ground. This week the Cardinal and Bryce Love travel to Oregon in a matchup of unbeatens. As the competition getting tougher, we will see if Stanford is the complete team they looked like in their first three games.

    2. Washington Huskies

    Last Week Ranking: 2 / Next Opponent: vs Arizona State

    The Huskies went into a hostile Salt Lake City and came out with a hard-earned victory. Their defense forced 6 turnovers, 5 punts, and 2 fumbles in the process of holding Utah to 7 points. Running back Myles Gaskin took a majority of the offensive load rushing for 143 yards on 30 carries. Washington welcomes ASU to Seattle this weekend looking to keep pace with Stanford in the PAC-12 North.

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    3. Oregon Ducks

    Last Week Ranking: 3 / Next Opponent: vs Stanford

    Oregon has feasted on weaker opponents this season but had a difficult time pulling away from San Jose State. The Spartans, a team with a 40-75 record over the past 10 years, were within two scores with 4 minutes left in the game. A positive note for the Ducks’ is their defense held San Jose State to just 29 total rushing yards on 28 carries. This week with Stanford coming into town, we’ll see if the Ducks are true contenders or if their 3-0 start is just a decoy.

    4. Colorado Buffaloes

    Last Week Ranking: 7 / Next Opponent: Bye (vs UCLA 9/28)

    Colorado followed two quality wins with a dominating victory over their only FCS opponent. In that game, the Buffs’ defense held New Hampshire to just one drive over 10 plays (their only scoring drive). On offense, Steven Montez had been extremely accurate completing just under 75% of his passes. Coach Mike MacIntyre will look to build on his 3-0 start with an extra week to prepare for the winless UCLA Bruins.

    5. California Golden Bears

    Last Week Ranking: 8 / Next Opponent: Bye (vs Oregon 9/29)

    Cal’s win over BYU looks even better after the Cougars went into Madison and beat Wisconsin last week. So far this year, it has been the Bears defense that has shined. The 23 points given up to Idaho State last week was the most Cal has allowed in a game this year, and the two last touchdowns scored by the Bengals were after Cal was up 45-9. It would almost benefit the Bears to play Oregon this week to keep their momentum instead of having a bye week. Although, having an extra week to prepare for Oregon is always nice.

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    6. Arizona State Sun Devils

    Last Week Ranking: 5 / Next Opponent: at Washington

    Wedged between a big win against Michigan State and a showdown with Washington was a late night matchup with San Diego State. The Aztecs, while usually a tough opponent, has struggled this year losing to Stanford and struggling against FCS Sacramento State. Even more Christian Chapman, the starting Aztecs quarterback, was out. A Sun Devils’ defense that has given up just 20 points in two games should of have had a field day against a heavy run Aztecs team. Instead, ASU watched San Diego State rush for 311 yards and put up 28 points to give Herm Edwards his first loss at Arizona State. They’ll have to quickly figure out what went wrong before traveling up to Washington for a late Saturday night clash with the Huskies.

    7. USC Trojans

    Last Week Ranking: 4 / Next Opponent: vs Washington State (Friday)

    After a 14-3 start against Texas, the Trojans’ defense gave up 34 straight points en route to a 37-14 loss.  JT Daniels had a solid performance but once against couldn’t get USC into the end zone. After three games, the true freshman quarterback has just one passing touchdown. The Trojans’ schedule doesn’t get any easier as they play a Friday night game against a high scoring Washington State team. If Daniels once again can’t do his part getting his team in the end zone, USC will be looking at their first 1-3 start since 2016. By the way, that year the Trojans ended up running off nine straight wins en route to a Rose Bowl victory.

    8. Washington State Cougars

    Last Week Ranking: 9 / Next Opponent: at USC (Friday)

    As sure as the sun will rise, Washington State will throw the ball at least 50 times a game. Mike Leach’s team continues their normal offensive ways slinging the ball around the field and putting up monster scores. QB Gardner Minshew is leading the nation with 401 passing yards a game. His success, along with the Cougars’ record, should be taken with a grain of salt due to the competition they’ve faced but at least they’re putting up big numbers.

    9. Utah Utes

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    Last Week’s Ranking: 6 / Next Opponent: Bye (at Washington State 9/29)

    Losing 21-7 to a highly talented Washington team is nothing to feel bad about. The disappointing part for the Utes is that this year they got the Huskies at home and a had a chance to pull off the upset. But once again the turnover bug hit as Utah lost the ball three times (nine total after three games). Against Weber State and even Northern Illinois, they were able to overcome turning the ball over. But now that the Utes are entering conference play and turning the ball over three times a game won’t win them many PAC-12 games.

    10. Arizona Wildcats

    Last Week Ranking: 10 / Next Opponent: at Oregon State

    Kevin Sumlin finally got his first win as the head coach of Arizona by defeating Southern Utah 62-31. Khalil Tate (who I thought would finally get his run game going) threw for 270 yards with five touchdowns. Oddly enough Tate was limited to just 18 yards on the ground. Even though this was a win against an FCS opponent, perhaps Sumlin and his Wildcats figured something out on offense.

    11. Oregon State Beavers

    Last Week Ranking: 12 / Next Opponent: vs Arizona

    Oh, Oregon State. It’s like you’re afraid to win a game. Last year they had stopped Stanford for 3 ½ quarters until a late Beavers fumble led to a game-winning score for the Cardinal. Last week, the Beavers rallied against an experienced Nevada team (14 returning starters) from down 30-7 to being down just two with four seconds left. But once against Oregon State couldn’t get over the winning hump and missed a 34-yard field goal as time expired. Nevertheless, the Beavers held their own against Nevada. If they could have eliminated their three turnovers which led to 14 points for the Wolfpack, Oregon State would be returning home from Reno with their second win of the season.

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    12. UCLA Bruins

    Last Week Ranking: 11 / Next Opponent: Bye (at Colorado 9/28)

    The Bruins finally fell to rock bottom of the Power Rankings after an uninspired loss against Fresno State. The Bruins managed just 270 total yards with their leading rusher being QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Hopefully, the Bruins can put their nonconference games behind them and think of their PAC-12 as a brand new season. But getting three or four conference victories might be the most Chip Kelly can grind out in his first year at UCLA.