It’s week five and the Pac-12 couldn’t be a bigger mess.
I mean it’s not a mess, mess, it’s more of a crap shoot where no one knows what exactly is going on and I’d advise not placing bets on anyone but the team playing Arizona.
These rankings are very fluid and should be taken with a grain of salt as I expect a massive shake up one week from today when probably half the ranked teams have lost – or they haven’t and I’m stoned as a fraud.
Currently,the Pac-12 standings look as such:
Here’s a quick recap and power rankings:
1) Utah (#5 in AP): I mean I guess they go first. I don’t have a lot of options to choose from, but I doubt the Utes are the best team in the conference. I can’t be the only person who found it insane they jumped FIVE spots while sitting on the couch watching TV. Also, ESPN’s newest power ranking have them as the TOP RANKED TEAM IN THE COUNTRY. Anyone else think we’re jumping the gun a little bit? I mean, yes, they beat Michigan and Oregon, but c’mon!
Next Game: vs #23 California for ESPN College GameDay
2) Stanford (#16): It’s safe to say they’ve put their 16-6 loss to Northwestern behind them. Stanford has outscored their opponents 169-79 since the opening week, including last week’s thrashing of Arizona 55-17. This could be the Pac-12’s best shot at representing the conference in the playoffs. They’ve already taken down one of the Los Angeles giants and play the other one this upcoming week. If they win, get ready for possibly two Pac-12 teams in the top 10.
Next Game: vs #20 UCLA
3) USC (#17): They had a BYE last week, but in their previous game they handled Arizona State with ease. This week is a huge trap game with #15 Notre Dame on the horizon. Cody Kessler is cruising early on with 15 TD’s, 1 INT, 1297 yards and a 73% completion percentage. If the Trojans can win out, Kessler might be taking a trip to New York in early December and Southern Cal will be heading toward the Pac-12 title game.
Next Game: vs Washington
4) California (#23) While they haven’t beaten anyone of note, they are 5-0 and heading into the biggest game California has played in in who know’s how long. Jared Goff, like his fellow conference comrade Kessler, is in the Heisman talk with over 1,600 yards passing and 15 touchdowns. California also enters arguably the hardest stretch of conference opponents with Utah next, then UCLA, USC, and Oregon. It won’t be long before we see if the Golden Bears are the real deal.
Next Game: @ Utah for College Gameday
#5) UCLA (#20): Well, talk about a roller coaster of emotions for the Bruins over the last two weeks. After going into Arizona Stadium and thumping the Wildcats, UCLA returned home to the Rose Bowl and promptly lost to Arizona State. I feel these two weeks are going to be a microcosm of UCLA’s season. With a freshman quarterback who is obviously quite talented, but inexperienced, these types of clunkers are sure to appear more than not.
#6) Arizona State: I only placed ASU below UCLA due to looking at the entire season. They barely beat Cal Poly at home and lost to Texas A&M (yes the Aggies are looking much better than their preseason ranking but a loss is still a loss). Plus, ASU got run out of the building versus USC, so just like UCLA, I’m at a loss for words trying to figure out how good the Sun Devils are.
Next Game: vs Colorado
#7) Oregon: Woah! Never thought I would be making a Conference Power Rankings list and the Oregon Ducks would be seventh. Oregon is 1-2 against Power 5 teams with losses to Utah and Michigan State. Add in an an unspectacular win at Colorado and you’ve got the first unranked Ducks team in years. Oregon has been playing without injured starting quarterback Vernon Adams which could say something to the decreased offensive output. However, there’s no defense (no pun intended) to giving up 62 points to a Utah team that up to that point, wasn’t known for doing much on offense.
Next Game: vs Washington State
#8) Arizona: I’m basing this more off of potential and talent (and a little bit of being a homer). Arizona is probably playing the worst football in the conference, but due to injuries, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and 8th in the conference seems like a pretty solid place to land them. Anu Solomon’s status is still up in the air while Scooby is out for another few weeks which means this rocky stretch could turn tumultuous.
The Wildcats next three match-ups look favorable on paper, but who knows what will happen when the teams take the field. If they can get healthy and put together a string of victories, their final stretch could have a big influence on bowl games and the conference title game. Even if everything continues on it’s downward spiral, the weather is cooling down and going outside in Arizona is finally tolerable. Cheers to that!
Next Game: vs Oregon State
#9) Colorado: Putting them at nine is my way of saying congrats to not getting blown out by Oregon (they actually had it close for most of the game) and for looking like a semi-decent Power 5 conference team. Nice going Buffs!
Next Game: @ Arizona State
#10) Washington: These last three teams are basically a toss up. What puts the Huskies ahead is they have the conference’s best defense and has played the most competitively in their losses. They barely lost to a ranked Boise State team and played a good Cal team to the wire.
Next Game: @ USC
#11) Oregon State: Another toss up. I’m throwing them ahead of the Cougars because they’ve played a slightly harder schedule (they played Michigan and got smoked). With a first-year coach, this is going to be a work in progress but they should be on the right track.
Next Game vs Arizona
#12) Washington State: Well, we’ve reached the bottom and is anyone really surprised Wazzu is there. After finishing with the 2nd worst record in conference play last year, don’t seem to be on the path towards winning anytime soon. On the bright side however, the Cougars are still zipping the ball all over the field with the 7th best passing attack in the nation. Let’s see how long Mike Leach lasts in Pullman.
Next Game: @ Oregon
I’ll see you all back next week and let’s see what kind of chaos has occurred in week 6.