Pac-12 power rankings: Week 2

September, 6, 2011
9/06/11
9:00
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If you don't like where you are in the power rankings, play better.

See last week's power rankings here.

1. Stanford: It's nice to play San Jose State in the opener. Still, the Cardinal did nothing to suggest they're not an elite team. Perhaps a little bit of concern about the middling running game versus Spartans.

2. Oregon: No shame in losing to LSU, but the Ducks sloppiness was concerning. On the other hand, sloppiness being such a critical element in the loss means there's an easy way to get better: Don't be sloppy.

3. USC: Beating an AQ conference foe means there's no reason to drop USC. But there sure as heck isn't any reason to move the Trojans up after a terrible offensive second half against Minnesota.

4. Arizona State: Sun Devils can move up if they beat No. 21 Missouri at home on Friday. And they will move down if they don't.

5. California: Bears were 10th in our post-spring power rankings, so our esteem for them is trending up. Most of that is solid play at quarterback from Zach Maynard against a respectable foe in Fresno State.

6. Arizona: Not unlike their good friends in Tempe, the Wildcats can move up -- BIG! -- if they manage to win at Oklahoma State on Thursday.

7. Washington: Huskies fall two spots after FCS foe Eastern Washington lit up their secondary. An, oh, no! here comes Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz.

8. Utah: Utah sags after its offense sputtered against Montana State. But the Utes can get a quick boost in the conference pecking order by winning the first-ever Pac-12 game at USC.

9. UCLA: Bruins showed some second-half fight at Houston, playing better on both sides of the ball after the break. But the Cougars used to be the sort of program the Bruins picked their teeth with. The screws tighten on Rick Neuheisel, as the margin for error in a must-win season narrows.

10. Washington State: The Cougars are out of the basement for the first time in the history of the power rankings, as far as I can recall. Too bad about quarterback Jeff Tuel's clavicle. Can the Cougs maintain enough for the next five to eight weeks he's going to be out? Can they get to 2-0 against UNLV?

11. Colorado: It's possible Hawaii is pretty good -- we'll find out during its visit to Washington -- but at this point, the Buffaloes showed more than a few weaknesses while losing their 19th consecutive game away from Boulder. The O-line is a particular worry.

12. Oregon State: Lots of Beavers fans protested being 11th last week. They probably feel less aggrieved now after losing to Sacramento State, an FCS team. What sort of fight will Oregon State put up at Wisconsin? Or does that one get ugly? The Badgers are a team not afraid to run up the score if they can.

Ted Miller | email

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