Monday, September 26, 2011
Pac-12 power rankings: Week 5
By Ted Miller
» Power Rankings: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC
If you don't like where you are in the power rankings, play better.
See last week's power rankings here.
1. Oregon: The Ducks move back to the top while Stanford was off because they were slightly more dominant at Arizona than the Cardinal, and the power rankings often rely on the transitive property.
2. Stanford: Cardinal probably shouldn't despair a fall from the top, seeing that we have them projected as finishing with a supper date with the Granddaddy.
3. Arizona State: After beating USC, the Sun Devils have two quality wins -- Missouri and the Trojans -- which is a better resume than any other conference team. And most of the top 25.
4. Washington: Wow, Keith Price! He's got 14 TD pass, and no one in the nation has more. Jake Locker threw 17 all of last year. And the defense made a stand in the fourth quarter against California.
5. USC: There was a lot of talk among USC writers of the Trojans getting outcoached at ASU. Whether that's true or not, the Sun Devils certainly were more effective counterpunchers.
6. Utah: Utes emerge from their bye weekend and now prepare for their first Pac-12 home game. Want respect? Beat Washington at home on Saturday and set up a HUGE South Division showdown with Arizona State.
7. California: The Bears' loss at Washington didn't feel like some of the "what the heck?" losses in past years. Cal fought to the end, but the Huskies just looked like a better team. The first step for the Bears might be getting back to playing to their potential each weekend, unlike past talented teams that often underachieved. The problem is this is about where Cal falls in terms of talent.
8. UCLA: Winning is winning is winning, and it's way better than losing. Further, at 2-2, the Bruins are certainly in the mix for bowl eligibility. But the performance at Oregon State didn't exactly suggest this team is headed for a transformation. What sort of chance do the Bruins stand at Stanford?
9. Washington State: The Cougars play at Colorado and at UCLA the next two weekends. After those games, it's almost certain we will know the measure of this team -- and whether coach Paul Wulff will retain his job.
10. Arizona: It sucks down here, eh Wildcats? There's no shame in losing to top-10 teams, but getting stomped three times is no fun. Sure, after next weekend's visit to USC, the schedule eases up a whole bunch. But a road win against the Trojans would serve as a pitcher of ice water for a fanbase that is parched and prone on the desert floor. It could transform the season.
11. Colorado: When Buffaloes fans looked at the 2011 schedule -- and after going, "Really? Really? Come on! 13 games, no bye? At Ohio State? Really?" -- they penciled in a victory over Washington State at home on Saturday. As a new coach, Jon Embree has a reservoir of good will from his fans. That reservoir will show a slight fissure if the Cougars swagger out of Boulder with a W.
12. Oregon State: A trip to Arizona State doesn't feel like it's exactly what the doctor ordered for the struggling Beavers. The worry I had watching the UCLA game was that, as a guy with an opinion on everything -- even on stuff I know nothing about -- I really don't have any suggestions to Mike Riley and company. Other than keep sawing wood and hope some young players start to grow up.