Monday, October 24, 2011
Pac-12 power rankings: Week 9
By Ted Miller
If you don't like where you are in the power rankings, play better.
See last week's power rankings here.
1. Stanford: Stanford retakes the top spot with a dominant performance against Washington, the Cardinal's 15th consecutive victory and 10th in a row by 25 or more points, which has never happened in the modern era. Never!
2. Oregon: The Ducks' JV -- no quarterback Darron Thomas, nor running back LaMichael James -- whipped Colorado. Reporters then rejoiced because they get another week of speculating about Thomas' and James' status amid a cloud of grumpy verbal scorn heaped upon them by coach Chip Kelly. And, by the way, I'm hurt that some of you might suggest there's anything but pure intent bouncing Oregon and Stanford back and forth in the top spot. Sniffle.
3. USC: Everyone together now: Sorry, Trojans. Just about everyone thought you were going to get pushed around at Notre Dame. Just about everyone was wrong. Strong effort on both sides of the ball, particularly on defense against a super-galactic Fighting Irish offense.
4. Arizona State: How can the Sun Devils rate behind USC, a team they beat? Because they were sitting on their rear ends this weekend while USC was whipping Notre Dame. These are the weekly power rankings. How can the Sun Devils rank behind USC in the Associated Press poll? Well, how can the Sun Devils rank ahead of Illinois? Nature of the system.
5. Washington: The loss at Stanford made clear the Huskies aren't there yet. But here's some advice, Huskies. Don't let the Cardinal beat you twice by not focusing on Arizona, which visits on Saturday. The Wildcats, despite their record, are no patsy. And surely don't look ahead to Oregon on Nov. 5.
6. California: Beating Utah gives a little punch to the Bears. QB Zach Maynard played better and the defense dominated. This should be a bowl team. (By the way, there's a nice symmetry from here down, don't you think?)
7. Utah: What we know about the Utes: They aren't better than USC, Arizona State, Washington and California. What we don't? See below. We still project Utah, 3-4 at present and without a Pac-12 victory, to become a bowl team against this remaining schedule: Oregon State, at Arizona, UCLA, at Washington State and Colorado.
8. Oregon State: The good news is Oregon State no longer looks like a patsy. The bad news is the remaining schedule is pretty darn tough.
9. Arizona: Don't be surprised if the Wildcats finish fairly strong. It might turn out that the loss to Oregon State, Mike Stoops' last game, will be the loss that keeps them from the postseason.
10. UCLA: Based on how the Bruins played at Arizona, it's hard to see them putting up much of a fight -- no pun intended -- the rest of the way.
11. Washington State: Three consecutive defeats and the Cougars are reeling and back near the basement. There is a small consolation. It's Colorado.
12. Colorado: Nothing has gone right for the Buffaloes, from a brutal 13-game, no-bye schedule to an injury list that might be the nation's worst, at least in terms of the number of injuries to starters. The Buffs looked like they'd at least be competitive in the preseason. That has not proven to be the case.