- Ted Miller, College Football
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When you beat ranked teams, you move up. Unless you are already on top.
1. Oregon: The Ducks faced their first foe with a pulse -- a ranked one, no less -- and rolled 49-zip. They moved up to No. 2 in both national polls. 'Nuff said.
2. Stanford: The Cardinal got to relax on their bye weekend and dwell on how great it is to beat USC four times in a row. "Oh," coach David Shaw said, "we don't care about that, Ted, Kevin!" Pause, grin. "Four times!" A visit to Washington on Thursday might be interesting, at least if the series' recent history of Stanford domination is ignored.
3. Oregon State: Lookie here! The Beavers surge into third. Why are they ahead of USC? Well, consider the résumé: Unbeaten with two wins over ranked teams. And to be good, you've got to feel good, and the Beavers surely feel better than the Trojans today. And, hey, who doesn't after an In-N-Out burger.
4. USC: The Trojans got the running game and defense going against California. In the preseason, I didn't think I'd type this: But what about the passing game?
5. UCLA: Anyone else notice that 3-1 Nebraska is ranked ahead of the 3-1 Bruins? Anyone remember where the Cornhuskers' "1" came from? Yeah, go figure. Did the Huskers' wins over Arkansas State and Idaho State really prove something? The Bruins, however, do face their first adversity of the season after losing at home to Oregon State.
6. Arizona State: Speaking of bouncing back, the Sun Devils certainly did that with an utter domination of Utah in every phase. Now can they duplicate that disciplined, complete effort on the road? That's the next step to measure this weekend at California, a team that figures to be plenty motivated.
7. Arizona: Well, you could call it the most competitive 49-0 defeat in history ... would that help? And here's a guess that the Wildcats do a little red zone work this week at practice. It would appear they will be challenged by a very good Oregon State defense on Saturday.
8. Washington: The Huskies' early schedule gauntlet turns to its Stanford chapter. A win at home -- well, in CenturyLink Field, the Seattle Seahawks' home -- would go a long way toward signaling the Huskies are turning a corner. Sure QB Keith Price will raise an eyebrow at the way Stanford's defense rolled USC's offensive line and made Matt Barkley miserable.
9. California: The 1-3 start was what most expected. But the next three games -- all winnable -- likely will provide a good guess at the overall trajectory of the season. A quality win at home over Arizona State might inspire some cautious optimism among the worried Berkeley faithful.
10. Utah: Man, you Utah fans were in a Twitter panic on Saturday, with a bad loss to Arizona State knocking thoughts of challenging for the South Division title off the table. It feels like a good time for a bye week. Only problem is the next three games look far more formidable than they did in the preseason, when all the focus was on USC's visit on Thursday, Oct. 4. Now road trips to UCLA and Oregon State on back-to-back weekends are reasons for worry.
11. Colorado: Buffalo fans, take a moment and breathe. Then look down. Wave. Of course, you're thirsty after scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter at Washington State to end fears of a winless season. Go ahead. Make a demand, like the winner you are. You've earned it. "Hey, Cougs! Can you bring me a cold beverage from the basement -- that's the BASEMENT -- refrigerator?"
12. Washington State: "Burp."
When you beat ranked teams, you move up. Unless you are already on top.See last week's power rankings here.1. Oregon: The Ducks faced their first foe with a pulse -- a ranked one, no less -- and rolled 49-zip.