Monday, September 19, 2011
Pac-12 power rankings: Week 4
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: The Cardinal was dominant in its first legitimate test of the season, winning its now-nation-leading 11th in a row, but the loss of linebacker Shayne Skov to a knee injury could prove costly.
2. Oregon: The Ducks did what they needed to do: Completely outclass Missouri State in a fairly entertaining -- "Wow, did you see that!" -- way.
3. USC: The Trojans finally flexed their muscles for four quarters. When they do that, they are a top-15 perhaps even top-10 team. So will they do that at Arizona State on Saturday?
4. Arizona State: Sure, the Sun Devils blew a game they should have won at Illinois. But they still have the best nonconference win -- against Missouri -- of any team in the conference. The Sun Devils and Utah have established themselves as the teams to beat in the South Division (Trojans ineligible).
5. Utah: The Utes opened up a can of whup-butt at BYU in a blowout shocker. Got to like the killer instinct on both sides of the ball. The Utes played hard until the very end, even though the game was out of hand in the third quarter.
6. California: We still don't know who the Bears are. We should get a better idea during their visit to Washington on Saturday. The winner pushes into the No. 3 slot in the North Division.
7. Washington: Boy, that third quarter at Nebraska. Yucky. Huskies fans, you can get mad about the officiating -- it should be reprimanded this week -- but your chief concern should be the defense.
8. Arizona: Look, this is a horrible schedule for a team that could have used a soft start to the season -- look longingly at Stanford's slate -- but the Wildcats still flashed just enough potential to suggest this team is good enough to get to a bowl game. But only if the locker room holds together until Week 6.
9. Washington State: Wow, rough a punter and everything goes splat. It appears that the Cougars will have to settled for "better" rather than "magical." But how good will better be? And will it be good enough to save Paul Wulff's job?
10. Colorado: Colorado took control of Colorado State and showed signs of life on both sides of the ball. You ask, Buffs, why are you below WSU? Well, did you see what UNLV did to Hawaii?
11. UCLA: There was some thought of dumping the Bruins into the basement because they don't have the excuses -- injuries -- Oregon State does. But UCLA does have a win and hasn't lost to an FCS team and hasn't been shut out. And the Bruins and Beavers play the Desperation Bowl on Saturday.
12. Oregon State: The good news is the Beavers didn't lose this weekend. The better news is some guys -- tight end Joe Halahuni and, maybe, receiver James Rodgers -- are getting healthy.