Monday, October 5, 2009
Pac-10 power rankings
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
As we noted last week, the power rankings won't be static. And they aren't again this week.
1. Oregon: Thought about promoting USC ahead of Oregon. Then I thought: "Was piling up 31 first downs against Washington State while surrendering only four not enough?" Ducks did what good teams do. They delivered an effortless beatdown.
2. USC: They're baaaaaack. 'Nuff said.
3. Stanford: The workmanlike performance against UCLA sent a message: Stanford is a program on the rise. Remember when Jim Harbaugh rambled at Pac-10 media day about his program not being built on "shifting sands" or something, you know, not stable? He was right. Stanford is a bruising team with improving skill, and Harbaugh has upgraded the recruiting. The Cardinal is a win at Oregon State away from earning a national ranking for the first time since 2001.
4. Arizona: Arizona was resting easy during its bye weekend. They visit Washington on Saturday, and the Huskies have proven they won't be anybody's patsy this season. Husky Stadium will be a great test for new starting quarterback Nick Foles and company.
5. UCLA: The Bruins learned first-hand of Stanford's improvement, but they also are flowing in a positive direction. It figures to be a good thing if starting quarterback Kevin Prince returns for the Oregon game. By the way, anyone see a potential trap for the Ducks in the Rose Bowl? Naaa. That would never happen, right?
6. Oregon State: The Beavers were reeling and now they are not. If anyone wants to know why Mike Riley is so respected, consider how he got his team ready to play at Arizona State, where the Beavers hadn't won since 1969. The visit from Stanford feels like a game with significant bowl implications.
7. Washington: The Pac-10 blog isn't a fan of blaming officials. But the Huskies deserve an explanation for some of the, er, calls at Notre Dame made by a crew headed by a guy who has history with the program. Understand: This was a Pac-10 crew, so it's not a matter of blaming Notre Dame. As for the performance: So close, but the guess here is close doesn't feel as good as it did in the season-opener against LSU.
8. California: The mighty Bears have fallen. But can they get up?
9. Arizona State: The Sun Devils have two issues: 1. They came out flat in their Pac-10 opener in Sun Devil Stadium, which defies explanation; 2. They may be on the cusp of changing quarterbacks. Nice column here on the QB matter.
10. Washington State: The Cougars were outclassed at Oregon. They need to get healthy to be competitive.