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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Pac-12 class rankings analysis

By Erik McKinney



It's down to three Pac-12 programs listed in the newly updated class rankings, as USC fell out due to the decommitment of ESPN 300 DT Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central East), while Arizona (No. 23), Stanford (No. 28) and Arizona State (No. 35) all held steady.

Trending up: The Pac-12

Momentum is up just about everywhere in the conference, as a number of programs are off to strong starts. Eight teams are undefeated with some big wins (Colorado, Oregon and Washington) sprinkled in. Even the programs that suffered a Week 1 loss bounced back with wins this past weekend, and the recruiting buzz is positive overall for the conference right now. This weekend will be big for the Pac-12, as there are several marquee games against power conferences. Arizona State hosts Wisconsin. Cal hosts Ohio State. Oregon hosts Tennessee. And UCLA travels to Nebraska. Statements can be made this weekend, and plenty of recruits will be listening.

Trending down: USC

USC was the only program to fall out of the top 40 this week, as ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central East) announced his decommitment. Though the decision didn't have anything to do with the Trojans' showing against Washington State, that underwhelming performance in a 10-7 loss is another big reason USC finds itself here. The majority of recruits in attendance -- many of them high-profile Trojans' targets -- were shocked at the result and turned off by both the showing on the field and reaction by the fans.

One to watch: California

On Saturday, the Golden Bears will receive a visit from the Ohio State Buckeyes, as well as from a number of recruits, including official visits from ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom), ESPN 300 wide receiver Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons and three-star offensive guard Drew Clarkson (Camas, Wash./Camas). A host of unofficial visitors will be on hand, as well, and Cal could be in position to make some real noise on and off the field with a strong showing against Ohio State.

Bold prediction: Cougars capitalize on momentum

It doesn't appear that this will be a big recruiting weekend for Washington State, but the Cougars always have visitors on hand, and this weekend, they'll use last week's win against USC -- which is still resonating with recruits -- combined with a win over Southern Utah in their home opener, to land at least one commitment.