The Huskies may have had a bye week, but the rest of the Pac-12 was in full swing last week. After playing No. 22 Northwestern close, Cal almost lost to FCS Portland State, and after Hawaii played USC close, the Trojans did lose to Washington State. It was probably a good thing that was a late-night game, so the country doesn’t get the wrong impression of Pac-12 football. That was ugly. Meanwhile, what the hell has gotten into Utah’s offense? 70 points!
We had all six staff members submit ballots this week. Jesse Kennemer, Jackson Safon, Erik Erickson, Eric Nelson, Paul Somerstein and myself, Evan Webeck. 12 points are awarded for first place votes, 11 for second, and so on.
1. Oregon Ducks (2-0) 70 points (4 first place votes)
Last week: 59-10 W @ Virginia Cavaliers
The Ducks regain the top spot in the power rankings after putting on an impressive showing on the road against Virginia. The most entertaining part of the game may have been the crowd shots after the Ducks scored and fans were just shocked at how fast their offense is. Oregon is back home this week to host the Tennessee Volunteers.
2. Stanford Cardinal (1-0) 68 points (2 first place votes)
Last week: 34-13 W vs. San Jose State Spartans
This may have been a more impressive win than Oregon’s at Virginia. Stanford isn’t a team that is going blow anyone out, but it still beat a very good San Jose State team by 21 points. The defense looked as good as ever, allowing just one touchdown. This week shouldn’t be nearly as tough, as the Cardinal hit the road to face Army.
3. Washington Huskies (1-0) 57 points
Last week: Bye
With a bye last week, not only did the Huskies move up a spot in the AP poll, they also move up a spot in our power rankings. If Stanford or Oregon slip and Washington plays well on the road this week, it could see some first place votes in the poll. Make sure to follow along with our game week coverage leading up to the Illinois game on Saturday.
4. UCLA Bruins (1-0) 55 points
Last week: Bye
The Bruins face a challenge this week when they travel to Lincoln, Neb. to take on the No. 23 Nebraska Cornhuskers. This is a good “measuring stick” game for UCLA. If it can win a tough game on the road, UCLA could find itself in the top-10 and primed to make a run at a Pac-12 championship. That’s a big “if,” though. After avoiding the upset versus Wyoming in Week 1, Nebraska looked very good against Southern Miss last week.
5. Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0) 50 points
Last week: 55-0 W vs. Sacramento State Hornets
The Sun Devils didn’t get hit with the FCS curse that more than a few teams suffered from in Week 1. They dominated Sac State in every aspect of the game. Anything that was a worry going into the season didn’t affect ASU against Sacramento State. Granted, it was a low-level FCS opponent that hasn’t scored a point this season, but 55-0 is impressive nonetheless. The real test for ASU comes this week against No. 20 Wisconsin. The Badgers haven’t allowed a point in either of their two games this season.
6. Arizona Wildcats (2-0) 41 points
Last week: 58-13 W @ UNLV Rebels
Even without a reliable quarterback, the Wildcats have looked as good as ever on offense. They’ve been able to rely on the running game so heavily, quarterback B.J. Denker has only attempted 34 passes in two games so far. Playing against FCS Northern Arizona and an 0-2 UNLV team hasn’t provided the Wildcats with a real test yet, however. They host another cupcake this week in Texas-San Antonio before visiting Montlake in Week 4.