Last week, there was only one matchup between two top-25 teams in all of college football, putting much of the nation’s eyes on the Pac-12. No. 5 Stanford and then No. 23 ASU wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicates – and the score doesn’t really indicate it was all that close. Other than ASU, the Pac-12 took care of business. Washington, Washington State and UCLA all blew out FCS schools, while Oregon State, USC and Utah all avoided getting upset.
1. Oregon Ducks (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) 70 points (4 first place votes)
Last week: Bye
This week: vs. California Golden Bears
The Ducks have come to play in each of their first three games. Coach Mark Helfrich hasn’t let them look over inferior opponents, so don’t expect them to against Cal, either. The Bears should be able to score against Oregon, but whatever they put up, the Ducks will likely close to double it. If anything, it should be a fun, offense-dominated game.
2. Stanford Cardinal (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) 68 points (2 first place votes)
Last week: 42-28 W vs. No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils
This week: @ Washington State Cougars
What was supposed to be the best game of the week quickly turned into a blowout between the Cardinal and the Sun Devils. Despite allowing ASU to somewhat get back in the game after pulling starting QB Kevin Hogan, this was a statement victory for the Cardinal. WSU has already upset USC on the road this season, but USC and Stanford are a country mile apart in terms of talent.
3. UCLA Bruins (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) 60 points
Last week: 59-13 W vs. New Mexico State Aggress
This week: Bye
The Bruins may see themselves drop to No. 4 in the power rankings next week just because they don’t play this week. They’ve passed every test thrown their way so far, and with ASU’s disappointing performance against Stanford, look like the South favorites by a wide margin right now.
4. Washington Huskies (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) 54 points
Last week: 56-0 W vs. Idaho State Bengals
This week: vs. Arizona Wildcats
The Huskies will be shooting for their first 4-0 start since 2001, when they went to the Holiday Bowl. It won’t come easily, as they kick off their conference slate against 3-0 Arizona, but that record could be misleading, as the Wildcats have yet to play a quality opponent.
5. Arizona State Sun Devils (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) 44 points
Last week: 42-28 L @ No. 5 Stanford Cardinal
This week: vs. USC Trojans
Simply put, the Sun Devils aren’t ready to contend for a Pac-12 title yet. They couldn’t hold their own against one of the conference’s elite in Stanford. Both they and USC will be looking to prove themselves this week. Each team has started out 0-1 in conference play, but still conceivably has a shot at the Pac-12 South crown.
6. Arizona Wildcats (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) 43 points
Last week: Bye
This week: @ No. 16 Washington Huskies
Arizona’s three wins have come against Northern Arizona, UNLV and UTSA. The defense has looked much improved, but it’s come against one of the worst non-conference schedules in the nation. If they can stop Washington’s multi-facited attack, they will deserve some recognition, but for now, they’re a very unproven team.