Husky Haul Power Rankings – Week 1


Each Monday, we’ll be posting the Husky Haul Power Rankings based on the games of the past weekend. The philosophy of the power rankings is basically a hybrid of how each team played in its last game, as well as, who would beat who in head-to-head match ups if they happened today.

The Pac-12 did not exactly make a good name for itself this weekend. The highest profile team was pummeled in Dallas, one of them lost to an FCS team and another almost did. Then there were the lackluster wins by teams expected to be in the top 6 of the conference. What does it all mean? We’ll find out as the season rolls on I guess. But, for now, here are my Power Rankings…

1. #7 Stanford (57-3 win over San Jose State)- The Cardinal laid a whooping on the Spartans as expected. But, I am not sure anyone expected it to be quite that bad. I predicted Stanford would win the Pac-12 this year and nothing from this game makes me change my mind. Let’s see how they do on the road at Duke next game.

2. #3 Oregon (40-27 loss to #4 LSU in Dallas, TX)- Yes, it was a defacto home game for the Tigers, who already travel well (remember how many came to Seattle?). But, Oregon did not show it was a national title contender tonight. LSU dominated in all phases of the game and despite an attempted 4th quarter comeback, looked somewhat uncharacteristically anemic on offense. This is loss #1 of what I predicted would be 3 this season. I’ll save the other two for later (and no it doesn’t include the Huskies). Oregon will probably come home and destroy Nevada next week. But, they better be careful, because Nevada was 12-1 last year.

3. Arizona State (48-14 win over FCS UC-Davis)- The Sun Devils took care of business as expected against the Aggies of UC Davis. I usually would not vault a team to the #3 spot based on destroying an FCS opponent. But, look at how the rest of the conference did this weekend…Do I have any choice? Let’s see how good this team is next week as they host #21 Missouri.

4. #25 USC (19-17 win over Minnesota)- USC hangs on against a mediocre to weak team from the Big Ten. After this performance, it is really difficult for me to have them at the #4 spot. But, really who did so much better this weekend? At least they got the W. This team has some holes that Lane Kiffin is going to need to fill if they are to be successful this season. We’ll see how good these Trojans really are against Utah next week in the Utes’ Pac-12 inaguaral game.

5. Utah (27-10 win over FCS Montana State)- Speaking of Utah, they came away with a lackluster win against a pretty good FCS team. Maybe a 17-point win against Montana State doesn’t look so bad in light of what Oregon State and Washington did this week against the FCS. Utah gets to finally see what’s its like to be a Pac-12 member with a tough road trip to #25 USC. That’ll be the game where we west coast fans get to find out what this team is about.

6. California (36-21 win over Fresno State)- The Golden Bears did exactly what they were expected to do against the Bulldogs. Playing their games in San Francisco this year, Cal is probably the most unpredictable team in the Pac-12 both in terms of talent and how Jeff Tedford will play it. Cal will get a sneak preview of new Pac-12 member Colorado next week in Boulder, because oddly enough, it is considered a non-conference game.

7. Washington (30-27 win over FCS Eastern Washington)- I know a lot of you are pretty upset about this result and are very worried about what it portends for the future. We tried to warn you that EWU was not your average FCS team and that their strength (passing) was going up against our biggest weakness (the secondary). It turned out even worse than I expected. But, give credit where credit it due. The Huskies escaped with a win (unlike a few of the conference bretheren) and Eastern really impressed me with their composure and coaching. The worrisome fact is that UW will be playing what may be an even better passing attack against Hawaii next week. I sure hope Nick Holt has the ability to get this secondary up to speed in a week.

8. Arizona (41-10 win over FCS Northern Arizona)- I don’t know, maybe the Wildcats deserve to be a spot or two higher than they are this week. They pummeled the Lumberjacks from my new home of Flagstaff in the desert heat of Tucson. Nick Foles looked great with his 5 TD passes. But, remember part of these power rankings are to take into account the last game and part of it is to predict the future. Is Arizona better than UW based on these results? I am not quite sure yet. We’ll know more after they travel to Stillwater next week to play (and probably get rolled by) #9 Oklahoma State.

9. Washington State (64-21 win over FCS Idaho State)- Dang….They really let it all out against the poor Bengals of Idaho State. Guess Paul Wulff is trying to save his job. Jeff Tuel broke his clavical in this one. Lobbestael and Halliday did pretty good taking over, but what about the future for the Cougs? This will probably be a brief feel good story. While UNLV is not exactly a powerhouse of the MWC, I have a bad feeling about next week with the Runnin’ Rebels coming to town…

10. UCLA (Lost 38-34 at Houston)- UCLA did nothing in that game that indicated they should be any higher than I had them before the game. I know it was a road game, but Houston? Of Conference USA?Really? Is Rick Neuheisel on the hot seat? If he gets fired from UCLA, would he coach at a BCS school again? The Bruins have a chance to regroup against San Jose State next week before the big game against Texas.

11. Colorado (34-21 loss to Hawaii)- Maybe Colorado is better than I thought. The game was closer for most of it than I expected. In the 4th quarter, Colorado was only down by 7, before Hawaii drove down for the clinching TD and then intercepted a Tyler Hansen pass and ran it to the goal line when Colorado was desperate late. But, I expected Bryant Moniz to rack up far more passing yards than he did. However, Moniz did run for over 125 yards, so UW’s linebackers better be ready to chase him down! In any case, Colorado was expected to be near the bottom of the Pac-12 this year. I guess we’ll have a better comparison after next week when we can compare UW and UC’s results against Hawaii and after we see how the Buffaloes do against Cal.

12. Oregon State (Lost 29-28 to FCS Sacramento State in OT)- Now that’s embarrasing. They were down 21-6 to Sac State, then came back in the 4th quarter to score 15 points. They had a chance to hit a game winning field goal at the end to win it, but it hit the upright to send it to OT. OSU opened overtime with a TD. Then Sac State came right back and scored a TD on their possession. Sac State then set up in extra point formation, faked out of it to go for two, and OSU called time out. When they returned to the field to go for the 2-point conversation there was utter chaos. Players were running all over on-and-off the field and the announcers assumed it would be a 12-men in the huddle penalty. Instead, Sac State just threw up a loft pass to the corner, the OSU guy was way out of position, and Sac State scores for the UPSET VICTORY!

As for what’s next for the Beav’s? How about getting pummeled by #11 Wisconsin in Madison next week. I don’t think that 5-7 record I predicted will be right…