Pac-12 Power Rankings – Week 2


Week two of the conference season is in the books, so it is time to see how things are shaking out. If we learned anything from this weekend, it is how difficult it is to sweep on the road in this conference. No one did it, with all of the top teams vying for the conference crown splitting on the road. In fact, only two teams managed to win both games this weekend, with Colorado and UCLA holding serve at home. What it leaves is a pile at the top which will probably start to get sorted out in the coming weeks… or not.

1) Colorado (11-4 overall, 3-0 in Pac-12, RPI 66)- I figured the in the pre-season that the Buffaloes would be better than most prognosticators predicted, but I think we have to seriously start thinking of them as NCAA tournament possibilities. Not only did they win their first three Pac-12 games, but they won them easily. But, all three were at home at elevation. Let’s see how they do on the road.

2) California (13-3 overall, 3-1 in Pac-12, RPI 54)- If the Huskies can feel good about anything from this weekend, it is that winning on the road is hard in the Pac-12, as the Golden Bears experienced going up to Oregon State and giving up 92 in a loss.

2) Stanford (13-3 overall, 3-1 in Pac-12, RPI 70)- Stanford also experienced the wrath of Pac-12 road play by losing to Oregon and escaping with a 4OT win at Oregon State this weekend.

4) Arizona (11-5 overall, 1-0 Pac-12, RPI 60)- It’s never easy going to Los Angeles, even if UCLA is down this year. And the Wildcats figured that out with a loss to the Bruins and a tough win over USC.

5) Washington(9-6 overall, 3-1 Pac-12, RPI 88)- While many Husky fans were disappointed with a bad loss at Colorado and a tougher than expect win at Utah, look on the bright side. The Huskies are 3-1 and tied for 2nd in the Pac-12. Everyone else above them battling for the Pac-12 crown also split their road games this weekend. Traditionally a split in the Pac-12 on the road and holding serve at home will get you on track for the NCAA tournament. Now the Dawgs get a nice practice game against Seattle U before the Cougs come to town Saturday.

6) Oregon (11-5 overall, 2-2 Pac-12, RPI 67, SOS 153)- Oregon split this weekend at home against two of the conference’s top teams. That’s not a bad weekend and it keep them hanging around for post-season opportunities. With a road trip to Arizona this weekend, another split seems quite possible with reeling ASU a likely win and always tough Arizona in Tuscon a loss.

7) Oregon State (11-5 overall, 1-3 Pac-12, RPI 134)-

8) UCLA (9-7 overall, 2-2 Pac-12, RPI 125)- UCLA did something only Colorado managed to do this week, they swept the weekend at home. They beat both Arizona State and Arizona at home. As for the Wildcats, I warned you that UCLA had too much talent to be this bad all season. I warned you that they were going to beat some teams and hurt their chances at the conference title. Now the question is whether this team that has been the most inconsistent in the entire Pac-12 can get on a roll? We’ll find out this week when they hit the road for three in a road starting with USC this week.

9) Utah (4-11 overall, 1-2 Pac-12, RPI 273)- What? Utah up at the #10 spot? Well, they did beat Washington State, so they deserve to be ahead of the Cougs and they gave the Huskies all they could handle in Salt Lake City. Maybe Utah is slowly starting to figure some things out. They still can’t score, but they seem to have found a way to keep their opponents in the 50’s. It’ll be interesting to see what the Utes do on the road in the Bay Area this week. Something tells me it won’t work out quite as well.

10) Arizona State (5-10 overall, 1-2 Pac-12, RPI 198)- Give some credit to the Sun Devils who managed to go to Los Angeles and beat USC, before getting beaten badly by UCLA. Nonetheless, any road win in conference for this team is a bonus. Unfortunately, they just lost their leading scorer Keala King who left the team. But, at least they have two home games this week with the Oregon’s coming to Tempe.

11) Washington State (9-7 overall, 1-3 Pac-12, RPI 143)- The Cougs were embarrassed in the mountains this week by losing to Utah in OT and then beaten badly by Colorado. They get a little time off before playing the Huskies in Seattle on Saturday. But, it’s starting to look like a long season for Ken Bone and company.

12) USC (5-12 overall, 0-4 Pac-12, RPI 158)- Sure USC has played a hard schedule, the hardest in the conference. But, if you hope to win games, you need to be able to score over 60 points in a game, which they have only done 4 times this season (one was in OT). They are ranked #340th in the country in scoring (out of 345) at 54.5 points per game. The good news is other teams can’t score against them, as they lead the Pac-12 in scoring defense at 55.5 ppg allowed. So, it’s obvious that for some reason no one can find the basket on either side when USC hits the floor. USC may win some games this year, but they get the 12th spot for just being the ugliest form of basketball in the conference.