Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week Seven


I’d like to just remind anyone reading this that I base these power rankings not only on performance over the season, but also on the current situations of the different teams. If a team has put together a great season, but looked absolutely terrible in a recent game, they may be ranked pretty low based on my opinion that they will not perform so well going forward. It is, by its very nature, a very subjective process. Just roll with it, and if you disagree, feel free to comment below.

1.) Oregon

It could just be because it was the Huskies that Oregon was tearing up on Saturday, but I must say, I’m not sure these Ducks are going to lose this season. Against Arizona and Washington, the two ranked teams faced by UO this season, the Ducks have put together two dominant wins. I wish I could nitpick, but even when they play a sloppy first half against a weak opponent, Chip Kelly’s team comes out and fixes every problem in the second half. I would be surprised to see them playing anywhere but the Rose Bowl or the National Championship this season.

2.) USC

Oh, you funky Trojans. I just have no idea what to expect from you this week. You lost to a Stanford team on the road that Washington managed to beat at home, both games being close, so who knows if that really indicates anything at all. You’ve won every other game, but not always in an impressive way. You are stacked with talent, but somehow still have some real positional question marks. As much as Saturday’s game will be key for the Huskies, it may be almost as important for USC to try and prove that they can beat a ranked opponent on the road, and maybe even look impressive doing it.

3.) Arizona State

The Sun Devils didn’t look all that great against Cal, but hey, they won. Definitely the most underrated team in the conference, and to be honest, I’m not sure the Huskies would beat them if they came to town this weekend instead of the Trojans.

September 29, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA; Oregon State Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion (4) talks on the phone with coaches in the press box in the second quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

4.) Oregon State

If you look at record, the Beavers should be right there at number two on this list. The thing is, Sean Mannion is out with knee surgery. He could be out for the season, but he definitely won’t be back for this week’s game, and probably at least several weeks past that. Anytime a team loses a quality starting quarterback, it is not a recipe for success. That impressive, but sometimes a little inconsistent, defense will have to step up big against BYU to avoid the upset. They may not get a whole lot of support from the offense.

5.) Stanford

One of the best games of the season, as far as entertainment value goes, against Arizona. Stanford escaped with a win in overtime, but now they head across the country to play Notre Dame on the road, and I’m pretty certain they are going to lose. If that’s the case, Stanford certainly won’t be in any position to challenge Oregon for the Pac-12 North title.

6.) Arizona

A heartbreaking loss to the Cardinal, and now, it is looking like a fairly heartbreaking season for Arizona, with two one-score losses to ranked teams in consecutive weeks. There is reason for optimism, however, as the Wildcats close out their season with games against UCLA, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona State. While UCLA and ASU won’t be easy wins by any means, all four of those games are winnable. This team is almost certainly still destined for a bowl.

7.) Washington

If the Huskies beat USC on Saturday, then 7 will obviously seem like it was much too low. But until then, that loss to Oregon was just too much. It wasn’t the fact that they lost, or even that they got blown out, it was the way it happened. Fumbles, interceptions, blown coverages. The Ducks didn’t have to work for that win. Not at all. Keith Price is lost, and the whole team has given no indication that they can be competitive on the road. The offense needs to get on track, and this entire team needs to take a deep breath and decide if they are willing and able to take the next step for this program.

Oct 6, 2012; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears tailback C.J. Anderson (9) rushes with the ball during the second half against the UCLA Bruins at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-US PRESSWIRE

8.) UCLA

What happened to poor UCLA? They were doing so well, and then they absolutely wet the bed against a Cal team that has looked pretty damn bad this year. Hard to tell if this was a one time deal, or if this is the direction the Bruins are headed. If they lose to Utah at home, they will have lost to two of the worst Pac-12 underachievers this season, and that will probably send Jim Mora into a media-beating frenzy. Unfortunately for Mora’s team, Utah showed some life against USC.

9.) Cal

I don’t care that they just beat UCLA, I’m not sold on this team at all, and they are staying below the Bruins. Sure, Tedford’s squad will almost certainly beat a WSU team that has looked totally lost this year, but then they host Stanford, and they will probably lose. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m thinking Cal will end the season right around number nine in these rankings, so I’ll be keeping them here unless they actually do something impressive.

10.) Utah

If anything, I actually have more confidence in this Utah team to ascend these rankings. It is a wait and see game though, so we’ll see this weekend if the supposedly imposing defense that has been mostly absent this year makes an appearance against the Bruins.

11.) Washington State

Don’t get me wrong, Mike Leach’s team is lost. They have no idea who they are or what they want to achieve. But still, they aren’t the doormat that Colorado is. They may even manage a 3rd or 4th win at some point, while the Buffaloes…probably will not.

12.) Colorado

They are not going to win a second game.