With all but Colorado playing this week, the Pac-12 got a better look at how the conference stacks up. Four teams have already begun Pac-12 play while ASU and Stanford begin theirs next Saturday. Here’s the Pac-12 pecking order after week three of college football.
1(2). Oregon (3-0): Can anyone stop the Ducks? After three games, No. 2 Oregon has outscored its opponents 184-27 and has dispelled any and every post-Chip Kelly era doubters. Its first blowout against Nicholls State didn’t warrant enough excitement, but the Ducks did the same thing to Virginia and SEC-foe Tennessee. Oregon may be the hottest team in the country now. Because of that, there’s a new sheriff in town.
2(1). Stanford (2-0): We gave No. 5 Stanford a pass last week after the Cardinal ran into some problems beating San Jose State 34-13, but the defending Pac-12 champion still looks vulnerable. The Cardinal gave up 284 rushing yards to Army and only led 17-13 at one point late in the second quarter. Army led the nation in rushing yards last year, but Stanford’s front-seven is advertised as arguably the best in the country. This season is still young, but it hasn’t been the best start for Stanford so far.
3(4). UCLA (2-0): Everyone started to mumble and question the No. 13 Bruins when UCLA was down 21-3 to No. 23 Nebraska at one point in the second quarter, but the defending Pac-12 South champion delivered. UCLA went on a 38-0 run and looked like the mighty Bruins from last season. A win over a Top-25 team in one of the hardest places to play in the country deserves a one-spot jump up the ladder for UCLA.
4(3). Washington (2-0): The No. 19 Huskies have been a pleasant surprise three weeks into the season. Washington hung up 615 total yards against a rising Illinois team on Saturday and limited the Illini to 327 yards. The Huskies also beat No.19 Boise State in the first week, so it’s not like they’ve been facing easy competition to stay unbeaten. Don’t expect the Pac-12 North to be a two-team battle between Oregon and Stanford anymore.
5(5). ASU (2-0): The No. 23 Sun Devils finally got what they wanted by blacking out Bucky at home, but it still wasn’t enough to help them rise in the power rankings. It took a controversial ending for ASU to beat No. 24 Wisconsin and the Sun Devils made some poor mistakes that almost cost them the game. ASU is in dire need of fixing those errors in practice this week before Saturday’s showdown at Stanford.
6(6). UA (3-0): The Wildcats haven’t had the hardest non-conference schedule, but they’re still getting it done. UA has avoided any possible crises against NAU, UNLV and UTSA and coasted to easy wins, something that seems underrated in the college football season. UA will be undefeated for at least one more week with a bye and will have its first true test on Sept. 28 at Washington.
7(8). Washington State (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12): The Cougars are starting to break away from their title of being the Pac-12’s bottom feeder. Redshirt junior quarterback Connor Halliday had a monster day with 383 passing yards and five touchdowns in Washington State’s 48-10 win over Southern Utah. The Cougars have one more easy non-conference test in Idaho next week before resuming Pac-12 play.
8(9). USC (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12): USC still doesn’t have a reliable quarterback. Fire Lane Kiffin. The Trojans are spiraling out of … oh, wait. USC made easy work out of Boston College, winning 35-7 in front of a desperate L.A. crowd. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler’s 237 passing yards and two touchdowns aided USC in the win. The Trojans are still far from being a Pac-12 South contender, but it was a much-needed boost to right the ship.
9(11). Oregon State (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12): The Beavers are on a two-game winning streak, but nothing has been pretty since losing to FCS opponent Eastern Washington in their season opener. Oregon State gave up 539 yards of total offense to Utah in the Beavers’ 51-48 win. Like USC, it’s a good step for Oregon State, but it’s nowhere close to where people thought it should be.
10(7) Utah (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12): This was the hardest team to rank this week. Usually, a loss to Oregon State shouldn’t be too harsh of a drop, but with every team in the Pac-12 except Cal winning, it’s tough to keep the Utes at No. 7 in the rankings. We’ll see where Utah falls once it begins conference play.
11(10). Colorado (2-0): Major flooding in Colorado postponed the Buffaloes’ non-conference home game against Fresno State, so there’s nothing to take away this week. They haven’t proven anything to drop them down, yet they also haven’t done anything to keep them up. Still, who knew that Colorado would still be undefeated after the first three weeks of college football?
12(12). Cal (1-2): It hasn’t been a good two weeks for the Golden Bears. After nearly coughing one up to FCS foe Portland State, Cal hosted No. 4 Ohio State and got lit up 52-34. Buckeyes senior backup quarterback Kenny Guiton had his way with the Golden Bears’ defense, recording 276 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Golden Bears have shown some promise so far, but if there’s anyone in the Pac-12 that needs to hit the reset button three weeks into the season, it is Cal.
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