Posted on Septemebr 13, 2018 by: Kyle Risko
Only Stanford and USC have started conference play, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start ranking season! The Pac-12 is in good shape with some big non-conference wins over the last few weeks. Next week is when we will start to get a true sense for who is a threat to win their division and who will have to wait until next year. Here are my current power rankings after week 2.
1. Stanford (2-0 Overall, 1-0 Conference):
Not a huge surprise here. The Cardinal deserve it after their convincing win over the Trojans last weekend in Palo Alto. The true test for Stanford is their upcoming gauntlet with 4 current top 25 teams remaining on the road, starting with Oregon in two weeks.
2. Washington (1-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
A “moral victory” and close loss to Auburn was followed by a blowout win against North Dakota. They still have a ton of experienced talent, so they sit at number two on their way to face Utah for their first conference game.
3. Oregon (2-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
The dark horse of the Pac-12 North beat up on a couple high school teams over the last few weeks. The Ducks are currently averaging 60 points a game and Justin Herbert has already passed for 9 touchdowns. Not sure Oregon can keep that pace up, but regardless, they sit at 2-0 with a big match up against Stanford coming up in a few weeks at Autzen Stadium.
4. California (2-0 Overall,0-0 Conference):
The school with the least impressive mascot has been surprisingly decent on the football field to start the season. Albeit non-conference, the Golden Bears have back to back wins against North Carolina and BYU. Next week should hopefully be another win as they take on the Bengals of Idaho State. But, the Ducks come to town in week 4 for the Bears’ first major game of the year. Really, these bottom three teams are interchangeable.
5. Washington State(2-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
The Cougars have had two blowout wins against Wyoming and San Jose State to put them at 2-0 to start the year. It’s hard to tell how good their offense or defense is at this point because of the caliber of opponents; however, QB Gardner Minshew is currently 6th in the country with 733 passing yards, to go along with 6 TDs. Their upcoming big challenge is a late night Friday game in the LA coliseum against the Trojans in Week 4.
6. Oregon State (1-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
They got clubbed by the real OSU in Week 1 before bouncing back and taking care of business against Southern Utah. The Beavers have a surprisingly potent backfield (who would have thought) as both Jermar Jefferson and Artavis Pierce are in the top 20 in the nation for total rushing yards through the first two games. A few decent match ups against Nevada and Arizona upcoming will give us a true indication of the Beaver’s ability to compete on the big stage.
1. Arizona State (2-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
Let’s be honest, they deserve this spot after their huge win against #15 Michigan State this past weekend. N’Keal Harry and Kyle Williams were impressive with almost 200 yards between them. They are currently now ranked #23 in the AP Poll going on the road against San Diego State. We will see if they can keep the top spot in the coming weeks.
2. Colorado (2-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
The Buffs had a big non-conference win over Nebraska on the road over the weekend, earning them the #2 spot in the South Power Rankings this week. Laviska Shenault Jr. went absolutely bonkers for over 170 yards receiving and a timely touchdown in the victory. With low expectations this season from most people, they still have a lot to prove, but the Buffs have a couple easy weeks before ASU comes to town in Week 5.
3. USC (1-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference):
Call me a homer now! USC has tons of talent, just some isn’t realized yet. JT Daniels and the Trojans lost a defensive battle against Stanford Saturday night, handing them a loss in their first conference matchup of the season. Stanford’s offense was very efficient, and all it took was a poor redzone offense from USC to seal the deal. USC has plenty of big games in the near future, including a road matchup with the Long Horns Saturday night. Look for the Trojans to get better as the season goes on.
4. Utah (2-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
Utah had high expectations coming into this year as one of the favorites in the South division. They started slow in both their games against Weber State and Northern Illinois, but Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss still pose a major threat offensively. The Utes really haven’t played anyone yet, but this week Washington comes to town for a late night matchup. They are hoping that home field advantage will help them against the Huskies experience. If it does, I am sure they can move up these rankings in the coming weeks.
5. Arizona (0-2 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
I don’t even know what to say. Arizona was one of the favorites in the South and has been terribly disappointing with losses against BYU and Houston. They have a couple easy games coming up against Southern Utah and Oregon State (maybe) where hopefully they can right the ship before they play the Trojans in Week 5.
6. UCLA (0-2 Overall, 0-0 Conference):
This bottom two is interchangeable. They both lack offense and the ability to come through in the 4th quarter when they need to. UCLA has one of the toughest schedules in the nation, so unless Chip Kelly figures something out quick, especially the QB position, they might stay here for a while at #6.