Posted on Septemebr 19, 2018 by: Kyle Risko
The Pac-12 had quite the shake up on Saturday. Some teams with high hopes went down in flames, while others secured important non-conference wins before heading into full force conference play. The North is pretty clear-cut as expected, while the South is as unpredictable as Russell Westbrook’s wardrobe. Here are my Power Rankings after Week 3.
1. Stanford: 3-0 Overall, 1-0 Conference (Previous Week: #1)
Stanford is now ranked #7 in the nation after their Week 3 performance. K.J. Costello threw two picks, but Stanford took care of business and beat up UC Davis 30-10 in Palo Alto- without Bryce Love. The Cardinal travel to Eugene this week for their biggest game of the season thus far. Stanford is giving up the fewest points per game in the nation at 7.7, but Oregon’s offense is explosive with Justin Herbert and Co. averaging over 51 points per game. This North division battle will go a long way in showing us who is for real.
2. Washington: 2-1 Overall, 1-0 Conference (Previous Week: #2)
Washington secured a big conference win on the road at Utah in one of the most hostile environments in all of college football. Jake Browning only passed for 155 yards and made some interesting decisions, but the defense played outstanding and Myles Gaskin ran for 143 on 30 carries. Arizona State comes to Seattle hungry after a close loss at San Diego State this past Saturday. Washington’s secondary is one of the best in the country while ASU has a potent passing attack in Manny Wilkins, N’Keal Harry, and Kyle Williams. An unstoppable force meets and immovable object? Let’s see what happens.
3. Oregon: 3-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference (Previous Week: #3)
To recap, Oregon has played Bowling Green, Portland State, and San Jose State to get to 3-0. Now that they are done with “Cupcake Row,” they can make some serious waves in the national and Pac-12 rankings if they can knock off Stanford on Saturday night. This is by far the best team they have played all year and a true test of where the program stands as they try to get back to elite status.
4. California: 3-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference (Previous Week: #4)
Cal knocked off Idaho State to get to 3-0 on the season. Chase Garbers was impressive, despite the one interception, going 20/25 for 224 and 3 TDs. The Bears have a bye week and they need it as Oregon comes to town the following week. Look out Oski the Bear.
5. Washington State: 3-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference (Previous Week: #5)
In similar fashion to Oregon, the Cougars just haven’t played anybody yet. That said, they went 3-0 heading into conference play, starting with the Trojans in the L.A. Coliseum. Look out Cougars, USC is coming off back-to-back losses and is going to get up for this late Friday night game. Gardner Minshew leads the conference with 401 passing yards per game, but let’s see what happens when he goes up against one of the top defenses in the Pac-12.
6. Oregon State: 1-2 Overall, 0-0 Conference (Previous Week: #6)
Oregon State suffered a tough loss to the Wolf Pack in Reno Saturday. Nevada came out of the gate hot, building a significant lead before the Beavers came storming back. Two Oregon State QBs threw for 175+ yards and Isaiah Hodgins caught 14 balls for 200 yards in the loss. They don’t look terrible, but a tough schedule to open the season has them at 1-2 with the Arizona schools coming up next.
1. Colorado: 3-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference (Previous Week: #2)
The Buffs jump up to the top spot this week. Although they did not play a great team in New Hampshire, Colorado continues to win, allowing them to move up to the top spot in the South. Their offense is averaging 41 points a game behind the Dynamic Duo of Steven Montez and Laviska Shenault. They have back-to-back home games against UCLA and ASU before traveling to LA to face the Trojans in the Coliseum. If they can continue to win and start the year 5-0 heading into Week 6, the match-up against the Trojans will have major Pac-12 South implications.
2. Arizona State: 2-1 Overall, 0-0 Conference (Previous Week: #1)
The Sun Devils drop a spot this week. Suffering from an emotional hangover after a win against Michigan State the week prior, ASU dropped a 28-21 nail biter to San Diego State. Manny Wilkins threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns, but the Sun Devils only rushed for 36 yards as a team. On the other hand, ASU’s inability to stop San Diego State’s rushing attack of Juwan Washington and Chase Jasmin proved to be the difference in the game. Washington and Jasmin combined for 250 yards and 2 TDs on the ground. ASU needs to put this behind them, and quickly, because they have a late night road game in Seattle next on the docket. Herm Edwards will have them ready to play.
3. Utah: 2-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference (Previous Week: #4)
Utah jumps up a spot, even with a loss to Washington at home. They played the Huskies tough and have shown signs of competing for the South division. Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss are still scary offensive threats- they just need to put it all together. Utah has beaten two weak teams and USC has beaten one, which is all it comes down to. The Utes have a bye this week before traveling to Washington State.
4. USC: 1-2 Overall, 0-1 Conference (Previous Week: #3)
Oh boy, the Trojans are in trouble folks. They lost a bad one to Texas 37-14 after taking a 14-3 lead early in the 1st quarter. JT Daniels had to throw 48 times because the running game was going backwards and the Longhorn defense had the Trojans’ O-Line on its heels all night. For Clay Helton’s sake, USC has got to figure something out quickly because people are already asking for his head . The middle of the schedule for USC is light, so look for them to bounce back and get some momentum going Friday night against Washington State in a must win game. The Trojans are just happy to be home after brutal back-to-back road games.
5. Arizona: 1-2 Overall, 0-0 Conference (Previous Week: #5)
Arizona couldn’t lose three in a row, right? Well thankfully, the Wildcats played a lesser opponent in Week 3 in Southern Utah and knocked them off 62-31. Arizona had over 600 yards of total offense as Khalil Tate threw for 349 yards and 5 touchdowns and the run game racked up 268 yards. The Wildcats showed glimpses of the team we expected to see at the start of the year, but they still need to improve defensely. The Wildcats go to Oregon State and then host USC in the next two weeks, so maybe they can ride this momentum wave and climb up the rankings in a South division that is still wide open.
6. UCLA: 0-3 Overall, 0-0 Conference (Previous Week: #6)
Oh poor Bruins, what are we going to do with you? Another loss suffered to an inferior opponent. Fresno State came into the Rose Bowl and knocked UCLA around for a 38-14 victory. Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw two interceptions and only completed 42% of his passes. The good news is they have a bye week to lick their wounds before heading to Colorado and then hosting the Huskies. Godspeed, UCLA. Godspeed.