Posted on September 28, 2018 by: Kyle Risko
Oh, boy! What a game in Eugene! Four teams had a bye week, but there was no shortage of action in a very important week of conference showdowns. Arizona and USC are rounding into decent form while Stanford and Washington showed off their playoff potential. Here are my Power Rankings after Week 4:
1.Stanford (4-0 Overall, 2-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #1)
KJ Costello and Justin Herbert provided two incredible QB performances in a game that came down to the wire in overtime. Both quarterbacks threw for 320+ yards in the game of the year in the Pac-12. But, Stanford found a way to pull it out. The Cardinal forced a fumble with 51 seconds left, drove the ball into Oregon territory, and made a field goal as time expired to send the game into OT. In extra time, Costello hit tight end Colby Parkinson for a 25 yard touchdown and then the defense held strong and finished the game off with an interception. In one of the toughest environments in all of college football and down big at halftime, Stanford continued to find a way to win. And that’s why they are still #1. The Cardinal now head to South Bend to play #8 Notre Dame to continue their brutal schedule.
2. Washington (3-1 Overall, 2-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #2)
I am only leaving UW here because they won, again. Jake Browning threw for 200 yards and 3 TDs in a 27-20 win over Arizona State in Seattle. The defense proved again why they are considered one of the best in the country as they gave up 104 passing yards and held N’Keal Harry to only 20 yards receiving. The Huskies play BYU this week, followed by UCLA, before heading to Eugene in a big time battle in the North Division race.
3.Oregon (3-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #3)
The Ducks were close. So close. Except, this isn’t horseshoes or hand grenades and of course-NO MORAL VICTORIES! Despite a great performance by Justin Herbert, the Ducks stalled in the second half and could not finish off Stanford in crunch time. Oregon plays #24 ranked Cal before UW comes to town. This is the Ducks toughest stretch remaining, so they need a few good wins before another “Cupcake Row”.
4. California (3-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #4)
Cal had a bye week, but somehow snuck into the AP Top 25 as they now sit in the #24 spot. Here we go! The Ducks come to town so Cal will get a real chance to show their worth to the rest of the Pac-12. The defense has been their strong point, collecting 7 interceptions on the year-and they’ll need to show up against Oregon’s potent offense. We shall see…
5. Washington State (3-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #5)
The Cougars lost a tough battle to the USC Trojans Friday night. Gardner Minshew threw 52 times for 344 and 3 TDs and lead the Trojans almost the entire game. Minshew took a brutal shot from Porter Gustin that should have been a targeting call, but luckily he had his epic mustache to absorb some of the blow. Wazzu needs to regroup as they have Utah, Oregon, and Stanford in three of their next four games.
6. Oregon State (1-3 Overall, 0-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #6)
Crushed by Arizona, the Beavers continue to perform as expected. Although no interceptions were thrown, Oregon State can’t get the offense going and can’t stop anyone. That’s a terrible combination. Don’t expect this to change since anyone they play coming up will be favored.
1. Colorado (3-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #1)
Colorado had a bye this week, but their win at Nebraska and their undefeated record keeps them in the #1 spot this week. The Buffs have gone 1-5 following a bye week since 2011, so they will look to change that trend as UCLA comes to town. Colorado then faces ASU before heading to LA to face the Trojans in the Coliseum. Those games will go a long way in showing who is a real contender for the South Division title.
2. USC (2-2 Overall, 1-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #4)
USC makes a huge jump to #2 after their come from behind win against Washington State. The Trojans blocked a game tying field goal with less than 2 minutes to secure a must-win-game at home. JT Daniels continues to make improvement as he threw for 241 yards and 3 TDs. The main reason they jump to #2 is the connection with Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman. JT needed to get those guys going as they might be the best WR core in the Pac-12. Tons of potential and some momentum is a recipe to collect some wins in the coming weeks against Arizona and Colorado.
3. Arizona State (2-2 Overall, 0-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #2)
ASU drops to #3 as they lose back to back games after a huge win against Michigan State. Manny Wilkins and N’Keal Harry were held in check and the defense struggled to get stops. Is it starting to smell like a dumpster fire? They lost to a better team, but they better figure it out and fast. Luckily for the Sun Devils, Oregon State comes to town in what should be a guaranteed win.
4. Utah (2-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #3)
Utah drops to #4 after a bye week. The Utes are coming off of a tough loss to Washington and are playing a Washington State team coming off a tough loss to USC. Who will step up and take their team in the right direction?
5. Arizona (2-2 Overall, 1-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #5)
Arizona has had a couple easy games after a tough start, but the Wildcats got two wins out of it and are back to .500 on the year. Arizona currently sits at 8th in the conference in pass defense and 11th in rush defense, giving up almost 200 yards a game on the ground. The Wildcats need to improve on defense, especially as the Trojans come to town after a bounce back win and their offense looking good. This game is going to send one team in the right direction and put another in a tough spot.
6. UCLA (0-3 Overall, 0-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #6)
I have nothing to say here. Technically Week 3 was UCLA’s best week yet-because they had a bye so they didn’t lose. But of they did play, they would have lost. The Bruins need to beat someone or they are destined to be watching bowl season from the couch.