Pac-12 Power Rankings After Week 5

Washington, Washington State, and USC climb while UCLA and Oregon State are still bad.

Posted on October 3, 2018 by: Kyle Risko

Colorado continues to roll, USC and Washington are getting better as the season goes on,  and UCLA and Oregon State never disappoint in being disappointing. We have a new leader in the North due to mayhem in South Bend. With Stanford’s loss, the top 3 teams all have only one loss and to top 10 opponents. The South stays the same as the bottom three teams evenly disappoint once again. Here are my Power Rankings after Week 5.

NORTH

i-1.png 1. Washington (4-1 Overall, 3-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #2)

Washington takes the top spot this week with a dominating performance over BYU. Jake Browning was extremely efficient, completing 23 of 25 passes, and the Husky defense held BYU to only 7 points. Washington goes to UCLA before facing Oregon and Colorado in back to back weeks. Their head-to-head match ups over the next month in the North division should provide a clear picture of who should be the division leader.

i.png2. Stanford (4-1 Overall, 2-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #1)

Stanford drops to #2 as they fell to the Fighting Irish in South Bend 38-17. The first half was a dogfight and well contested, but the Irish offense seemed to wear the Cardinal defense down in the second half. Costello was not his best completing only 56% of his passes and Bryce Love was held to only 73 yards on the ground – despite a 39 yard touchdown run. The Cardinal host Utah and then travel to Arizona State, so they will need to regroup quickly.

i-2.png 3. Oregon (4-1 Overall, 1-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #3)

Oregon holds the #3 spot with a dominating win over Cal on the road. Justin Herbert threw for 225 and 2 TDs and two Oregon running backs rushed for over 100 yards. The Ducks have a bye week before Washington comes to town. They will have a chance to take the top spot if they can knock off the Huskies in Eugene on 10/13.

i-7.png 4. Washington State (4-1 Overall, 1-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #5)

After a tough loss to USC on a Friday night in LA, the Cougars got a big bounce-back win at home against Utah 28-24. They jump up to #4 with their first big win of the season. Gardner Minshew threw 56 times for 445 yards and three scores in a huge performance. While the Cougs only rushed for 13 total yards, seven wide receivers had significant yardage against the Utes. Minshew gets some rest this week as they play Oregon State, followed by a bye, but the Ducks come to town the week after. Oregon better take this game seriously, because Minshew can sling it and Pullman is a tough environment to win on the road.

i-6.png 5. California (3-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #4)

Cal slips a spot to #5 after a spanking by Oregon. The Golden Bears were outmatched athletically, and for the first time we see the challenges Cal will face if they want to be a contender in the North. Shaky quarterback play – with four picks thrown by two different QBs – will be something the Bears need to solve if they want to compete. Cal play Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon State over the next three weeks, so maybe they can get some momentum going before they take on the Huskies on 10/27.

i-10.png 6. Oregon State (1-4 Overall, 0-2 Conference) (Previous Week: #6)

Oregon State ran into a buzz saw as Arizona State got some frustration out after back-to-back losses. This game was never close. The Beavers need to figure out who they are offensively (outside of Jermar Jefferson who rushed for 254 yards Saturday) and defensively (they gave up almost 400 yards rushing) or this result will repeat itself over and over in the coming months.

SOUTH

i-4.png1. Colorado (4-0 Overall, 1-0 Conference) (Previous Week: #1)

The Buffs just keep winning. They played UCLA, but beating the teams you are supposed to beat counts for something. And they didn’t just beat the Bruins, they smashed them 38-16. Steven Montez rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 237 yards and another touchdown in a big individual performance. Three big games in a row coming up for the Buffaloes with ASU in town this week, traveling to LA to face the Trojans, and then traveling to Seattle. We are going to find out quickly if this Colorado team is for real.

i-5.png2. USC (3-2 Overall, 2-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #2)

USC handled their business in Tucson with a 24-20 win over Arizona. The game was never really in question as the Trojans jumped out to an early 24-0 lead and really never looked back. USC finally got the running game going with Stephen Carr and Aca’Cedric Ware rushing for 250 yards as a tandem, with 173 coming from Ware on 21 carries. Marvel Tell pulled down an interception for USC’s first turnover of the year. USC has a bye week before the undefeated Buffaloes come to LA for a huge South Division match-up.

i-3.png3. Arizona State (3-2 Overall, 1-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #3)

ASU was able to get back on track with a 52-24 win over Oregon State. Manny Wilkins threw for 3 touchdowns, but the story of the game was Eno Benjamin who ran for 312 yards and 3 touchdowns on 30 carries. He turned the 254-yard performance from Jermar Jefferson into an afterthought. The Sun Devils travel to Colorado this Saturday. Let’s see if Eno can keep it going against the undefeated Buffs.

i-8.png 4. Utah (2-2 Overall, 0-2 Conference) (Previous Week: #4)

Utah drops one to Washington State in a tough loss 28-24. They are now 0-2 in conference play as they travel to Stanford who will be hungry for a win. An pre-season favorite to compete for the South Division, the Utes will need to get something going and quick. They can start with the passing game that only produced 118 yards in the loss against the Cougars.

i-11.png 5. Arizona (2-3 Overall, 1-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #5)

Arizona was knocked around by the Trojans Saturday night in a lopsided loss. Khalil Tate does not look like the elusive, multi-talented player that was in the Heisman conversation last year. He failed to get the offense going, completing 50% of his passes and only rushing for 38 yards. The Wildcats’ only wins are against Oregon State and Southern Utah. The only reason they are not #6 on this list is because at least they have a few wins.

i-9.png 6. UCLA (0-4 Overall, 0-1 Conference) (Previous Week: #6)

UCLA had their first second half lead of the season! They went up 16-14 after a field goal early in the 3rd quarter. But, then things took a turn for the absolute worst as the Buffs rattled off 24 unanswered points. UCLA really stood no chance against Colorado in Boulder on Friday night, but at least they kept it close for a little while. Joshua Kelley was a bright spot for the Bruins rushing for 124 yards on 12 carries and keeping his team in the game for the first half. When Arizona comes to the Rose Bowl on 10/20, the Bruins might have a rare chance to win a game. The way they are playing, a 3-9 record would be impressive.

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