Pac-12 Power Rankings Going Into Week 3


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Two weeks of action have already come and gone in college football. The Pac-12 has so far failed to live up to the preseason hoopla, and because of it, the conference looks ripe for the taking by an abundance of teams. These are the rankings following week 2.

1. USC: The Trojans are finally returning to its full potential following the Reggie Bush sanctions, which made the program’s National title aspirations dormant. It’s apparent that the talent level on the roster can go toe-to-toe with virtually any other team in the nation. And led by their Heisman candidate quarterback, the Trojans have looked impressive through two weeks. Therefore, they deserve the top spot.

2. Oregon: UCLA fans probably feel their team deserved the #2 spot, but I’ll get to them soon. The Ducks are coming off a 3-point loss on the road to the #5 team in the nation. And as we recently found out, their quarterback played with a broken index finger on his throwing hand. Oregon didn’t look like its old, unstoppable self against Michigan State. But the fact that the Ducks managed almost to escape East Lansing with a win proves the dropoff from last year won’t be too substantial.

3. UCLA: I understand the hype surrounding Josh Rosen. The true freshman has looked impressive in his first two collegiate starts. However, his true evaluation will come in the ensuing weeks when he enters conference play. Also, how will the Rosen respond on the road in a hostile environment when the going gets tougher? Time will tell. Aside from Rosen, the rest of the Bruins look much improved from 2014.

4. Arizona State: I’m going to cut the Sun Devils some slack following their forgetful performance against Texas A&M. It was essentially a home game for the Aggies, and I consider Texas A&M to be a serious contender for the SEC title this season. With that being said, the Sun Devils managed only a 35-21 win over Cal Poly this past weekend. Seriously?

5. Arizona: Speaking of underwhelming performances against inferior opponents: The Wildcats poor showing in week 1 was enough to scare me from ranking them above the Sun Devils. And with team leader Scooby Wright out for some time with an injury, the impact it’ll have once Pac-12 play rolls around could be severe.

6. Utah: Luckily for the Utes, quarterback Travis Wilson’s shoulder injury won’t keep him out for long. Utah’s defense looked stout in its week 1 win over Michigan. But despite their 2-0 start, the Utes fell to #6 mainly because the Arizona schools still have more talent on their respective rosters. It’s still an uphill battle for respect in Salt Lake City.

7. California: Cal deserves this spot simply because they’re the only team in the Pac-12 North without a loss. The Golden Bears also have arguably the best quarterback in the conference in Jared Goff. Cal’s offense has appeared surprisingly competent, which gives them a good chance to finish second in the division.

8. Stanford: The loss to Northwestern was not only embarrassing, but it was also infuriating. Head Coach David Shaw’s overly conservative brand of football will likely cost the Cardinal many more times this season. Despite returning their starting quarterback, the amount of talent surrounding Kevin Hogan is slim. As the last of Jim Harbaugh’s recruits leave Palo Alto, so will Stanford’s ability to compete.

9. Oregon State: The Beavers showed great potential in their week one win. Like clockwork, the Beaver fans’ overreaction was there to meet it. Quarterback Seth Collins appears to have the potential to do some great things during his career in Corvallis. But it’s going to be another season of teetering between .500 for the Beavers in 2015.

10. Washington: The Huskies showed a lot of heart in their comeback loss to Boise State.

11. Washington State: The loss to Portland State wasn’t the program’s finest moment. Even by Washington State standards, that was an all-time low. However, credit to Mich Leach and Co. for traveling all the way to New Jersey to pick up an upset win over Rutgers.

12. Colorado: Poor Colorado. They will likely remain cemented in this spot for eternity.

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