Pac 12 Football Heirarchy: 9/4

PALO ALTO, CA - AUGUST 31: Bryce Love #20 of the Stanford Cardinal is tackled by Myles Cheatum #68 of the San Diego State Aztecs at Stanford Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - AUGUST 31: Bryce Love #20 of the Stanford Cardinal is tackled by Myles Cheatum #68 of the San Diego State Aztecs at Stanford Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Some teams won, some teams lost. Who’s to say who the best team in the land is? I am. Here’s my official Pac-12 Hierarchy.

After a fairly mundane (minus Washington) week one of Pac-12 football, everyone has played once and only once; with all but four teams bringing home victories. As per usual, college football’s opening weekend saw a myriad of Power 5 teams blowout lesser competition, facing little resistance. The Pac-12 was no exception. However, even with most of the Pac-12 beating up on weaker foes, I’m still going to assign them a spot in my own personal Pac-12 Hierarchy. Here goes:

1. Stanford Cardinal 

Won 31-10 vs. San Diego State

Stanford usurps the top spot in the Pac-12 Hierarchy after a ho-hum win over SDSU. Cardinal running back Bryce Love, a preseason Heisman favorite, was less than spectacular, rushing for just  29 yards on 18 attempts. Stanford was uncharacteristically reliant on their passing game, and accumulated 332 yards in that category via the arm of K.J. Costello. Basically, the reason Stanford is here is because they didn’t lose. I know, a real triumphant achievement against the Rashaad-Penny-less Aztecs. Yep, that’s sarcasm. But hey, for real, they didn’t lose and the program ahead of them did (hmmm); so, they sit atop the mountain.

2. Washington

Lost 21-16 vs. Auburn

Of the four L-receiving Pac-12 teams of the week, Washington is the highest on this list. In fact, other fanbases (including our Oregon faithful) may revile such high placement for the Huskies on this list because of their 0-1 record. I don’t care. Going toe to toe with a top 10 team (Auburn) for 60 minutes is more impressive than letting a guy named Lexington run all over you (you’ll see in a bit). Washington-Auburn was a great game, and sure, the Tigers came out on top; but UW could very easily have been the victors, save for a few missed opportunities in the red zone. I liked what I saw from the offense and senior QB Jake Browning. They were facing a perennially elite defensive side, and kept the ball-game neck and neck. They’re good. After watching them duke it out with one of the SEC’s best, I know that much.

3. USC Trojans

Won 43-21 vs. UNLV

I debated Washington vs. USC, but ultimately went with U-Dub, leaving USC for the third spot. And  in their game, USC won against UNLV. But boy, it wasn’t too pretty. Sure, they still blew them off the field numbers wise (won by 22) and their victory was seemingly never in doubt; but I left the game rather unsatisfied–especially with their defense. And even more specifically, their rush defense. The Trojans allowed a whopping 308 rushing yards. And don’t think I’m disrespecting UNLV’s ground game, because it was forth best in the Mountain West last year, and includes a man name Lexington Thomas. So yeah, USC was fine, but that defense must improve in the coming weeks if they plan on retaining a spot this high in the Pac-12 Hierarchy.

4. Oregon Ducks

Won 58-24 vs. Bowling Green

Oregon, the last of the AP-ranked teams on this list, blasted a lowly Bowling Green squad by 34 after shockingly trailing 10-0 in the first quarter. Quarterback Justin Herbert showcased why he’s one of the nation’s top passers in the first half, leading the Duck’s offense to 30 points in the second quarter alone. Again, in a David and Goliath type matchup, it’s hard to judge how well the Goliath really performed. I just know that Oregon looked good, real good, after their opening sputter.

5. Utah Utes 

Won 41-10  vs. Weber State

Why’d you have to do it to my name-sake, Utah? Why? (Oh, and my name is pronounced Web-er, not how Weber State says it FYI). The Utes dismantled a crappy team that I don’t even know which conference they’re in. They won by 31. Yay, I guess? Anyway, they looked like a top flight Pac-12 offense, led by running back Zack Moss, who rushed for 150 yards and 9.4 per carry, and Quarterback Tyler Huntley, who threw 40 passes! Utah was good, and is now the 26th best team in the nation, per the AP Top 25.

6. Colorado Buffaloes 

Won 45-13 vs. Colorado State 

Colorado annihilated their State counterpart, amassing an astounding 596 total yards from scrimmage: 338 passing and 258 rushing. Quarterback Steven Montez was nearly perfect, completing 22/25 passes for 338 yards and 4 touchdowns. Basically, this team was a well-oiled machine when on offense. If the Buffs continue on this path, another trip (won the South in 2016) to the Pac-12 title game isn’t out of the question.

7. Washington State Cougars

Won 41-19 at Wyoming

Washington State, in typical Mike Leach fashion, won by 22, but took perhaps the most wild path to get there. The box score from this game is ridiculous. Wazzu Quarterback Gardner Minshew (great name by the way) threw the ball 57 times! I knew Leach was an air-raid style guy, but sheesh, nearly 60 pass attempts from your quarterback in a 22 point victory? That seems a little much–at least until you realize that the Cougars were only up one point, 20-19, heading into the final quarter, and that they reeled off 21 unanswered points in the final period. Man, what a game. Mike Leach is a national treasure. I hope he never leaves Pullman.

8. California Golden Bears 

Won 24-17 vs. North Carolina 

Cali was one of a select few Pac-12 teams to actually play a Power 5 opponent in week one. And even better, they won. And with two quarterbacks! First half, Ross Bower, second half, Chase Garbers. If it was up to me, Bowers would get the job. The Golden Bears out-scored UNC 17-0 when he was in. The score with Garbers? 17-7 Tar Heels. Nonetheless, Justin Wilcox decided to forgo making any final ruling on who the program’s QB1 is for the 2018 season. Let’s just say: there aren’t many teams who’ve tried this and it works out. The only example I can think of is the 2007 LSU team, which played both Matt Flynn and Some Other Dude major minutes at the quarterback spot. Good luck though, California!

9. Arizona State Sun Devils 

Won 49-7 vs. UTSA

Well, Hermes’ (Herm Edwards) squad performed quite well in his ASU debut. His team was completely dominant from wire to wire, pummeling the weaker UTSA Roadrunners. Many thought the Sun Devils would be rebuilding in Edward’s inaugural season. And while I wouldn’t make assumptions based off one game, they did look pretty darn good. Especially the defense. 3: that’s the number of rush yards they allowed. Plus, they scored nearly 50 points. That’s a good sign. Originally, I was dubious of Edwards after he didn’t know who Arizona State’s mascot was. But now, I might just have some faith after all.

10. Arizona Wildcats

Lost 28-23 vs. BYU

Arizona being ninth on this list is inexcusable. They have a previous SEC Coach of the Year leading their program in Kevin Sumlin; and, they have a preseason Heisman contender at quarterback in Kahlil Tate. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be a top four team in the Pac-12. It’s like watching the movie Pearl Harbor. How does a film about the Day That Will Live In Infamy, with a cast comprised of Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Alec Baldwin, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Jon Voight, fail? It shouldn’t. Only if you throw a two-ton love-triangle wrench in there, does it not work. Now, Arizona, there is no reason for you to be losing to Brigham Young at home. C’mon cats, I expect better.

11. UCLA Bruins

Lost 26-17 to Cincinnati 

I’m really docking UCLA for their loss against Cincinnati because, frankly, Cincinnati isn’t good at football; and I’m not talking about the Bengals. Here’s something to chew on: The Bearcat’s quarterback was a year ahead of me in high school and started for our football team, so I watched most of his games. He simply wasn’t good. He was a good athlete, but just couldn’t really throw the football. It shocked me that a division one program was willing to offer him a scholarship. Of course, he chose Cincy and is now starting for them. The gist is: he’s still not good. He threw the ball 24 times and barely racked up 100 yards. Yikes. And UC still won by two possessions. Chip Kelly has a lot to do if he wants to right the ship over in Westwood.

12. Oregon State Beavers

Lost 77-31 @ Ohio State

Stick to baseball Oregon State. The real OSU dropped 77 points against you. Last place, no doubt.

That’s the Pac-12 Hierarchy for now, be sure to check back next week for the updated version.

Oregon faces off against Portland State this Saturday in Autzen Stadium at 11AM Pacific Time.