Pac-12 basketball power rankings: Oregon sadly underrated in conference

Oregon guard Kario Oquendo goes up for a shot when the Oregon Ducks defeated the USC Trojans.
Oregon guard Kario Oquendo goes up for a shot when the Oregon Ducks defeated the USC Trojans. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA
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5. USC Trojans - 8-7

The Trojans have had a dissapointing first half to their season. Despite activating the long-awaited collegiate career of Bronny James, the team has struggled to put up the numbers it was expecting.

So far, USC has dropped games to Oregon and Oregon state in Pac-12 play, as well as losing to #11 Gonzaga, Auburn, Long Beach State, Oklahoma, and UC Irvine.

Not all is lost for the southern California team.

On offense, guard Boogie Ellis has been shooting nearly 50% from the field for an average of 18.8 points per game. On the other side of the court, guard Kobe Johnson leads the team with 4.5 defensive rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

The losses to the two Oregon teams seem to have set the Trojans straight as they have won two in a row to Cal and Stanford.

They will face the Ducks again on February 1st in Los Angeles.

6. Colorado Buffaloes - 11-4

The Buffs may be another underrated team in the Pac-12. With only four losses on their record so far, Colorado has had some stand-out performances.

Hosting #15 Miami, the Buffaloes pulled out 90 points to defeat the Canes by 27 points. They have also topped Washington and Washington State in conference play so far.

However, Colorado has dropped some key games to in-state rival #20 Colorado State, 88-83, and #10 Arizona, who nearly doubled their score by winning 97-50.

7. Stanford Cardinal - 7-7

Stanford has one big win this season and seven big losses.

The Cardinal defeated, then, #4 Arizona in an at-home match up against the Wildcats. Winning 100-82, guard Kanaan Carlyle accounted for 28 points to carry the team to victory.

Sadly, the team has lost in a handful of games they were expected to win. Losing to Santa Clara, Northern Iowa, and Arizona State has dragged down the team's portfolio.

Stanford will only play Oregon once this season, at home on February 22nd.

8. Washing State Cougars - 10-5

The Cougs have had some disappointing losses to teams like Mississippi State and Santa Clara.

They have also seemed to struggle on the road, dropping their first two conference games at Utah and at Colorado.

The team was able to pool their skillsets together to defeat Oregon State at home, 65-68, when forward Oscar Cluff went 8/11 from the field for 20 points.

Oregon will face Washington State again on February 10th in Eugene.

9. Arizona State Sun Devils - 10-5

Similarly to Washington State, the Sun Devils had dropped some must win games. They too lost to Mississippi State as well as BYU, San Diego, TCU and Northwestern.

These five losses have held them back from boasting claim to a strong Pac-12 ranking despite the fact that they are undefeated in the conference so far.

Through four conference games, ASU has defeated Colorado, Utah, Cal, and Stanford in wildly close games. If the team can keep this effort up, it would be hard to argue against giving them a top seed for the Pac-12 tournament in March.

Playing the Ducks just one in the regular season, the Sun Devils will be in Eugene on January 25th.

10. UCLA Bruins - 6-9

The Bruins may be the biggest disappointment of the season. Finding themselves 1-3 throuhg the first four conference games, only defeating the lowest-ranked Oregon State Beavers.

UCLA has truly struggled this season since their first loss against #4 Marquette, soon followed by a loss to #11 Gonzaga.

The team went on a four game losing streak starting with Villanova. Then came the loss to Ohio State, the loss to CSU Northridge, and the loss to Maryland.

They have seemingly started yet another losing streak after dropping games to Oregon, Stanford, and Cal. Next on the schedule for the Bruins will be the Utes in Utah.

Oregon and UCLA will play each other again on February 3rd in Los Angeles.

11. California Golden Bears - 5-10

With the worst overall record in the Pac-12, you would expect the Golden Bears' conference record to be a reflection of that.

And it does.

Sitting at 1-3, Cal's only in-conference victory came over UCLA this past weekend. The Bears lost to #4 Arizona by 19 points, unranked Arizona State by 2 points and unranked USC by 8 points.

Cal has yet to face the Ducks this season but will hit the road to face Oregon on January 13th as well as hosting the Ducks on February 24th.

12. Oregon State Beavers - 9-6

Oregon's in-state rival, little brother, and (currently) bottom of the Pac-12.

The team's only conference win has come from defeating USC. The Beavers have lost to Washington, Washington State and UCLA during Pac-12 play.

Outside of conference games hasn't boded much better for Oregon State. Losing to #13 Baylor, their only ranked opponent so far, along with Nebraska and Pitt, has held the Beavers back from any Pac-12 accolades halfway through the year.

Despite the disheartening losses, guard Jordan Pope has had a pretty impressive season. Averaging 17.9 points per game, 3.6 assists per game, and shooting 44.7% from the field.

The Beavers will drive down to Eugene on February 17th and then turn around to host the Ducks 11 days later on the 28th.