The PAC 12 didn’t disappoint its fans this weekend, with high scoring shootouts, last second finishes, and overtime slugfests all over the schedule. The wild results mean some reshuffling in the conference pecking order.
1. Washington Huskies (+1)-
Another week, another triumph over an inferior opponent, as the Huskies rolled the Bulldogs. The game made for a nice comparison with Alabama, who hosted Fresno the week before and beat them by a similar margin. They visit Colorado next, their stiffest test of the season.
2. USC Trojans (-1)-
USC defeated Texas in double overtime on the strength of a walk-on’s foot. A win is a win, and Texas has impressive athletes, but this was much less dominant than ‘SC fans (and PAC 12 fans eyeing the conference pecking order) had hoped, which moves them down the rankings. The Trojans visit Cal on Saturday in what could be a blow out… or another tight contest.
3. Utah Utes (+1)-
Utah cleaned up their act in the penalty department and utterly dominated an inferior opponent. Their defense, always a strength, looks like it’s improved and the offense is finally earning respect. The Utes head to Arizona on Friday night to take on the Wildcats, a measuring stick game for this young team.
4. Oregon Ducks (+1)-
The Ducks did exactly what they were supposed to do against Wyoming, and continue to demonstrate that their defense has made significant strides forward from years past. How significant, we’ll find out on Saturday as we watch them hit the road and try to stop the high-flying attack of the Sun Devils.
5. Washington State Cougars (+2)-
After a scare against Boise State, WSU returned to form and took apart the Beavers. They’ve given observers little reason to doubt they are the real deal. Their schedule doesn’t get any tougher next week, as they welcome Nevada to Pullman, fresh off a loss to an FCS opponent.
6. Stanford Cardinal (-3)-
You lose, fall out of the national polls, and just generally look lost in a loss to a Mountain West team (even a good one), you fall in the polls. Stanford is hanging on to respectability mostly thanks to the reputation of David Shaw at this point. If they can wipe the floor with UCLA, they’ll earn their way back into the blog’s esteem.
7. Cal Bears (+2)-
Cal won ugly, but that’s a big accomplishment for the Bears, as winning ugly games has been something they have struggled to do, historically. A notch in the belt over an SEC opponent is worth a little extra juice, and the Bears are up two spots. If they can find a way to defeat USC at home, they’ll bump up a lot further.
8. Colorado Buffaloes (N/A)-
The Buffs looked good-not-great on their way to a sleepy win over Northern Colorado. In other years or other conferences their play would be enough to earn them esteem, but in this year’s savage PAC 12, they need to do a lot better. They have an excellent opportunity, with Washington paying a visit on Saturday.
9. Arizona Wildcats (+1)-
Arizona has shown enough through three games that they’ve begun to earn the benefit of the doubt. The loss to Houston still stings, but they’ve looked flawless against inferior competition, and that counts for something. Utah is the first known commodity Arizona will face, and their first chance to make noise in the South.
10. UCLA Bruins (-4)-
The Blog hasn’t been as high on the Bruins as most, and the loss to Memphis solidified the core flaws that are going to keep this team from contention. Add two costly interceptions for Josh Rosen, and the Bruins hit the conference cellar. A visit to Stanford is next, a tough opponent, but also an opportunity to prove something.
11. Arizona State Sun Devils (N/A)-
ASU lost, but they were supposed to. They showed remarkable resilience in mounting a furious second half comeback that fell just short, and have left no doubt that they can score a lot of points. They’ll need to next week, as the Sun Devils welcome the Oregon Ducks to Tempe.
12. Oregon State Beavers (N/A)-
The Beavers looked better this week than they had in the past, but took a serious scare when starting quarterback was knocked unconscious and lay motionless on the field for several minutes. Nothing is going right for Oregon State right now. They get a desperately needed bye week.
The conference heads into intra-conference play this weekend, which means fewer but more impactful and (hopefully) competitive games to watch. This week’s theme is the divisional contest, with four North-vs-South games on the schedule.