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Pac-12 Power Rankings

Note … These are my subjective Power Rankings, which will be updated every Sunday. (Please feel free to post your own rankings in the comments section) …

12. Colorado (5-3, 2-3) … Ranking last weekend: 7

This weekend … Lost to Oregon State, 41-34, OT

Last week, I moved Washington State up to No. 1 in the rankings as the Cougars knocked off my previous No. 1, Oregon. The logic holds true this week at the bottom of the rankings.

At least for a week, Oregon State leaves the basement of the Pac-12 Power Rankings. The Buffs have five wins on the season, and Oregon State can only aspire to a five-win season. Still it’s up to the Buffs to climb out of the basement. A sixth win, and the Buffs can start looking for the post-season. Failure to get to six wins … and it’s time to find a new coach.

Up next … at Arizona … Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1

11. Oregon State (2-6, 1-4) … Ranking last weekend: 12

This weekend … Defeated Colorado, 41-34, OT

The Beavers were able to remove too large albatrosses from their program with the win over the Buffs. Oregon State hadn’t won a game on the road since 2014 (against Colorado), and hadn’t beaten an FBS opponent since knocking off Oregon in the 2016 regular season finale.

With the success Jake Luton had in the second half against Colorado, you have to wonder whether the Beavers would have had more success had Luton not been lost to a high ankle sprain early in the season. Oregon State will get a chance to prove its win over CU was not a fluke when they take on USC (with QB issues of their own) this Saturday.

Up next … USC … 8:00 p.m., MT, FS1

10. UCLA (2-6, 2-3) … Ranking last weekend: 9

This weekend … Lost to Utah, 41-10

After picking up two straight wins, taking out Cal and Arizona, the Bruins came back down to earth with a thumping at home by Utah. It was still something of a game, at 17-7, at halftime, but two quick third quarter scores by the Utes made it a 31-7 rout. The Bruins were out-gained, 470 yards to 291, and were really never competitive.

While it’s still very early in the Chip Kelly era, it has to be a bit disconcerting for the UCLA administration that only 41,848 were in the Rose Bowl (91,136 capacity) for a team on a two-game winning streak.

Up next … at Oregon … 5::30 p.m., MT, Fox

9. USC (4-4, 3-3) … Ranking last weekend: 6

This weekend … Lost to Arizona State, 38-35

A week after being pushed out of first place in the Pac-12 South by Utah, the Trojans fell at home to Arizona State. USC was down to its third-string quarterback, Jack Sears, who threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns, but it was not enough to keep the Trojans from losing for the first time at home under Clay Helton.

Hard to believe, but a coach who is 18-1 at home is on a much hotter seat than is CU’s Mike MacIntyre. The House of Troy is not happy with Helton, and fans are voting with their feet. CU had 48,050 on hand for the Oregon State game, and it was more than were in attendance at the Rose Bowl (above) or at the 78,467-seat Coliseum (47,406).

Up next … at Oregon State … 8:00 p.m., MT, FS1

8. Arizona State (4-4, 2-3) … Ranking last weekend: 10

This weekend … Defeated USC, 38-35

After losing four out of five games, the Sun Devils bounced back with a surprising win over USC. True enough, ASU was facing the Trojans’ third-string quarterback, but a win is a win, especially in the Pac-12 South, where no one outside of Salt Lake City can put together a string of successful outings.

Manny Wilkins threw a touchdown pass and rushed for another, helping Arizona State win their fourth conference road game over the past four seasons. Eno Benjamin ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns, but it was 92-yard punt return for a touchdown which sparked the Sun Devils.

We’ll see if the Sun Devils are for real this weekend, when they host the Utes.

Up next … No. 10 Utah … 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

7. Arizona (4-5, 3-3) … Ranking last weekend: 11

This weekend … Defeated Oregon, 44-15.

The other half of the Arizona surprise was the Wildcats dominating Oregon, 44-15. The Ducks, who were averaging 460.7 yards per game, were limited to 270 total yards by an Arizona defense which came into the game giving up an average of 440.6 yards per game.

Early in the second quarter, it was 16-0, Arizona. By the end of the third quarter, it was 37-8. This from a team which had lost three of four games coming into the Saturday night massacre of the Ducks, with the only win coming on a 24-17 home win over Cal, which required two defensive touchdowns. J.J. Taylor ran for 212 yards, with Kahlil Tate throwing for three touchdowns.

If Colorado has to play the team which easily handled Oregon, it could be a long night Friday …

Up next … Colorado … Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1

6. Stanford (5-3, 3-2) … Ranking last weekend: 5

This weekend … Lost to Washington State, 41-38.

After a 4-0 start, the Cardinal rose to No. 7 in the national rankings. Since then, it’s been a downhill spiral, with Stanford losing three of four. What’s keeping the Cardinal in the top half of my rankings this week is the effort put forth against the Cougars. Stanford held a 28-14  second quarter lead, and tied the game with a touchdown with 1:25 remaining … only to see Washington State escape with the win on a field goal with 19 seconds remaining.

Stanford finishes with three out of four games on the road, including a road trip to Washington and an away game against Cal. The top ten is a distant memory. What’s at stake now is a winning season and momentum for the 2019 campaign.

Up next … at Washington … TBA

5. Oregon (5-3, 2-3) … Ranking last weekend: 3

This weekend … Lost to Arizona, 44-15.

Many Buff fans would be surprised to learn that Colorado and Oregon have the exact same record, with a 5-3 overall record, 2-3 in Pac-12 play.

Then why is Oregon ranked 5th, and Colorado 12th?

While both teams opened 3-0 against questionable non-conference opponents, Oregon has played better in Pac-12 games, the Arizona disaster notwithstanding. The Ducks defeated Cal when the Bears were ranked, should have beaten Stanford, took out No. 7 Washington, and stayed with Washington State on the road.

A loss to UCLA would drop Oregon considerably. Assuming a home win over the Bruins, the next test for Oregon will be next week on the road against Utah.

Up next … UCLA … 5:30 p.m., MT, Fox

4. California (5-3, 2-3) … Ranking last weekend: 8

This weekend … Defeated No. 15 Washington, 12-10.

Another team with the exact same record as Colorado. Another team ranked much higher than the Buffs.

Another team with a better resume, and a better future outlook.

Two weeks ago, the Bears absorbed a 37-7 home loss to UCLA, and were left for dead. A 49-7 road rout of Oregon State, and a home 12-10 upset of No. 15 Washington later, however, and the Bears find themselves with some serious momentum heading into November.

Cal, like Colorado, is one win away from bowl eligibility. Cal, like Colorado, will be an underdog over its next three games (at Washington State; at USC; Stanford). If both teams lose their next three games, the Buffs will be facing, for the second year in a row, a road battle between two 5-6 teams looking for bowl eligibility.

Up next … at No. 10 Washington State … TBA

3. Washington (6-3, 4-2) … Ranking last weekend: 2

This weekend … Lost to Cal, 12-10.

The Huskies remain ranked above the Cal Bears despite Saturday’s result. Washington continues to have a solid resume (at least in terms of Pac-12 teams. The Huskies are two field goals away from being undefeated in conference play, and still have a clear path to the Pac-12 North title. Washington only has three games left to play, and, with a win over Stanford this weekend, would be a win over Oregon State away from a showdown against Washington State for the North division title.

If Washington falls to Stanford, going 0-2 against the Bay area schools in as many weeks, the season will be a failure. Until that happens, though, you have to assume Washington is one of the top three teams in the conference.

Up next … Stanford … TBA

2. Utah (6-2, 4-2)… Ranking last weekend: 4

This weekend … Defeated UCLA, 41-10.

After an 0-2 start in Pac-12 play, the Utes have been on a roll. The Utes have won four straight, and have done it with an offense which has scored over 40 points in all four games. Utah took out Stanford on the road, 40-21, and have since dominated Arizona, USC, and UCLA.

With the rest of the Pac-12 South struggling, the first division title for the Utes is in the cards. There are two road games which are manageable – Arizona State and Colorado – with a home game against Oregon.

With USC imploding, it looks like the only team which can stop Utah is … Utah.

Up next … at Arizona State … 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

1. Washington State (7-1, 2-1) … Ranking last weekend: 1

This weekend … Defeated Stanford, 41-38.

Washington State moved into the top ten in the national rankings with a 41-38 win over Stanford. The Cardinal fell behind, 28-14, on the road against the Cardinal, but rallied on the road to maintain the best record in the Pac-12.

Now, the Cougars get the other surprise Bay area winner from Saturday night. Cal upset Washington, 12-10, with a strong defensive effort. Can the Bears put off back-to-back upsets against the Washington schools? If not, Washington State will roll into Boulder with a top ten ranking … and a five game winning streak.

Up next … Cal … TBA.

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19 Replies to “Pac-12 Power Rankings”

  1. Oregon State couldn’t beat a well run marching band if they had two weeks of practice. And we not only lost to them at home, but lost with a 31-3 second half lead. Macintyre’s car should have been towed and his office boxed up by the time he left the locker room. And who is this Eric guy saying this was uncharacteristic? This level of futility has to be uncharacteristic. It’s that bad. Oregon State’s last road win was four years ago and wait for it…was in Boulder. I was there. This team has talent. This coaching staff is an abject disaster. Time to start over.

  2. And while we are at it. Ol codger keeps comparing Mac to mac 1/2. Just a little update.
    ………………………….5th year…………………..6th year
    Mac………………….6-6 (6-1)……………………7-4 (4-3)
    Mac 1/2……………5-7 (2-7)…………………….5-3 (2-3) so far.

    Lets get to a bowl eh? 9-3 (6-3) is still possible. But is it probable. I hope so………….Get a good bowl. Hell just get a bowl. (Stuck in the middle with you……….Mac 1/2…………..But I want the bowl for the kids……..Next year there is a great team within that group…………..But this year was the year to make the move. South is down………….. 5 conference home games……………………Next year will be tougher…………….

    08/31 – vs Colorado State (in Denver, CO)
    09/07 – Nebraska
    09/14 – Air Force
    TBA – Arizona
    TBA – Stanford
    TBA – USC
    TBA – Washington
    TBA – at Arizona State
    TBA – at Oregon
    TBA – at UCLA
    TBA – at Utah
    TBA – at Washington State

    Please Mickey make it happen……………………….if you can.

  3. Lord Ache, It’s tough to be you.

    Oct 29 2018 2:32 PM
    My biggest issue seems to be Mac’s inability to accept responsibility when these things happen. There were times last year I remember him putting losses on the players rather than himself. Even if it’s true, it shouldn’t matter. HC needs to have the levels of emotional intelligence to see how that impacts his young men. Not a good look for any leader.

    LA Buffs
    I agree. it would be nice if he’d sit down and say, I put this on me. I didn’t have the team ready. But, that’s not his style.

    Brian Howell

    Damn those mean ol Buff fans

    1. What’s even funnier is that your first reply to my pointing out Brian’s comments about “missed opportunities” by players was that “he’s saving his job” as if to discount his opinion. Now, that there’s a smattering of opinion that jives with yours, he’s all good in his opinions? Yet, in the same chat, he reiterated his take from his Monday Rewind, that… players left a lot of plays on the field Saturday.

      I mean, you’ve always been one to cherry pick quotes and spin your pretzel logic to try to support your opinions, but… wow.

      Man, maybe you are a 12 year old in your Mom’s basement, sitting in that “big chair” she bought you? Or, maybe the medical weed is too strong again today for your 65-year old mind?

      Who are you, my man? Why won’t you tell us?

      Go Buffs

      1. Didn’t see it. There was no tempo. Wasn’t the Buff offense. slow Slow Slo

        Ya know there just ain’t a game where the players don’t make mistakes. Dropped balls, fumbles, missed tackles, etc etc. There just ain’t

        Yet the same krap from Mac. One more play, couple of mistakes,blah blah blah.

        He is a crappy coach. Its all about him
        Nah it ain’t funny See Brian misses alot. He missed the tempo of the game. The Buffs were in slow down the second possession of the 2nd half. Standing there while the play clock wound down.That ain’t their game. Its not what or how they practice. Fast Folsom remember. The fans saw it Brian missed it. you rationalized it. You don’t know it cause you don’t see it stuck where you are in the garden level 3 person office pretending to be a bank. Sheesh.

        Buffs.

        1. VK, whoever you are, you’re at least 100% right in that “there isn’t a game where the kids don’t make mistakes”. 100%. But you know what? The team that makes the fewest mistakes wins. Not every time, but almost every time. In some cases, the team w/ better players can overcome making more mistakes by making key plays, at key times. But, that’s pretty rare, really.

          OSU made plays – see that friggin’ circus catch on the fade route to Hodgins. Buff players missed plays (six drops, untimely penalties, running backwards or laterally trying “bust one” that ends up costing a potential game-ending first down, etc.). They were not focused, for whatever reason. Now, can we put some of the lack of focus and complacency on the coaches? Sure. That’s reasonable. But, really, it’s one game that we’ve seen them blow it to that level. One game, in six years.

          Generally, Buffs under Mac don’t make a lot of mistakes. When they were being beaten badly, it was because they were vastly out manned. They’ve caught up significantly in that regard.

          Saturday was just a really bad game. It happens.

          As to the “tempo” and Folsom Fast, where I believe you’re mistaken is that although that’s their MO most of the time, it’s not all they can, nor will do. Look at the UW game for example. They intentionally game planned to run the ball, and eat clock, rather than throwing “Folsom Fast” style into the toughest secondary in the conference all game long, which “likely” would have just given the ball to UW more, since they’d have been throwing into that gauntlet with our second string receivers.

          Against OSU, the run/pass plays were pretty balanced (now, you can take Mike Leach’s perspective that 50/50 run/pass is not balanced, it’s 50/50 stupid; but if you do, that means Chev’s offense may be “stupid” because it’s pretty balanced in that regard, AND, seems to focus on one or two key players more than spreading the ball around to all the playmakers – now, whether that’s by design, or Montez, we don’t know; but I digress).

          Again, if you go back and look at that game, the offense in the 1st half was not lights out. Nor crazy Folsom Fast and aggressive. They were looking run the ball against the worst rushing defense in the conference. Sort of makes sense, no? While also mixing in some pass plays. But, how many punts did they have in the first half? Why? Play calls or execution?

          They were still dominating. Until they weren’t. And, again, if you watch the game, the coaches were not fading nor listless. They were doing what they could to win – vs. trying not to lose.

          If you want to do a deep dive, go and chart the plays; not w/ ESPN game-cast, but by actually watching the game, and charting them. Then we can talk about the play calling vs. the execution of the plays that were called.

          Who are you again?

          Go Buffs

          1. I gotta sat, Eric sounds more rational and subjective.

            Mac Lacks Leadership and is too conservative
            Players Lack execution – both preparedness and focus
            Our Line is not that talented. Or young. Or both

  4. Yo Earache, you posted on what Brian said in his rewind.

    So a question was asked on the chat. Maybe you saw it.

    Here is his answer:

    I agree that MacIntyre is probably not the coach to take them to an elite level. There’s just no evidence of that. I think he can get them to bowls year after year. I don’t agree that a change should be made during the season. However, if Friday is an absolute disaster, maybe that changes.

    Brian Howell

    1. Nice copy and paste job, buddy. Just his opinion. His opinion was also that coaching was not what led to Saturday’s loss. A contributing factor, sure, but… players gotta make plays. He said that in his rewind, and several times in the chat.

      Who are you, anyway? Copy and paste guy?

      Still waiting for you to show your true colors yourself. Until then, you can spew all you want, and it’s all blather, like the last ten years. At least publicly for the last ten years. I imagine a whole lot longer than that, since it seems you’re about 65-ish now. But, what seems and what are, really don’t always align now, do they? You could be a twelve year old in your Mom’s basement.

      Care to come clean from behind the veil of anonymity?

      Go Buffs

      1. You would be toast in 3 minutes in a court of law earache. You tried to use Howell to prop up your delusions and VK tore you apart….and you dissolve into hysterics exactly like the 12 year old you project. Like you Howell stood by lindgren’s side until he was gone when he bit the bullet and admitted lingering’s shortcomings. Beat writers have to suck up to coaches to get access to stories. Whats your agenda?

        1. Wait, what? How exactly is using Brian’s opinion that Mac isn’t the guy to take the team from good to great, tearing me apart?

          That’s Howell’s opinion. Yet, our pal VK was the first guy to say that Brian’s opinion about the lack of execution was him “trying to protect his job” thus invalidating that opinion.

          Yeah, beat writers cannot voice their opinions. Yes, it’s a big conspiracy. Ok. So if that’s the case, then how is one opinion of his – that happens to mesh with yours – valid, and another opinion of his, that doesn’t mesh with yours invalid?

          Please oh judge of the court, tear that logic apart, will ya?

          Come on man.

          As to my agenda? It’s just to bring a level of rational thought to these discussions, rather than knee-jerk reactions.

          As I just outlined in another reply to VK, whoever he is, Mac’s team had a really bad day. They made some very uncharacteristic mistakes, and? They didn’t seem to have much focus to make the plays they were supposed to make. That’s pretty rare under Mac’s tenure. Really rare, in fact. In most cases, when they’ve lost under Mac it’s because they’ve been out manned. Even this year, they were beating the teams they “should” have beaten, and losing to the teams they “shouldn’t” have beaten (although due to their game plan against UW, running the ball more than going Folsom Fast, they did almost steal that win).

          The OSU debacle, was exactly that. A debacle. But to claim Mac took the foot off the gas pedal, told the team and Chev to slow down and not try to score is an unsubstantiated opinion. My agenda is to get people to substantiate and support their opinions. And, to support my Buffs.

          Go Buffs

          1. I don’t remember seeing this much contention on the board the last 5 or so years since I’ve been following. Then again I’m the new guy. Its a bit chippy right now, but we are all rooting for the same team here. You all are right and wrong. Its a combination of all of the above. Go Bluffs

  5. Mac, Bobo, and Vance Joseph all look like they are evidence of the Peter Principle. They got promoted one time too many. Which one has the best chance of being successful at their current level?

    1. That three way game will be decided in the 5th overtime, it’s that close. Ugh. This is like playing the “Would you rather” lose-lose game. If we look at the records alone, I feel the nod would have to go to Bobo who went, prior to this season, 7-6 three straight years and three bowl games. This is keeping him in the MWC frame of reference, his current level. If you move him to the Pac 12, Rams would never have made it to a single bowl. Rams would be looking at maximum 3-9 records.

    1. Almost certainly not, given how the “clap” offense operates.

      Step 1: CLAP!
      Step 2: Look to the sideline
      Step 3: Sideline changes the play based on defensive coverage
      Step 4: Inside handoff for 1 yard

      Have to give Oregon State credit for one thing they did perfectly the entire game: they never once even flinched at the fake CLAP.

      1. Yeah I see that about the Clap Offense. I was just thinking if Montez sees something different than the coaches maybe he could call it off. But then again we usually take it down to a few seconds so audibles would cost penalties. I’m just frustrated with the play calling and the execution.

  6. You put the Mighty Buffs at the bottom. Just because of 1 game? Or is there something else in there. 5 and 3 and 2 and 3………………looks eerily familiar. 5 and 7 is (2 and 7) is a distinct possibility. Season ruined by idiotic coaching. Hoping for 6 and 6

    Buffs get the extra practice with the new HC

    Buffs

  7. Boy Stuart, you’re tough. All the way from 7 down to 12. As much as this loss still bothers me greatly, I have to agree with you for at least this week. What the Buffs all the way from the coaches down to and including the players allowed to happen was not something that a proud aspiring to be a relevant program should allow or be a part of.

    This week’s upcoming game will be interesting to see what the coaches can do for these players, and what kind of pride the players have in their ability to be part of something to be proud of at the end of the season.

    Arizona is playing better, but they don’t have the team speed and near as many skill players as CU does. Tate’s ankle is still bothering him and while he ran a little last night he is not anywhere near what he was last year in Oct.

    If the Buffs prevail I hope you will elevate them in your power rankings next week but until then they deserve to be where you put them.

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