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Sunday Afternoon Quarterback – Pac-12 Power Rankings

 

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. Oregon State (1-6, 0-4) … Ranking last weekend: 12

This weekend … Lost to California, 49-7.

“It’s tough, it’s real tough,” Beavers receiver Isaiah Hodgins said. “Because we know we’ve got players and we know we’re a better team than last year. We know we’ve got good coaches and a great team. So it’s just tough to not get the results we want. We’re going to have to switch some things up, get some more energy, prepare better and finish the season strong.”

Oregon State’s new offensive star, freshman running back Jermar Jefferson, who has four 100-yard games (and two 200-yard games) so far this season, was hampered by a hamstring injury, and had only two carries (for 34 yards) against Cal. His status for the CU game is uncertain.

Up next … at Colorado, 1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

11. Arizona (3-5, 2-3) … Ranking last weekend: 10

This weekend … Lost to UCLA, 31-30.

Arizona played without quarterback Kahlil Tate, and lost to the Bruins to put the Wildcats in dire straights with regard to bowl eligibility. Arizona already has five losses, with Oregon, Colorado and Washington State still on the schedule. Rhett Rodriguez, son of fired Rich Rodriguez, went 15-of-34 for 231 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his first career start.

If not for a 24-17 win over Cal (which required two pick-sixes), the Wildcats would be mired in a four game losing streak. Oregon comes to Tucson next Saturday, so the Wildcats are likely to be 3-6, 2-4 when the Buffs come calling Friday, November 2nd.

Up next … Oregon, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN

10. Arizona State (3-4, 1-3) … Ranking last weekend: 8

This weekend … Lost to Stanford, 20-13.

ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins threw for 353 yards, but the Sun Devils turned the ball over three times, losing for the fourth time in five games.

“We were in position to score points and the turnovers hurt us,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “You can’t do that against a good football team and Stanford is a good football team, no doubt about that.”

Arizona State’s next two games are against USC and Utah. With a road game against Oregon still on the schedule, a split against USC and Utah will be mandatory if the Sun Devils are to have any hope of going bowling in 2018.

Up next … at USC, 1:30 p.m., MT, ABC or ESPN2

9. UCLA (2-5, 2-2) … Ranking last weekend: 9

This weekend … Defeated Arizona, 31-30.

In case you missed #Pac12AfterDark, UCLA won its second game of the year, but not with freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Instead, the Bruins won behind senior transfer quarterback Wilson Speight, who started the opener against UNLV. The Michigan transfer went 17-of-27 for 204 yards after Thompson-Robinson went down with with an arm injury in the second quarter.

UCLA needs to go 4-1 the rest of the way to be bowl eligible. Try and find four wins among these five games: Utah; at Oregon; at Arizona State; USC; Stanford. The Bruins are getting better, but will be home for the holidays.

Up next … Utah … Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN

8. California (4-3, 1-3) … Ranking last weekend: 11

This weekend … Defeated Oregon State, 49-7.

Oregon State appears to be the cure for the common offense. A week after getting blown out at home by the winless UCLA Bruins, the Bears could do no wrong in their rout of the Beavers. Cal went for 539 yards of total offense against Oregon State, while holding the Beavers to 241 total yards.

At 4-3, Cal needs two wins to become bowl eligible. Unfortunately for the Bears, all five of their remaining opponents have better records: Washington (6-2); at Washington State (6-1); at USC (4-3); Stanford (5-2); and Colorado (5-2). It could well be that the home finale against Colorado could be a game in which the Bears are fighting for a bowl bid.

Up next … Washington … 4:30 p.m., MT, FS1

7. Colorado (5-2, 2-2) … Ranking last weekend: 6

This weekend … Lost to Washington, 27-13.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. The Buffs had their chances to take down a ranked team on the road for the first time since 2002, but fell short. Should Buff fans be pleased at taking the No. 15 to the final minutes, or upset that the Buffs can’t get over the hump against a quality opponent?

“Obviously you never want to lose,” said Colorado quarterback Steven Montez. “But sometimes, you’d almost rather have an absolute blowout than get one pulled out from under you in the fourth quarter. Those are the absolute toughest ones to swallow. We had opportunities and we didn’t capitalize.”

One thing CU fans can agree upon: A win over Oregon State, making the Buffs bowl-eligible in October, would be pretty nice bounce back for a team projected by Las Vegas at 4.5 wins for the season.

Up next … Oregon State, 1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

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

This weekend … Lost to Utah, 41-28

A win over Utah would have all but ended the Pac-12 South race. Instead, the Trojans were mauled by the Utes, giving Utah a leg up in its pursuit of its first Pac-12 South title. Star freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels was 6-of-16 passing for 89 yards and a score with two interceptions, but left the game with a head injury. Matt Fink, played the entire fourth quarter in place of the freshman, finished with 43 yards and a touchdown on 6-of-7 passing.

The Trojans generated just 205 total yards and averaged 3.8 yards per play. They went just 3-of-14 on third down overall and 0-of-10 through the first three quarters.

USC still has the easiest path to the division title (Arizona State; at Oregon State; Cal; UCLA), but now must hope the Utes drop at least one more game to clinch the division.

Up next … Arizona State … 1:30 p.m., MT, ABC/ESPN2

5. Stanford (5-2, 3-1) … Ranking last weekend: 7

This weekend … Defeated Arizona State, 20-13.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Cardinal emerged from Tempe with a win over Arizona State, which is all that matters.

“We could have played better, obviously, but for us, this is the way we needed to win this football game,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “What we’ve done the last couple games, coming up short, not giving ourselves a chance, we gave ourselves a chance today.”

Stanford is tied in the loss column with Washington (6-2, 4-1) and Washington (6-1, 3-1) atop the Pac-12 North. The Cardinal get both of those teams in the next two weeks.

Up next … Washington State … 5:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

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

This weekend … Defeated USC, 41-28

Utah has scored 40 points or more in three straight games … when was the last time you could say that about the Utes? Tyler Huntley looked impressive, throwing for 341 yards and four touchdowns on 22-of-29 passing. Huntley matched a career-high in passing yards to help the Utes beat the Trojans for the third straight time at home. Zack Moss added 136 yards rushing on 25 carries.

Four teams have two conference losses in the Pac-12 South division, but the Utes are the only team to control their own destiny – win out, and Utah has its first-ever Pac-12 South title. But … the Utes finish with three of their final four conference games on the road, including a trip to Boulder on November 17th.

Up next … at UCLA … Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN

3. Oregon (5-2, 2-2) … Ranking last weekend: 1

This weekend … Lost to Washington State, 34-20.

The Ducks dominated play in the second half of their game against Washington State, out-scoring the Cougars, 20-7. Unfortunately, Oregon fell behind, 27-0, in the first half, making the comeback too little, too late. Oregon should have beaten Stanford and lost, then should have lost to Washington, but won.

In a quirk in the scheduling, Oregon, except for the Civil War against Oregon State, is done with the Pac-12 North. The Ducks other remaining conference games: at Arizona; UCLA; at Utah; Arizona State. With Stanford and the Washington schools beating each other up over the next few weeks, don’t count out Oregon as the Pac-12 North representative in the Pac-12 title game.

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

2. Washington (6-2, 4-1) … Ranking last weekend: 2

This weekend … Defeated Colorado, 27-13.

The Huskies are a missed field goal at the end of regulation against Oregon from being 5-0 in Pac-12 play. Colorado had its chances against Washington, but the Huskies did what they needed to do to take out the Buffs. A strong defense, and a just good enough offense, has been a winning formula for Chris Petersen for a number of years in Seattle.

Buff fans will long remember that star wide receiver Laviska Shenault was not available for the Washington game. The Huskies, though, were without star running back Myles Gaskin, who missed the first game of his career. Getting Gaskin back will be important for Washington going forward, with games remaining against Stanford and Washington State.

Up next … at California … 4:30 p.m., MT, FS1

1. Washington State (6-1, 1-1) … Ranking last weekend: 4

This weekend … Defeated Oregon, 34-20.

Washington State may not be the best team in the Pac-12, and might not hold this perch for more than a week, but you have to give it to the Cougs for taking out the Ducks. Washington State hosted ESPN GameDay for the first time ever, then raced out to a 27-0 lead over the Ducks. It almost slipped away, but the Cougs picked up the game-winning touchdown after the Ducks made it 27-20 game in the fourth quarter.

Gardner Minshew was 39 of 51 passing for 323 yards and four touchdowns, picking up his biggest win since arriving at the school as a transfer during the offseason. “He is a very inspired player and I think inspires the rest of the units,” said Washington State head coach Mike Leach on Minshew’s late game-winning drive. “So, down the stretch, he does a good job inspiring and they draw from him some.”

No rest for the weary. Washington State takes on the Bay area schools (at Stanford; Cal) before coming to Boulder on November 10th.

Up next … at Stanford … 5:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

 

… Your thoughts? Post your rankings in the comments section … 

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3 Replies to “Sunday Afternoon Quarterback”

  1. Note 2: Hmmmm Results.
    5 and 2 buckle your shoe
    5 and 3 you again took a knee
    6 and 2 everybody knew
    5 and 4 you out the door
    6 and 3 didn’t need no knee
    7 and 2 and people be loving you
    5 and 5 you may not get out alive
    6 and 4 you will be back for more
    7 and 3 Chev is set free
    8 and 2 and everybody love you
    6 and 5 barely alive
    7 and 4 you inside the door
    8 and 3 you set chev free
    9 and 2 they really love you
    6 and 6 no more sticks
    7 and 5 it’s alive, it’s alive
    8 and 4 you looking for the SE door
    9 and 3 free at last so free
    10 and 2 Buffs no more CU

    Who knows.

    Only the AD knows.

    Yo up the Oline eh

  2. Reasonable order. I think I put CU higher than 7. To me, they are battling for bottom of the top third, or top of the middle third. But, that isn’t a game by game, week by week deal. That is more where I put them among their peers in the pac 12 right now 7 games into the season.

    Go Buffs

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