1. Oregon (holding steady)
Berkelium97: You can't learn much of anything when they're playing one of the worst FCS teams in the nation, but they jump ahead of the Lobsterbacks because they actually played a game.
Sam Fielder: Good teams should dominate bad teams.
atomsareenough: Oregon is still Oregon. They dominated Nicholls State in completely expected fashion. Nothing to see here.
2. Stanford (holding steady)
atomsareenough: Nothing to see here either, literally, as there was no furd game.
Berkelium97: Wake me up on 9.21 when they actually play a serious opponent.
3. Washington (up 4 spots)
norcalnick: The manner in which Washington dispatched Boise St. gave the Huskies easily the most impressive win of the weekend. It's not enough to push them over Oregon and Stanford, but it puts them ahead of other teams that have questions currently unanswered.
Berkelium97: It's hard to ignore the biggest loss in Chris Petersen's career. That was an unbelievable performance by the UW offense, especially without Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
atomsareenough: They clearly had the best win of the week in conference, so they jump up two spaces on my ranking to #5. If Price plays like that all year, Washington can possibly unseat either of the top two teams in the Pac-12 North. They dominated a high quality opponent in Boise State, and it was a team that had just beat them in a bowl game last year, so you have to give the Huskies credit, unfortunately.
ragnarok: A two-spot jump seems like an under reaction to me, actually. A very impressive win, one that would probably merit at least a two-spot jump in week 8; after only one week of games, they should leapfrog a lot of teams.
4. UCLA (down one spot)
norcalnick: The 2nd most impressive win of the weekend, although not quite as dominating as Washington's, and against a likely weaker team. Still enough for 4th.
Sam Fielder: Good win for them, look to be solid again.
atomsareenough: The Bruins were #3 for me preseason, and their dismantling of Nevada only cements that impression. Hundley played well and they racked up 58 points. That's just 8 points fewer than Oregon put up against Nicholls State.
5. Arizona State (holding steady)
atomsareenough: No game yet for the Sun Devils, as well. They play Sacramento State next week, so really we're not going to learn much until ASU plays Wisconsin in Week 3.
norcalnick: I think there's a decent chance that the Sun Devils are better than UW and UCLA, but they haven't proven anything so they're slotted behind both teams for now. A game against Wisconsin in a few weeks gives them a chance to prove it.
6. USC (holding steady)
Sam Fielder: That was not a good game for them. They might be worse than initially thought.
Berkelium97: This is a bad, bad team. They struggled against a terrible Hawaii team, but at least the defense had its moments to shine.
atomsareenough: Yes, the Trojans eventually pulled away, but Hawai'i is awful and USC didn't look good. The QB situation did not seem to resolve itself, the score was 5-3 Warriors for much longer than it should have been, and USC fans are rightfully feeling a strong sense of malaise.
norcalnick: I want to drop them lower after that game, but I have a feeling we'll all look back on it and realize that we overreacted just a bit. They'll still be able to run the ball, and they'll still have a decent defense.
7. Arizona (up one spot)
Sam Fielder: Again, decent teams should beat bad teams.
Berkelium97: Their QB only passed 13 times and they only ran 47 plays, so it's hard to get a pulse on the post-Scott offense.
8. Utah (up two spots)
Sam Fielder: Tough to tell much from their win over Utah St, but a win is a win.
Berkelium97: They struggled at times, but the offense was much improved over the past couple seasons. I wish I knew if this Utah State team was any good, however.
9. California (holding steady)
Berkelium97: What a debut by Jared Goff. The pass defense and O-/D-lines are works in progress, but the Bears have plenty of potential.
atomsareenough: Okay, so the Bears lost. But they had the 2nd toughest opponent of any Pac-12 team, and there were many hopeful indicators here in how the team played, first and foremost being nearly 550 yards of offense. This was a close game until the end, and the Bears played pretty well in defeat. To my mind, a power ranking isn't just a straight win-loss record; we can just look at the standings if that's all we wanted to know.
10. Colorado (up two spots)
norcalnick: Last week we discussed how we would have to delay our vote for week 2 because the Buffs played on Sunday, and I joked that we could safely all vote Colorado last before the game was played. And then that happened! Colorado St. was a pretty bad team last year . . . but Colorado was even worse, so beating them decisively does mean something. Congrats on a totally shocking escape from the cellar!
Berkelium97: How do you have almost twice as many yards as CSU, a +2 turnover margin, and only have a one-score lead late in the 4th? No matter, Colorado defeated a terrible CSU team for its first win under MacIntyre. Also, Paul Richardson is back. Be warned.
11. Washington State (holding steady)
Berkelium97: The Air Raid still has not taken off. 3 interceptions? 5.3 passing yards per attempt? Against Auburn? Do the Cougs have any other QBs?
atomsareenough: Respectable showing on the road at Auburn, and props to them for hanging tough in SEC country... but then Auburn went 3-9 last year with 2 cupcake wins and an overtime win against Louisiana-Monroe, so I'm not exactly sure what to think of opponent quality here.
12. Oregon State (down eight spots)
selected comments from CGB last week re: Oregon State:
- I think they're a legit preseason Top 25 team, but their problem is that they play in the tough Pac-12 North.
- Any time I doubt Mike Riley, he reminds me why he's the best coach in the conference.
- Oregon St. is Oregon St., and I will continue to underestimate them because I'm dumb.
...and then last Saturday happened. This week's comments have a vastly different tone...
Sam Fielder: If you lose to an FCS team, even a good one, you end that week at the bottom of my rankings.
ragnarok: Oregon State has a history of early, embarrassing faceplants under Mike Riley (notably losing to Sac State to open the 2011 season), so their poor play wasn't that surprising, but still, the ignominy of becoming just the fourth ranked team to lose to an FCS school will be hard to overcome. Unfortunately, I fear that the Beavers will put it all together by the time Cal faces them in October, meaning it might be a struggle to beat a team that lost to an FCS school.
norcalnick: Teams really need to learn that they shouldn't be scheduling top 10 FCS teams unless they also happen to be a top ten FBS team. Also, if Cal were a contender for a BCS bowl this year, I'd be rather mad at the Beavers. Since Cal isn't, it's mostly just funny.
Berkelium97: Sure, EWU is one of the best FCS teams in the nation. That's no excuse for letting an FCS QB pile up 518 yards and 6 TDs. We're still very early in the season, but Mike Riley could be on the hot seat if OSU can't bounce back and earn a bowl game.
atomsareenough: Losing to an FCS school is inexcusable. Yeah, EWU is one of the better FCS schools, but so what? Even Wazzu beat them last year. Oregon State was ranked going into this game, and it's going to be a while before they sniff the rankings again. The Beavers have habitually started off slow, so I expect them to improve, but lose to an FCS school, and you move to the bottom of the power poll.