It's finally here--the final Pac-12 Power Rankings of the 2014 regular season! We're gonna take a nice long vacation and put a little pause on the weekly updates. Our next and final ranking for the season will come after the last Pac-12 team finishes bowl season.
But for the time being, let's focus on the last week of games:
- Stanfurd 31, UCLA 10
- Arizona State 35, Arizona 42
- Washington 31, Washington State 13
- Oregon 49, Oregon State 19
- BYU 42, California 35
- Notre Dame 14, USC 49
- Utah 38, Colorado 34
I've got the official Power Rankings below. As always, tied teams are listed alphabetically and the number of first-place votes is listed parenthetically.
1. Oregon (6)
Last week: 1
boomtho: Continued their march to the Pac-12 championship game with a dominant win over OSU. Mariotta may have sealed his Heisman trophy with 6 TDs as well.
Sam Fielder: Destroyed Oregon State to complete their march to the Pac-12 Championship and set up a rematch with Arizona.
Leland Wong: The Ducks had a dominant performance (as expected) to close out the regular season, their quarterback put up Heisman numbers, and they get the chance to avenge a loss from earlier in the season and to prove it was all due to Jake Fisher's injury. What a great week for Oregon.
Berkelium97: The Death Star is alive and well.
atomsareenough: Is there any question? I don't think so.
Nick Kranz: Currently the best team in the country, let alone the Pac-12.
Last week: 3
boomtho: Held off a dogged ASU team to clinch the Pac-12 South. What a year for Rich Rod.
Sam Fielder: Beat ASU to claim the south and get another chance at the Ducks.
Leland Wong: QB Anu Solomon may have been a bit off his game due to injury, but his numbers weren't half bad, especially not when complemented by a phenomenal day by RB Nick Wilson. The Wildcats edged out their rival and won the Pac-12 South, so I don't think anyone else has a better claim for the #2 spot this week.
Berkelium97: Back to midseason form. I will lose faith in humanity if anyone but RichRod is named Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
atomsareenough: Gotta represent the other division champ in the #2 spot.
Nick Kranz: I go back and forth between thinking this team is overrated and underrated at the same time. I'm leaning towards underrated at the moment, but could be convinced otherwise.
Last week: 6
boomtho: Not that Notre Dame is good... but wow, a 35-point victory is pretty darn impressive. Not sure what else Cody Kessler has to do to get national recognition.
Sam Fielder: Are we sure Notre Dame is still fielding a football team?
Leland Wong: Of course they beat down a pretty good team of Fightin' Irish, because nothing USC does this year is going to make any sense. Their offense put up all kinds of yardage and their defense held ND's two quarterbacks to completing under 45% of their passes.
Berkelium97: Any goodwill generated by that win will be lost following an inexplicable bowl game loss.
atomsareenough: Didn't win the division, but they did wallop Notre Dame. Perhaps we need to rename him Eight-Win Sark?
Nick Kranz: A great coach away from real contention.
4. Arizona State
Last week: 4
boomtho: Tough loss to lose the Pac-12 South, but I think a pretty successful season for them given how long Kelly was out.
Sam Fielder: Lost their shot at the title by losing the Territorial Cup. Their late surge fell just short.
Leland Wong: A tough, close loss to a great team, so I see no reason why ASU should fall too far in the rankings.
And, as someone who didn't catch the game, Taylor Kelly's numbers don't stand out as being bad enough to warrant being benched during his final game, so I'm not quite sure what led to that decision.
Berkelium97: Still a commendable season. ASU's turnaround on defense after the UCLA fiasco was remarkable.
atomsareenough: All in all, a good season, but it hurts to lose a trip to the conference championship game, to your rival, in your rivalry game. It was a close one, though!
Nick Kranz: A great quarterback away from real contention.
Last week: 7
boomtho: Shaw may be a mediocre HC (here's hoping), but damn he can coach a scary defense. Cardinal completely shut down Hundley and the UCLA passing game.
Sam Fielder: Beat down the previous darling of the south, UCLA and looked competent on offense while doing it. I hate everything ever.
Leland Wong: Um... where did this offense come from? Over 400 yards of offense (split nearly evenly between passing and rushing) and nearly 7 yards per play? If the offense operated at this level all season long, then this team probably could have lived up to their lofty preseason expectations.
atomsareenough: Hogan had the game of his life, as he was apparently briefly possessed by the ghost of Andrew Luck. He couldn't miss a throw all day against UCLA. If Hogan can play that well, paired with that defense, the Cardinal are a scary opponent in any bowl game.
Nick Kranz: A modern coach away from real contention.
Last week: 5
boomtho: Needed a late pick-6 to put away the pesky Buffs, but a very solid season for Wittingham. Their defense is going to be scary again next year.
Sam Fielder: Struggled to hold off a fiesty Colorado team in the fakest rivalry game in the Pac-12.
Leland Wong: Their famed defense struggled against Colorado, nearly being on the wrong end of an upset. QB Travis Wilson decided the end of the year was the right time to finally string together some solid performances, giving the fans something to look forward to in bowl season.
Berkelium97: Utah and Colorado have had some of the most entertaining rivalry games in the conference. I won't hammer them too hard for a close game with the Buffs.
atomsareenough: Just think, if they'd beaten Arizona they could have been Pac-12 South champs.
Nick Kranz: A great quarterback away from real contention.
Last week: 2
boomtho: Furd has a great defense, but putting up 10 points, at home, with a chance to clinch the Pac-12 South is just embarrassing.
Sam Fielder: The nation's streakiest team goes down in huge fashion.
Leland Wong: Ooph. What a terrible time for the Bruins to fall flat. The O-line reverted to its porous ways, allowing 4 sacks; of course, part of that could be attributed to the fierce Cardinal defense. The Bruin defense couldn't get a stop and the offense couldn't even muster up 4 yards per play.
Berkelium97: They realized the Pac-12 South title was on the line, right?
atomsareenough: Fire everybody! Muahahahaha
Nick Kranz: Getting crushed by Stanford's defense is no shame. Feels like they should be downgraded, but they beat ASU and USC so convincingly it's hard to put them behind anybody else.
Last week: 8
boomtho: Somewhat a Cal-like season in that they didn't beat anyone good, only the bottom tier of the Pac-12 and a paper soft non-conference schedule.
Sam Fielder: Basically did what they wanted to against WSU.
Leland Wong: A nice big win for the Huskies that'll lead to high expectations in the post-season. Their feared defense made the Air Raid look like a joke and--most importantly--their offense is beginning to look solid with QB Cyler Miles and RB Dwayne Washington. This was the kind of performance that deserved a higher ranking, but I just couldn't justify putting them above any other team based on their season résumé.
atomsareenough: Are things starting to click for Petersen & his crew, or are the wheels just falling off that badly in Pullman?
Nick Kranz: If Petersen comes back with a better UW team next year he should garner Pac-12 coach of the year consideration.
Last week: 9
boomtho: Terribly disappointing second half of the season, including squandering a prime chance at bowl eligibility vs. a depleted BYU team.
Sam Fielder: Horrible. Just horrible.
Leland Wong: Getting shut out of bowl eligibility on the last play by a less-talented team is a pretty harsh way to end the season; almost harsh enough to warrant a greater drop in the rankings, but I think Cal's body of work over the course of the season is enough to warrant being at the top of the basement. Or it's just because I'm a Cal fan.
Berkelium97: Can't even beat a mid-tier, non–Power 5 team...
atomsareenough: If we only had a D. Also, Tony Franklin sitting in on a game theory seminar this offseason would be nice. There's a grad seminar being offered by the Business Administration department on "Dynamic Game Theory and Applications" Tuesdays 2–4 PM this spring. Just sayin'.
Nick Kranz: Context be damned: losing always sucks.
10. Oregon State
Last week: 10T
boomtho: Tough way to go out for Mannion.
Sam Fielder: Don't feel bad Beavers, everyone gets blown out by Oregon.
Leland Wong: For QB Sean Mannion, this unimpressive finish matched an unimpressive season to finish his college career. The Beavers miss out on a bowl thanks to their primary rivals, but at least they can warm up in this bowl-less winter on Coach Mike Riley's seat.
Berkelium97: There's always next year...Oh, right. Nevermind.
atomsareenough: I'm not expecting much from the Beavers next year, so that probably means Riley is going to develop some guys I've never heard of and be good again.
Nick Kranz: I suspect they will be the worst team in the conference next year.
Last week: 12
boomtho: I'm vaulting them above Cal because they were more competitive against better teams at the end of the year, IMO.
Sam Fielder: Feisty til the end. We'll see if it translates to the field next year.
Leland Wong: The Buffs almost put up enough fight to overcome their history of poor performances this year--almost. It'll be a long offseason wondering why the team didn't continue last year's improvement and wondering what Coach MacIntyre's limit is.
Berkelium97: They didn't win any Pac-12 games this year, but they were competitive in more conference games (4 this year vs. 1 last year). At least there's that.
atomsareenough: Even sadder SMH. The Buffs will beat someone in conference next year though. You can take that one to the bank. Fortunately it won't be Cal.
Nick Kranz: I suppose the title of 'best ever winless-in-conference team' is a very, very hollow honorific.
atomsareenough: More of a superlative than an honorific, IMO....
/I'll show myself out
12. Washington State
Last week: 10T
boomtho: Tough year for Leach and Co. Cougars fans must be calling for a better defense at an even louder volume than Cal fans.
Sam Fielder: The Apple Cup was not so competitive. Hopefully Pirate Leach keeps his job though, cause I love him.
Leland Wong: I didn't expect a Cougar win, but I expected better than that. The score was 31–0 until the Cougars limped their way to two fourth-quarter touchdowns. QB Luke Falk has cooled since his hot start. Is this a sign of things to come or will he learn from and grow stronger after these losses?
Berkelium97: I'm going to be really sad when Mike Leach is eventually fired by Wazzu within a couple years.
atomsareenough: Sad SMH.
Nick Kranz: Coordinator changes won't save them.
First, let's take a look at how we voted:
These ballots get averaged out to get the official ranking for each team. These give very precise votes that aren't rounded to integral values. The variation in votes that each team received is indicated with each vertical error bar.
These precise rankings have been graphed as a function of time throughout the season to show you how much each team has risen or fallen.
Here we see that Oregon and Arizona have firm holds on first and second places, respectively. Following that, we've got a group of middle-of-the-pack teams. Contrast that with what we've observed in past weeks--three classes of four teams. And then we've got the sad little lot of teams in the Pac-12 basement, including our beloved Golden Bears. The very bottom of the basement is a close little tangle of Washington State and Colorado.
We can also round the teams to integral rankings (as were listed above) and graph that same data over time:
Lastly, we've got our Madness score for the week. Madness is a measure of how much the teams are moving up or down. Oregon closes out the season as the least Mad team, with their one hiccup being their loss to Arizona. USC's dominant ND win helps them further secure their hold as the most Mad team in the conference.
|Change on week|
And that concludes our rankings for the regular season! We won't be back next week (since the only action is Oregon-Arizona), but we'll be back for one final ranking at the end of bowl season.