Another week in Pac-12 basketball, another top team upset by a team of nobodies. #nbd, right? Nonetheless, the CGB writers have been tasked with coming up with our Power Rankings for the week.
Tied teams will be listed alphabetically and the number of first-place votes is shown parenthetically.
1. Utah (5)
Last week: 2
Nick Kranz: Ho Hum just another blowout win.
atomsareenough: Three Pac-12 games, three complete and utter blowout wins. Don't really see any glaring weaknesses here.
Reef: They do defense how Cal should be doing defense.
Ruey Yen: Easily took care of Colorado as expected. May be a national title contender.
boomtho: I had them here last week... just saying :) Only one game this week, but it was a very convincing win against their "rivals" Colorado. Delon Wright had another all around great game, shooting 50% from the field and adding 6 assists and 4 steals. Still think Arizona has more talent, but right now Utah is defending and executing at a higher level
Last week: 1
Nick Kranz: The Wildcats definitely have the defense to win the conference crown. Do they have the offense?
atomsareenough: We knew that they were gonna drop one here and there due to their offensive shortcomings, but it's at least somewhat surprising that it happened at Oregon State.
Reef: Strangely tempo'd game led to weird loss. I'm not sure Sean Miller realizes he needs to increase possessions against inferior talent, or how to do that.
Ruey Yen: Losing to OSU was a big surprise, but the talent is definitely there.
boomtho: Glad it's not just us with unexpected struggles against OSU. I think they have the talent and coaching to really be a force by the end of the year
Last week: 3
Nick Kranz: A road overtime loss is hardly a reason to drop the Cardinal, much as would otherwise want to.
atomsareenough: The Cardinal derp a game they should have won against UCLA, but manage to squeak by USC. Still, they're sitting at 3-1 and are generally looking strong.
Reef: Got burned by Pac-12 refs in their loss at Pauley, but a split in LA isn't the worst thing.
Ruey Yen: Losing in double OT to UCLA is not a bad loss, but barely beating USC is why they have slipped. It is looking like that they will lose to a bad team (maybe Cal on Wednesday?)
boomtho: Dropped a game they shouldn't have against UCLA, but then rebounded with a close win against USC.
Last week: 4
Nick Kranz: Treading water by winning and losing the games we would expect.
atomsareenough: I haven't seen Oregon play a full game this year; how are they winning? Nice start for the Ducks, though.
Reef: Not sure who else to put here, but since they performed exactly as expected, why not Oregon?
Ruey Yen: They split the Arizona schools as expected.
boomtho: Wasn't close against Arizona but got a win at home against ASU. They're not a strong #4... but I'm not sure who else to put here.
4T. Oregon State
Last week: 10
Nick Kranz: Likely just a one week bump, but OSU is clearly on the right path, with some intriguing talent and a smart coach. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but they 100% remind of Utah from a few years ago.
atomsareenough: Great win against a flawed but talented Arizona team. Tinkle is looking like a great hire.
Reef: Anything can happen if you show up and defend hard. I think Cuonzo Martin says that.
Ruey Yen: Wins over both Arizona schools is enough reason for me to put them here.
boomtho: Wins over both Arizona schools?! Where did this come from?
Last week: 5
Nick Kranz: Not going to kill them too much for a blowout loss to Utah since that seems to be happening to everybody. Still, road woes seem endemic for Colorado.
atomsareenough: I'm still not sure what to make of the Buffs, but they're 2-1 in conference play.
Reef: Ultimately I think this is a top 4 team in the conference, but they are in the middle of a brutal road stretch right now -- Utah and then the Arizonas.
Ruey Yen: They only played Utah, who is one of the better team in the country.
boomtho: Got trucked by Utah, but Utah is really good
Last week: 11
Nick Kranz: Beating Stanford in overtime may have salvaged the season, although I suspect it was more about prolonging the inevitable. This is an NIT team.
atomsareenough: The Bruins' 5-game skid is over, and they escape with a not-quite-deserved home sweep against the Bay Area schools.
Reef: They are playing better. Not sure where the ceiling is this year. Lots of talent, a lot of it raw, a lot of it dumb.
Ruey Yen: Sure it came at home, but beating both Bay Area teams have the appearance of them having righted the ship.
boomtho: Did the Bay Area trip help them swing their season? Double OT win is kind of fluky but then they destroyed the Golden Bears :(
8. Washington State
Last week: 8
Nick Kranz: Congrats to the Cougs for beating two of the weaker teams in the conference, both on the road. My 8th place ranking reflects my opinion that this won't last.
atomsareenough: Ernie Kent is surpassing expectations so far.
Reef: I don't think this'll last; they've lucked out with scheduling and momentum. I expect them to start losing. A lot.
Ruey Yen: Win over Washington have them here. Still a very weak KenPom rating is why they are not higher.
boomtho: Close win over UW, though a road win is a good win for the Cougs
Last week: 12
Nick Kranz: Beating Cal is no longer something that gets you much of a power ranking boost, but I guess
atomsareenough: They beat a struggling Cal squad at home, so there's that. The Trojans also looked competitive against Stanford.
Reef: Maybe they're tough at home? I'm not sure how, given where they play.
Ruey Yen: I'm rewarding them for playing Stanford close (and beating Cal).
boomtho: Convincing win over Cal... but Cal is not very good. Close lose to Stanford shows they may be starting to gel under Enfield.
Last week: 6
Nick Kranz: No comment.
atomsareenough: The wheels are coming off. Can it be turned around?
Reef: Try to find an area we're not struggling with. I dare you.
Ruey Yen: Looked really really bad this week, but still have that win over UW which is something.
boomtho: Blargh. Series of really bad losses mean the season is nearly on the brinks for the Bears. Can they rebound?
11. Arizona State
Last week: 9
Nick Kranz: True, all three conference losses have been on the road. But two weren't especially close. There's just not much here.
atomsareenough: The Sun Devils start off conference play 0-3, and with Utah and Colorado coming to town next, they could well start 0-5.
Reef: Tough early schedule not good when you're mediocre.
Ruey Yen: The two close losses were close and on the road, but they have not impressed me in the little that I have seen of them so far.
boomtho: Sendek's seat must be getting pretty hot
Last week: 7
Nick Kranz: If I were to compare the specifics of each game (MOV, home/road, etc.), UW is probably better than Cal. But Romar is Romar and he's 0-3 and lost to Cal, so I still feel justified.
atomsareenough: I can't imagine that after beginning the season 11-0, the Huskies thought they'd start conference play 0-3 and lose to the Cougs.
Reef: I'm ranking them below Cal because of H2H, but I actually think they're playing better than Cal right now.
Ruey Yen: Losing at home to the Cougs will put you in the cellar.
boomtho: Loss to the Cougs, and UW is 0-3 in conference play after coming in undefeated
Here are the votes from our five writers.
Table 1. Check out how we each voted.
I math the hell out of these numbers to come up with the official indisputable Pac-12 Power Rankings, which led to the order above. The precise rankings that I get out of averaging these votes is shown below. The vertical error bars represent standard deviation, or just how varied the responses for the teams were.
Figure 1. The precise ranking of each team this week. Error bar is a measure of how consistently each team ranked.
These precise rankings are tracked over time because I like to see the teams go up and down wheeeee.
Figure 2. How the precise rankings of the teams change over time.
We see that we not only have two sets of tied teams, but Cal and ASU were also pretty close to being tied. It was actually boomtho's 12-place vote for ASU that pushed them below Cal as they were previously ahead of the Bears.
I also went ahead and rounded each of these precise rankings to pretty little whole numbers.
Figure 3. Each week, the teams go up and down and up and down.
We're seeing a lot of drastic changes early on that's already making a jumbled mess of Figure 3, especially in the bottom half of the conference. Since Week 1, Washington has plummeted eight spots. UCLA and USC are yo-yo'ing and OSU and Cal both made drastic moves this week.
I'm charting all of these moves using a measure called Madness, which you can see below.
|Change on week|
Table 2. This is what Muse was singing about. Early in the season, but Washington's had the most drastic changes due to their tumble.