clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pac-12 Football Power Rankings, Week 9: Did Arizona do enough to drop below OSU?

In the most stable week of the season, the biggest beneficiaries are from that crap school up north and the biggest losers need a sad moment to themselves.

Nobody knows the trouble he's seen...
Nobody knows the trouble he's seen...
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Leland Wong: We're right at that point of the midseason—coupled with a three-game losing streak—where every member of the CGB staff is in a burnt-out slump. Myself included. So, that means I can't wait to re-explain the key concepts of this post like the intro and setting up all of the following graphs! Let's be lazy and bullet point the hell out of this sucker.

  • Power Rankings! Not a measure of strength, but also an emphasis on recent result!
  • The parenthetical number next to the team name is how many first-place votes they received.
  • The parenthetical number next to each voter's name is where they ranked that team.

Hey, let me let other people do words because I no am can words!

Ruey Yen: I miss the good old days of few weeks back when I could be completely delusional and have Cal at the top of the Pac. Reality bites.

ragnarok: Not a ton of movement for me this week; mostly dropped Cal three spots for dropping their third-straight game; not that I think *that* much less of Cal for losing the last 3 games—I pretty much predicted that they had a four-game losing streak built right into the schedule—but this is a Power Ranking, which means that "what have you done lately" is a bigger factor.

The rankings

1. Stanfurd Cardinal (14) Arrow_neutral__9-8-14_medium
Pac-12 logos- Stanfurd

Last week: 1

Berkelium97: (1) UGH

Leland Wong: (1) For the most part, Stanfurd looked pretty ineffective on offense and defense. They tried to give away the win, so I would have given the top spot to another team if there were any one else in the conference who was even remotely deserving.

Nick Kranz: (1) Refreshing to see that Stanfurd's run game can be slowed down by another Pac-12 team, but just as frustrating that the Cardinal still emerged with the win anyway

Sam Fielder: (1) This gets less fun by the week. WHY CAN'T THEY LOSE ALREADY?

boomtho: (1) It's fun when WSU misses a FG as time expires to let us win. It's the opposite of that when it's vs Stanfurd

Nik Jam: (1) They got some huge breaks against Wazzu, but a win's a win. Undefeated is undefeated. A sure North title is a sure North title. Hopefully Oregon—or better yet, Cal—can get a win and eliminate their playoff hopes.

atomsareenough: (1) Escaped Pullman with another win. It's looking like smooth sailing to the Pac-12 Championship for the Cardinal.

Ruey Yen: (1) In control of Pac-12 North. Life is not fair.

Rob Hwang: (1) Ugh.

mpeters10: (1) They survived a scare against a sneaky good Washington State team. It looks like Stanfurd will be in the Pac-12 Championship game.

benwemer: (1) Just slipped away with a win, but still the best team in this conference as of now.

ragnarok: (1) Escaped the Palouse and still undefeated in conference play.

Solomon Kim: (1) ...C'MON!!!

2. Utah Utes Arrow_neutral__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- Utah

Last week: 2T

Leland Wong: (3) Teams like Utah aren't built to blow out their opponents on the scoreboard, so this was basically a dominant win by the Utes thanks to a stifling defense.

Nick Kranz: (2) Hardly a vintage performance from the Utes, but then they usually win ugly like that, and they still control their own destiny and it comes down to a home game against UCLA, so I'm keeping them 2nd.

Sam Fielder: (2) Didn't look all that impressive against OSU, but got back to winning.

boomtho: (2) Back on track, though the margin of victory vs. lowly OSU was definitely less than I'd expected

Nik Jam: (2) Still in the driver's seat to win the South.

atomsareenough: (2) Took care of business against OSU.

Ruey Yen: (2) Capable of beating Furd in the Pac-12 Championship game.

Rob Hwang: (2) They still have the best chance to win the South. But with only one win apart, this could change fairly quickly.

mpeters10: (3) Did what they were supposed to do against the Beavers.

benwemer: (3) Did what they had to against OSU, but didn't win impressively.

ragnarok: (2) Got back on the winning track vs. Oregon State. The Utes are still in control in the South.

Solomon Kim: (2) Pretty much Utah being Utah.

3. USC Trojans Arrow_down__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- USC

Last week: 2T

Berkelium97: (4) They're not very good, but neither is anyone else in the Pac-12's muddled middle.

Leland Wong: (5) Not a particularly impressive day on offense, but kudos to the defense for stopping the Bear Raid and kudos to the team for their renaissance under their interim head coach, Clay Helton.

Nick Kranz: (3) In two weeks USC will be 5–2 in conference play heading to Oregon and it wouldn't surprise me if they controlled their own destiny by then.

Sam Fielder: (5) A boring, methodical win. Better than a blowout, I suppose, but WHY CAN'T WE BEAT THEM?

boomtho: (3) Above UCLA because road wins > home wins, and also because we're better than Colorado.

Nik Jam: (4) Sigh.. the Cal win puts them in decent position to steal the South, too.

atomsareenough: (4) Held on against Cal. Helton is undefeated in conference play, so far. Trojans aren't playing great, but I feel like the floor has gotten higher.

Ruey Yen: (5) Another talented, but flawed team.

Rob Hwang: (5) Their run game might be the second- or third-best in the Pac-12; showed that against Cal on Saturday.

mpeters10: (2) Did not look overly impressive in defeating Cal, but a win is a win. Helton has done a good job of overcoming the turmoil left behind by Sark.

benwemer: (2) Best win out of everyone else.

ragnarok: (4) Apparently, firing Sarkisian was addition by subtraction.

Solomon Kim: (6) It's a good thing the Trojan run game can show up when Kessler doesn't. Excuse me as I go beat my head against a wall.

4. UC L.A. Bruins Arrow_neutral__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- UCLA

Last week: 4

Berkelium97: (6) Outgained by 150+ yards, with half as many first downs and half the time of possession of CU. How did they win this game?

Leland Wong: (9) UCLA should have handled Colorado with ease, so the close win is gonna drop 'em a few spots. Are all those defensive injuries starting to catch up to the Bruins?

Nick Kranz: (5) I'm never really sure what to make of the Bruins. I'm mostly just frustrated that they're back to committing gobs of penalties now that Cal has left town.

Sam Fielder: (3) Their game was a lot closer than it should have been. WHY COULDN'T YOU HAVE DONE THAT LAST WEEK?

boomtho: (4) #4 feels high; you could argue they should be below WSU... but the flip side is they're 6–2 with a reasonably clear path to 9–3.

Nik Jam: (3) Nearly upset by Colorado, but it doesn't matter. Utah's best competition at this point.

atomsareenough: (3) Survived a scare against Colorado. Strangely inconsistent play from the Bruins, but it may have to do with the injuries testing their depth.

Ruey Yen: (3) Flawed team, but capable of beating anyone in the Pac.

Rob Hwang: (4) Could they be back? Still a lot of unknowns, but one thing is for sure—Coach Mora can do A LOT with what amounts to crumbs in his cupboard.

mpeters10: (4) I don't understand the Bruins. One week they're dominating Cal and the next they are thoroughly outplayed by the Buffs, but find a way to win.

benwemer: (4) Beat Colorado, but it wasn't pretty. The inconsistency is certainly there.

ragnarok: (3) Escaped Colorado; still alive in the South.

Solomon Kim: (5) This game should not have been this close. Injuries—sure. The fact of the matter is that the Buffs wanted that win more. Talent and injuries aside, UCLA escaped an upset by the skin of their baby Bruin teeth.

5. Washington State Cougars Arrow_neutral__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- WSU

Last week: 5

Berkelium97: (2) A valiant effort and a missed opportunity. The Cougs could have controlled their destiny with four very winnable games on the schedule.

Leland Wong: (2) It's far easier to declare a moral victory when you're not a fan of the team, so I'll sit here and say this was a huge moral victory for the Cougs. The recent laughingstock of the conference outplayed one of the recent kings of the conference and nearly had a shot to win. The fanbase should be feeling great right now. But dammit, this is why Tedford always centered the ball.

Nick Kranz: (4) I'm pushing the Cougs ahead of the Bruins because losing to Stanfurd on a missed field goal is significantly more impressive than needing a 4th quarter comeback to beat Colorado at home.

Sam Fielder: (7) Hung tough and just barely Coug'd it at the end. WHY?

boomtho: (5) So close, so far. Could have been a tenure-defining win for Mike Leach.

Nik Jam: (6) Horrible breaks for the Cougars and a late-game collapse. They will rebound and get some good wins before the end of the year.

atomsareenough: (6) Came so close to knocking off Stanfurd, but ultimately Coug'd it, I'm sad to say. The team looks much improved though!

Ruey Yen: (4) Coug'ed the chance to beat Furd, although I am not sure I would be that happy if Wazzu somehow wins the Pac before Cal does.

Rob Hwang: (3) I'm actually okay with this team being this good. Mike Leach is awesome and I'd rather the Cougs win than say, the likes or Oregon, Washington or Stanfurd.

mpeters10: (6) They almost did it. They almost upset Furd and it would've given the Cougs a legitimate shot at winning the North. Wouldn't that have been something?

benwemer: (7) Impressive as a loss can get.

ragnarok: (7): Can't quite say they Coug'd it (hitting another FG in those weather conditions isn't a gimme), but it's clear that Wazzu is competitive, but not quite there.

Solomon Kim: (4) Maybe it's the underwater treadmill that's making this front seven look terrifying. They made the Furd's offensive line bust its chops to get that win. Much can also be said about Falk and that offense's ability to march the field against the Cardinal.

6. Washington Huskies Arrow_up__9-8-14_medium
Pac-12 logos- Washington

Last week: 10

Berkelium97: (7) I expected UW to win, but wow. That was very impressive.

Leland Wong: (4) Wait, what? I know Arizona regressed this year, but what? Their defense has been a strength all season, but their offense came out and had a great game through the air and on the ground.

Nick Kranz: (8) How much of that explosion was Browning and a young O line turning a corner and how much was on Arizona's total lack of defense?

Sam Fielder: (4) Boy, they sure put it on Arizona. I'm glad we've already played them...

boomtho: (6) I didn't watch the game, but I was shocked UW scored 49 points—until I saw Arizona had four turnovers.

Nik Jam: (7) Wow, didn't see that blowout coming AT ALL. Good for the Huskies.

atomsareenough: (5) Wow, the Huskies put together a straight-up asskicking against Arizona. Are things finally starting to click under Petersen?

Ruey Yen: (6) Not sure what to think of them. Good team overall, but large error bar on their performance.

Rob Hwang: (8) Jake Browning is the real deal. I'm actually scared to play him and the Coach Petersen offense in coming years.

mpeters10: (8) What a beating they put on Arizona. Washington is another wildly inconsistent team in a conference that is chock-full of them.

benwemer: (5) Absolutely demolished Arizona, which isn't crazy impressive, but for this team to do that... Wow.

ragnarok: (6) Easily rolled over a reeling Arizona squad.

Solomon Kim: (3) When the team with the best defensive numbers in the entire conference puts up that many points on the offensive side of the ball, you just shake your head and move on to next week. I never expect a Pac-12 team to be held to 3, but this Huskies D did it.

7. Oregon Ducks Arrow_neutral__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- Oregon

Last week: 7

Berkelium97: (5) The offense is humming again. With a defense that bad, however, it may not matter.

Leland Wong: (6) The Ducks are back to being dangerous now that Vernon Adams is back at quarterback. However, their defensive shortcomings were apparent as the Sun Devils were able to throw for nearly 400 yards.

Nick Kranz: (6) On the one hand, boy does the offense look better with Vernon Adams. On the other hand, 700+ yards of total offense allowed to previously moribund ASU?!

Sam Fielder: (6) So the offense is back, huh? But that defense, wow. Let's hope for more of that this week.

boomtho: (7) Offense starting to re-gel just in time to play us. Fantastic.

Nik Jam: (5) Almost no chance to win the North, but at least they can knock Stanfurd a peg before the Big Game.

atomsareenough: (8) Are the Ducks turning into a more talented version of 2014 Cal?

Ruey Yen: (8) Coin flip whether Cal or Oregon will win next week.

Rob Hwang: (7) Barely squeaked out a win. Safe to say this is a bust season as was to be semi-expected with the loss of a Heisman winner.

mpeters10: (5) I had a feeling it would happen ... and it has. The Ducks found their offense (a healthy Vernon Adams) just in time for Cal's visit to the Zoo. Damn our luck.

benwemer: (6) Finished a scoring shoot out in Tempe, which was nice for the Ducks.

ragnarok: (5) Oregon escapes Arizona State, but it's clear the Ducks aren't the upper-echelon contenders that they normally are.

Solomon Kim: (7) Hey! The Ducks can score! Hey! Their defense is horrendous! Yet another narrow escape in the Pac.

8. California Golden Bears Arrow_down__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- Cal

Last week: 6

Berkelium97: (8) For the fourth time in Pac-12 play, Cal only scores three TDs. When the coaches were talking about how the Dykes-Franklin offense really takes off during year three, I don't think this is what they had in mind.

Leland Wong: (8) In a vacuum, I wouldn't want to penalize a team like the Bears for losing a tight game against a team with elite talent like USC, but I think Cal fans have to be feeling extra down for a three-game losing streak and a 37-year losing streak to USC.

Nick Kranz: (7) Still waiting for that long anticipated breakthrough win against a top half of the conference team . . . unless that win secretly already happened against Wazzu without us realizing it at the time?!?

Sam Fielder: (8) I now have no idea what to make of this team but I still love them.

boomtho: (8) Similar to WSU, Sonny barely missed a chance for a tenure-defining win.

Nik Jam: (9) Not confident at all for the rest of the year. Oregon State may even be a dicey one if the offense doesn't figure it out next week.

atomsareenough: (7) We were promised points! What happened to the Cal offense??

Ruey Yen: (7) Did beat two of the teams above them here and hopefully a third to really salvage this season.

Rob Hwang: (6) We're still at 5–3. Tied with USC in terms of record. But that elusive sixth win is looking mighty difficult at this point.

mpeters10: (7). Another missed opportunity for the Bears. The offense needs to do more as the defense is doing everything it can to prevent the season from sputtering out of control.

benwemer: (8) :(

Solomon Kim: (9) I spent a lot of time this week trying to think of a rationale for ranking the Bears higher... I couldn't. We can talk about all the good we saw against USC—namely, the performance of the offensive line and running game, but considering all that has happened in the conference, we sit at nine.

9. Arizona State Sun Devils Arrow_down__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- ASU

Last week: 8

Berkelium97: (9) If I were an ASU fan, I'd be getting antsy about making a bowl game this year.

Leland Wong: (7) Not too shabby for Arizona State, who gained a ridiculous 742 yards against Oregon. Their defense was good-ish to hold Oregon to only 3 successful third-down conversions in 14 attempts, but that because just a bit less significant when they allow 3 successful fourth-down conversions.

Nick Kranz: (9) Finally had a strong offensive outing and still lost thanks to a twin collapse on defense and special teams.

Sam Fielder: (9) So, they've got the whole "all offense, no defense" thing going too. Still not thrilled that we're ending up with them.

Nik Jam: (8) At least they took Oregon to the wire, but that was a heartbreaker.

atomsareenough: (10) Losing in triple overtime is tough.

Ruey Yen: (9) Crazy game and agonizing way to lose to Oregon last week.

Rob Hwang: (9) They could've won. But the didn't. My pick for the Pac-12 South is in shambles.

mpeters10: (9) They played the role of the New York Giants to Oregon's New Orleans Saints this week. Putting up 55 points and losing has to be as frustrating as it gets.

benwemer: (9) Put up a good fight and the offense went off, but still couldn't win. Frustrating as it gets.

ragnarok: (9) Losing in 3OT is always gut-wrenching, especially if you shouldn't have been in overtime in the first place, but the inability to shut the door late in games is how you end up on the bottom of this list.

Solomon Kim: (8) Mike Bercovici and the Sun Devil offense turned up the heat and had the Ducks sweating bricks.

10. Colorado Buffaloes Arrow_up__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- Colorado

Last week: 11

Berkelium97: (10) The Buffs nearly notched Mac's signature win.

Leland Wong: (10) The Buffaloes deserve to be ranked higher for taking a Top-25 team to the limit, but it's hard to push them any higher when they aren't getting the most important stat—the win.

Nick Kranz: (10) Colorado is going to be stuck on the 'losing close' phase of the rebuild cycle for another five years, aren't they?

Sam Fielder: (10) This team is frisky and is getting better.

boomtho: (10) Somehow, the Buffs give UCLA loads of trouble... just like last year, couldn't close out the win. They've got a really tough closing slate too, drawing Stanfurd, USC, WSU, and Utah.

Nik Jam: (10) Like Cal, they will be kicking themselves for coming just short of a signature win.

atomsareenough: (9) I'd say that hanging tough with UCLA counts as a moral victory for the Buffs, but they're starting to develop a reputation for coming up short.

Ruey Yen: (10) Looked good in loss to UCLA.

Rob Hwang: (11) Colorado might stay at #11 the rest of the season because they beat OSU.

mpeters10: (11) So close to a signature win that Mac desperately needs.

benwemer: (10) Outplayed UCLA and still found a way to lose.

ragnarok: (10) Couldn't quite make it two in a row at UCLA, but the Buffs remain feisty. I really really really hope they catch Stanfurd looking past them.

Solomon Kim: (10) It actually gives me a good degree of pleasure to rank the Buffs this high. Sure they lost again, but this team is hungry for another conference win. I don't put it past them to get one either.

11. Arizona Wildcats Arrow_down__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 SBN logos- Arizona

Last week: 9

Berkelium97: (12) What happened to this team? Arizona is in very real danger of ending the season on a five-game losing streak.

Leland Wong: (12) Um, at least they had the lead at one point? And everyone knows the best resolution to a quarterback battle is to have both play poorly.

Nick Kranz: (11) It was nice of the Wildcats to firmly settle the debate regarding which team has the worst defense in the conference.

Sam Fielder: (12) That was not so good from them this week. I mean, really turrible.

boomtho: (11) Major risk of closing the season with five straight losses... and the donors/administration may be getting antsy

Nik Jam: (11) Will this team get another win?

atomsareenough: (11) I know there are injuries and stuff, but Rich Rod is supposed to be a better coach than this.

Ruey Yen: (11) They are probably too talented to be this low in the ranking.

Rob Hwang: (10) What is going on in Tucson...

mpeters10: (10) Weirdos ... how the hell did they lose that badly to Washington?

benwemer: (12) Embarrassing... 49–3

ragnarok: (11) Really got gut-punched by Washington. Remember when Arizona was 3-0 and ranked in the Top 20?

Solomon Kim: (11) Not sure if this kind of a beating speaks more towards Washington's dominance or Arizona's inconsistency.

12. Oregon State Beavers Arrow_neutral__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- OSU

Last week: 12

Berkelium97: (11) At least the passing offense wasn't a complete disaster this week.

Leland Wong: (11) Not exactly a terrible day for a struggling team that was playing their third-string quarterback, but we all know that the Beavers are in full rebuild mode this year.

Nick Kranz: (12) Playing out the string.

Sam Fielder: (11) It wasn't exactly close, but it wasn't exactly a blowout either...

boomtho: (12) Really tough first year for Gary Andersen.

Nik Jam: (12) Still can't see them getting a conference win.

atomsareenough: (12) Ho hum, I think the Beavers are still bad. Hopefully they stay that way until after Cal plays them.

Ruey Yen: (12) Clearly the cellar-dweller of the Pac in 2015; no guarantee that the Bears will beat them for post-season eligibility though.

Rob Hwang: (12) OSU might stay at #12 the rest of the season because they lost to Colorado.

mpeters10: (12) They actually did not lose by as many points as I expected them to. That's moving in the right direction, isn't it? The Beavs are really bad.

benwemer: (11) Only lost by two touchdowns to Utah, so not that bad of a week.

ragnarok: (12) Still winless in conference play. They might get a win this year, but I really really really hope it's not against Cal.

Solomon Kim: (12) Rebuild year it is.

The data

Words no worky for me. But are good news to has other writey people! There opinions, below!

Rk atoms benwemer Bk97 boomtho KWBears Leland mpeters10 Nick Nik Jam ragnarok Rob Ruey Sam Solomon
1 Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd
2 Utah USC WSU Utah Utah WSU USC Utah Utah Utah Utah Utah Utah Utah
5 Wash Wash Oregon WSU WSU USC Oregon UCLA Oregon Oregon USC USC USC UCLA
6 WSU Oregon UCLA Wash ASU Oregon WSU Oregon WSU Wash Cal Wash Oregon USC
7 Cal WSU Wash Oregon Wash ASU Cal Cal Wash WSU Oregon Cal WSU Oregon
8 Oregon Cal Cal Cal Oregon Cal Wash Wash ASU Cal Wash Oregon Cal ASU
10 ASU Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado Arizona Colorado Colorado Colorado Arizona Colorado Colorado Colorado
11 Arizona OSU OSU Arizona Arizona OSU Colorado Arizona Arizona Arizona Colorado Arizona OSU Arizona
12 OSU Arizona Arizona OSU OSU Arizona OSU OSU OSU OSU OSU OSU Arizona OSU

Table 1. Just call these words "Neo" because they're in the matrix.

Our opinions get averaged out to determine the main rankings listed above. Sometimes the Official CGB Hivemind isn't so hive-y, so our opinions vary. This is illustrated in Figure 1 with the error bars, which each represent one standard deviation.

Week 09-1

Figure 1. The lack of an error bar for Stanfurd while they're at the top of the conference is a sad, sad thing.

These high-precision rankings reveal a lot more information, such as how close the LA schools are to one another for third place.

Week 09-2
Figure 2. Those precise rankings over time.

With this view, we actually see there are two pairs of hated rivals in near ties: UC L.A./USC and Wash/Oregon. Is there a deeper meaning or is this all coincidental? Well, it definitely holds higher significance and is probably linked to the location of Saturn and the rise of Scorpios.

I also charted out the teams' rankings with the more standard, rounded rankings.

Week 09-3

Figure 3. Teams go uppity and downsers every weak.

Looking at it this way, we see a lot of teams holding steady. All of this steadiness resulted in the least Mad week of the season. Everyone's going steady with someone but me!

Change on week
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Post Team's Madness
Arizona -1 0 1 -2 -2 2 1 -3 -2 14
ASU -4 -1 -1 0 3 1 -2 -1 -1 14
Cal 3 1 1 0 1 -1 0 -3 -2 12
Colorado 1 0 1 0 -1 0 0 0 1 4
Oregon -2 -2 3 -6 1 -2 4 -2 0 22
OSU 3 -4 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 9
Stanfurd -4 1 3 2 1 1 0 1 0 13
UC L.A. 3 0 0 -1 -3 1 -4 4 0 16
USC -2 2 -5 2 1 -6 0 8 -1 27
Utah 5 -1 -1 3 0 0 0 -1 0 11
Washington 0 2 -1 2 -2 2 -3 -1 4 17
WSU -2 2 -2 1 1 2 4 -1 0 15
Total Madness 30 16 20 20 16 18 18 25 11 0 0 0 0 0 0

Table 2. If this week were the Hulk, he'd be a pretty big pansy. Literally. And figuratively.