Two weeks into the season an we still know too little about too many of these teams. Nevertheless, your team of faithful-ish CGB bloggers are reading far too heavily into small sample sizes and using them to evaluate our conference.
As per usual, the parenthetical number next to each team name is the number of first-place votes they received. As per FromCtoShining(Blue)C, the parenthetical number next to each name/vote is where that blogger ranked that team. This addition is actually especially beneficial this week as there was a lot of variation in our votes this week.
And as a card-carrying nerd, I feel it's my responsibility to warn you that some of mpeters10's votes will have spoilers for Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Now, go forth and read on—nerds and non-nerds alike! But you're probably all nerds because you're on a blog about Cal sports. That was founded by band geeks.
Sam Fielder: My ranking methodology (winning teams first then losing teams) takes a huge hit this week with the Oregon loss and all the FCS wins by the cellar dwellers. But trust the system my friends, it'll even out for us.
KWBears: Week 2 didn't show us much about our conference that we didn't already know. Let's not get caught up in the buzz of beating cupcake teams. We won when we were supposed to and that's about all we can take away from last week's slate of games. Can conference play get here already?!
ragnarok: Only one surprise this week (Wazzu winning on the road), and only one (mild) disappointment (Oregon losing at Michigan State). Otherwise we didn't learn a ton in Week 2.
1. UCLA Bruins (8)
Last week: 1
Nick Kranz: (1) No real reason to change your opinion on them this week, whatever that opinion happens to be.
Berkelium97: (1) It's essentially a three-way tie at the top of my ballot. Utah has beaten better teams than UCLA, who has beaten better teams than USC. However USC has posted huge blowouts, UCLA posted substantial victories, and Utah has close victories. UCLA is the only one with a road win (against an awful UNLV team), so they get the nod this week.
Ruey Yen: (2) Still not convinced that they are for real (as in College Playoff–worthy) but they have looked good. The UNLV win comes on the road too (main reason the Bruins are ahead of the Trojans in my ranking...other than how I spent a lot of time in Westwood in high school).
Leland Wong: (1) QB Josh Rosen was unable to replicate his Week One performance (which was expected), but we always said that he just needs to be mediocre and the Bruins are talented enough to win.
Benwemer: (2) Back-to-back wins for the Bruins. Rosen didn't look as good this week but played fine. Not far behind from sc.
Sam Fielder: (1) Thoroughly dominated an overmatched opponent, which is exactly what they should have done. We'll find out next week if they're legit or not when they play a frisky BYU team.
KWBears: (2) The Bruins are quickly climbing up all Pac-12 power rankings as their QB position has totally solidified (it was their only question mark heading into the season).
ragnarok: (1) It's close between the Bruins, Utes, and Trojans, but I give the nod to the Bruins at #1 because they have the best pair of wins so far, considering both the opponent strength and the margin of victory, including one on the road. BTW, what suicidal schedule-maker at Virginia thought that opening the season @UCLA then vs. Notre Dame was a good idea?
Nik Jam: (2) Two impressive wins so far. They are a sleeper in the South.
boomtho: (3) Road wins are road wins, even if they're against UNLV. Josh Rosen looked much shakier, though, after a stellar debut.
mpeters10: (1) Josh Rosen was not quite as impressive this week, but Paul Perkins put forth a great game. Despite moving the Bruins up to number one, I have more than a few concerns. Rosen did not quite dominate UNLV like he probably should have and the Bruins run defense gave up a few too many yards against the Runnin' Rebels. Also, 9 penalties for 80 yards is a bit too much.
atomsareenough: (2) Defense looks legit, Rosen looks decent enough.
Rob Hwang: (1) They are probably the most balanced team in the conference right now. Josh Rosen was outstanding last week. This week it was RB Paul Perkins. They could change their gameplay week to week. They also have a stout defense.
Solomon Kim: (1) Even though Rosen had relatively mediocre numbers, Paul Perkins and the UCLA defense showed that they can cover the freshman's ass when he needs it.
2. USC Trojans (4)
Last week: 4
Nick Kranz: (2) Not really any insight at this point, other than to note that USC is doing exactly what they should be doing against overmatched teams.
Ruey Yen: (3) Similar to UCLA, I don't think the Trojans have been tested yet. Not reading that much into their blowout wins.
Leland Wong: (3) We continue to learn very little out of Trojan wins, but that's not to say they aren't looking good.
Benwemer: (1) Another stomping of a not-so-great opponent. Both wins have been impressive, but a sort of test comes next week in Stanfurd. Is that really a test though?
Sam Fielder: (2) $C blowouts abound. Again, next week's matchup with furd should be a decent measuring stick for how good they actually are.
KWBears: (3) Walloping two JV teams makes any team look good. Nevertheless, the Trojans appear to have a lot of viable weapons right now.
ragnarok: (3) Another week, another comfortable victory over an overmatched foe. So far, it's obvious that the Trojans are pretty good, but just how good we won't know for a week (vs. Stanfurd) or two (@ ASU).
Nik Jam: (1) Haven't really been tested yet, but the SoCal teams are the scariest in the league right now. I give USC the slight edge simply based on body of work the last few years.
boomtho: (1) Had 'em here last week and didn't see a reason to change it up at the top. They obviously have not been tested, but they've done pretty much everything you could ask for against a relatively weak slate of opening openings.
mpeters10: (3) USC continued its tour of pummeling puny opponents. They're the big, bad bully who has yet to run into someone capable of punching them in the mouth. We'll see how they do against the Cardinal this week.
atomsareenough: (1) Still haven't proven much, but so far so good.
Rob Hwang: (2) Two games. Two wins. Both subpar teams. They're good, but their real ranking will show after this week's first Pac-12 Game.
Solomon Kim: (2) Can't deny they're good. Can't deny their opponents have been bad.
3. Utah Utes
Last week: 2
Nick Kranz: (4) Did what they were supposed to do against Utah St., in typical Ute style. But Travis Wilson is hurt again and Utah continues to call kamikaze QB runs despite the fact that he is so important for them.
Ruey Yen: (4) Another close win for the Utes. Very small separations between Utah, UCLA, and USC right now.
Leland Wong: (6) Losing QB Travis Wilson is an unenviable case of bad luck, but I think it's tempered by the quality of their RB, Devontae Booker, and because Wilson was already in a close competition with Kendal Thompson last year.
Benwemer: (5) Losing Wilson is going to hurt. That drops them a little. No real report on how long he is out as of Sunday evening.
Sam Fielder: (3) Solid workman-like game from them, which is pretty much exactly what I expect from them at this point.
KWBears: (5) Losing two key guys is going to hurt the Utes, but their body of work so far is quite impressive.
ragnarok: (2) The win vs. Michigan is probably the best win in the Pac-12 so far this year (and looks better now that the Wolverines reasserted themselves vs. Oregon State). Now we get to see the Utes leave home @ Fresno State and then @ Oregon.
Nik Jam: (3) No reason to doubt Utah yet.
boomtho: (2) Closer than expected win against a decent Utah State team (#55 in FEI last year). Injuries are quickly becoming a concern for the Utes though (and best wishes to the players that were shot... just awful).
mpeters10: (4) Utah did more Utah things this past week. They did not look great, but they weren't bad against Utah State. I wasn't a big fan of Travis Wilson, but he was the starter for a reason. Losing him is going to hurt them some.
atomsareenough: (4) The Utes are winning, but do they have the depth?
Rob Hwang: (6) They won, but they also lost. Lost their starting QB Travis Wilson that is. Big blow to that Utah team, but their defense is still amazing and we'll get to see if Devontae Booker can carry this team like a Heisman Contender should.
Solomon Kim: (6) Travis Wilson going down is huge, but not season-ending. Booker has the opportunity to put the team on his back and my bet is that he is more than up for the challenge. As the old saying goes: defense wins championships.
4. California Golden Bears (1)
Last week: 5
Nick Kranz: (5) Every indication is that Cal's defense has at least reached the 'average' plateau we've been craving to support Goff & company.
Berkelium97: (4) The defense shut down an NFL running back and made a bad offense look bad. This is a tremendous step forward from the last two years.
Ruey Yen: (1) Bears did show some potential issues against a solid SDSU team such that I would have had Oregon jump over the Bears had the Ducks beat Michigan State.
Leland Wong: (5) The defense being able to provide the win for once is a big emotional boost for the Bears.
Benwemer: (4) I am very comfortable with having the Bears at 4. Defense seems to be playing on another planet. For Cal, that's not saying much. The real test comes this week at Texas.
Sam Fielder: (5) I like the fact that we won by 28 and are unhappy with how our offense played. And that our D looked so good.
KWBears: (4) Cal beat an SDSU team that many thought would be a lot more challenging. The Cal defense has been pretty impressive so far, and that's great news for a team with an already explosive offense.
ragnarok: (5) It seemed like the Cal offense got off to a slower start than they did (only 7 points until the last possession of the first half), but part of that was San Diego State's ball control that limited the Bears to just 6 possessions in the first half, which after two punts to open the game ended the half with scoring chances on 3 of the last 4 possessions (2 TDs and a missed but make-able FG attempt). Good to see the D really step up, but San Diego State doesn't have the athletes that the Bears will see down in Austin.
Nik Jam: (6) Another 2–0 start for Cal, but we'll find out in Austin whether this team's for real or not.
boomtho: (5) After a slow start, Cal roared back with 35 unanswered points to comfortably put away an SDSU team with a pretty good defense. Texas looms large next week...
mpeters10: (6) The Bears overcame a sluggish start to still batter a decent opponent. We're going to learn a lot about our Bears when they travel to Austin this week.
atomsareenough: (3) The Bears haven't looked this good for a long long time.
Rob Hwang: (3) Da Bears are back in town. Actually they're out of town this week, but we look good. After a slow start to the game, every single coach probably had some sort-of pump up talk during halftime because the boys came out and played with more vigor and hunger.
Solomon Kim: (3) There are definitely issues that need to be ironed out, but as of now the Bears are King of the North and face their toughest battle yet.
5. Oregon Ducks (1)
Last week: 3
Nick Kranz: (3) I've got the Ducks at #3 because I don't think any team in this conference other than the L.A. schools could have gone into Lansing and given MSU more than the Ducks did. And I'm not going to punish them for scheduling and losing that game when most of the rest of the conference is struggling with much, much weaker opposition. BUT: Oregon has weaknesses on both sides of the ball, and are vulnerable as a result against the right team.
Berkelium97: (6) Oregon should have won this. Adams badly missed the game-winning TD pass on the final drive to a wiiiiiide-open Byron Marshall. Would any other Pac-12 team had been so close to victory in East Lansing? No. But a loss is a loss.
Ruey Yen: (5) Would have loved for the Ducks to beat MSU. Still think they are probably the best bet for the Pac to win the College Football Playoff (other than a magical Cal run, of course).
Leland Wong: (2) A close loss against a very good team is not reason to ding them too severely. Especially since QB Vernon Adams is just going to get better and better with more experience.
Benwemer: (3) Tough loss against Michigan State, which isn't a bad loss. Not many teams could go up to East Lansing and compete like that. I still can't get over Vernon Adams left-handed throw—I thought that was spectacular. As for his QB play as a whole, I haven't fully bought in yet.
Sam Fielder: (11) No, I don't think they're the 2nd-worst team in the Pac-12. But they did lose a game this year that they absolutely would have won last year, so Ducks fans have to be feeling a little down about their team this year. We'll see how Adams and co. recover the rest of the way.
KWBears: (1) The Ducks fought hard and were very impressive in a close loss to Michigan State. I don't have faith that the Bruins would've fared as well as the Ducks, so that's why I've got Oregon going #1 this week.
ragnarok: (6) I really don't think the Ducks are only the 6th-best team in the conference, but they don't (yet) have a win over an FBS opponent. This ranking will get fixed soon, though I don't expect that Georgia State will provide much of a challenge.
Nik Jam: (5) The loss to Michigan State does not make them any less of a threat to Cal's Pac-12 North hopes. They're still the favorites.
boomtho: (4) I'm not going to penalize the Ducks too much for a close loss, on the road, to a very good MSU team. Oregon plays games many teams wouldn't (cough cough, SEC) and that makes college football better. Vernon Adams is going to have take better care of the ball.
mpeters10: (2) The Ducks' offense reminds me a bit of Jaime Lannister after his right hand was cut off; just replace right hand with Marcus Mariota. They're entirely capable, in my opinion, of reaching close to the heights of last season's team, they just need to relearn how to do things without Marcus. It looks a little awkward now, but I think they'll adjust. Their run defense is concerning, though, as the Spartans gashed them on the ground. Also, they need to get their running backs going a bit more until Adams can adjust to the step-up in competition he's facing week to week.
atomsareenough: (6) Tough road loss to a good team. Still, the Ducks are looking slightly less juggernaut-ish on both sides of the ball than in previous years.
Rob Hwang: (5) This team just does not look the same without Mariota. Adams did his best impersonation last week, but against a really good opponent in Michigan State, the flaws were definitely noticeable.
Solomon Kim: (4) It was close loss to the national contender Spartans, but a low-scoring one. The offense is the core of everything the Ducks are and if they're struggling to put points on the board, they're losing.
Last week: 6
Nick Kranz: (6) Much better this week from Arizona's offense, which very well may need to carry them most of the season.
Ruey Yen: (6) Impressive road win by the Wildcats over Nevada.
Leland Wong: (4) The offense performed well and the defense was mediocre enough without Scooby Wright III against a Nevada team that will forever give me the heebie jeebies.
Benwemer: (6) I haven't watched them play yet so I can only speculate by the box score. Offensively seem fine and did a fine enough job without Scooby.
Sam Fielder: (4) I'm probably overrating their win against Nevada but can anyone blame us for having PTSD against that stupid pistol offense?
KWBears: (6) The Wildcats have yet to face a real challenge. Until we see some real competition, they're looking like about where you'd expect any team who generally plays down to their competition.
ragnarok: (4) A nice road win at Nevada. The Wildcats get an (almost) BYE this week vs. Northern Arizona before facing UCLA in two weeks.
Nik Jam: (4) Solid win against a Nevada team that I expected to give the Wildcats a tough time. The South is looking VERY scary.
boomtho: (6) 2–0, though not nearly as comfortably as they would have liked. They're going to have to find defensive answers without Scooby, and fast.
mpeters10: (5) The Wildcats put in a better performance away from home against a better opponent than they did last week against UTSA in Tucson. Impressive stuff from the Wildcats and more of what I expected from them at the start of the season.
atomsareenough: (5) Solid enough against Nevada.
Rob Hwang: (4) They lost Scooby, but their depth on both sides of the ball has benefitted them. Nick Wilson is a threat every time he has the ball.
Solomon Kim: (6) Solid win for the Wildcats on the road. They have their kinks to work out but for now they're proving consistent.
Last week: 9
Leland Wong: (9) A convincing win over an FCS school is good, but their body of work isn't the strongest.
Benwemer: (7) The Dawgs killed Sac State. Offense put up 49 and defense gave up nothing. It's nice but against an FCS team.
Sam Fielder: (7) Is there anything to learn from whipping an over matched team? Probably not.
KWBears: (9) Inviting Sac State to town is like paying someone to help you barely break a sweat.
ragnarok: (7) Throttling Sacramento State doesn't teach us much about UW, though Sac State did have a win over a Pac-12 team as recently as 2012 (@ Colorado, though perhaps that's more of an indictment of the Buffaloes' program). The Huskies are hurt a little by Boise State losing at BYU, but not enough to drop further.
Nik Jam (9) Time to stop doubting the Huskies? Not yet, but signs are there that Week 4 in Seattle will not be easy.
boomtho: (9) Washington has an offense! Maybe, question mark? Good confidence building win/home shutout for the Huskies.
mpeters10: (7) UW did what they were supposed to do against Sacramento State. They face a stiffer test next week against Utah State in Seattle. We'll see if they can match or better Utah's performance against them.
atomsareenough: (8) As with Stanfurd, offensive improvements are highly encouraging.
Rob Hwang: (9) They simply destroyed Sacramento State. After last week's loss in Boise, it was given they would bounce back against an FCS team right? And they did and kudos. But nothing impressive to boast.
Solomon Kim: (7) Domination this week. Maybe we all short-changed the Huskies a bit coming into the season.
Last week: 7
Nick Kranz: (8) Cal Poly is probably a very good FCS team, but that game was extremely disturbing from a pre-season South contender. Even worse, injuries are piling up in Tempe.
Berkelium97: (8) This team had no business being tied with Cal Poly with 8 minutes left. ASU fans should officially be worried about this season.
Ruey Yen: (8) A letdown game after the big missed opportunity against Texas A&M on a national stage? How did the Sun Devils let Cal Poly hung around for so long?
Leland Wong: (11) I might get some flak here because I still think the Sun Devils can be good, but these are the kind of back-to-back performances that can cause a team to slip if they aren't able to withstand the mental adversity.
Benwemer: (12) No they're obviously not this bad, but they need a wake-up call. They were tied with Cal Poly going into the 4th quarter! This is a team expected to compete for a Pac 12 Championship—they need to step it up.
Sam Fielder: (9) Just about Arkansas'd it and very nearly Auburn'd it, but in the end just Devil'd it. I can't figure this team out. Are they actually not good or just unfocused or what?
KWBears: (7) The Week 1 loss to Texas A&M was brutal. Not blowing against the lowly FCS Cal Poly Mustangs may be even more brutal for the Sun Devils.
ragnarok: (8) Not putting away Cal Poly until late? I wanted to drop the Sun Devils further, but look who is below them! Cal Poly also had a win over an FBS school as recently as 2012 (@ Wyoming).
Nik Jam: (7) Not a good look against Cal Poly, but a win's a win.
boomtho: (8) Hooray, they beat Cal Poly. This team has to turn it around, and fast, to even come close to justifying the preseason hype. Would love to understand how they're higher in the 'others receiving votes' category than Cal at the moment.
mpeters10: (9) A shockingly bad performance against Cal Poly. The Sun Devils better buck up their ideas or they're going to suffer some really bad losses in the South division this season.
atomsareenough: (9) Tough fought game vs. Cal Poly doesn't bode well for the Sun Devils.
Rob Hwang: (8) My pick for Pac-12 South Champs isn't doing to well. Granted they won, but they were tied 21–21 going into the 4th quarter against Cal Poly. They have to get better right? Please get better for my prediction's sake.
Solomon Kim: (9) Unlike Rob, I predicted ASU would have a tough time in the South this season. They pulled through in the 4th to secure the win this week, but they've got a lot of work to do if they want a shot at the division title.
Last week: 10
Nick Kranz: (9) A solid 25 minutes of dicking around before Stanfurd finally realized they were playing at home against a bad AAC team. The defense still hasn't been tested, but that's changing next week.
Berkelium97: (12) I adhere firmly to my ranking system, even when it punishes solid teams (sorry Oregon!). However, punting at the UCF 33 is automatic grounds for finishing last in the poll.
Ruey Yen: (12) I credit UCF for making mistakes than the Stanfurd D for forcing them. Besides, this ranking forms a nice symmetry to how I have Cal on top.
Benwemer: (9) Have to go to So Cal to play the Trojans. Good luck.
Sam Fielder: (6) Too bad UCF didn't have Dante Culpepper back for this game.
KWBears: (8) Getting a nice blowout against UCF must feel good for the Cardinal after they faceplanted in Evanston during Week 1.
ragnarok: (10) Hey look, the Cardinal scored a touchdown! Several, in fact. Let's see if they can do that vs. USC.
Nik Jam: (8) I expected them to throttle Central Florida, but I'm not ready to say they're back in the national conversation yet.
boomtho: (7) Comprehensive win over what was a pretty decent UCF team last year, though it was at home. I think they're going to get destroyed at USC though.
mpeters10: (8) David Shaw found some of that courage he lost against Northwestern. Still, the Cardinal have problems. Christian McCaffrey was supposed to be a breakout, beast player this season. So far, he's struggled. 20 carries for 58 yards against UCF is not very good. This season McCaffrey has been Stannis Baratheon: a lot of fan backing with a ton of hype about how awesome he is, but little to no end product as of yet.
atomsareenough: (7) Are the Cardinal starting to show a pulse?
Rob Hwang: (11) Oh they won? And scored more than 6? Good for them.
Solomon Kim: (10) They'll need to do a lot more to make up for Week 1.
Last week: 12
Nick Kranz: (12) Beating Rutgers most certainly does not absolve the sins of Week 1, but it's something. Good to see the Air Raid look a little more in line with expectations.
Berkelium97: (11) I am genuinely surprised that they won at Rutgers.
Ruey Yen: (9) The bottom of my Pac are all really close (or they are being punished for being Furd). I give the Cougs the edge for winning on their final drive and because I was the only person to pick them in the CGB Pick 'Em post.
Benwemer: (10) Beat Rutgers in a thrilling game on a last second touchdown. Falk had 4 touchdowns and no picks. That's a good sign for Cougars fans
Sam Fielder: (8) That they managed not to Coug this win away is amazing to me.
KWBears: (10) Pulling off that win at Rutgers is pretty impressive, especially for a Cougars team that forgot they had a game to play in Week 1.
ragnarok: (9) Lose at home to an FCS school in Week 1, then go on the road and beat a Big 10 team the next week? Sure, it was Rutgers, whom I forgot moved the Big 10, but still—which Cougs are the real ones? They may not be good this year, but I predict they'll be a tough out.
Nik Jam: (10) Solid win by the Cougars. Should still be interesting to watch them develop this year.
boomtho: (10) Wazzu being this bad is really bumming me out... I like Coach Leach, but a close win over Rutgers inspires ZERO confidence . They'll look to get on track vs Wyoming next week
mpeters10: (11) Try to figure out the Washington State Cougars. I dare you. What a strange football team. Pleasantly surprising victory in Piscataway against Rutgers. Based on how their season has gone so far, look for the Cougs to Coug it up in a defeat against Wyoming this week.
atomsareenough: (10) Beating Rutgers is something, at least.
Rob Hwang: (7) One week after looking like he wouldn't play this week, Luke Falk has himself a GAME. He threw 66 TIMES for 4 TDs. Still doesn't mask the defensive deficiencies for the cougars.
Solomon Kim: (8) Whether or not this game was a fluke, the Cougs have shown their potential. Here's to hoping Falk has some more self-confidence from now on.
Last week: 11
Nick Kranz: (11) Sure, a weak opponent. But this is Colorado's first double-digit margin win in two years, and their biggest win over an FBS team since 2007!
Berkelium97: (9) At least they won't go winless this year.
Ruey Yen: (11) Congrats to the Buffs on a double-digit win! They did better against UMass than I would have anticipated.
Leland Wong: (8) It wasn't a stellar performance for the Buffaloes, but they needed this bounce-back win after the Hawaii loss.
Benwemer: (8) Yay! The Buffs cracked the top 10! Don't expect them to be here often.
Sam Fielder: (10) They won this game, but I still have major issues with their talent level.
KWBears: (12) The Buffs were supposed to beat UMass, so not let's get too excited about this week's win. This is still a bad team, unless they can show us otherwise against significant competition.
ragnarok: (11) UMass is an FBS school now? Apparently they've been in the MAC for like 4 years and I never noticed. Good for Colorado, though I suspect the Buffs still aren't good.
Nik Jam: (11) At least they won't be winless, but it'll still be a long year for Colorado.
boomtho: (11) Good for the Buffs and Coach Mac to get a big home win over an FBS team. Big game for the Buffs next week at Colorado State.
mpeters10: (10) The Buffs picked up a much-needed win against UMass by a big margin. They face a tough game on the road against Colorado State. The Rams played Minnesota tough before losing in overtime last week. This would be a nice win for the Buffs if they can get it.
atomsareenough: (11) A win! Yeah, UMass sucks, but oh well.
Rob Hwang: (12) A win is a win, but this team has a ways to go before they rise in the rankings.
Solomon Kim: (12) I was definitely expecting the Buffs to win more this season than last, but "more" is relative.
Last week: 8
Nick Kranz: (10) After struggling at times against Weber State, losing to Michigan is hardly a surprise. The Wolverines have a good defense, but failing to crack 150 total yards is pretty damning for the Beavers. OSU is going to struggle to score against most decent defenses they face.
Berkelium97: (10) Last week's struggle against Weber State was no fluke. This is a bad football team.
Ruey Yen: (10) I had thought they would put up more of a fight against Michigan, but nope.
Benwemer: (11) They got worked by Michigan nothing else to it. The entire Beavers team did not look good.
Sam Fielder: (12) Early game gets you every time. They slept-walked through that loss to Michigan and looked bad doing it.
KWBears: (11) Getting pummeled by Michigan doesn't really come with any moral victories. This may be a sign of similar outcomes to come in Pac-12 play for the Beavers.
ragnarok: (12) Well, that was quite the throttling, though losing at Michigan shouldn't be that shameful. Still, with almost everyone else (except Oregon) winning last week, someone's gotta be in last place, and it ain't gonna be the Ducks.
Nik Jam: (12) Michigan could wind up being for real, but it wasn't a good look getting destroyed by the Wolverines.
boomtho: (12) Faceplanted after a decent start versus Michigan and I'm partially penalizing because I don't think the Wolverines are actually that good. Good for OSU for taking a game at Michigan though.
mpeters10: (12) Their visit to Ann Arbor went about as well as expected. It was a lot like when Vince McMahon tried to fire Randy Orton a few years ago on Raw. The Beavers scored first and thought they were in control. They went to fire Michigan and got knocked out cold with one shot before getting kicked in the head several times. It was ugly.
atomsareenough: (12) Yup, the Beavers are weak this year.
Rob Hwang: (10) Ouch. Not a good week for them. Went into the Big House and got crushed. Still think they have decent talent to pull off some upsets this season
Solomon Kim: (11) Tough match up for the Beavs, but they performed better than many expected. With their weaknesses completely exposed, they should be able to improve at a much faster rate.
Table 1. This week's votes
These votes get entered into the CGB supercomputer to spit out the averaged rankings that were listed above. But we can take a look with more precision at how we averaged out these teams in Figure 1. The error bars represent 1 standard deviation, which is a measure of how much we agreed or disagreed for each team.
Figure 1. The precise Power Rankings for Week 2.
We can graph these precise rankings over time because trends are groovy. And because Twist sets a strict minimum page limit for each CGB post and I can't play with margins in digital media. Having page limits also doesn't make sense in digital media, but I'm too committed to this joke to turn back now.
Figure 2. How the teams have been performing in the still-young season.
We see that last week's threesome around second place has become a ménage à trois near third place. Because we at CGB like it kinky. But by virtue of USC's win, they move out of last week's threeway and grab a firm hold of second. Utah and Oregon decided they weren't satiated and invited Cal to the party. Who's gonna ménage it up next week?
Perhaps even more significant than that, we can also see a big chasm between the top half of the conference and the bottom half. Not to say that the top half of our Rankings (which includes Cal) is flawless, but the teams in the bottom half definitely have their flaws. For most of these teams, we say those flaws before the season started. For ASU, it has more to do with coming embarrassingly short of expectations. And as someone who knows a lot about embarrassing levels of failure, ASU really is reaching unprecedented levels of disappointment.
Next up, we've got a similar graph as Figure 2, but with rounded rankings rather than those precise ones and I'm too sleepy to come up with a segue.
Figure 3. It's like Figure 2, but with fewer sig figs.
One interesting nuance that we missed out on (Well, I missed out on. Maybe you caught it. Good for you. We're all so impressed.) in Figure 2 is that USC has returned to our preseason rating of #2 after a brief vacation to #3; however, their temporary drop probably had less to do with their Week One win and more to do with Utah's big Week One win giving them a temporary boost. We see WSU experienced the same bounce-back, but their Week 1 was completely their fault. All. Their. Fault.
|Change on week|
Table 2. Those anger management classes have paid off this week.
Things are a little more settled this week, with a Madness Score that is nearly half of the previous week's. For 11 teams, they moved no more than 2 spots. The only big mover was Oregon State due to their big faceplant against Michigan. Frankly, I don't think any of us thought that highly of their last week; it's just other teams did that much worse. I'm looking at you, Cougars.