clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pac-12 Football Power Rankings, Week 3: Who's got two fingers and just coached his team to a Power Rankings plummet?

New, 54 comments

We've got a pretty clear #1 and a mess of three fighting in the basement.

THIS GUYYYYYY.
THIS GUYYYYYY.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ever wonder how the Pac-12 teams are doing as some combination of overall performance this year, perceived ability, and most recent performance, but without having to do any thinking of your own? Well, how convenient because that's just what we're here for!

The parenthetical numbers next to the team names in our rankings is the number of first-place votes that team received. The parenthetical numbers next to the names of each voter is how that writer ranked that team.

Let's get straight to our rankings, the first of the season that actually involves data from a Pac-12 vs. Pac-12 game!

Leland Wong: Going through my rankings this week, I feel like none of the teams deserved to be ranked very high; every team is showing some big flaws already. Instead of ranking 112, I wanted to start at #4 or something. And the bottom teams weren't too shabby this week, so maybe all the schools should just be squeezed between 410 or something.

Nick Kranz: Damn you, USC, for losing to Stanfurd. Not only has it revived Stanfurd's season, it's made creating this week's power poll significantly more challenging. Stanfurd is evil, while USC is merely good for absolutely nothing.

Nik Jam: Roadtrip to Austin was a lot of fun, but it meant I watched absolutely nothing of any other game, so I'm just going by what I heard.

KWBears: This was a fun week for the Pac-12 teams. We got some nice national exposure (looking at you, Cal!) and pulled-off some great wins (that's right, you again, Cal + Furd).

The rankings

1. UCLA Bruins (11) Arrow_neutral__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- UCLA

Last week: 1

boomtho: (1) Closer than many expected, but UCLA notched a very good win against a very good BYU team. Wonder how this game would have turned out if Taysom Hill were still playing.

Berkelium97: (1) After a stellar first performance, Rosen has looked worse than a true freshman during his past two games. He's completed fewer than half his passes, averaged an abysmal 4.85 yards per passing attempt, and thrown 6 interceptions. They're on upset alert next week against Arizona.

Leland Wong: (2) Reality's coming crashing down on Bruins, who are trying to figure out just how good freshman quarterback Josh Rosen is. He isn't going to play every week as brilliantly as he did in week one. He isn't going to have many poor games like this where he throws three first-half interceptions.

Nick Kranz: (1) The Bruins win this game easily if Josh Rosen has even a passingly decent performance, or simply doesn't throw interceptions. That UCLA managed to win in spite of such a painful throwing day is a reminder that the rest of that team is STACKED. BYU is good enough that UCLA holds on to the top spot in my poll.

Ruey Yen: (2) UCLA finally got tested and freshman Rosen played like a freshman at times. Nevertheless, that was a nice win for them (and a good one for the Pac as a whole).

ragnarok: (1) That the Bruins are deep enough to beat BYU when Rosen plays like the true freshman he is says something to me. Overall, Bruins have the best non-conference resume in the Pac-12.

atomsareenough: (1) Won a thriller against a scrappy BYU team. Rosen took some freshman lumps, but the Bruins are still undefeated heading into conference play.

Sam Fielder: (1) Big win for them that showed that they are more than just a QB-driven team.

KWBears: (2) Keeping that game so close with BYU was good for character building, but not so much for power rankings. True rookie QB Josh Rosen now needs to learn how to bounce back from a bad game, which he's probably never had to before.

PerryScope: (1) Big home win versus a tough Cougars team that had beaten two above-average teams in Nebraska and Boise State. UCLA was down by 10 late in the game, but when it mattered most Rosen, Perkins, and the rest of the offense got it done. They have a tough road test next week at Arizona.

mpeters10: (1) Josh Rosen played a terrible game against BYU, but the Bruins have such a good team they were able to win anyways. Defense and running the ball--that's how the Bruins will win games the rest of the season. Rosen is talented, for sure, but at this point he seems likely to cost them a game or two during conference play.

benwemer: (2) This is a good football team. Right now they are the leaders in the South. Josh Rosen had an awful game and has to bounce back, but the defense and running game was enough.

Rob Hwang: (1) The team is so deep offensively and defensively that if Rosen has a terrible game, the rest of the team can carry. Still the team to beat in the Pac-12. Hopefully it's us.

Nik Jam: (1) A close win is still a win. They're the team with the best shot at the Pac-12 South and possibly the whole thing right now.

Solomon Kim: (1) While I want to knock them for Rosen's abysmal first half, the Bruins pulled through in a big way.

2. Oregon Ducks (3) Arrow_up__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- Oregon

Last week: 5

boomtho: (5) Ho-hum, 61 points at home, 33-point victory.

Berkelium97: (4) About that defense...

Leland Wong: (1) On one hand, Oregon's offense didn't look too bad with their backup QB, Jeff Lockie, in the game. But allowing over 450 yards to a low-tier FBS team—even if almost two-thirds of them were in the second half when the Ducks were probably playing backups—must be a little disconcerting for fans. Oregon gets my first-place vote primarily because there's no other Pac-12 team who deserves it.

Nick Kranz: (2) #2 feels too high for the Ducks right now, but they are probably the 2nd most talented team in the conference and it's not like anybody is really making a strong case for themselves.

Ruey Yen: (3) I may have dropped the Ducks a bit too much after their loss to Michigan State. Their results this week were not surprising at all (with the exception that Georgia State got 28 points).

ragnarok: (5) The Ducks don't have the most impressive resume (a close road loss and two wins in body-bag games), but they've looked good in every game, which is something none of the teams below can say.

atomsareenough: (5) We're not going to learn much from a game against Georgia State, but Lockie played well enough in relief of Adams it seems. The Ducks seem to have given up a lot of yards and points to a pretty bad team, though.

Sam Fielder: (4) The loss of Adams for this game didn't hurt them, but if the injury lingers, might become an issue.

KWBears: (1) Oregon is still the best team in my eyes because their body of work is still fantastic (despite a close loss to Michigan State). Until they falter with back-up QB Jeff Lockie, I've got to believe the Ducks are still the best team in the conference.

PerryScope: (3) Took care of business against a bad team with their second string QB (Lockie) playing. It is a bit troubling that they gave up 28 points to Georgia State. Imagine what UCLA or Cal will put up. They play an important game against Utah at Autzen Stadium where they look to get back into the playoff hunt.

mpeters10: (2) That defense is scary bad so far. Something doesn't seem right with the Ducks, but they still appear to be the best team in the North.

benwemer: (1) I think this is the best team in the conference. They did lose to Michigan State, but that is Michigan State. I have faith in Lockie's and Adams's abilities, so either way the Ducks will be successful.

Rob Hwang: (4) Yes, Vernon Adams didn't play. Yes, Lockie played conservatively. Yes, they played Georgia State. This showdown upcoming with Utah will be a better gauge of which team will be more of a threat in the North.

Nik Jam: (2) With their second-string quarterback, they were able to make a statement in their cupcake win. No reason to think they won't win the North at this point except...

Solomon Kim: (4) We were never going to have many praises for the Ducks defense. If their opponent scores 99, all they have to do is score 100. Inconsistencies in the offense are definitely worth mentioning though.

3. California Golden Bears (1) Arrow_up__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- Cal

Last week: 4

boomtho: (3) Austin is Bear Territory, and I am deliriously happy. However, I can't really bump Cal higher because Texas... isn't a great team

Berkelium97: (3) Except for a brilliant 31–0 run, they spent most of the game looking more like the 2014 team than the improved 2015 team. If Cal can replicate that third-quarter performance for a full game, they can beat any team in the conference.

Leland Wong: (4) It's a story we've become accustomed to since last year. The offense played brilliantly, but the defense struggled mightily. I'll cut the Bears a little slack there because they were tasked with figuring out this new-look Longhorns attack. They get a tiny boost for a nice win over a big-name team thanks to a brilliant PAT block by Darius White.

Nick Kranz: (5) Cal fans will be hoping that the offense and defense are both just enough better than last year to secure a solid season. But just as important a factor might be the general decline in team strength across the conference.

Ruey Yen: (1) Yes, the Bears are definitely a flawed squad, but "a win is a win." You didn't really expect me to punish them for getting a big road win against Texas?

ragnarok: (3) They say defense wins championships, so I don't expect one in Berkeley this year, but the offense should keep the Bears in every game. Texas has improved since their woeful loss to Notre Dame two weeks ago, but they're still a pretty flawed team, which is why Cal is third among the undefeated Pac-12 teams.

atomsareenough: (2) The Bears escape Austin with a win in a crazy game against the Longhorns. Cal fans everywhere are happy to stick it to Texas for a change.

Sam Fielder: (5) Big win on the road that was closer than it needed to be and showed there is still room for much improvement.

KWBears: (3) It was not an easy win, but Cal won against a true blueblood program on the road. With a little bit of luck, Cal didn't need OT to pull this one off. Cal had a great non-conference season--now the real games start.

PerryScope: (2) Tremendous road win at Texas and even though they aren't what they used to be, they put up a hell of a fight. In a game where we didn't play that great offensively (45 points, but still not great) and the defense was laughable giving up 650 yards. They scored 20 unanswered in the 4th and I was really nervous going into overtime but we all know why that didn't happen. Nonetheless, great win for the team and look for Cal to go 4–0 against a mediocre Washington team in Seattle.

mpeters10: (5) I'm glad we got the win against Texas, but the conservative fourth quarter play-calling is killing me. Did our coaching staff not learn their lesson from the Arizona game last season?

benwemer: (3) Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. First time beating Texas and it felt oh so good. Tough game next week in Seattle, but the Bears are up for the challenge.

Rob Hwang: (2) We won. We're undefeated. And record-wise, still the top dog in the Pac-12 North.

Nik Jam: (5) Wound up avoiding disaster against Texas. 3–0 is 3–0, but the defense cannot perform like this again. Unfortunately, every time we said that the previous two years, the defense continued to perform badly, so I'm not sure I can trust them going forward.

Solomon Kim: (2) Glimpses of brilliance tarnished by flashbacks to last year. We really need to go into every drive guns blazing, but the Bear Raid showed us once again that we're packing some major heat.

4. Utah Utes Arrow_down__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- Utah

Last week: 3

boomtho: (2) Utah keeps on winning, but the Travis Wilson injury looms large. I don't see them being a realistic contender for the south without him back at full strength as soon as possible

Berkelium97: (2) I still don't know whether the teams they've played are any good. We'll find out much more about the Utes this weekend in Eugene.

Leland Wong: (3) I came so close to giving the Utes a higher ranking... Fresno State isn't the toughest competition, but RB Devontae Booker had a big game and QB Kendal Thompson came in and didn't implode, so that's a win, right?

Nick Kranz: (3) The Utes were up 38–10 on Fresno State early in the 4th quarter before allowing a few garbage time touchdowns, and new (presumably temporary) QB Kendal Thompson had a solid-if-unspectacular day. He'll have to do much more if he's the starter next week in Eugene.

Ruey Yen: (4) The Utes had their best win of the season at Fresno State.

ragnarok: (2) Michigan looking better helps Utah, as does winning on the road, whatever the competition.

atomsareenough: (3) Solid win by the Utes against an overmatched Fresno State team. Utah is still undefeated, and although he didn't have a lot of yards, it must be a little encouraging that Kendal Thompson completed 76% of his passes.

Sam Fielder: (2) Booker carried them to a victory and that's going to be their formula for success from here on out.

KWBears: (6) Utah has been slow and steady these first three games heading into their conference games. QB Travis Wilson is out, but RB Devontae Booker has stepped up big.

PerryScope: (4) Took care of business against Fresno State (yawn). This week, they play at Oregon, which is their first true test of the season. They are used to playing in front of a tough road crowd (Week 1 at the Big House), but playing at Autzen Stadium is no joke.
(Ed.: Utah's week one game against Michigan was actually a home game!)

mpeters10: (3) The Utes keep finding ways to win. Their defense is pretty good, Devontae Booker is a stud, and their QBs don't make mistakes. That's a recipe for success.

benwemer: (5) The Utes best Fresno State this week and have yet to drop a game. This isn't an amazing team, but this team can hang and will float around the 3–6 range in the rankings.

Rob Hwang: (6) Devontae Booker is putting this team on his back. The team was already one-dimensional on offense, but if they can run the ball as well as they have and that killer front 7 on defense stuffs teams, this team can win some games.

Nik Jam: (4) Solid win over Fresno State. Still a sleeper pick to over take UCLA in the upcoming Pac-12 South race.

Solomon Kim: (3) Still hard to say much about the Utes other than, "They're good." They have the potential to shake up the entire conference and that will be tested in their first conference game in Week 4.

5. Arizona Wildcats Arrow_up__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 SBN logos- Arizona

Last week: 6

boomtho: (4) Took care of business against a very overmatched Northern Arizona team.

Berkelium97: (6) They get bumped for completing an embarrassingly weak OOC schedule.

Leland Wong: (5) The Wildcats set school records for points scored and total yards, yet I find myself yawning. Any one else sick of these big wins over no-name schools? Yeah, it's definitely time for conference play to start.

Nick Kranz: (4) I've got Arizona at 4, but with a healthy Scooby Wright I'd put them ahead of Utah at 3rd. And if they can beat UCLA at home next week . . .

Ruey Yen: (5) Didn't see any of this game, but 77 points look impressive on the scoreboard.

ragnarok: (4) Undefeated, but so far untested as well.

atomsareenough: (6) Arizona has a Cal-vs.-Grambling-esque game against a Grambling-esque opponent. Nothing to see here either.

Sam Fielder: (3) Huge blowout win where we learned pretty much nothing. They're still a good team--maybe that's what we learned.

KWBears: (4) Sure, UofA hasn't had a tough non-conference schedule, but they won all of their games definitively. I still think they're a dark horse team in the conference this year who can pull off some upsets.

PerryScope: (5) Their joke of a non conference schedule is finally over. Let's see how they fare against a tough UCLA team at home.

mpeters10: (4) The Wildcats have had a yawn-worthy schedule so far. Their fourth-place ranking has more to do with giving them the benefit of the doubt from last season than what they have done so far.

benwemer: (4) Dropped 77 on Northern Arizona. Putting 77 on the board is impressive no matter who it is. Still undefeated and tied atop the South standings.

Rob Hwang: (7) They destroyed Northern Arizona. Good for them. Still need a quality win and that will most likely happen this week.

Nik Jam: (6) Again, 3–0 is 3–0 but their opponents have been slightly weaker than Cal's slate, but not by a whole lot.

Solomon Kim: (5) The Wildcats put on a dominant showing this weekend which should do something to comfort the fans in Tucson. Consistency remains the question and they face a monster UCLA team in their conference opener.

6. Stanfurd Cardinal Arrow_up__9-8-14_medium
Pac-12 logos- Stanfurd

Last week: 9

boomtho: (6) I still think USC is really good, so this for me is the clearcut best Pac-12 win of the week.

Berkelium97: (5) Of course, next week they won't even break 20 points against Oregon State.

Leland Wong: (6) Who knows what to make of the Cardinal so far? The offense actually looked not just functional, but a little dangerous. Can the Furdies continue these near-500 yard performances? Were USC's near 430 yards a sign of the Trojans' potency or of the once-famed Furd defense going impotent?

Nick Kranz: (6) The worst thing that could happen for the entire conference would be Stanfurd playing so poorly in non-conference that David Shaw is forced to debunker his offense. Sigh.

Ruey Yen: (7) Stanfurd may have turned around their season with the win at USC this week. Good for Brennan Scarlett to have experienced beating the Trojans.

ragnarok: (7) But then again, the Cardinal will probably be a factor in the North. I couldn't rank them higher, given how bad they looked at Northwestern (who are 3–0, btw), but beating USC on the road certainly makes up for a lot. I, for one, am mystified as to how the Cardinal continue to beat more talented Trojan teams.

atomsareenough: (4) The Cardinal sure seem to have USC's number. More importantly for them, Hogan and the offense performed well against a solid defensive team.

Sam Fielder: (6) So which team is the real furd team here? I'm leaning towards thinking week 1 was a fluke, but hopefully they revert back to terrible.

KWBears: (5) Winning at USC in a definitive manner is huge for this team as it rebounds from that devastating Week 1 loss to Northwestern. Furd may be rising to where many predicted they would be in this conference.

PerryScope: (6) Incredible upset at Trojan Stadium. Stanfurd continues to be a threat to Pac 12 powerhouse teams and they take revenge for their defeat at the Farm last year. Beating a top-10 team put them in the AP rankings for the second week this year and they will continue to stay on them with a win at Corvallis next week.

mpeters10: (6) The Cardinal have a young team and it seems as though they were not ready to play week one against Northwestern. That loss doesn't seem so bad anymore and the Cardinal have improved each week. If they keep improving as they have been, and I hate to say this, they seem to be a legitimate threat to win the conference this year.

benwemer: (6) As much as I hate putting them up this high, that was a phenomenal win. Beating sc is impressive but beating sc in SoCal is even more impressive. Tip of the cap to them.

Rob Hwang: (5) This is the most unreadable team in college football. You get blown out only scoring 6 on Northwestern. You beat UCF playing conservative ball. Then play out of their minds against USC. They need to show consistency before I can say they have a good team in the North.

Nik Jam: (3) Everyone here is gonna want my head for this, but despite the fact that I didn't watch the game at all, beating USC--whom I had number one last week--gives you a big bump. Who would have thought Stanfurd would score almost as much as Cal did? Besides, maybe putting them at three will set them up for disappointment!

Solomon Kim: (6) Big win over USC. Not sure if that just confirms my suspicions about Kessler or speaks to the Furd's actual strength.

7. USC Trojans Arrow_down__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- USC

Last week: 2

boomtho: (8) What dummy had them #1 last week and confidently predicted a blowout... this dummy. 10-point loss to a thoroughly mediocre Stanfurd team, at home, is the Sarkiest thing to ever Sark.

Berkelium97: (12) Anyone who gives up 12 yards per passing attempt to Kevin Hogan finishes last in my poll.

Leland Wong: (7) Echoing myself, but I'm not sure what to make of the USC-Furd game. QB Cody Kessler turned in the kind of performance you'd expect from him (in a good way), but the offense just came to a halt in the second half, only managing 10 points.

Nick Kranz: (7) If you allow Kevin Hogan to pass for more than 10 yards/attempt on your home field you should feel great shame.

Ruey Yen: (6) Next to SchandenFurd, seeing USC lose is the next enjoyable thing. I think this first Pac-12 result is indicative of how the fairly even Pac will beat up on one another this year. Good thing that there is now a playoff, which will almost ensure the participation in it by the Pac-12 winner.

ragnarok: (8) The Trojans were the only Pac-12 team to lose last weekend. They sure looked good in destroying Sun Belt teams in the first two weeks, but I guess we know how much that proved.

atomsareenough: (7) LOL, Sark'd it. I still think USC has a good chance to win 9–10 games, but this sure ratchets up the pressure and the angst among Trojan fans.

Sam Fielder: (12) Boy, that was bad huh? Theie talent is there, like always, but the coaching is horrific.

KWBears: (7) What happened? Heads get a little big? The Trojans will need to regroup after a tough loss to Furd. Semi-surging ASU is coming up next.

PerryScope: (7) Wow I am shocked and disappointed. I truly thought that this USC team was the team to beat in the Pac-12. Not to say that their chances are over; however, giving up 41 points to STANFURD is incredible. And I do not believe it is because of Stanfurd's rising offensive power.

mpeters10: (7) #SarkAfterDark strikes earlier than expected this season. Literally the first competent football team they faced and the Trojans stumbled. USC is talented. Sark is a moron. It looks like the second one is exerting its influence on the other a bit more at this point.

benwemer: (7) Still one of the best teams in the conference. Loss gives me some worries, but I think the Trojans will be just fine. October 31 is a date they should have circled. Watch out--we're coming.

Rob Hwang: (3) This team is still good. Somehow, they seem to play from behind and lose all their talent when playing Stanfurd. Maybe it's because they had Will Ferrell lead them out. Maybe it's because the Mon-Stars took their talents away.

Nik Jam: (8) How do you give up so many points to Kevin Hogan and Stanfurd? We need more conference games to decide what to think of the Trojans, but the outlook is no longer bright.

Solomon Kim: (7) Big loss to the Furd. Not sure if that just confirms my suspicions about Kessler, or...The pressure is on for the Trojans, but they without a doubt have the talent to bounce back.

8. Washington Huskies Arrow_down__9-8-14_medium
Pac-12 logos- Washington

Last week: 7

boomtho: (10): Offense didn't look great, which is hopefully good news for us.

Berkelium97: (7) Are they better than I thought or are their opponents worse than I thought?

Leland Wong: (8) I had my questions about the team rebuilding this year, but they didn't look half bad. The defense held the Aggies to 33% on successful third-down conversions and about 50% completion passing; true freshman QB Jake Browning put up pretty good numbers, too.

Nick Kranz: (8) Washington's defense has been unexpected good and Jake Browning has looked steadily more competent. UW's looking dangerously frisky, and that worries me.

Ruey Yen: (8) Their win over Utah State was solid. I'm concerned about this week.

ragnarok: (6) I really can't tell if UW is pretty good, or if their competition has been that flawed. I still expect the Ducks to win the North, but next weekend's game in Seattle might decide second place.

atomsareenough: (9) Offense is looking better, maybe?

Sam Fielder: (8) Browning is coming on and of course right before we play them.

KWBears: (8) Washington is looking to put up a pretty forgettable season. The losses will start piling up soon for this team, but good for them for getting some Ws in early on in the season.

PerryScope: (9) They play Cal next week and I hope they get killed. Their offense is starting to look a lot better though and they always have a good defense.

mpeters10: (8) Defense looks decent. Offense doesn't. They keep winning, though, and I'm now a tad worried about going to Seattle. I still expect the Bears to win despite being a bit injured.

benwemer: (9) Team as a whole looks mediocre at best, but they continue to win. Playing in Seattle is always dangerous.

Rob Hwang: (10) Jake Browning looks like a potential star in the making. But this team just does not have enough experience on the defensive end to make a huge impact. Beating Utah State was a plus, but it wasn't impressive.

Nik Jam: (7) Washington's a solid team that Cal deserves to be ranked if they can get a road win. The Huskies continue to impress.

Solomon Kim: (8) The Huskies are coming off of two solid wins, which should do wonders to their confidence going against a Cal program they've beaten 6 years in a row.

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

Pac-12 logos- ASU

Last week: 8

boomtho: (7) Loss to A&M looks better by the week, and for the purposes of this power ranking, it's a much better loss than USC's at home.

Berkelium97: (8) They looked better than they did last week, but that's not saying much.

Leland Wong: (9) The stat line looks pretty enough (with the Sun Devils outgaining the Lobos 449 to 295 yards), but in terms of the score, they didn't have a comfortable lead until the end of the third quarter--if not the top of the fourth. That's a little too long considering the talent gap, but I still feel like Arizona State is just ready and waiting to explode and play like a Pac-12 South contender. Maybe that's just me having trouble getting over my preseason evaluation of them, which is surprising because I'm so good at letting go of the past!

Nick Kranz: (9) Beat New Mexico about as badly as Tulsa did. USC's coming to town, which likely means that ASU no longer has the luxury of sleepwalking through games any more.

Ruey Yen: (9) After struggling against Cal Poly, ASU took care of business against New Mexico. This team still got potential to be a threat.

ragnarok: (9) I watched the first half of their game vs. New Mexico (classy fan sign seen on the telecast: "Go back to Old Mexico"), and they did not look good. I guess it got better in the second half, but that sign keeps me from wanting to rank them higher.

atomsareenough: (10) Better result, but it was an ugly game for most of the first half, at least. I think the ceiling for the Sun Devils this season is much lower than we had thought going in.

Sam Fielder: (7) Finally got a comfortable win but I'm still not sold on them.

KWBears: (9) ASU didn't look good (again) in that first half, but they pulled it together and got a nice win. Their remaining games aren't going to give them that kind of leeway anymore.

mpeters10: (9) The definitive meh team of the season. Much like Furd, the Sun Devils' week one loss doesn't seem that bad now (other than the fact that they stunk in all three phases against A&M), but ASU hasn't shown tangible improvement as the season has progressed (rather they're simply playing some bad teams).

benwemer: (8) They have gotten better every week. Whether that's the strength of the opponent or not, that's still a good sign. They still have time to win the Pac. One loss isn't the end of the world.

Rob Hwang: (8) My pick to win the South....sigh....They're getting more into rhythm, but if you talk about having a great stable of RBs but you need DJ Foster to come back and play RB against New Mexico, that doesn't bode well.

Nik Jam: (9) I put some faith in the Sun Devils that they'd dominate New Mexico to make a statement to the rest of the conference. They did win handily but it was not the blowout I was looking for. Still, they can make noise in the Pac-12 South.

Solomon Kim: (9) They got the W, but I remain skeptical.

10. Colorado Buffaloes Arrow_up__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- Colorado

Last week: 11

boomtho: (9) Big road win for Coach Mac!

Leland Wong: (10) It was a close one, but I don't think the Buffs have any more delusions of grandeur, so they aren't sweating that. An overtime win over a rival is the kind of win that benefits a struggling team like Colorado. So, let's let them enjoy the week and not mention the fact they allowed Colorado State to gain 500 yards.

Nick Kranz: (11) Colorado State gave Minnesota a scare, so beating them in any fashion is a solid step for Colorado.

Ruey Yen: (12) Buffs didn't embarrass the Pac by losing to Colorado State. Took OT to do so, though.

ragnarok: (10) Needed overtime to best Colorado State, though that is a rivalry game for the Buffs. I suspect this is the highest I'll rank Colorado this year.

atomsareenough: (8) Winning against a rival that has beaten you recently always helps.

Sam Fielder: (10) Pretty good win for them over CSU. Don't look now but they're 2–1. Spoiler alert: They'll be lucky to pick up 2 more wins...

KWBears: (12) Colorado is not a good team--we already knew that. Nevertheless, they shouldn't have needed OT to beat their in-state rivals.

mpeters10: (10) They finally beat Colorado State! Figurative baby steps forward for the Buffs, but they don't actually move forward in my rankings this week.

benwemer: (10) They beat in-state rival Colorado state in overtime. Big win for them, but still not a good team.

Rob Hwang: (12) Yay for a win in overtime by a FG with a blocked FG!

Nik Jam: (10) Gonna be tough to get to the necessary 7 wins to go bowling (they play 13 games this year), but they're winning the games they absolutely have to right now.

Solomon Kim: (12) Close win in what should not have been a close game.

11. Oregon State Beavers Arrow_up__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- OSU

Last week: 12

Leland Wong: (12) Kudos to RB Storm Barrs-Woods and QB Seth Collins for carrying the team to victory on the ground. The defense also came up big, holding SJSU to about 250 yards and only 1 of 13 third-down conversions.

Nick Kranz: (10) I've got OSU, Colorado, and Washington State listed in order of how embarrassing their single losses are, but really the three teams seem more or less interchangeable.

Ruey Yen: (11) Beavers didn't embarrass the Pac by losing to San Jose State.

ragnarok: (12) A nice bounce-back win for the Beavers, but on a weekend where just about everybody won, it's hard to move up.

atomsareenough: (11) Decent game against an overmatched opponent. All the Pac-12 teams save USC won this week, so even a win won't move the worst teams out of the Power Ranking basement.

Sam Fielder: (9) They tried to make it interesting but ended up out talenting SJSt. They won't be able to do that in conference play.

KWBears: (10) The Beavers got a nice win against a quality opponent in SJSU. HC Gary Andersen has got to be feeling good about his new team.

mpeters10: (12) Bad football team. At least they won against San Jose State.

benwemer: Congrats to Oregon State--they've won this week's worst team.

Rob Hwang: (11) Seth Collins and Storm Barrs-Woods had a monster game in the run game. I still think they pull off some upsets, but not enough to challenge.

Nik Jam: (11) Still don't look very good, but they did what they needed to do against San Jose State. Friday night we'll know where they're at.

Solomon Kim: (11) Didn't see anything from this game, but that stat line is appallingly dull. I'm not sure if the win comes from the Beavs stepping it up after the half or San Jose State collapsing.

12. Washington State Cougars Arrow_down__9-8-14_medium

Pac-12 logos- WSU

Last week: 10

boomtho: (11): Eh, we're at the end of these things and I don't really have much separation.

Leland Wong: (11) A solid day for the offense and a good performance by the defense to hold Wyoming scoreless after the first quarter. Remember when they were trying to trick us into thinking they were going to make the run game more prominent? 75 yards on the ground definitely proves that. Luckily for Wazzou, they get an extra week to prepare for Cal.

Nick Kranz: (12) Wyoming's on the short list for worst team/program in FBS football this season, so at least Wazzu beat them without drama.

Ruey Yen: (10) Cougars didn't embarrass the Pac by losing to Wyoming.ragnarok: (11) Wazzu has a better win and a worse loss than Oregon State. In the end, I determined this weekend's results were inconclusive and left them in the same order as last week.

atomsareenough: (12) Decent game against an overmatched opponent. See what I said about Oregon State.

Sam Fielder: (11) They went down early and came back against a terrible Wyoming team. Leach is safe this week, but I have to think the clock is ticking there...

KWBears: (11) HC Mike Leach is going to have to work some real magic to make this team a contender this season. They have no run game and their QB will probably lose his arm with all that throwing.

mpeters10: (11) Bad football team. At least they won against Wyoming.

benwemer: (11) Honestly it's a toss up between the Cougs and Beavers for worst team.

Rob Hwang: (9) Luke Falk ran for a TD. I say that again. Luke Falk RAN for a TD.

Nik Jam: (12) They have a bye week before they play Cal. We'll know more about them by then, but for now they're eclipsed by everyone else in my view.

Solomon Kim: (10) Falk was active and effective, but much remains to be seen about the Cougs going into conference play.

The data

Firstly, let's disclose some votes!

Rk atoms benwemer Berkelium97 boomtho KWBears Leland mpeters10 Nick Nik Jam Perryscope ragnarok Rob Ruey Sam Solomon
1 UCLA Oregon UCLA UCLA Oregon Oregon UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA Cal UCLA UCLA
2 Cal UCLA Utah Utah UCLA UCLA Oregon Oregon Oregon Cal Utah Cal UCLA Utah Cal
3 Utah Cal Cal Cal Cal Utah Utah Utah Stanfurd Oregon Cal USC Oregon Arizona Utah
4 Stanfurd Arizona Oregon Arizona Arizona Cal Arizona Arizona Utah Utah Arizona Oregon Utah Oregon Oregon
5 Oregon Utah Stanfurd Oregon Stanfurd Arizona Cal Cal Cal Arizona Oregon Stanfurd Arizona Cal Arizona
6 Arizona Stanfurd Arizona Stanfurd Utah Stanfurd Stanfurd Stanfurd Arizona Stanfurd Wash Utah USC Stanfurd Stanfurd
7 USC USC Wash ASU USC USC USC USC Wash USC Stanfurd Arizona Stanfurd ASU USC
8 Colorado ASU ASU USC Wash Wash Wash Wash USC ASU USC ASU Wash Wash Wash
9 Wash Wash OSU Colorado ASU ASU ASU ASU ASU Wash ASU WSU ASU OSU ASU
10 ASU Colorado Colorado Wash OSU Colorado Colorado OSU Colorado OSU Colorado Wash WSU Colorado WSU
11 OSU WSU WSU WSU WSU WSU WSU Colorado OSU WSU WSU OSU OSU WSU OSU
12 WSU OSU USC OSU Colorado OSU OSU WSU WSU Colorado OSU Colorado Colorado USC Colorado

Table 1. The full list of votes this week.

These votes get averaged out to provide the super-official rankings listed above. But, we can take a closer look at how exactly the votes shook out with more precision behind each team's ranking rather than discrete integer values (e.g., 1st, 7th, 489th).

Week 03-1

Figure 1. The precise rankings this week. The error bars represent 1 standard deviation

Looking at the data with this precision, we see that UCLA has a pretty comfortable hold on the top spot. Oregon, Cal, and Utah are practically tied for second, which gets lost when you assign discrete values as we did in our official rankings. You can also see a massive standard deviation for USC as we were split on how badly they deserve to be punished for getting upset by Stanfurd. The last trend I'm going to point out is something mentioned by a few of our votes: there's little separation between the bottom three teams of Colorado, OSU, and WSU. It will be interesting to see how this competition resolves itself in the coming weeks and in the head-to-head.

Week 03-2
Figure 2. The precise rankings for this season.

When you chart out our precise rankings over the season, you see how UCLA has slowly taken a stronger hold of the #1 spot. You can also see a huge drop in USC's position, which will probably delight a whole bunch of you. If you really like watching them drop, you can do it from a different vantage point in Figure 3!

Week 03-3

Figure 3. This season's performances with the rounded, discrete rankings.

Using the discrete rankings, we also like to take a look at the Madness of the seasonhow much the teams are jumping up and down vs. having steady, consistent performances each week.

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
ASU -4 -1 -1 6
Cal 3 1 1 5
Colorado 1 0 1 2
Oregon -2 -2 3 7
OSU 3 -4 1 8
Stanfurd -4 1 3 8
UC L.A. 3 0 0 3
USC -2 2 -5 9
Utah 5 -1 -1 7
Washington 0 2 -1 3
WSU -2 2 -2 6
Total Madness 30 16 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Table 2. Charting the Madness of the conference.

USC drop this week is the biggest drop we've seen this year (falling 5 spots, although several teams are tied for second-worst with 4 spots). Utah went 5 spots the other way after beating Michigan to open the season. It's still early in the season, but it looks like USC is getting a headstart on defending their title from last season as the Maddest Pac-12 team.

I think we're all excited for conference play to really get started next week so we can get better feels for each team (and have fewer games to review each week).