Finally, Power Rankings based on actually performances! We're one week (of poor Pac-12 play) in and—spoiler alert—we've got some big shake-ups this week.
The number of first-place votes for each team is listed parenthetically next to their name. In the event of a tie, those teams are listed alphabetically; however, ties seem less likely this year with so many cooks stirring up this broth. Maybe I should reduce the number of decimals that I use to evaluate...
Berkelium97: My ranking system produces some odd results in the first couple weeks, so this week's ballot will look somewhat strange. Wins over Power 5 opponents > non-AQ FBS wins > FCS wins. Likewise Power 5 losses > non-AQ FBS losses > FCS losses. Obviously big wins are better than smaller wins while big losses are worse than smaller losses.
Leland Wong: I'm like Bk97 this week, which is the greatest compliment anyone could give him. My votes are also extra screwy because we're still trying to find out which teams are good, both in the Pac-12 and the non-conference opponents, so it's hard to evaluate teams and not weigh too heavily on those Week One games.
ragnarok: My ranking system during the first few weeks lines up pretty well with Berkelium97's, with the winners ranked by quality of wins, all ranked before any losers.
KWBears: Since these rankings are about each team's performance from week-to-week, our entire body of work to judge right now includes only one game apiece. So, like most of the other writers here, I ranked the seven Pac-12 teams that won last week ahead of the losers.
mpeters10: My rankings at this point are still slightly influenced by my preseason expectations of a team, but not too much. There were definitely some eye-opening performances, good and bad, from the conference this week. Overall, though, not a very good week for the Pac-12.
Solomon Kim: While I did take wins/losses, point differential, and match-ups into heavy consideration, I tend to view big plays as the proverbial grain of salt. A lot of teams had some highlight-worthy plays this week, some of which made all the difference. Can they make those kinds of plays every week? Questionable.
1. UCLA Bruins (6)
Last week: 4
Berkelium97: Josh Rosen looked solid against a Virginia team that had a good defense last season. Other than a tendency to stare down his receivers, he looked much better than a typical true freshman.
Leland Wong: A convincing win over Virginia, who was kind of poor-ish last year. Still, the biggest reason they get a huge nod here is the reassuring knowledge that Rosen is legit.
Nik Jam: Best win of the day—a blowout win against a decent FBS team. No doubter.
Sam Fielder: It's between them and Utah for who had the best win this week, but I think that despite Virginia not being very good, they still showed the best this weekend.
boomtho: Virginia was supposed to be pretty bad (picked last in the Coastal Division in the media preseason poll)... so I'm not reading too much into the fact that Rosen looked awesome. I'll reserve judgment until the BYU/UCLA game.
Nick Kranz: S&P and FEI both had Virginia as a top-25 defense last year, and Josh Rosen shredded them. QB was the only question mark on this team and we got a very strong piece of evidence that it won't be a weakness. Gulp.
ragnarok: Michigan might be a stronger opponent than Virginia (though I'm not certain of that), but UCLA got the only road win of the weekend, so I'm giving them the top spot this week.
KWBears: True freshman QB Josh Rosen is legit and that's a problem for the rest of our conference.
benwemer: Had some worries about Rosen, but those got answered quick. The ceiling for this team just got a whole lot higher.
mpeters10: Great debut game for Josh Rosen. Solid performance against a team that wasn't very good last season. UCLA did what they were supposed to do.
Ruey Yen: Beating Virginia is not that big of an accomplishment but Josh Rosen's good start appeased some of my concern about the Bruins.
Solomon Kim: While it can be argued that Rosen's spectacular start won't last in the big conference match-ups, there is no question that he was incredibly consistent and threw some dimes. What was most impressive is that his game wasn't overtly flashy, but instead characterized by solid fundamentals and discernment uncommon in true freshmen.
2. Utah Utes (1)
Last week: 7
Berkelium97: Best win of the week by any Pac-12 team, so they top my ballot.
Leland Wong: Utah did get a win over a Power Five team, but it's a team learning a new system with a quarterback who kept throwing it right to the Utes. After being touted (by himself) as an early Heisman candidate, RB Devontae Booker was bottled up for most of the game; however, the Utes have to be feeling good about QB Travis Wilson finally turning in an acceptable performance.
Nik Jam: A close win against a decent FBS team (for now—the jury's still out on Michigan for me), I thought about putting them #1, but I will go with UCLA on point differential.
Sam Fielder: Wonderful to see them spoil the Harbaugh lovefest and even though I think they can play better, they still make it here.
boomtho: Solid "name recognition" win against Michigan, though I honestly think UM will be pretty bad this year (below .500). Their defense looks LEGIT, and if Travis Wilson is making plays with his feet, their offense might do enough to make them a legitimate contender in the South.
Nick Kranz: If Utah could just add a dash of downfield passing threat, they could be so, so good. Even without it they're plenty dangerous.
ragnarok: Nice win, but now the Utes have to hope that Michigan is actually much better than they looked this past weekend.
KWBears: Beating Michigan is always a big deal. The Utes rose the occasion and served notice to the rest of the conference that they are legit this year. All that preseason buzz about Utah being a sleeper team may be coming true sooner rather than later.
benwemer: Good win beating Michigan but I don't really know how good they are. Still a little skeptical.
mpeters10: Good win against a Michigan team that I expected the Utes to beat at home. Easily the best win of the week for the Pac-12. Travis Wilson was decent, but looks like nothing more than a game manager. The lack of a big threat from Wilson meant the Wolverines could focus on Devontae Booker. What happened to Utah's kicker? Their special teams are supposed to be among the best in the nation in every aspect but their kicker looked bad.
Ruey Yen: Got to love a Pac-12 win over a storied program like Michigan. The Utes didn't exactly scream Pac-12 title contender in that game, but they may surprise.
Solomon Kim: The Utes had one of the toughest opponent this week and came out on top. Solid defense. No doubt. One of Michigan's TD's came from a great catch down the middle by Jake Butt, but it was only great because there were two red jerseys on top of him.
3. Oregon Ducks (3)
Last week: 1
Berkelium97: The offense looks fine, but how do you give up 550 yards and 6 TDs to an FCS school?
Leland Wong: The Ducks actually underperformed a bit relative to what I expect in an FBS-vs.-FCS game. For all the concerns about QB Vernon Adams not getting a full camp with the team, he seemed to do just fine with 242 all-purpose yards and RB Royce Freeman rolled with 180 yards. But the CGB Hivemind is in full-force as I must echo Bk97's concerns about the Oregon defensive performance, which performed as if they were the ones who didn't have a full fall camp together.
Nik Jam: Blowout win over an FCS team. Not sure what to think about the defense giving up a lot of points, but I don't expect that to be a trend.
Sam Fielder: It remains to be seen if their D is that bad, but they are still gonna put up some points this year.
boomtho: I'd be worried if I were a Ducks fan after giving up 42 points to a Vernon Adams–less EWU team. Glad the Oregon signal caller appears to be OK after the targeting play that knocked him out of the game.
Nick Kranz: Good FBS defenses have struggled with EWU before and Oregon had shown the ability to win despite iffy defense in the past. But it's enough for me to downgrade the Ducks to #2.
ragnarok: Closer that you'd like over an FCS foe, though Eastern Washington is no ordinary FCS foe, as the Eagles are perennial title contenders in the lower division.
KWBears: This was not the most definitive win of the conference, but Oregon gave us no reason to demote them from the #1 position. Vernon Adams is still learning the Ducks' offense - he's only going to get better.
PerryScope: Defense looked a bit suspect against a good team... in the FCS. The game to watch next week is obviously Oregon at Michigan State. It's College Gameday there. It potentially means playoff or not for both squads. I'll be anticipating a big win from the Ducks.
benwemer: Not a fantastic showing against EWU, but that's a tough fcs opponent. Adams will only get better. I still like them as the pac's best.
mpeters10: The offense was explosive and the defense was explosively bad. Eastern Washington is a good FCS program, but the amount of points and yards allowed for the Ducks is a bit concerning. I'm giving the Ducks the benefit of the doubt. Their visit to East Lansing is going to be very interesting as I was not overly impressed with Michigan State's performance against Western Michigan.
Ruey Yen: Eastern Washington may have scored few more points than expected. Don't think Vernon Adams' injury was serious.
Solomon Kim: As expected, Oregon's offense is as punishing as ever. Pretty hard to ignore holes on the defense though. If the Ducks are ever out of form on offense, they are bound to lose in a shoot out.
4. USC Trojans (2)
Last week: 2
Berkelium97: I didn't watch a second of the Arkansas State game, so I have no insight here.
Leland Wong: USC did what they were expected to do against an
FCS squad overmatched Arkansas State for the most part. Still, the game has a few statistical red flags (giving up 401 yards to Arkansas State and USC's feared offense achieving an impressive 30% 3rd-down conversion rate).
Nik Jam: Blowout win over a lesser team. I'm ignorant as to Arkansas St. status. And USC plays Idaho next. I can't even tell you which one isn't the FCS team.
Sam Fielder: A glorified scrimmage that taught us almost nothing, save that USC has tremendous athletes. But I think we knew that already.
boomtho: Dominant win against a pretty good Arkansas St team. For most teams, a potential Adoree Jackson injury could be a death knell, but I think USC has the skill position depth to survive and thrive.
ragnarok: Like Leland, I continually forget that Arkansas State is an FBS team. Nevertheless, that was quite a pasting by the Trojans last Saturday night.
KWBears: Playing Arkansas State is just as much of a tune-up as playing Grambling State, so we didn't really learn more about U$C this week.
benwemer: Cody Kessler played well to open the season, even though it was Arkansas State.
mpeters10: I didn't watch the game. Apparently I didn't miss much from Arkansas State, eh? I wonder how many celebratory shots Sark took after this one...
Ruey Yen: Took care of business against Arkansas State. I have them this low because I'm an unapologetic hater.
Solomon Kim: Yes, the Trojans won by a decent margin against a decent opponent. Kessler even made some great plays for huge chunks of yards. However, can USC perform well at the fundamental level, with a high level of consistency? Not sure.
5. California Golden Bears (1)
Last week: 8
Berkelium97: Grambling State is a bad, bad football team. I'd like to think that our improved defense may account for why their offense looked so putrid.
Leland Wong: Beating an FCS team is no big deal. But of all the Pac-12 schools that faced clearly undermatched teams, Cal did the most crushering.
Nik Jam: Blowout win over a lesser team, like USC, but I can't give them a higher spot until they prove they belong with the elite. I'm a negative nancy Cal fan!
Sam Fielder: Absolutely handled our business against Grambling, which is exactly what these FCS games should be. Also it's been awhile since I remember us beating down someone so bad. That was nice to see.
boomtho: Dominant, dominant, DOMINANT win against... yeah, an FCS team, but still. There's at least one team in Pullman that would love to be able to say that today!
Nick Kranz: I'm not really comfortable moving Cal up a bunch of slots based on an FCS win, but this is mostly about how flawed other teams looked. Opportunity is breaking down the door with a sledgehammer.
ragnarok: Yeah, Grambling State isn't good even for an FCS team, but Cal managed the most dominant of the conference's four wins over FCS foes this past weekend.
KWBears: Cal thoroughly beat a lesser team, which it was supposed to do. But, unlike some other teams in the conference, doing what you were supposed to do seemed to be a premium last week.
PerryScope: 73 points, 35 in the first quarter. Keep rolling Cal.
benwemer: Domination against an FCS school is supposed to happen but still a great all-around win.
mpeters10: We did what we were supposed to do against Grambling, but we need to clean up the turnovers as we face a big uptick in competition level against San Diego State this week.
Ruey Yen: Well, I had the Bears on top last week and nothing from the (not-very-enlightening) first-week win against Grambling State had diminished my high hope.
Solomon Kim: 73–14. Not much need be said, except fewer turnovers please (though two were just bad luck). Granted, Grambling State is not a good football team, but our defense actually looks pretty impressive. I'm itching to see a game when the first squad plays all four quarters.
6. Arizona Wildcats
Last week: 5
Berkelium97: Scooby's injury means he will miss the LSJU and UCLA games. That is a big blow to the Wildcats' division title hopes.
Leland Wong: Sure, the Wildcats got the win against a Group of Five foe that's better than the FCS opposition. But they were actually outgained by the Roadrunners and losing Scooby Wright for a couple of games—and seeing how ineffective the defense is without him—is a going to cause a lot of ulcers in Tucson.
Nik Jam: Close win over a new FBS team. Scooby Wright's injury could really hurt the team. I hope he's okay.
Sam Fielder: Could prove to be a costly win if they lose Scooby for an extended period of time.
boomtho: Looked really shaky over UTSA, given they were favored by ~30 points. I'm very glad the Scooby Wright injury is not season-ending. But their offense looked pretty darn mediocre, and that can't make Rich Rod very happy.
Nick Kranz: Arizona could have the worst defense in the Pac-12 South if Scooby is out. He has about three weeks to get healthy before the schedule gets legit.
ragnarok: The Wildcats never actually trailed vs. UT San Antonio, though it was close at times, and loosing Scooby Wright sure hurts.
KWBears: The Wildcats were supposed to win be a lot against the UTSA Roadrunners—winning by just a little gets you knocked down the conference's power rankings.
PerryScope: Don't worry, Wildcats; you're still 1–0. However it was by only 10 points to UTSA (a team that went 4–8 in the Conference USA). Zona should go undefeated entering conference play with a very winnable game at Reno and a cupcake home game vs Northern Arizona.
benwemer: I don't want to put them here, but no one else was more impressive. Their win was way to close for me.
mpeters10: Losing Scooby Wright is a big deal. They're fortunate he's not expected to miss the entire season. Still, I expected a much better performance from the Wildcats against my hometown team.
Ruey Yen: An unimpressive close win over Texas-San Antonio and you lose your best player in LB Scooby Wright? Arizona is only here because the rest of the Pac was even more unimpressive.
Solomon Kim: The Wildcats have taken a blow with the injury to Scooby Wright and that is a gross understatement. The Wildcats did pull out a win, but three of their TDs came from what I consider big-play anomalies. It's not common for your defense to score—let alone twice—and without those, it's a loss in Tucson.
7. Arizona State Sun Devils
Last week: 3
Berkelium97: Their line was completely overmatched against the aTm defense. I was expecting much more from Graham's squad this week.
Leland Wong: Kudos to the Sun Devils for trying to rep the Pac-12? After Texas A&M got out to a two-score lead early in the second quarter, Arizona State stayed in a state of constantly making it seem like they were going to get back in it and tie things up. Too bad that never happened. The defense is supposed to be the Sun Devil strength, but they gave up 425 yards. Ruh roh.
Nik Jam: Close loss in a virtual road game. I think Arizona State will be fine.
Sam Fielder: Boy, they sure got their doors blown off. Really surprised at their loss, but maybe aTm is actually decent this year? Say it with me though, preseason rankings mean nothing. That is not a #15 team right there.
boomtho: I'm drawing a weird line in the sand here, where I'm ranking ASU above teams that won (Arizona, Oregon State)... and I can't quite explain why, given they didn't look that good, though it was a neutral site/quasi-home game against what will be a good A&M team. IDK. Come at me next week.
Nick Kranz: I don't want to punish them too much for losing what was really a road game to an SEC East team, but there are concerns about the offense and special teams right now.
ragnarok: Wait, Arizona State was ranked to start the year?
KWBears: Really?! That was a pretty embarrassing showing by the Sun Devils during the Pac-12's marquee Week 1 game. It sure didn't help any Pac-12 vs. SEC debates.
PerryScope: Disappointing result at College Station. Some had Sun Devils in CFP.
benwemer: Bummer. Was rooting for the Pac-12, but ASU couldn't pull it out. Disappointing start for them but this is still a good football team.
mpeters10: Wow. The Sun Devils looked terrible against Texas A&M. This was supposed to be a really good game ... instead, it turned into A&M brogue-kicking ASU like Sheamus did to Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 29. I expected a lot more from my preseason favorite to win the South division. Their offense looked pedestrian and their special teams play was a joke. Maybe they read a little too much into their presses?
Ruey Yen: Oh, I had higher hope for ASU against Texas A&M but the Sun Devils didn't deliver. Still, Texas A&M are a better team than many other teams that defeated a Pac-12 squad.
Solomon Kim: Definitely expected more from the Sun Devils and surely they did too. An upset like that is never good for a team's power ranking.
8. Oregon State Beavers
Last week: 11
Berkelium97: It took 38 minutes for them to score a TD against an FCS team that hasn't won more than 2 games since 2011. This was clearly the worst win of the week for the conference.
Leland Wong: Don't let the final score—which isn't even that pretty—fool you. It wasn't until the 4th quarter that Oregon State pulled away from Weber State. Still, I bet it feels good up in Corvegas to notch the first win of the Gary Andersen era and to see an electrifying young QB in Seth Collins, who may have just ended the quarterback competition. Hip hip hooray!
Nik Jam: Close win against a FCS team. It could be a long season in Corvallis but let's wait for them to lose a game first.
Sam Fielder: They won. That's more than a few other teams can say this weekend.
boomtho: Beat Damian Lillard's alma mater, yay? Nice for Gary Andersen to start his OSU career with a win, and OSU looks they're going to have a mobile QB (Seth Collins)... which is certainly a new look for the Beavers.
Nick Kranz: If their first game was any indication, Oregon State will have virtually no ability to stretch the field vertically. We may not learn much about their defense until they face a real offense in ... week 6?
ragnarok: Weber State is not a strong opponent, but it took most of the game for the Beavers to put some distance between them.
KWBears: The Gary Andersen era officially began at OSU with a nice victory. Next week's matchup at Michigan will tell us a lot about this Beavers team.
PerryScope: The only reason they are here right now is that they won. Oregon State can continue to build their resumé with a win at Ann Arbor. (I don't see Harbaugh losing his first game at the Big House.)
benwemer: The Beavers didn't build a comfortable lead until midway through the 4th. That's a couple quarters too long against a Weber State team.
mpeters10: Has there ever been a less impressive victory? Yes, OSU won and Colorado lost, but does anyone think Oregon State would have won at Hawaii? I don't.
Ruey Yen: Another unimpressive win by a Pac-12 squad.
Solomon Kim: Seth Collins is an athlete who definitely has potential. His connection with Jordan Villamin seems to be very effective as well.
9. Washington Huskies
Last week: 9
Berkelium97: Best loss of the week, I guess.
Leland Wong: Thank Harry for special teams touchdowns because their rudderless offense could only muster up a laughable 179 yards, with 29 being on the ground. This will be a rebuilding year up north with a freshman quarterback who will take these beatings to get much better in a few years behind the mind of a great coach. Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Nik Jam: Easily could have beaten Boise State, but unlike Stanfurd I don't think they'll rebound from the lackluster showing.
Sam Fielder: They were in the game towards then end, but didn't look fantastic either. Rebuilding year for sure.
boomtho: I think they are worse than Stanfurd and will end the season ranked below them, but also I think Boise State is a better team than Northwestern; plus the Cardinal did worse. Petersen has to be very worried about the offense though—they didn't score in the first half!
Nick Kranz:The offensive game plan given to Jake Browning had training wheels on its training wheels, but the new-look UW defense looked shockingly competent. Will be interesting to see if they can keep it up all season long.
ragnarok: No shame in losing at Boise State, but the Huskies offense still seems a work in progress.
KWBears: Losing to Boise State was expected. But, losing is never good, so that's why the Huskies are getting dropped here in this week's rankings.
PerryScope: True freshman Jake Browning could not connect with the offense the entire game.
benwemer: Although they lost, they still played with a good Boise state team. Offense still has some question marks.
mpeters10: I did not expect the Huskies to compete with Boise State. I think it probably says more about Boise State than it does UW. The Huskies still look like a team that will struggle to score points.
Ruey Yen: This was a tough game for U-Dub. Washington stayed close in this one and that's something.
Solomon Kim: I didn't really give Washington much of a chance, but after a close loss to nationally ranked Boise State, I'm beginning to change my mind.
10. Stanfurd Cardinal
Last week: 6
Berkelium97: David Shaw makes Margaret Thatcher look like Che Guevara.
Leland Wong: The inept Furd offense shall continue! All that talk about QB Kevin Hogan finally turning the corner and his 75% completion at the end of last season should come to an end. Their days as the home of the most feared offensive line might be done too, as they let Hogan get sacked thrice and could only bulldoze their way to a whopping 85 yards rushing.
Nik Jam: I think Stanfurd will rebound and have a solid year but that was not a good look
Sam Fielder: Holy cow did they look bad. Good to see them run Bill Simmons famed Clogged Toilet offense there in the 4th quarter. EXTEND SHAW!
boomtho: Ha. Ha. Ha. They averaged 3.1 YPC against a Northwestern defense that is solid (36th in defensive FEI last year per Football Outsiders), but not spectacular. Hogan averaged only ~7 YPC.
Nick Kranz: I think 33% of my Pac-12 recaps last year were spent ranting about how unbelievably bad David Shaw's playcalling and game theory decisions are. I'm glad he quite obviously has learned nothing from his previous failures.
ragnarok: Not a good start to the year. Just what I was hoping for.
KWBears: Is HC David Shaw wearing out his welcome yet on the Farm? His brand of football is so vanilla, and now it doesn't even win when it's supposed to.
PerryScope: Their offense looked even worse, against a much worse team.
benwemer: Ha! Now this is what I like to see.
mpeters10: How inept did Furd's offense look? Rhetorical, of course, as it was plainly visible to anyone who watched this game that they looked baaaaaaaaaad. There are big problems on The Farm. Stanfurd's offense against Northwestern reminded me of Syrio Forel with Northwestern playing the role of Meryn Trant. Furd had a mostly chopped off wooden sword as their only weapon against a thoroughly unintimidating opponent. Except, in this case, they didn't even say not today to death ... they just accepted it with open arms and timid playcalling.
Ruey Yen: I want to punish the Furdies more but I can't. The Stanfurd offense looked terrible, but they kind of made Cal's win at Northwestern last year to look much better in retrospect.
Solomon Kim: Speaking of upsets. The Furd is looking flat and I love it.
11. Colorado Buffaloes
Last week: 12
Berkelium97: Better start putting that search committee together.
Leland Wong: I know the jet lag is tough and all, but you just can't do this, Colorado. The alleged quarterback who's destined to be the nation's best junior QB couldn't even complete 60% of his passes, didn't throw a touchdown, and threw a pick.
Nik Jam: A comedy of errors last Saturday that for some reason I stayed up for (gave up at around 1 a.m.) seems to suggest another long year in Boulder
Sam Fielder: Man, what a weird ending and what a weird game. The Colorado struggles continue.
boomtho: While it's convenient to blame the central judge's fumbleitis for their loss, they really shouldn't have been in that position in the first place.
Nick Kranz: Well, the good news for Colorado fans is that the Buffs are already done with what might have been their most difficult non-con game. The bad news is that Sefo Liufau appears to have badly regressed.
ragnarok: The Buffs continue to not impress, but at least this was on the road, against another FBS foe (Hawai'i).
KWBears: Yes, the Buffs did indeed lose to Hawaii. If it weren't for their men's basketball team, adding Colorado to our conference would have pretty much been a bust on the field.
PerryScope: They jumped because Wazzu lost to an FCS team.
benwemer: Losing never feels good and the Buffs are always losing.
mpeters10: They needed to beat Hawaii. They didn't. It's becoming more and more difficult to make the case that Colorado is improving when they lose games like this.
Ruey Yen: Losing to Hawaii is bad, but at least Hawaii is not a FCS team.
Solomon Kim: It was a close loss for the Buffs and I'm honestly hoping that they'll have something to show for all the talk of improvement over the offseason.
12. Washington State Cougars
Last week: 10
Berkelium97: Hello darkness, my old friend...
Leland Wong: The most surprising result of the week for me as I actually believed WSU would be better this year. But hey, at least the Cougars have a run game now. That's nice.
Nik Jam: A loss to an FCS team that even the 2013 Cal team was able to beat? The fan base deserves a bounce-back year, like Cal's fan base, but I don't see it.
Sam Fielder: What are the chances Leach lasts the season? Brutal loss for them.
boomtho: There is no sugar coating a loss to an FCS team... ever. Leach's seat grows hotter by the day.
Nick Kranz: Really, what I find most surprising about the Leach situation is how thoroughly he has alienated Washington State fans. He's taken the iconoclast thing too far, and it will be interesting to see if Cougar fans can scrape together a buy-out at the end of the season if things go the way they look likely to go.
ragnarok: Actually losing to an FCS foe? Losing at home? Only one Pac-12 team managed either of those this week, and the Cougs actually managed both.
KWBears: What's the madman HC Mike Leach doing up there in Pullman?! I thought he was supposed to be some sort of genius? Losing to Portland State is a special achievement—and obviously one that this Cougar team was not afraid to accomplish.
benwemer: Embarrassing. Losing to an FCS team is one thing but losing at home to an FCS team is another. Though It was Portland state. Much love to the pilots.
mpeters10: The Cougars have officially hit rock bottom. A 32.5-point favorite at home versus Portland State. They simply couldn't lose this game and they found a way to do it.
Ruey Yen: When you lose to a FCS, you belongs to the bottom of the power ranking.
Solomon Kim: It's nigh impossible to defend this kind of loss and I doubt anyone is going to try to.
What an insane week as five different teams registered at least one first-place vote (which can be seen above parenthetically or in Table 1). Last year—with far fewer voters—there was never a week with more than two teams getting first-place votes in football.
Table 1. This week's votes.
The votes get averaged out with equal weight—even though some of us (read: Sam Fielder) are more important than the others—to determine the primary ranking. You can see precisely how the teams fared in Figure 1, where the error bars show you how varied the responses for each team were (the standard deviation).
Figure 1. The precise ranking for this week.
The precise rankings shown in Figures 1 and 2 give you a good idea of how closely placed some teams were.
Figure 2. The precise rankings charted out compared to last week.
I love tooting my own horn, so let's discuss how glorious these precise figures are. We basically have a three-way tie for 2nd (Utah, Oregon, and USC) and a bland, vanilla one-on-one tie for 7th (ASU and OSU). It's nice to get this additional degree of information, but for those of us who are boring and don't enjoy being imbued with the power that is knowledge, I've got a similar graph, but using the pretty little rounded values that we're all accustomed to when it comes to rankings.
Figure 3. It's like Figure 2, but for those of you with a raging hatred towards decimals.
Here's one astute observation about Figure 3. There are a lot of lines that go up or down a lot. But, hey, let's quantify all of that action because numbers are fun! And we can do that, thanks to valued reader minesweeper and somewhat-valued contributor Bk97, we have Madness!
|Change on week|
Table 2. If Muse's "Madness" isn't stuck in your head by now, then you don't deserve to read my work.
Madness tells us how many spots each team went up or down each week. The Utes made the biggest jump this week by skyrocketing 5 spots. The biggest fall-ers were ASU and Furd. Last year, our opening week resulted in a Madness score of 25, so maybe this is going to be a yearly trend due to the baseless preseason rankings?