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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 3

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Taking stock of the Pac-12 Conference after 3 weeks.

Mississippi v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Well, after 3 weeks, we have a bit of a better idea of things in the conference. So let’s get into it.

  1. Southern Cal (3-0, 1-0 conference) - I still don’t know if USC is a top 5 team in the country; Western Michigan hasn’t looked nearly as good as last year, Stanford hasn’t won a game in the United States this season, and they went to overtime with a Texas team that spent Week 1 getting smoked by Maryland at home. But they still have more talent than anyone else in conference, and the way they responded when Texas took the lead with :45 seconds left is a mindset that can do well for them later in the year. I still think they’ll miss the playoffs thanks to a few dumb losses, but this team still looks like the class of the conference.
  2. Washington (3-0, 0-0) - The Huskies would have a stronger case for the top spot if they’d played a team with a pulse, but they haven’t done anything to drop them yet. That should finally change when they play Colorado this weekend.
  3. Washington State (3-0, 1-0) - Just the fact that the Cougars are undefeated at this point should be cause for celebration, and a win this week over Nevada would give the Cougs their first undefeated non-conference season since 2005. It’s that kind of attention to history that makes the Bruins Nation Power Rankings the premiere power ranking service on the internet. Tell your friends.
  4. UC Berkeley (3-0, 0-0) - Welcome to this week’s HUGE OVERREACTION, but the Bears went undefeated through their non-conference slate, earning wins over two Power 5 conference teams in UNC and Ole Miss. Now, you can judge the quality of those teams, but it’s still impressive and not what anyone expected from first-year head coach Justin Wilcox, plus the teams behind them don’t have nearly as impressive a resume at this point, so they get this spot.
  5. Oregon (3-0, 0-0) - Going undefeated isn’t as huge of an accomplishment for Willie Taggert’s first year at the helm of the Ducks, but it’s still impressive. It doesn’t help that the Ducks’ signature non-conference win is tarnished thanks to Nebraska’s loss to Northern Illinois this past week (also, sidenote, who else is shocked that Mike Riley failed outside of Oregon State’s lack-of expectations?), but wins are wins. The road game against ASU should be an interesting challenge for the Ducks.
  6. Colorado (3-0, 0-0) - Another case where the team has looked “good” but the quality of the opponent is a bit questionable. Getting Washington at home will be a big opportunity for the Buffs.
  7. Utah (3-0, 0-0) - Another case where the team has looked “good” but the quality of the opponent is a bit questionable. A road game against Arizona shouldn’t be a big issue for this team, but we’ll see. Honestly, Colorado and Utah are basically 6A and 6B at this point, so if you disagree with me ranking the Utes behind the Buffs, just switch these two in your mind.
  8. UCLA (2-1, 0-0) - The only reason UCLA gets this spot over Stanford is that they’ve managed to beat a Power 5 opponent this year. And also they’ve won a game played in the United States, a thing Stanford has yet to do. UCLA’s offense is good enough to keep them in any game, but can the defense do enough against Stanford’s poor offense to end the streak? That’s the question.
  9. Stanford (1-2, 0-1) - There’s an awful alternate-universe where David Shaw decided to offer Josh Rosen a scholarship, which led to Stanford having an actual passing game still while UCLA is struggling under new head coach Dave Wannstedt (you know for a FACT that this is the type of dumb hire Dan Guerrero would make). So thank your lucky stars that David Shaw is stubborn, and that UCLA ONCE AGAIN looks like they have a shot to end the win streak.
  10. Arizona (2-1, 0-0) - Nice bounce-back win, still have 0 confidence in this team, and after last year that feels pretty justified. At least you’re doing better than Arizona State, Wildcats!
  11. Arizona State (1-2, 0-0) - Arizona State doesn’t have a defense, and their offense is a random-number generator. Todd Graham has the inside track on being the first coach fired at this point.
  12. Oregon State (1-3, 0-1) - I’m so sorry, Beaver fans. None of this looks good.