Pac-12 Power Rankings

NORTH DIVISION

No. 1: Stanford (1-0)

In short, the Cardinal took care of business on Saturday.

The squad, now ranked sixth in the country, easily defeated San Jose State, 57-3 on Saturday. Andrew Luck began his Heisman candidacy with somewhat modest stats, for him at least. The redshirt junior quarterback was just 17-for-26 (his completion rate, at 65 percent, is down from his 70 percent mark last year), and threw for only 171 yards and two touchdowns.

But against the lowly Spartans, Luck didn’t need to repeat his Orange Bowl performance. San Jose State had 70 yards in penalties, compared to Stanford’s 30, and, more importantly, turned the ball over three times on fumbles.

— Jonathan Kuperberg

No. 2: Oregon (0-1)

Pac-12 fanboys and girls were let down again by Oregon and its failure to represent our side of the country against LSU. Sure the Ducks outgained the Tigers on offense, but five turnovers is no sound way to win a football game. Oregon will likely hang 2,000 points on Nevada this weekend, but they missed the big opportunity. The Ducks are going to have to find a way back to the football immortality that they almost reached.

— Gabriel Baumgaertner 

No. 3: Cal (1-0)

After an offseason filled with questions, Saturday’s 36-21 win over Fresno State wasn’t a shabby start at all. A junk touchdown by the Bulldogs in the final minutes made the final score closer, but Cal’s defense showed good depth — the Bears’ offense essentially gifted Fresno State 14 points on two turnovers. New quarterback Zach Maynard wasn’t spectacular, but flashed a penchant for big plays.The Bears still don’t have a chance at passing the division’s elite duo, but if Maynard continues to improve, they could stay in this spot for the remainder of the season.

— Jack Wang

No. 4: Washington State (1-0)

We’ve got to put them here because in an absolutely dreadful weekend for the Pac-12, Washington State hung 64 on Idaho State after losing their starting quarterback, Jeff Tuel, to a broken collarbone. Ouch. Typically 64 points on an FCS opponent isn’t anything to write home about, but seeing as Oregon State lost to Sacramento State and Washington gasped past Eastern Washington, we’ll overrate the Cougs this week. And cheers to Marshall Lobbestael, who stepped in for Tuel and completed 14 of 19 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns.
— Gabriel Baumgaertner
No. 5: Washington (1-0)
Washington lost an eventual No. 8 NFL pick in quarterback Jake Locker, but after a narrow 30-27 win over Eastern Washington, the team looks like it has holes everywhere.Star wideout Jermaine Kearse sprained his ankle and left in the first quarter, leaving tailback Chris Polk as the team’s only consistent offensive threat. Polk did his part with 122 yards on 23 carries, but the end result was a hopelessly attack.Against an FCS team, the Huskies mustered only 250 yards of offense, with Keith Price’s 17 completions making up only 102 of them. Meanwhile, the Washington defense was torn apart for 504 yards, 473 coming from quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.

This week, the Huskies will have to prepare for Hawaii’s Bryant Moniz, the national passing leader a year ago.

— Jack Wang

No. 6: Oregon State (0-1)

It wasn’t too long ago that Ryan Katz looked like he had potential. On Saturday, it looked like he forgot how to play football.Despite 223 rushing yards by new starter Malcolm Agnew, the Beavers fell to Sacramento State after the Hornets went for two to end a 29-28 win in Corvallis, Ore.Katz’s play was one reason behind one of the most embarrassing season openers in the country. The junior couldn’t get anywhere close to the end zone against a middling FCS squad, going 5-of-10 in the first quarter with an interception on the Hornets’ 33-yard line. In the second, Oregon State only mustered three-play drives of one, seven and eight yards.

Needless to say, he was hooked after that, and backup Sean Mannion’s 8-of-12 showing helped make a 14-3 hole a little less deep.

— Jack Wang

 

SOUTH DIVISION

No. 1: USC (1-0)

We would drop these guys too after a boring, unimpressive 19-17 victory over Big-10 tadpole Minnesota, but just how good is Robert Woods? 17 catches for 174 yards and 3 TDs? Insanity. Matt Barkley is still one of the conference’s top QBs and Woods continues to distance himself as not merely one of the best receivers, but best players (watch out Andrew Luck) in the conference. USC gets a real test when they host Utah this week for a way-to0-early Pac-12 South championship game.
— Gabriel Baumgaertner
No. 2: Utah (1-0)

Quarterback Jordan Wynn didn’t need to do too much for the Utes to win. They defeated Montana State handily, 27-10, on Thursday. The junior signal caller only passed for 101 yards and two touchdown. His running back took care of the rest. John White IV rushed for 150 yards on just 19 carries.

Also, Utah was playing Montana State — and the Bobcats are not exactly a powerhouse. Their quarterback Denarius McGhee, threw two picks.

The Utes’ opener did not say much about the squad. Its conference opener on Saturday, against USC at the Coliseum, will say a lot more.

— Jonathan Kuperberg

No. 3: Arizona State (1-0)

Jury remains out. An easy win over UC Davis means nothing. The Sun Devils host No. 21 Missouri this week. Let’s see if Vontaze Burfict will actually kill somebody.

— Gabriel Baumgaertner

No. 4: Arizona (1-0)

 Arizona had plenty of question marks going into the season. A 41-10 whipping of Northern Arizona on Saturday did not answer too many of them. Quarterback Nick Foles and wide receiver Juron Criner were their usual selves — Foles was 34-for-42 passing for 412 yards and five touchdowns, and Criner caught six passes for 151 yards and one touchdown.

The Wildcats’ defense performed well enough to hold the Lumberjacks to 10 point — but that’s the Lumberjacks, not exactly Oregon, Stanford and USC. Northern Arizona nearly had a 100-yard rusher; Zach Bauman had 99 yards on the ground. Ten penalties for 74 yards is also a problem for Arizona.

— Jonathan Kuperberg

No. 5: UCLA (0-1)

What was the most surprising thing about the Bruins’ 38-34 loss to Houston on Saturday? What is that, down 31-14 at the half, UCLA rallied to come within a field goal of tying the Cougars late in the third quarter? What is that running back Johnathan Franklin took 16 carries and rushed for 126 yards — and did not fumbled once? What is that a Bruins receiver, Joseph Fauria, had over 100 yards receiving?

No, it was that it took two quarters for quarterback Kevin Prince to get injured. I pegged him for one.

The oft-injured Prince, named the starting quarterback, suffered a concussion in the second quarter. His replacement, Richard Brehaut, played surprisingly well, throwing for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Not that it mattered. Neither UCLA quarterback is in Houston quarterback Case Keenum’s ballpark.

— Jonathan Kuperberg

No. 6: Colorado (0-1)

Colorado hired a new head coach in former assistant Jon Embree, but his debut wasn’t too much different from the bottom-feeding days of Dan Hawkins.Hawaii’s Bryant Moniz had a field day to start off his junior campaign, abusing the Buffaloes’ defense in Honolulu with 269 all-purpose yards in the 34-17 victory. Moniz, who only had 102 rushing yards in 2010, chugged out 120 and a touchdown in just the first half.This Saturday, they’ll face Cal’s dual-threat quarterback Zach Maynard at home as they try to avenge last year’s 52-7 shellacking.

— Jack Wang