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Cal Basketball

Pac-12 Power Ratings

September 19, 2017
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As a group the Pac-12 has largely coasted through what collectively is a pretty soft non-league schedule during the first three weeks of the season. 

Seven of the 12 teams are unbeaten and five are ranked in the top 25. But until they start beating up on one another, a process that begins in earnest this week, we will have no true idea where they stand vs. one another. 

Until then we can only surmise. Here are one man's power rankings through last weekend.

1. USC (3-0)
   Until somebody proves otherwise the Trojans are at the top. They haven't looked overpowering, and in fact slipped a notch in the AP poll after winning against Texas. The Stanford win doesn't look as good as it did a week ago. Still, any team with Sam Darnold is a force to be reckoned with.

2. Washington (3-0)

The Huskies have pulverized a soft schedule,  but get something of a reality check this week at Colorado, which is giving up just 12.3 points a game.  Jake Browning doesn't pass all that often, but he is completing 74 per cent of his tries.  

3. Oregon (3-0)

So far, so good in Willie Taggert's first year as head coach. With Royce Freeman running and Justin Herbert passing the Ducks are leading the league in total offense and scoring. Arizona State should be no problem for them.

4. Washington State (3-0)

Luke Falk came out of coach Mike Leach's doghouse ready to go big time. He threw for 396 yards and six TDs in the 52-28 win over Oregon State last week. Their defense might be the best in Leach's tenure in Pullman, although losing linebacker Peyton Pelluer for the season is a major blow. 

5. Cal (3-0)

The Bears have done all that was asked of them in one of the tougher non-conference schedules. Their pass defense, which has the bad habit of giving up big plays, especially early, will be tested by Sam Darnold and USC.

6. Utah (3-0)

Stop me if you've heard this, but this team waltzed through a ridiculously easy first three games. The Utes stout defense will probably be too much even for Arizona, which averages 328 yards on the ground.

7. Colorado (3-0) 

The Buffaloes finally gave up a touchdown last week, but they will find the Huskies a little harder to stop than Colorado State, Texas State and Northern Colorado.     Quarterback Steven Montez has toned down his sometimes madcap ways.

8. Stanford (1-2)

The Cardinal still have Bryce Love, who is making the departure of Christian McCaffrey less painful. Until quarterback Keller Chryst gets more consistent the Cardinal will struggle.

9. UCLA (2-1)

Quarterback Josh Rosen has to be near perfect to make up for the league's leakiest defense. Head coach Jim Mora is on the hot seat or thin ice. Choose your metaphor, his status is the same.

10. Arizona (2-1)

The one loss was to Houston, and that's no disgrace. The Wildcats lead the conference in rushing, helped in no small part by quarterack Brandon Dawkins. If only he could pass.

11. Arizona State (1-2)

The Sun Devils gave up almost 600 passing yards last week and things don't get any easier. Thanks to Oregon State they might win a conference game, but that could be it. 

12. Oregon State (1-3)

Just when it looked as if things couldn't get worse, they did. The Beavers lost starting quarterback Jake Luton at least for the short term. They have been blown out three times and barely beat Portland State. Baseball season can't come soon enough in Corvallis.  


     

 
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