NCAA PAC-12 Week 3 Review and Power Ranking

Oregon had a snoozer, unlike some other PAC-12 teams.

PAC-12 Power Rankings

And it seems like this is the first and last year of the PAC-12 with the annexation of Texas and Oklahoma, the states, not the teams.  The PAC-12 continues its run of mediocrity with UCLA getting crushed by Texas, Washington losing to Nebraska, and Washington State losing to San Diego State.  On the bright side, Utah gave BYU the business in the Holy War and USC returned to proper form by easily handling Syracuse.

PAC-12 North

Stanford

Last week: A dominant 37-10 win over Arizona.  It appears 1st team All-PAC10 linebacker Skov is going to be out for a while due to injury.  Luck hasn’t been putting up ungodly numbers and he hasn’t had to.  Stanford has handled every single team they’ve played efficiently and professionally.  Running back Stepfan Taylor has taken it to another level this season making this offense incredibly dangerous, even without considering the three tight ends who could possibly go pro.  More importantly, Stanford is 3-0 against the spread, and they haven’t even been close.

Next week: A bye week, then the first battle between the California schools, hosting UCLA.  UCLA is reeling from the game against Texas.  The Bruins will play Oregon State before their matchup with the Cardinal in Palo Alto.

Oregon

Last week:  Oregon blew up Missouri State 56-7.  Missouri State scored on its first drive and was only down 14-7 going in to the second quarter.  LaMichael James finally broke the hundred-yard mark in a game, rushing for 204 yards on 12 carries and scoring three touchdowns.  The defensive line looked subpar, allowing the Bears to rush for 185 yards.  The defense seems to get worse as the season goes on and it’s really frustrating.

Next week:  Oregon travels to Arizona, the second depth of hell as an Oregon fan.  It’s like a graveyard for Oregon quarterbacks with Kellen Clemens and Dennis Dixon both playing their final snaps.  Their fans are also batshit crazy, not in the good way.  They have given a cheerleader a concussion via thrown water bottles, have made signs at game day praising themselves for injuring Oregon’s quarterbacks, and show poor fan etiquette by getting on the field, prepping to rush it, and then having to watch as Masoli leads Oregon to a double overtime win.

Washington

Washington lost, but looked better than expected against Nebraska.

Last week:  Lost 51-38 at Nebraska.  Nebraska came in to this game pissed.  It was a rubber match between last year’s two games, one that had the Cornhuskers embarrassing the Huskies in Seattle and then Locker shocking the black shirts in the Holiday Bowl.  Keith Price looked good for the Huskies, passing 21-37, for 274 yards, and 4 touchdowns.   Polk carried 22 times for 150 yards rushing and a touchdown.  The Huskies did commit two turnovers but was very similar to Nebraska in total yards gained, 420 to 464.

Next week:  The Huskies host Cal in Seattle.  This game last year was the turning point that sparked Washington’s run to the Holiday Bowl.  This game could determine who goes to a bowl game and who finally makes the official jump to 3rd in the PAC-12 North.

Cal

Last week:  The Cal Golden Bears got a great tune-up game playing Presbyterian, where the backups get on in the second quarter and the Bears won 63-12.  How does a BCS team schedule Presbyterian?  It would probably be better just to schedule a really good FCS team, just so it’s not a total waste of a week.

Next week:  Cal is looking to get back at Washington on the road.  If Cal had beaten Washington last year they would have made a bowl game.  This will be a good test for Zach Maynard.

Washington State

Last week:  The first Cougar loss of the season, falling 42-24 to San Diego State.  Backup quarterback for Washington State, Marshall Lobbestael, did well until the fourth quarter, throwing just below 50%, 368 yards, and three touchdowns.  The Cougars allowed 227 yards rushing, passed for 368 of their own yards, but allowed 500 total yards of offense to the Aztecs.

Next week:  A bye week before they travel to Boulder to play Colorado.  It gives Tuel two more weeks to get back to healthy, and maybe the Cougars can prepare well enough over the next two weeks to beat the Buffs.

Oregon State

Last week:  Bye.  The best week the Beavers will have this year.  Sean Mannion has officially taken the starting quarterback spot from Ryan Katz.

Next week:  The Beavers host the Bruins at Reser Stadium.  I’m excited to see which team will be the worst in the PAC-12.  The Beavers have only scored 27 points this season, with all of those coming against an FCS team they lost to.  The Bruins have only beaten San Jose State so far this season.

PAC-12 South

USC

Last week:  Covering their first spread of the season, USC beat Syracuse 38-17.  Barkley threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns, with Robert Woods catching eight passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.  Marc Tyler got 15 carries after being reinstated but only averaged 2.7 yards per carry.  I think the USC line continues to struggle.

Next week:  The Trojans travel to Arizona State.  The Sun Devils were one of the preseason favorites to win the PAC-12 South.

Think of the Holy War as Oregon v. Washington, with politics and religion mixed in.

Utah

Last week:  Utah clobbered BYU 54-10 in the Holy War.  It was a win of epic proportions.  Nothing makes me happier than a BYU loss, other than a Washington loss.  Utah did benefit by being +5 in the turnover margin, but they held BYU to just 11 yards rushing.  I thought this team was pretty balanced between offense and defense, but this defense makes the PAC-12 South a clear race between the Utes and Sun Devils.

Next week:  A bye week before they host the Huskies.  The two teams haven’t played in recent history and will be a good measuring stick when comparing the bottom four teams of the PAC-12 North and the top of the PAC-12 South.

Arizona State

Last week:  Lost to Illinois in Champaign 17-14.  The line started Arizona State at -3, but finished with them at +1.5.  I’m not entirely sure what happened in this game as the Sun Devils outgained Illinois 362-240 while committing the same number of turnovers as the Fighting Illini.  Illinois relies on their running game and Arizona State only allowed 105 yards on 43 carries.

Next week:  Hosting the USC Trojans on ESPN at 7:15.  This game could be for the outright PAC-12 South.

Arizona

Last week:  Arizona lost to Stanford 37-10 and kept it close through the first half, only being down 16-10.  Foles is having to do all the work on offense, throwing the ball 33 times and only attempting 23 rushes the whole game, 6 by Foles himself.  The line seems to be specializing on pass protection as the line is almost an entirely new group learning together.  The lack of rushing is really going to hurt the Wildcats against teams like Oregon and USC.  Their kicking game also sucks.

Next week:  Hosting the Mighty Oregon Ducks!  Arizona has always played the Ducks tight at home.  Bigger preview coming tomorrow.

Colorado

Last week:  The Buffs beat in state rival Colorado State 28-14.  Colorado outgained State by 120 yards on offense, passed for 215, and held Colorado State to just 6 yards rushing on 27 attempts.  Rodney Stewart was the big baller, having over 200 all-purpose yards.

This week:  Traveling to Ohio State.  The Bucks looked atrocious passing the football last week, at one time having a negative quarterback passer rating, which I didn’t even know was possible.  Could the Buffs pull off the upset?  Not likely, but there’s a possibility.

UCLA

Last week:  Losing to Texas 49-20.  Case McCoy caught fire this game and Texas became the team everyone thought it could be.  UCLA became the team everyone hoped they wouldn’t be.  The Bruins were awful on third down, converting only three times on thirteen attempts, got outgained by 171 yards, and allowed 284 yards rushing.  Worst of all is that Kevin Prince got hurt and three of his seven passes were intercepted.  Rick Neuheisel’s butt has got to have blisters at this point for being on the hot seat so long.

This week:  At Reser Stadium playing Oregon State.  This should give the Bruins a week to show off how their offense should work.  The alternative is the Beavers catch a glimmer of hope with Sean Mannion and gives the UCLA AD all the firepower he needs to fire Rick.

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Rusty Ryan

About Rusty Ryan

Rusty once robbed three casinos at the same time with a team formed by Danny Ocean. He's also stolen the Corronation egg and crashed the GRECO security system, effectively ruining a casino. Laying low for the time being he now follows sports, betting, and pop culture a little too closely.