PAC-12 Week 4 in Review and Power Rankings

This was an exciting game that was ruined with a horrible 4th down play call by Cal.

PAC-12 NORTH

1.  Stanford

This week:  Bye week.

Next week:  Hosting UCLA at home.  UCLA looks like easy prey right now.  They have troubles throwing the ball and only have a rushing attack that shows up against inferior teams.  Stanford is not an inferior team.

1a.  Oregon

This week:  Oregon beat Arizona 56-31.  This team was looking absolutely phenomenal for the first 25 minutes of the game.  The other 35 looked incredibly sloppy and I’m glad the offense was playing the whole game, because the pass defense took the second half of.  A bigger post will come tomorrow on the game, but that was a really frustrating second half to watch knowing the talent and coaching this team has.  They played much better than Stanford did against Arizona in the first half last Saturday, but the second half Stanford looked better while still not scoring as many points as Oregon.  Oregon has closed the gap in the power rankings and this is their best performance this season.

Next week:  By week before playing Cal at home.  Cal looked very vulnerable against Washington and had inconsistent play on offense.  Don’t look ahead though, as Cal has always caused Oregon problems.

Washington

This week:  Beat Cal 31-23 at home.  Price looks like a good quarterback, a legitimate threat, but still makes mistakes.  He operates best when he is outside of the pocket.  Chris Polk continues to be a workhorse and looks significantly faster than he was last year, even with the added weight.  Washington was the better team in the fourth quarter and despite having two turnovers and being outgained, they came out with a win on a goal line stand.  Impressive Huskies.

Next week:  Traveling to Utah.  We will have a much better idea of how the north compares to the south after next weekend when the projected third team from each division face off.  Utah has a scary good defense and will be a good test for Price.

Cal

This week:  Zach Maynard looked good for about two quarters of this game.  This team lost all composure midway through the third quarter.  Not to mention they got stuff on five attempts with under a minute left within the five-yard line.  The play call on fourth down was atrocious.  They have a fullback, a strong running back, and two good tight ends, and their choice is to throw it twenty yards to the wide side of the field to a tight end in single coverage?  Really?  The only reason I’m keeping the Cal Bears in this spot is because I’m not convinced that Washington State is that good after beating two mediocre teams.  But Cal and Washington should both be on upset alert when playing Washington State.

Next week:  On a bye week before facing Oregon in Autzen Stadium on Thursday, October 6th.  Last time in Eugene the Bears got ambushed 42-3 and suffered a close defeat last year on the false start of a kicker.

Washington State

This week:  Bye week.

Next week:  At Colorado where the Buffs play well.  The Cougars had a week to recover from the San Diego State fiasco and extra time to prepare.  Washington State needs this game to stay in the hunt for a bowl game and will keep head coach Paul Wulff of the hot seat.

Oregon State

This week:  Lost to UCLA 27-19.  This game didn’t feel as close as the score indicates, even though going in to the fourth quarter the Beavers were only down 21-19.  Not even the return of James Rodgers and Joe Halahuni was enough to get the Beavers their first win of the season.  The defense allowed 211 yards rushing and the Beavers had a fumble (which should’ve been ruled incomplete) and an interception.  This was probably their last winnable game.  The other victory Oregon State has a shot at is when they travel to Washington State who is surging this season and beat the Beavers handily in Corvallis last year.

Next week:  Next Saturday the Beavers travel to the desert in Tempe to square up against the Sun Devils.  Could the Beavers pull an upset?  Don’t think so.

Arizona State rocked these fresh unis against USC with success.

PAC-12 SOUTH

Arizona State

This week:  Beat USC 43-22.  All the bad luck Arizona State has gone through finally came full circle.  The Sun Devils benefited from four USC turnovers.  Quarterback Brock Osweiller only threw 7 incompletions in 32 attempts.  Running back Cameron Marshall went off the charts today, rushing for 141 yards and three touchdowns.  The offense clicked well and Arizona State dominated the fourth quarter.  USC had a strong showing in the third, but that’s the only fight the Trojans could give.

Next week:  Hosting the Beavers in the desert.  This should be a walk in the park for a talented but underachieving team.  The Sun Devils tend to play down to competition, but I don’t think they hit rock bottom against the Beavers.

USC

This week:  Lost to Arizona State 43-22.  The Trojans only looked good during the third quarter.  USC didn’t even score a touchdown until 2:44 in to the third quarter.  Barkley, rated highly as a quarterback, threw two interceptions and contributed to the four overall turnovers.  USC was imperfect in their first three games against teams like Syracuse and Minnesota who have been exposed as frauds, and they were imperfect against the Sun Devils who took full advantage of their mistakes.

Next week:  Hosting the Arizona Wildcats.  The Trojans can’t advance to the conference championship game, but in theory they can still win the PAC-12 South.  Beating Arizona is one more challenger before they face the final contender, Arizona State.

Utah

This week:  Bye week.

Next week:  Hosting Washington who is fresh off a close win against Cal to get their confidence up.  The two teams that were projected to finish third will square off.  If Utah is anything other than a 3 point favorite or higher I’d hit that line hard when it opens.

Arizona

This week:  Lost to Oregon 56-31.  Foles had a day playing through big hits throughout the game.  He threw for 398 yards and a completion rate of 59.6%.  For the fourth straight week the Wildcats couldn’t get a running game going, but when Nick Foles is throwing fifteen yard passes with his off hand, I’m not sure how necessary a running game is.  The line is having too hard a time this year, and Arizona could pea later in the year with more experience, but right now it’s rough.  The defense had poor rush defense, allowing 415 yards rushing and 8.8 yards per carry.

Next week:  Finishing the toughest four-game stretch known to mankind, the Sun Devils will travel to PAC-12 South contender, USC.  After playing at Oklahoma State, hosting Stanford, hosting Oregon, and traveling to USC they may not have any juice or confidence left.

UCLA

This week:  Beat Oregon State 29-17.  UCLA is probably the worst 2-2 team in college football.  The Bruins had a running game, but that may be due to the Beavers having such a poor run defense.  The secondary for UCLA looked poor without considering that the Beavers passing offense has been atrocious all year.  The Bruin secondary allowed a 60% completion percentage and 287 yards.  At least they got a PAC-12 win.  Their showdowns with Washington State and Colorado will be telling.

Next week:  At Stanford for their first inter-California game.  God help them.

Colorado

This week:  Lost to Ohio State 37-17 in Columbus, Ohio.  Colorado just never got going.  After allowing a touchdown they committed a turnover in their own red zone, allowing Ohio State to jump to a 10-0 lead.  The Buffs never got in to this game and the turnovers did them in.  Having to play from behind the whole game, Colorado wasn’t able to take advantage of their 5 yards per carry average, only rushing 15 times all game and passing 39 times.

Next week:  Hosting Washington State in what should be an exciting matchup.  Washington State scores a lot and the Buffs are traditionally a good home team.  Colorado needs to win this game to keep bowl hopes alive and have a good first year in the PAC-12.

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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.