Pac-12 Poll Reactions, Week 1
USC is No.2 and Oregon is No. 4. The rest of the Pac-12 might be in trouble.
This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Pac-12 fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.
USC -- The No. 1 Southern California Trojans came out and whipped Hawaii Rainbow Warriors , 49-10, and the Associated Press poll responded by dropping them to No. 2. The last two times a No.1 team dropped in the AP poll after winning by more than 35 points was Penn State Nittany Lions back in 1997 and 1994. Is this all a big deal? Is this a major snub? Not really. There's a long way to go in the season and the polls are merely serving their main mission at this point: to get the argument started.
Naturally, the Coaches Poll saw things a bit differently and pushed USC up from No. 3 to No. 2, so the Trojans now sit behind Alabama Crimson Tide , in second in both polls. In the AP, the Tide collected 45 first-place votes to USC's 11, while the margin was 37-14 in the Coaches ranking.
OREGON -- The Ducks moved up one notch to No. 4 in both polls after crushing Arkansas State Red Wolves , 57-34. One coach gave Oregon Ducks a first-place vote. It appears the Trojans and the Ducks are on a collision course for a monster matchup in the Coliseum on Nov. 3.
STANFORD -- Seven teams in this week's AP poll were dropped at least one notch in the rankings after struggling in their openers. Five of the teams (including USC) were dropped one spot and Texas Longhorns fell two spots, but the harshest punishment of all was reserved for Stanford Cardinal , a 20-17 winner over San Jose State Spartans . The Cardinal were dropped four slots, from 21st to 25th. The Coaches Poll wasn't quite as bad, as Stanford fell from 18th to 21st, but it was still the harshest punishment meted out to any of the ranked teams that won their games. Now this shabby poll treatment could reasonably be interepreted as a snub, so don't be surprised to see Cardinal fans raising a stink en masse on social media. Yeah, right.
THE OTHERS -- Let's face it, aside from the teams at the top, the Pac-12 didn't acquit itself very well on opening weekend. Still, Washington Huskies received 55 points to place just outside the Coaches Poll (essentially ranked 26th), while Arizona Wildcats was a bit further back with six points. The Northern Illinois Huskies totaled 15 points in the AP poll to place 32nd. No other Pac-12 team received a vote from the writers.
SUMMING UP -- It looks like USC and Oregon are going to have to carry the banner of the Pac-12 for now. Stanford needs a bit of seasoning and could conceivably drop out of the poll if it gets walloped by the Trojans two Saturdays from now. Washington travels to LSU Tigers this Saturday, which means it will be hard-pressed to make an appearance anytime soon--barring a shocking upset, of course. Of the remaining teams in the conference, only UCLA Bruins and Utah Utes look to have a chance at a ranking in the next few weeks. But don't hold your breath.
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