|After upsetting Oklahoma State, Arizona QB Matt Scot and the Wildcats moved up to No. 4 in the Pac-12 power rankings. (US Presswire)|
Here's CBSSports.com Rapid Reports Pac-12 power ranking:
If Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott gets a bouquet of flowers and a dozen chocolates in the mail this week, they're probably from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. Delany is probably sending them as a thank you for canceling the Big Ten vs. Pac-12 football series that was set to begin in 2017. There's also probably a note from Delany that says, "Lets just cancel the Rose Bowl, there's no way a Big Ten team is beating a Pac-12 team this year." To the rankings we go:
1. USC (2-0): The Trojans won their opener by 39 points and dropped in the AP poll. They won their Week 2 game by 13 and dropped in the coaches poll. Maybe if the Trojans lose this week they'll move up a spot in both polls. That's a joke, but USC possibly losing to Stanford isn't. Matt Barkley is 0-3 all-time against the Cardinal. Last week's ranking: 1. Next up: at No. 21 Stanford, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Fox).
2. Oregon (2-0): Due to coach Chip Kelly's secrecy, the Oregon injury list is harder to get than the President's cell phone number. However, one injury did leak out this week and it's a big one: All-Pac-12 safety John Boyett is out for the season. The Ducks had enough ammo to handily beat Fresno State on Saturday, but Boyett's injury could come into play in the next three weeks when Oregon plays pass-heavy teams like Arizona and Washington State. Last week's ranking: 2. Next up: vs. Tennessee Tech, Saturday, 3 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Networks).
3. Stanford (2-0): Stanford and Duke are both smart schools, but Stanford looked a lot smarter Saturday in its 50-13 win over the Blue Devils. For the second week in a row, quarterback Josh Nunes completed 16 passes, but he made these 16 count. Nunes threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns. He only threw for 125 yards in his Week 1 debut. The blowout could be the confidence builder Stanford needed with No. 2 USC coming to town Saturday. Last week's ranking: 3. Next up: vs. No. 2 USC, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Fox).
4. Arizona (2-0): Of the big Pac-12 wins Saturday, Arizona's victory over Oklahoma State impressed us the most. For the second consecutive week, Arizona totaled more than 500 yards and that was thanks in large part to quarterback Matt Scott, who accounted for 375 of those (320 pass, 55 rush). Just as Michael Scott made the Office must-see TV, Matt Scott has made Arizona football must-see TV. Last week's ranking: 7. Next up: vs. South Carolina State, Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network).
5. UCLA (2-0): After two weeks of football, the No. 1 offense in the Pac-12 doesn't belong to USC or Oregon, it belongs to UCLA. Yes, UCLA. And the Bruins aren't only No. 1 in the conference, they're No. 3 in the entire country. The Bruins just might be the most exciting football team in Los Angeles. Don't believe us, just ask P. Diddy. Last week's ranking: 6. Next up: vs. Houston, Saturday, 10:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).
6. Oregon State (1-0): With the Beavers 10-7 upset of Wisconsin on Saturday, Oregon State coach Mike Riley took a fire extinguisher to any hot seat talk that existed nationally. Was the win over a Wisconsin a fluke? It didn't look like it, but we'll find out shortly. After a bye this week, three of the Beavers' next four games are on the road against ranked teams: at No. 22 UCLA, at No. 24 Arizona and at No. 25 BYU. Last week's ranking: 11. Next up: at No. 22 UCLA, Saturday, Sept. 22, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN2)
7. Arizona State (2-0): Todd Graham probably doesn't read our power rankings, but if he did, he'd probably be thinking, "We beat our first two opponents 108-20. What do we have to do to move up in these rankings?" The answer: beat Missouri. Everyone in the Pac-12 should be rooting for ASU on Saturday because it's the SEC-Pac-12 rubber match. Since 2000, the two conferences are tied 12-12 in head-to-head games. Last week's ranking: 8. Next up: at Missouri, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
8. Utah (1-1): The Jordan Wynn era is over in Utah and now the Jon Hays era begins. Or the Travis Wilson era or the Hays/Wilson era. Let's just say there's a new era and it doesn't involve Wynn. It will be interesting to see how coach Kyle Whittingham divides the snaps between Wilson and Hays against BYU on Saturday and going forward. Despite Friday's loss to Utah State, Ute fans shouldn't go into panic mode, yet. For anyone with a poor short-term memory, let us remind you: Utah started the 2011 season 3-4 before going 5-1 in its final six games. Last week's ranking: 5. Next up: vs. BYU, Saturday, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
9. Washington (1-1): The biggest fall in our rankings this week goes to the Huskies. To be clear, we're not punishing Washington for getting pummeled 41-3 by LSU on national television, we're rewarding teams that won. We like rewarding people. That being said, if Washington doesn't get its running game going in the next few weeks, the Huskies may want to familiarize themselves with the nine-spot because they could be there for awhile. Last week's ranking: 4. Next up: vs. Portland State, Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (FX).
10. Cal (1-1): If you're wondering why Cal moved down this week, it's because the Bears just had the most unconvincing 50-31 win in college football history. Against FCS school Southern Utah, the Bears were only up 20-17 going into the fourth quarter before getting a defensive touchdown from DB Marc Anthony, a special teams touchdown on a Keenan Allen 69-yard punt return and a 77-yard touchdown run from Daniel Lasco. Jeff Tedford had better throw the playbook at Ohio State this week because the Bears have everything to gain and nothing to lose. A loss to the Buckeyes is no big deal because everyone's expecting them to lose, but a win over OSU could revive a season and a fan base that was shaken after the Bears' season-opening loss to Nevada. Last week's ranking: 9. Next up: at No. 12 Ohio State, Saturday, noon ET (ABC).
11. Washington State (1-1): Mike Leach's Air Raid offense isn't exactly lighting up the scoreboard in Pullman, but Cougar fans shouldn't fret. Washington State has two very winnable games coming up on its schedule -- at UNLV, vs. Colorado. If the offense can get on track and the Cougars can win both games, WSU will be halfway to its first bowl bid in nearly a decade. But let's not forget about the quarterback situation developing in Pullman. Starting QB Jeff Tuel injured his knee against Eastern Washington on Saturday, which means Connor Halliday could get the start Friday. If Halliday starts and lights up the scoreboard, Tuel might be carrying a clipboard the rest of the season. Last week's ranking: 10. Next up: at UNLV, Friday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN).
12: Colorado (0-2): If grocery bag sales go up in Boulder this week, it's because Colorado students are probably going to wear them on their heads to home games this season. After Saturday's stunning loss to Sacramento State, 0-12 isn't out of the question for Colorado. How not out of the question is it? If the Buffaloes don't win one of their next two games (Fresno State, Washington State), they'll be 0-4 heading into a six-game stretch that includes games against five ranked teams -- vs. No. 22 UCLA, vs. Arizona State, at No. 2 USC, at No. 4 Oregon, vs. No. 21 Stanford, at No. 24 Arizona. Last week's ranking: 12. Next up: at Fresno State, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network).