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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 1
Posted Sep 5, 2012
The first week of the season was a mixed bag of sorts for the Pac-12. Read on for a look at how we rank the conference.
Week one of the college football schedule is in the books and the Pac-12 saw its fair share of interesting and competitive games. There wasn’t too much surprise over the weekend, but several teams debuted new coaches with mixed results.
Most of the teams that were expected to win were able to do so, but a few squads look a bit questionable after their display of football in week one. With the first slate of games in the books, here is how the conference breaks down.
The Trojans handled Hawaii rather easily and showed every sign that they are the national championship contender everyone has touted them to be. Their manhandling of Hawaii was predictable, but even USC’s defense – a unit that has modest expectations – looked extremely strong and showed the Trojans are going to be very difficult to beat this year.
The Ducks look like the same team we have all become accustomed to seeing despite the loss of several key players form a season ago, including their starting quarterback and running back. Marcus Mariota looks like the real deal at quarterback and an absolute perfect fit for what Oregon does on the offensive side of the ball.
Giving up 34 points to an Arkansas State squad is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser, but to be fair, Oregon had already put the game well out of reach by the time the defense started giving up points.
The Utes want to be taken seriously in the Pac-12 South this year and more performances like the one they put in last Thursday will go a long way in turning naysayers into believers. Granted, the opponent was lowly Northern Colorado, but Utah won in dominating fashion and did so seemingly effortlessly.
Bruins fans should be a little excited after watching the performance
put in during his first game under center. Providing 200 yards passing and a 72-yard touchdown run on the ground, Hundley gives UCLA a weapon at quarterback it hasn’t seen in years. Combine that with the production Jonathan Franklin put in out of the backfield on Thursday, and the Bruins look to have a potentially deadly offense. As for the defense… well, the jury is out.
The Cardinal almost ended up on the losing end of the season opener against San Jose State, but Stanford was ultimately able to fight the Spartans off. A win is a win, but
didn’t make anyone forget
on Saturday and will have to improve mightily if the Cardinal want to make any noise in the Pac-12 this year.
6. Arizona State
The Sun Devils played arguably the weakest opponent of anyone in the conference over the weekend, but they also put forth one of the most inspired performances of the weekend. ASU’s expectations this season weren’t very much, but winning by 57 points sure isn’t going to temper the excitement of any Sun Devils’ fan. The schedule only gets tougher, but 554 yards of total offense and 63 points is a good starting point.
UW struggled a little on offense this past weekend against San Diego State, but still pulled off the victory. The Huskies had trouble getting their rushing attack going, averaging just 3.4 yards per attempt and their passing game, while solid, still only produced 222 yards through the air.
The Wildcats struggled against a mediocre Toledo squad and nearly found themselves on the wrong side of the upset. The good news is that UA compiled well over 600 yards of total offense while yielding only 3.8 yards per play to a squad known to have a good offense. The Wildcats had several blunders though and it must correct those going forward if they want to compete with the big boys in the Pac-12.
9. Oregon State
The Beavers season opener versus Nicholls State was postponed. The Colonels were unable to make the venture to Corvallis after the school was closed due to Hurricane Isaac.
The Golden Bears were upset by Nevada at home and their defense looked pretty bad in the process. The Wolf Pack compiled 220 yards on the ground and did so methodically, averaging only 3.9 yards per rush. Cal had trouble stopping Nevada on third downs as the Wolf Pack were successful on 11 of 20 attempts.
Colorado State went into Boulder and upset CU. The Buffaloes allowed the Rams to snap an eight-game losing streak in the process and looked like a squad with little-to-no chance at competing for a bowl berth this season.
12. Washington State
If Thursday was telling of anything, it’s that the rebuilding process is going to take some time for
. Normally a coach used to producing offensive juggernauts, Leach could only garner six points from his offense in his coaching debut at Wazzu.
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