Wildcat Authority Pac-12 Power Rankings
1.) Arizona (15-0, 2-0) – The Wildcats have been the most impressive team in the conference for the entirety of the season and two wins to open conference play puts them in the top spot. Add that in with the way that Arizona’s defense completely shut down a desolate Washington State offense until the starters left the floor late in the game. The Wildcats’ struggled a little bit with Washington on Saturday, trailing for most of the game, but were able to stay undefeated with a late game push.
2.) Colorado (13-2, 2-0) – Colorado was the only other team in the conference besides Arizona to win two games on the opening weekend of Pac-12 play. The Buffs took down the undefeated Oregon Ducks in a hard fought game. Colorado did struggle a bit with Oregon State until late in the game, but it seemed like that was just the team looking too far forward as the Buffaloes were able to pull away late in that one.
3.) UCLA (12-2, 1-0) – With a decisive win over USC, the Bruins showed who was really in control of Los Angeles. Beating a rival by 30-plus points is always good for a school, but the way that Steve Alford did it was what vaults UCLA towards the top of the list. The Bruins showed that they can score in bunches, though the lack of a strong defensive effort could be their downfall in tougher matchups.
4.) Oregon (13-1, 1-1) – The Ducks were riding high, entering the conference season with an undefeated overall record. However, that changed on Sunday after having almost changed on Thursday night. Oregon was one strange play away from getting swept on the road this weekend, but the perseverance that it showed is enough to keep the Ducks in the fourth spot.
5.) Utah (12-2, 1-1) – Utah didn’t play a very difficult non-conference schedule, which may hurt the Utes later down the line. However, in the opening weekend of Pac-12 play, Utah looked just as good as Oregon, with a singular turnover being the only difference from being 2-0 in conference. While the team isn’t going to compete for the conference title, the showing against Oregon is promising for a Utah program that is on the rise.
6.) Washington (9-6, 1-1) – The Huskies haven’t been highly regarded this season. On closer inspection, Washington only has one bad loss on the season and played its best ball of the season this past weekend. When Lorenzo Romar can get his team on track, the Huskies are going to be a tough team to beat. They showed that they could hang with Arizona for 32 minutes and beat up on a dangerous Arizona State team.
7.) California (10-4, 1-0) – The Golden Bears limped into conference play, having lost four of their last eight and missing Jabari Bird with an injury. Cal defeated Stanford in a tight game, but experience helped push the Golden Bears over the top. However, it remains to be seen whether or not they can compete with some of the best teams in the conference.
8.) Arizona State (12-3, 1-1) – As I just said, Arizona State can be dangerous, but this wasn’t the weekend of the Sun Devils. A drubbing at home to Washington wasn’t the best way to start the weekend, but Arizona State bounced back with a victory over the Washington State Cougars. After a 12-2 non-conference schedule, the Sun Devils will have to make some waves before they are considered a contender.
9.) Stanford (9-4, 0-1) – Stanford was riding high just a few weeks ago, having beaten Connecticut on the road and just narrowly missing out on a victory over Michigan. However, the Cardinal fell at home to a Cal team that hasn’t looked very impressive this season and was further slowed by an injury. It wasn’t a good look for Stanford and it will need to bounce back this weekend on the road against the Oregon schools to avoid starting in a hole.
10.) Oregon State (8-6, 0-2) – The Beavers played two very tough games this week on the road. Oregon State gave Colorado a game in Boulder and kept it close against Utah on the road. The Beavers aren’t much of a threat away from Corvallis, but there could be some wins coming for Oregon State at home.
11.) USC (9-5, 0-1) – It wasn’t a good way for Andy Enfield to start his Pac-12 coaching career, but now he has to deal with it. USC was completely dismantled by UCLA and that was expected. USC has had ups and downs this season so far, but this may be the lowest point of the season for the Trojans.
12.) Washington State (7-7, 0-2) – I’m not sure that there has been a worse team in the Pac-12 in quite a while. The Cougars were missing two key players and could not get anything going on their road trip to the desert. Unless Washington State can find another scorer, it is going to be a long season in Pullman.
Colorado at Washington State
Utah at Washington
Arizona at UCLA
Stanford at Oregon State
Arizona State at USC
California at Oregon
California at Oregon State
Colorado at Washington
Stanford at Oregon
Utah at Washington State
Arizona at USC
Arizona State at UCLA