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Jacob Thorpe’s Pac-12 power rankings

The two teams at the top and bottom of the conference are easy enough to sort out. Oregon and USC have the only two major wins so far while Colorado and Washington State are the only teams currently flailing. The other eight teams have almost all won two games they were expected to win and we should see plenty of movement once they start to play each other.

1 Oregon (2-0; last week: No. 1) The vaunted Michigan State defense held the Ducks to all of 46 points, and Oregon’s defense is pretty gritty as well.

2 USC (2-0; last week: No. 3) Steve Sarkisian and his staff are finding out all the cool things you can do with a team full of five-star All-Americans, like hold a Stanford team that averaged 37.6 points per game against Sarkisian’s Washington teams scoreless in three quarters.

3 Arizona St. (2-0; last week: No. 4) We won’t start find out what this Sun Devils team is truly made of until week five when ASU begins a stretch of games against UCLA, USC and Stanford.

4 Stanford (1-1; last week: No. 2) Stanford still has a chance at sneaking into the College Football Playoff, but a team that couldn’t score a single point in the second half against USC is going to have a hard time keeping pace with the Ducks.

5 Arizona (2-0; last week: No. 6) Arizona survived a bad situation, traveling to play a small school that’s actually pretty good at football. Rich Rod has his team playing well and WSU fans won’t like what the Wildcats do to Nevada.

6 UCLA (2-0; last week: No. 5) Jim Mora says that outside expectations became a burden for the Bruins. We’ll see how UCLA’s strategy of doing whatever it can to lower those expectations pays off.

7 Washington (2-0; last week: No. 8) It’s a small comfort for the Huskies that Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams could play for a Pac-12 team, UW has nine more games against teams with Pac-12 quarterbacks.

8 California (2-0; last week: No. 9) The Golden Bears bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. This winning games business is pretty tiring, after all.

9 Utah (2-0; last week: No. 10) Travis Wilson and his receivers are in fine form, making Utah yet another dangerous team everybody has to deal with this season.

10 Oregon St. (2-0; last week: No. 11) Ugly wins or not, all that matters is that the Beavers are surviving their typical September slogs and should end up with a pretty good record at the end of the year.

1 1 WSU (0-2; last week: No. 7) The Cougars are unlucky not to have Colorado on the schedule this season. Or perhaps they’re extremely lucky.

12 Colorado (1-1; last week. No. 12) There are over 100 colleges and universities in the commonwealth of Massachusetts and nearly all of them have better football teams than UMass, which nearly collected its third win in three seasons against the Buffaloes. Good thing CU didn’t schedule Harvard or Tufts.


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