PULLMAN—Well, let’s see if these Cougars can climb.
Last year Washington State was at the bottom of these Power Rankings after its first game, and the Cougars are back at the bottom just one week into 2016. The Cougars did not stay down long in 2015, climbing as high as the No. 1 spot before settling in as one of the conference’s better teams.
Can the Cougars rise up in what so far seems to be a fairly pedestrian Pac-12? I guess we are just going to have to let them play the games to see.
1. Stanford (1-0; last week: 1) Holding Christian McCaffrey to 166 combined rushing and receiving yards and two scores counts as “stopping” him these days, if you believe the broadcast.
2. Washington (1-0; last week: 5) The UW special teams scored more touchdowns than the Rutgers offense in the opener. Huskies can do it again this week against Idaho.
3. Utah (1-0; last week: 6) People saying that family-like bonds between BYU and Utah’ coaching staffs will make the Holy War more amicable have much to learn about religious conflict.
4. Oregon (1-0; last week: 7) Ducks had some first-game hiccups, but no reason yet to think this team can’t contend for a conference title.
5. Colorado (1-0; last week: 10) The 37-point win over Colorado State is greater than the margin of CU’s last four wins over FBS opponents. But what’s crazy is that I had to go back to 2013 to research that statistic.
6. California (1-0; last week: 9) California’s struggles with Hawaii do not look so glaring after watching some of the Golden Bears’ peers.
7. UCLA (0-1; last week: 2) The Bruins played better toward the end of the Texas A&M game, but we’re going to shame UCLA for costing the Pac-12 its best chance at a marquee Week 1 win.
8. Arizona State (1-0; last week) 8 Not much to glean from ASU’s win over Northern Arizona. But the Sun Devils will reveal themselves against Texas Tech, for good or bad.
9. Oregon State (1-0; last week: 12) Hey, look at the Beavers showing some signs of life! I now feel confident saying OSU will win a Pac-12 game this season.
10. Arizona (0-1; last week: 11) Remember two years ago when Anu Solomon was a star freshman quarterback? The Wildcats offense appears to be a shell of its former self.
11. USC (0-1; last week: 3) If USC had managed even one touchdown against Alabama, I would not have dinged them so heavily. But you have to at least show up and play the game.
12. Washington State (0-1; last week: 4) You saw what happened.
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