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Jacob Thorpe’s Week 3 Pac-12 power rankings

PULLMAN–Early rankings are never satisfactory, but at least we’re finally seeing some volatility in the polls.

Unranked Texas jumped to No. 10 in the Associated Press Top-25 poll after knocking off Notre Dame in Week 1, and No. 16 Georgia fell seven spots despite emerging with a win against Nicholls State.

This instability in the polls is preferable to what we had before, because it means the voters are more willing to admit their preseason predictions were wrong. It’s also carried over to these power rankings, which are so far having a tough time making sense of the hot-and-cold Pac-12 conference.

1: No. 8 Washington (2-0; last week: No. 2) Maybe the Huskies have not played anybody good yet – and they won’t until Week 5 – but how many teams are actually taking care of business to this degree right now?

2: No. 7 Stanford (1-0; last week: No.1) The bye week came at a nice time for Stanford, which will earn its ranking against the Trojans, Bruins and Huskies in the next three weeks.

3: No. 22 Oregon (2-0, last week: No. 4) The expectations for the Oregon offense are so high that 97 points in two games feels like a letdown. The defense needs work, though.

4: Utah (2-0; last week: No. 3) From the archives: The Utes are a gritty team with a tough defense, but quarterback troubles will be their undoing.

5: Colorado (2-0; last week: No. 5) The Buffaloes have taken care of business against some bad teams. That means it’s they’re ready for No. 4 Michigan in Ann Arbor, right?

6: USC (1-1; last week: No. 11) It’s remarkable how much better the Trojans look against non-Bama opponents.

7: Arizona State (2-0; last week: No. 8) After scoring eight touchdowns against Texas Tech, Kalen Ballage has put himself in the awkward spot of needing at least five or so every week just to not appear lazy.

8: UCLA (1-1; last week: No. 7) With Josh Rosen not looking particularly otherworldly, the Bruins are turning to running back Jamabo, who has been better than Soso so far.

9: California (1-1; last week: No. 6) San Diego State is pretty good, so the Cal drop has more to do with other teams winning than punishing the Golden Bears.

10: Oregon State (0-1; last week: No. 9) The Beavers looked tepid offensively and thoroughly uninspired on defense during the bye week.

11: Washington State (0-2; last week: No. 12) The defense looked better and the Cougars are unquestionably more formidable when Shalom Luani plays.

12: Arizona (1-1; last week: No. 10) Rumor has it the Wildcats trailing at halftime was merely an attempt to throw off Grambling State’s renowned marching band. (OK, Richrod, I said it. Where’s my money?)

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