The Spokesman-Review’s Theo Lawson is one of 62 national media members voting in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this season. Every week throughout the 2019 season, he’ll break down how he voted, provide an update on the Pac-12’s ranked teams and discuss where Washington State sits.
Perusing the Pac-12
Oregon (No. 13/No. 15) – How long can the Pac-12 North’s lone unbeaten team stay that way? The Ducks, who were idle this week, have an important divisional game against Cal coming up and then face Colorado and Washington. I like Oregon’s chances in the next two games, but I’ll guess the Ducks drop their first Pac-12 game to the Huskies on Oct. 19 and subsequently drop out of the top 15.
Washington (No. 15/No. 18) – UW booted USC out of the Top 25 after cruising past the Trojans in Seattle and the Huskies may still have another gear. If they can find it before the aforementioned game against Oregon, that matchup could pit a top-10 Ducks team against a top-15 Huskies team in what could be the game of the year in the Pac-12. UW ran the ball well against USC, rushing 35 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns behind Salvon Ahmed’s 153-yard, one-touchdown effort, and the Huskies played staunch defense intercepting Trojans QB Matt Fink three times.
Utah (No. 17/No. 13) – The Utes are my highest-ranked Pac-12 team and still my frontrunner to win the South division, even after slipping at USC two weeks ago. I actually have Utah ranked higher than every other voter, perhaps because I got a live look at the Utes Saturday night in Salt Lake City and was thoroughly impressed with how well they moved on offense, even without running back Zack Moss or wide receiver Britain Covey available. Utah’s defensive backs rebounded from a sloppy effort against the Trojans and should be formidable for just about every team they see going forward.
Arizona State (No. 20/NR) – Just two voters included Arizona State on their ballot last week, but 49 more gave the Sun Devils a nod this week after they beat Cal, which was previously ranked No. 15. If ASU can beat WSU in two weeks, the Sun Devils will make it back into my Top 25, but I’m still not sold. Winning anywhere on the road is tough in the Pac-12, but I didn’t have Cal ranked as high as most voters last week and therefore didn’t weigh ASU’s win in Berkeley as heavily as most voters did.
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