By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 2 Pac-12 Power Rankings
Check out all of our college football rankings.
1. Oregon (1-1) -The Ducks took out their anger from the Week 1 loss to LSU on Nevada. Quarterback Darron Thomas had a huge performance with six passing scores, while true freshman running back De’Anthony Thomas continues to impress. Oregon gets another tune-up this Saturday with Missouri State visiting Eugene.
2. Stanford (2-0) – The first two teams in the Pac-12 power rankings are pretty clear. The Cardinal hold a significant edge over the rest of the teams in the conference for the No. 2 spot. Quarterback Andrew Luck is one of the early frontrunners for the Heisman, throwing 461 yards and six touchdowns in two games. A rebuilt offensive line is still a work in progress for coach David Shaw.
3. USC (2-0) – Talent isn’t a question for USC, but finding a way to close out games has been a problem. The Trojans dominated early against Minnesota and Utah, but allowed both teams to rally in the second half. The offense got a boost against the Utes with the return of running back Marc Tyler, who rushed for 113 yards and one score in Week 2. USC hosts Syracuse this Saturday, before traveling to Tempe for a key Pac-12 South game against Arizona State in Week 4.
4. Arizona State (2-0) – The Sun Devils scored a huge non-conference win against Missouri on Friday night and have one more game before opening up Pac-12 play. Arizona State travels to Champaign to take on Illinois this Saturday, which is an intriguing matchup between two teams considered sleepers in their conference race. Quarterback Brock Osweiler has been stellar so far, throwing for 615 yards and five touchdowns in two starts.
5. Washington (2-0) – The Huskies are 2-0 for the first time since 2007. However, it hasn’t been the most impressive start. Washington’s pass defense has been under fire and currently ranks as the worst in college football. New quarterback Keith Price has been solid so far, throwing seven touchdowns on 50 attempts. Washington has a difficult test in Week 3, traveling to Lincoln to take on Nebraska – the third game between these two teams over the last year.
6. California (2-0) – Quarterback Zach Maynard has provided a spark to California’s offense, throwing for 509 yards and six scores over the first two weeks. Although his accuracy needs work, Maynard’s emergence could give California a chance to push for third place in the Pac-12 North. The Golden Bears should have no trouble moving to 3-0 with Presbyterian traveling to AT&T Park this Saturday.
7. Utah (1-1) – The Utes came up just short in their first Pac-12 game. The Trojans appeared to be in control most of the way, but Utah capitalized on three USC turnovers to cut the deficit to three midway through the third quarter. However, the Utes inability to establish a consistent offense has to be a concern going forward. Quarterback Jordan Wynn needs to test opposing defenses downfield more often, but could use more help from the rushing attack. The Utes step out of conference this week, as they take on rival BYU.
8. Arizona (1-1) – The Wildcats are coming off a 37-14 defeat to Oklahoma State, but have to quickly regroup with the Pac-12 opener against Stanford this Saturday. The status of Juron Criner remains uncertain for this game, but the Wildcats are deep at receiver if the senior can’t go. Arizona has struggled with a new offensive line and the secondary and both will be a concern against the Cardinal in Week 3.
9. UCLA (1-1) – Although the Bruins got into the win column on Saturday, it wasn’t a particularly impressive performance. UCLA struggled to beat San Jose State, which does not help coach Rick Neuheisel move off the hot seat. The Bruins host Texas this Saturday, and quarterback Kevin Prince is expected to be available to play. Unless UCLA shows significant improvement over the next couple of weeks, it could be another year without a winning record.
10. Washington State (2-0) – The competition hasn’t been great, but it looks like the Cougars are making more progress under coach Paul Wulff. Despite quarterback Jeff Tuel missing most of the first two games with a clavicle injury, the Cougars rank first nationally in scoring offense. If Washington State can beat San Diego State on the road this Saturday, it might be time to start looking at the Cougars as a potential bowl team.
11. Colorado (0-2) – New coach Jon Embree is still looking for his first win on the Colorado sidelines, but this team has shown a lot of fight over the last two weeks. The Buffaloes trailed at halftime of both of their games, but have rallied in the second half. Receiver Paul Richardson is emerging as one of the top big-play threats in the Pac-12, catching 11 passes for 284 yards and two scores against California. Colorado takes on rival Colorado State in Denver this Saturday.
12. Oregon State (0-2) – After a performance like the one Oregon State posted on Saturday against Wisconsin, there’s not many positives to build upon for coach Mike Riley. The quarterback situation is a mess, while the defense ranks near the bottom of the Pac-12 in points allowed per game. The good news? The Beavers have a bye week this Saturday. The bad news? The schedule doesn’t lighten up any when they hit Pac-12 play on Sept. 24 against UCLA.