Week 2 Power Rankings: Oregon State no longer last in Pac-12

Football Power Rankings

Jarred Bierbrauer, Sports Chief

  1. Stanford: With senior running back Bryce Love in the backfield, Stanford remains strong in the No. 1 spot of our Pac-12 power rankings. Love’s 165-yard and single scoring performance against USC’s solid defense goes to show that Stanford’s offense is no joke. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinal defnse dominated by holding the Trojans to just three points. Any team with an immovable defense and stacked running game has every right to be first on our list.

  2. Washington: Despite their tough loss to the No. 7 Auburn Tigers, Washington still has more than enough potential to make it to the national championship. If Senior quarterback Jake Browning continues to play at an NFL level, the Huskies should have no problem returning as the highest scoring offense in Pac-12 play again. However, points don’t matter if the defense can’t make stops. If Washington wants the national championship, guys like defensive back Myles Bryant will have to step up big.

  3. USC: We complimented on USC’s defense once already, but the stats speak for themselves. The 2017 Pac-12 champions held Stanford’s high-powered offense to just three point in the second half. The main concern for the Trojans however is their offense. With quarterback Sam Darnold now playing in the NFL, USC is now putting their trust into freshman JT Daniels who threw two interceptions against the Cardinal. They say defense wins championships, but so do good quarterbacks.

  4. Arizona State: The next big question: How long will we continue to sleep on the Sun Devils? The answer is up for discussion, but all we know is that Arizona State is the real deal. In their upset against No. 15 Michigan State, senior quarterback Manny Wilkins set the tone by throwing for 381 yards and a touchdown to put the Spartans down for good. If ASU really wants to keep climbing in the rankings, they will have to prove their worthiness against Washington on Sept. 22.

  5. Oregon: In all honesty, the Ducks haven’t played any team worthy enough to push them up in the power rankings. Additionally, having Mario Cristobal becoming the new head coach of the program will be an adjustment for a team with 26 juniors and 12 seniors. With Stanford coming up on their schedule, UO will need to make sure their defense is ready to compete and that junior quarterback Justin Herbert can perform well under pressure.

  6. Utah: The Utes have proven multiple times these last couple of years that they deserve to sit at the adults table. Did we rank them over Washington State? Yes. Why? Because the Utes have a man by the name of Tyler Huntley who can throw the lights out. To add to that, junior running back Zack Moss has been absolutely stellar this season. Their performance last year was pretty split, but if Huntley avoids turnovers and puts the ball in the right place then Utah could be top-five in the Pac-12.

  7. Washington State: The Cougars are going to get the same treatment as the Ducks, because both teams have had almost no competition before conference play. That being said, the cougars could have a star in the midst through graduate quarterback Gardner Minshew II who threw for three touchdowns and 414 yards against San Jose State while also running a score in. We’ll see how WSU can perform once Pac-12 play starts.

  8. Colorado: Let’s be honest, no one expected Colorado to beat Nebraska. In defensive terms, the Buffaloes were barely able to hang on with the Huskers offense until the fourth quarter. On the bright side, CU has a young star wide receiver in sophomore Laviska Shenault Jr. who is one of the best pass catchers in the nation in terms of receiving yards and receptions. Overall, it’s likely that Colorado won’t carry their success into the Pac-12 with teams like Washington and Stanford looking to lead.

  9. California: We would love to put California higher up on the rankings, but we haven’t found much of a reason to do so yet. Their game against BYU was a hard-fought win that should’ve been more of a walk through the park. It seems like the Golden Bears are leaning towards having redshirt-freshman quarterback Chase Garbers start for good, but they can’t seem to forget about sophomore Brandon McIlwain. Once California can get things smoothened out on their roster more success can be expected.

  10. UCLA: Same as California, we feel like UCLA should be higher on this list. However, the Bruins have displayed a poor start to their season. They got properly disposed of by Oklahoma which exposed just how troubled UCLA’s defense is at the moment especially in the red zone. That being said, the Bruins have an amazing running back in senior Bolu Olorunfunmi who should not be wasted. Gutsy prediction: UCLA will be a top-six team in the Pac-12.

  11. Oregon State: With Jonathan Smith returning to OSU as the head coach there has been a noticeable improvement in their game play, particularly in the offense. In their game against Ohio State, the Beavers gave up a school-record 77 points but did score 31 which isn’t bad. Junior Artavius Pierce and freshman Jermar Jefferson have been a dual-threat in the backfield while OSU figures out their quarterback situation. The Beavers will need a better defense to avoid being last in the Pac-12 again.

  12. Arizona: Hear us out, we know Oregon State will likely be in this spot but as of now there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that Arizona should be higher. The main question is what exactly happened to the Wildcats? Last season they won necessary games to keep it interesting, but watching their last couple of games has left us confused. Arizona isn’t a bad team, they just need to get back their rhythm. We’ll find out who the better team is when Arizona goes into Oregon State on Sept. 22.