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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 2, 2007 at 10:57 AM

Rethinking the Pac

In something I hope to do as a regular Sunday feature here, I’ll review the weekend in Pac-10 football, deliver a power ranking of the conference, and hand out a few awards.
So here goes.
First, a revised power ranking after the first weekend:
1, USC — The Trojans looked a little sluggish, but they also looked like they were taking it pretty easy against the Vandals.
2, Cal — Bears got one of the bigger non-USC wins by the conference in a few years and look as dangerous as advertised on offense, especially the way they grinded it out there at the end.
3, Arizona State — Sure, it was just San Jose State, but ASU looked darn good in its opener, and Dennis Erickson is already getting rave reviews. Colorado next week will tell a lot more.
4, UCLA — Bruins fans had to be heartened that Ben Olson looked as sharp as he did and that Khalil Bell ran as well as he did. Secondary might be a concern after allowing 331 passing yards, but I also think Stanford’s receiving corps is pretty good.
5, Oregon State — I thought the Beavers’ win over Utah was a little more impressive than is being portrayed. The QBs looked a little spotty, but the Beavers dominated up front, which is how they are going to win games this season.
6, Washington — We may have to wait a few more weeks, until we saw bad Syracuse really is and what the Huskies do, to know how much to read into what UW did Friday. Still, it’s been a while since the Huskies looked that good.
7, Oregon — As expected, the Ducks scored a lot of points. But giving up more than 500 yards to an offense playing two new QBs is a little bit of a red flag.
8, Washington StateCougars played a gritty game at Wisconsin, and their offense looks pretty dangerous. But defense and special teams problems may doom them.
9, Stanford — The Cardinal looked improved, playing with more fire, and their receiving corps could cause some problems.
10, Arizona — A very disappointing debut for Arizona’s new passing offense. The one caveat is that BYU might be a lot better than people think. BYU has now won 11 in a row.
BIGGEST WINNER: The entire conference. Everybody but Arizona left the weekend with reasons to feel good, and Cal’s victory over Tennessee gave validity to the thinking this could be the most improved conference in the country this season. Just about every commentator I heard yesterday mentioned something to that affect, indicating the Pac-10 is already getting increased respect.
BIGGEST LOSER: Mike Stoops. The Arizona coach needs a good season to keep the wolves at bay. He couldn’t have asked for a worse beginning. But as I wrote just above, it’s possible BYU is really, really good.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: The Huskies. Again, the next few weeks will tell us so much more. But no one really expected UW to win by 30, did they?
BIGGEST TREND: Offense. Six teams scored 38 or more points and two more scored in the 20s. Looks like another season with a lot of shootouts.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Offense: Olson. Hard to dispute 5 TDs in a conference game. Defense: Greyson Gunheim, UW. Two sacks as UW dominated up front. Special teams: DeSean Jackson, Cal. 77-yard punt return was a key play for the Bears.
EARLY LOOK AT NEXT WEEK:
BYU at UCLA: We should find out just how good BYU really is. Also nice grudge match for BYU fans still upset at Olson.
Cal at Colorado State: Bears have to avoid a letdown against a CSU team coming off a tough loss to rival Colorado.
Oregon at Michigan: Weird setting for the Ducks to go into The Big House, isn’t it, with the Wolverine nation in chaos after yesterday’s shocker.
Oregon State at Cincinnati: Beavers have to avoid the upset on a national TV Thursday night game.
Boise State at Washington: Huskies did their part in making this game that much more interesting.
Colorado at Arizona State: Colorado comes in with some momentum after the win over CSU.
Northern Arizona at Arizona: Stoops really needs an impressive win in this one.
San Diego State vs. WSU in Seattle: Aztecs didn’t play this weekend
OFF: USC.

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