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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 7, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Pac-12 power rankings — Color it Cardinal

There’s a new leader at the top of our Pac-12 power rankings this week for the first time since — as best as I can remember — early 2009.

Oregon had held the top spot here every week since then until being ambushed in Arlington last Saturday.

1, Stanford — Cardinal was No. 2 last week but ascends to the top spot after the Oregon loss. Stanford wasn’t tested last week but won the way a top 10 team should with a 57-3 victory over San Jose State. It won’t be tested this week, either, playing at Duke.

2, Oregon — Ducks didn’t look great, but also can’t be penalized too much due to the opponent played. The 95 yards rushing on 28 attempts is a little bit of an alarm for Oregon. But Oregon should get well the next two weeks hosting Nevada and Missouri State before a bye and then hopping into Pac-12 play.

3, Cal — I thought the Bears might have had the best week of anyone in the conference, considering the opponent and the locale. Nothing happened to indicate the Bears won’t have one of the better defenses in the conference this year and if Zach Maynard continues to improve, Cal could for once be an overachiever.

4, Arizona State — Kind of sloppy against UC-Davis, but also got the job done pretty easily. We’ll know a lot more after Friday’s game with Missouri.

5, Utah — Not a great game against Montana State — but then the Bobcats clobbered Eastern Washington a year ago and almost won at WSU last year. And we know how much other conference teams struggled with good Big Sky clubs. Like most everyone else, we’ll get a much better read on Utah after this week when it opens Pac-12 play at USC.

6, USC — The first half last week looked like the USC many people expected to see this year. The second half looked too much like the team the Trojans were too often last season — flat and lethargic. That might have been the easiest game on USC’s schedule as Utah now comes to town followed by Syracuse and then the heart of Pac-12 play.

7, Arizona — A little lackluster early against NAU, picked to be middle of the pack in the Big Sky this year. But ultmately a rout and a good showing by Nick Foles. Wildcats really step up in class Thursday at Oklahoma State.

8, UCLA — The Bruins lost at Houston, and Rick Neuheisel’s seat only got hotter. On the other hand, 554 yards and a nice balance of 232 rushing and 322 passing may indicate that some offensive answers have been found. UCLA has a get-well week against San Jose State Saturday before Texas comes to town.

9, Washington — Huskies took a fall in stature last week, but not in the standings — which is more important. The hope for UW is that was a blip and not a sign of things to come.

10, Washington State — Impressive win statistically but Idaho State is the worst of the Big Sky teams, so hard to read a ton into that — WSU blew out Portland State early in 2008, as well. And losing Jeff Tuel obviously puts a damper on things. But UNLV should provide another win for the Cougs before the schedule stiffens.

11, Colorado — The Buffs looked like a young team playing its first game under a new coach at Hawaii last week. No rest for the weary with Cal coming to town Saturday for what is NOT a Pac-12 game but a non-conference contest to finish up a series that began last year.

12, Oregon State — All the worry that the Beavs might be in for a long year only increased after the shocking loss to Sacramento State. And now OSU has to heat to Wisconsin with something of a quarterback controversy on its hands. Hard to see that ending well.

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