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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Overreacting to Week 1

Where are the Buffs after their first week?

Fresno State v USC Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

We still have no idea who’s good and who’s bad — well, we mostly know who’s bad. It’s the Pac-12, so everyone is bad until proven otherwise. Let’s take a look at where everyone stands after one week.

12. Oregon State Beavers (0-1)

LW: L, 52-36 vs. Oklahoma State

11. UCLA Bruins (0-1)

LW: L, 24-14 @ Cincinatti

10. Arizona Wildcats (0-1)

LW: L, 45-38 @ Hawai’i

These are all bad losses that understandable, considering each team here is bad. Oregon State, bless their hearts, just don’t have anything resembling a defense; the Beavers were probably fortunate to hang around for the first 10 minutes. UCLA, bless their uniforms, just don’t have anything resembling an offense; Dorian Thompson-Robinson clearly looked lost at quarterback and Chip Kelly has no magic left. Arizona, meanwhile, came within a yard of a classic Week 0 finish, but Khalil Tate was stopped just short. It’s worth mentioning Hawai’i should’ve scored 60+ points but had 6 turnovers that were mostly unforced.

9. USC Trojans (1-0)

LW: W, 31-23 vs. Fresno State

8. Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0)

LW: W, 30-7 vs. Kent State

7. California Golden Bears (1-0)

LW: W, 27-12 vs. UC Davis

USC, ASU and Cal all looked mediocre against mediocre competition. Cal has an elite defense, so as long as they can run down the clock, they don’t care what the scoreboard looks like. Arizona State took a while to get going — they led just 10-0 at halftime — but they have a true freshman QB and did pull away. Cal and ASU should be fine.

USC, however, will not be fine. Sophomore QB J.T. Daniels was already a sketchy starter, but he tore his ACL and meniscus, knocking him out for the year. The new starter, true freshman Kedon Slovis, is clearly not ready for major college football. Clay Helton’s job is very much in jeopardy as the Trojans face another disastrous season.

6. Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)

LW: W, 52-31 vs. Colorado State (neutral)

The Buffs were horrible on defense in the first half, but otherwise they outplayed Colorado State in a 21-point win. They’re not going to get 4 turnovers every game, but they’re going to adjust and get rid of some those defensive issues. Offensively, everything was clean and finely tuned, which is fantastic in Week 1 with a new head coach. Colorado will have its real test next week against Nebraska, although the Nubs were outplayed by South Alabama.

5. Stanford Cardinal (1-0)

LW: W, 17-7 vs. Northwestern

Stanford did not at all look impressive, but they got a tough win over a good Big Ten team. The Cardinal don’t deserve their Top 25 ranking, but whatever, they’re fine.

4. Oregon Ducks (0-1)

LW: L, 27-21 vs. Auburn (neutral)

Oregon absolutely should have beat Auburn, but no one should ever doubt Auburn’s ability to bullshit a big win. The Ducks will regret their playcalling as they gave up 21 unanswered points, but I suppose it’s promising that they were truthfully better than an SEC contender.

3. Washington State Cougars (1-0)

LW: W, 58-7 vs. New Mexico State

Wazzu had a ho-hum blowout over a bad team, but you can’t do much better in a warm-up game. I’ll doubt the Cougs when they don’t find a random QB to throw for 420 yards and 5 TDs in his first start. (Max Borghi come back to Colorado, we miss you.)

2. Utah Utes

LW: W, 30-12 @ BYU

Whether or not BYU is good, the Utes beat them to a pulp. Utah won’t separate themselves from too many opponents, but they will break people and win close games. They are heavy favorites to win the South, especially after USC and Arizona looked woeful, and ASU and CU looked average.

1. Washington Huskies

LW: W, 47-14 vs. Eastern Washington

Washington is number one because Jacob Eason is a massive upgrade over Jake Browning. Other than Browning’s weird Heisman-contending sophomore season, the Huskies were mostly held back by a below-average quarterback. Now with a Eason, who started at Georgia as a true freshman, they have a legit talent who can do more than manage the game. With that defense and that offensive line, they’re truly scary with Eason under center.