Week 4 in the Pac-12, and in college football in general, was quite boring this week. Nothing too crazy happened, and apart from Washington State’s upset over USC, nothing unexpected occurred. These power rankings reflect as much, but there’s still some shakeup from last week.
1. Washington Huskies (5-0)
Last week: 42-7 win over Oregon State
Washington beat down Oregon State, but since we were expecting total annihilation, maybe the Huskies are slipping?
Next week: 10/7 vs. Cal (ESPN)
2. Washington State Cougars (5-0)
Last week: 30-27 win over USC
In their upset of USC, Washington State finally got their statement win in the Mike Leach era. Not only are they good, but they’re good. Their offense is as efficient as always with Luke Falk at the helm and they’re scarier than ever, especially with their defense proving capable of shutting down Sam Darnold and the USC offense.
Next week: 10/7 at Oregon (FOX)
3. USC Trojans (4-1)
Last week: 30-27 loss at Washington State
For the first time since his first career start, Sam Darnold lost. USC lost too, but it’s disallowed to refer to USC as anything but Darnold’s team, especially when he struggles to the tune of 51% passing on only 5.7 yards per attempt. Luckily for the Darnold and the Trojans, they have a bye week to figure out their issues.
Next week: 10/7 vs. Oregon State (Pac-12 Networks)
4. Bryce Love (3-2)
Last week: 34-24 over Arizona State
At Stanford, it’s Bryce Love vs. the world. In desperate need of a win, Love ran for 301 yards on only 25 attempts, and he had three touchdown runs of 61, 43 and 59 yards. Love has been simply ridiculous this season. In just 5 games, he’s now up to 1,088 rushing yards and 8 TDs on an insane 11.1 yards per carry. Even if Stanford never figures out their passing game, Love puts them in position to win with his Heisman-like performance.
Instead of talking about CU's play-calling, look at this chart of Bryce Love's 13-game rushing yards projection pic.twitter.com/y65OnlaRhk— RalphieReport (@RalphieReport) October 1, 2017
Next week: 10/7 at Utah (FS1)
5. Utah Utes (4-0)
Last week: BYE
The Utes kept picking up grind-it-out wins, but as is wont for Utah football, injuries caught up to them last week. The most notable injuries were to star defensive end Kylie Fitts and sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley. Luckily for Utah, they have last year’s starter Troy Williams ready to fill in at QB and they had a bye week to rest up before taking on Stanford this week.
Next week: 10/7 vs. Stanford (FS1)
6. Oregon Ducks (4-1)
Last week: 45-25 win over Cal
A week after losing to sad sack Arizona State, Oregon put together a decisive victory over rival Cal as they were dominant on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately for the Ducks, in that win Royce Freeman and Justin Herbert were injured. Freeman should be back against Wazzu, but Oregon will have to replace Herbert, who is likely out 4-6 weeks with a broken collarbone.
Next week: 10/7 vs. Washington State (FOX)
7. UCLA Bruins (3-2)
Last week: 27-23 win over Colorado
Give credit to UCLA for forcing the Buffs into committing enough mistakes to eek out the crucial home win. Don’t let their season-low 27 points fool you: UCLA’s offense was plenty efficient against a really good defense, they just couldn’t put up that many points in a game with the clock draining as it did.
Next week: BYE
8. Colorado Buffaloes (3-2)
Last week: 27-23 loss at UCLA
Say what you will about Colorado’s road loss to UCLA, but they put themselves in position to take a road win against a decent opponent. Also, in holding UCLA to just 27, the Buffs showed that this defense is actually pretty decent.
Next week: 10/7 vs. Arizona (Pac-12)
9. California Golden Bears (3-2)
Last week: 45-25 loss at Oregon
Cal was one of the most interesting teams examine as they had some mighty impressive wins in their opening four weeks, but after having been blown out by a merely decent Oregon team, we’re back to wondering what kind of team Cal can be. Don’t expect many questions to be answered in their game at Washington, not unless Cal is more competitive than anyone the Huskies have faced.
Next week: 10/7 at Washington (ESPN)
10. Arizona Wildcats (2-2)
Last week: BYE
Arizona isn’t very good at anything besides running the ball and this is probably Colorado’s most winnable on the schedule, but this isn’t an automatic. You know they used their bye as well as they could have to prepare for the Buffs, and you know they’ll have some tricks up their sleeve. CU will have to figure out their problems to avoid an embarrassing loss.
Next week: 10/7 at Colorado (Pac-12)
11. Arizona State Sun Devils (2-3)
Last week: 34-24 loss at Stanford
Arizona State knew that Stanford could do nothing but feed the ball to Bryce Love, and they were still gashed for 301 yards. Love is obviously an elite player and Stanford’s offensive line is legendary, but this only goes to show how putrid their rush defense, and how anemic their tackling. The Sun Devils don’t have a great offense — not with the offensive line playing worse than Colorado’s, somehow — so they have serious issues to work out if they’re going to be anything more than a doormat.
Next week: BYE
12. Oregon State Beavers (1-4)
Last week: 42-7 loss against Washington.
It’s honestly really sad that this Beavers team has to play Washington and USC in back-to-back weeks.
Next week: 10/7 at USC