- Stanford- Still on top because they know who they are and they don't do too much. They only ask Ryan Burns to score around 25 points and let him lean on Christian McCaffrey by using him all over the place. Then they turn the game over to the defense, who chokes out opposing offenses. This week against UCLA will be harder and closer than people think but Texas A&M gave Stanford the formula to beat the Bruins. Get your best pass rushers to Josh Rosen, who struggles under pressure, and force them to run the ball. Stanford starts this road stint with a win.
- Washington- Despite having yet to face a real opponent, no Rutgers does not count, this defense is very good. While Clemson, Michigan, FSU and others have let up points despite having solid defenses going into the season, this team has let up just 30 points in three weeks of play. Also Jake Browning has thrown for 12 touchdowns and only one pick. With a 248 passing yards per game average, he is the one who makes this offense electric.
- Arizona State- While Utah is also unbeaten and ranked 24th in the country I like ASU more because of what they have been able to do playing two defenses every game, the other team’s and their own. Their defense has let up 83 points in the last two weeks and they remain unbeaten. Now they are going to play a Cal team that lets up just as many points.
- Utah- They haven’t done anything exceptional, they haven’t destroyed any lesser opponent or put up crazy numbers. They just know that their defense will get some stops and turnovers and their offense is good for four or five scoring drives. Number one team in plugging along.
- Colorado- Despite the loss, Colorado looked really good against Michigan and had them on the ropes until the fourth quarter. This was a pretty impressive game for Colorado as Michigan is a very good team and has a really great defense but they still put up 28 points. Their game against Oregon could end up being a shootout, and I think it will be the test to see how they will fair in the PAC-12 for the rest of the season.
- California- This team is a lot like ASU because of a poor defense but really good offense. They are also coming off an impressive win against Texas, who will end up look back and view this as a bad dropped game in the race for the Big 12 against Baylor. Davis Webb has already passed for 1,359 yards with 13 touchdowns for Cal. Unfortunately his crazy yardage is paired with -60 rushing yards despite rushing for two touchdowns. His offensive line lets up a lot of sacks and tackles for loss. If they want to keep winning they have to keep Webb upright.
- Oregon- Did not see that loss to Nebraska coming. While they got a little cute with the two point conversions and their defense was not great , this is still a game that they could have, and should have won. Really bad dropped game for the Ducks as they were already going to struggle beating out Washington and Stanford. At the same time Oregon is one of the teams who isn’t scared to schedule out of conference games that are not sure wins, which is commendable. While the Big 10 has struggled lately outside the top level teams it’s still the Big 10. Do not read too much into the loss but it is a concern as they play Colorado and Washington in the next three weeks.
- Arizona- When this team wins it does it on the ground. Nick Wilson and J.J Taylor both have had monster games and both have recorded 100 yards at least once. This team has won every time they have over 200 yards rushing. If they can play ground and pound football, they have a chance at more wins.
- UCLA- The thing that was supposed to be intimidating and dominating about UCLA was their passing attack. Instead their defense, especially the secondary which returned everyone, and running game is what has kept them in contests. Josh Rosen and the offense has not smothered the opposition in points like people thought they would. This will be very apparent with Stanford’s defense coming to town this weekend.
- USC- This is a great roster with lots of NFL talent. Yet nothing has run smoothly for consecutive drives. At this point with the underperforming this team has done, this is now on the coaching staff. This could be a case of people under qualified for their coaching jobs. This team just looks like they are running plays and guessing on what will work instead of running an actual offensive scheme. The play makers are there and it desn’t even look like the coaching staff is trying to get them involved.
- Oregon State- While they did get the win after their bye week it was still against Idaho State. This is still the bottom of the PAC-12, they have been regressing and now have a new coach. Expect some rebuilding years.
- Washington State- They did get their first win against Idaho this week and put up 56 points. However, after the bye week they play Oregon. This will give the Ducks the boost they need and crush the momentum that Washington State has now.
Ranking the PAC-12 after week three