1.Stanford- It was a close one with UCLA but Stanford remains perfect with a 2-0 conference record(3-0 overall). Now they go to Washington in what may be their toughest conference game of the year. The PAC-12 championship game may be going down in week five this year.
2. Washington- There are teams that have played more top level competition so far this year, but Washington has been dominate through three games. Then when they saw their first PAC-12 opponent in Arizona, though they looked a little more beatable. While Washington had some problems on defense late letting up 14 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime, Jake Browning and the running game showed they will carry this team. Browning had three total touchdowns and running back Lavon Coleman had 181 rushing yards and a touchdown.
3. Utah- What a fantastic game winning drive to put away a USC team, who actually showed up for a game for the first time this season. Utah had just enough defense, they forced three fumbles, to pull out a win. In an offense that prefers to lean on the run, quarterback Troy Williams was the star, throwing for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns. They will need him to play well this week if the defense fails to hold Cal’s air raid offense in check.
4. Arizona State- The Sun Devils just keep finding ways to win despite the huge amount of points their defense gives up. Even though the running game was almost non-existent outside of quarterback Manny Wilkins, they still were able to pull out a 10 point win against Cal. Wilkins did everything, scoring three rushing touchdowns and passing for another. ASU’s defense gives up a ridiculous 34.3 points a game, but still remains undefeated. While the defense has to catchup to this team at some point, this week’s game against USC should favor the Sun Devils.
5. Colorado- This team continues to impress as they went on the road and beat Oregon in a constant highlight real of a game. They survived a furious third quarter comeback by the Ducks and had their defense buckle down in the third quarter, not letting up a point and getting the game sealing interception. They now have a very winnable game against Oregon State.
6. California- The only reason Cal manages to rank sixth is because Davis Webb, up to this point, is the best quarterback in the PAC-12. His competition is Jake Browning, Josh Rosen and Dakota Prukop. He has faced about the same level of competition as most of those guys, Rosen has faced the best up to this point, and preformed better with less. His defense is garbage, letting up 40 or more in three games and 31 against Hawaii. His offensive line might be worse as he has two rushing touchdowns but -81 rushing yards on the season when sacks are factored in. Yet he still has 1,837 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. Somehow he has kept this team at .500 and it is because he is a great quarterback. Now he has to play Utah and he again won't have a defense.
7. UCLA- The Bruins played a great 58 minutes of football against Stanford. Unfortunately these games go for 60 and UCLA fell to the Cardinal late. While the defense looks great, keeping McCaffrey from busting out a long run and holding Rector to three yards, there were some concerns. Most notably the fact that Stanford lost not one but two starting cornerbacks and Rosen still could not get anything going over the top. Now they play Arizona who just let Lavon Coleman run all over them. Look for the Bruins running back Soso Jamabo to have a big game.
8. Oregon- The Ducks have a solid quarterback and a great stable of running backs, however they tend to not show up for long stretches of games. Against Colorado they basically didn't play in the fourth quarter up till a final drive, in which they threw a pick. Against Nebraska they really weren't around for the third quarter till the final three minutes. This team has too much talent on offense to have big silent periods in games, and they definitely can not do that to a subpar defense like the one they field. The good news is they play Washington State this weekend.
9. Arizona- This team is going to be average all year long. They no longer have a top level defense and their offense struggles greatly against teams with pass rushers. They will be middle of the pack but are no threat to a Stanford or Utah. UCLA should clean up against them if their defensive line plays like they did against Stanford.
10. USC- Sam Darnold stepped up, Justin Davis had 126 yards on just 10 carries and Adoree Jackson returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Somehow they still managed to lose. I don't know how, this team has tons of talent and three or four guys headed to the league at the end of this season. But they still can't buy a win. This team is a mess on and off the field. This coaching staff is in over their heads and needs to be cleaned out and rebuilt. They probably lose to the Sun Devils this weekend.
11. Washington State- They didn't lose this week so that is a plus. It helped that they did not play. Oregon comes to town fresh off a heart breaking loss, this will not be pretty.
12. Oregon State- The final score against Boise State makes this one seem in the area of close. It was not. Garbage time started in the third quarter as Boise was up 31-7 at halftime. Again both the Beavers and Washington State will be rebuilding these next few years.
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