The first week of the Pac 12 schedule is now behind us. What exactly have we learned?
The first lesson would be that Oregon and USC are still the class of the conference and I don't see either team losing until they face off against each other on November 3rd.
We also learned that both of those schools may be on probation when they play each other in November. The Ducks of course are waiting for the NCAA to hammer them while the Trojans are reeling from new accusations that a booster provided one of their former (Joe McKnight) players with improper benefits like a Land Rover.
The Trojans are already on probation for similar crimes which means they could end up getting hammered back into the stone age by the NCAA once this is all sorted out. AD Pat Haden promises a thorough investigation of the allegations since a cover up back in 2009 didn't work.
"I can personally assure you that USC takes its compliance obligations with NCAA and Pac-12 rules extremely seriously and we are dedicated to playing and competing the right way."
Pac 12 Power Ratings
1. Oregon...The Ducks dominated Arkansas State exactly as they should have. They really won't be tested until conference play begins but QB Marcus Mariota is the real deal. Up Next - Fresno State
2. Southern Cal...Are the Trojans the best team in the country? I think a better question is if they are the best team in the conference. They are good...but they don't look as good as Oregon to me at this point. Up Next - Syracuse
3. Washington...UW had a decent defensive effort but questions remain about the running game. Expect Coach Sark to unveil the rest of the playbook in Baton Rouge this coming weekend. Up Next - LSU
4. Utah...The Utes looked good in their opener but I reserve how good until they play a credible BCS opponent. Up Next - Utah State
5. Stanford...The Cards didn't look very good in a near loss to SJSU which means they are rebuilding and not reloading. Up Next - Duke
6. UCLA...Jim Mora picks up win number one on the road against Rice in they type of game that his predecessors Rick Neuheisel and Karl Dorrell used to lose. Up Next - Nebraska
7. Arizona State...A convincing win over Northern Arizona means nothing. Upcoming games against Illinois and Missouri will give us a much better idea of who this team is. Up Next - Illinois
8. Arizona...A solid win over a tough Toledo squad in OT gives Rich-Rod and the gang their first victory as Wildcats. Up Next - Oklahoma State
9. California...A disappointing loss to Nevada to re-open Strawberry Canyon is probably the first nail in the coffin for head man Jeff Tedford and AD Sandy Barbour. The only real question is who will come up with the money to buy out that contract? Up Next - Southern Utah
10. Oregon State...The Beavers game against Nicholls State was postponed due the hurricane even though the game was scheduled for Corn Valley. Up Next - Wisconsin
11. Washington State...The Cougars were listless against BYU. If they falter against Eastern look for a change at QB and transfer out of town by Jeff Tuel. Up Next - EWU
12. Colorado...The Buffs lose to the Rams in the big game and that means it is going to be another long year for the Buffs and beleaguered head coach Jon Embree. Quick question? What is better? Last in the Pac 12 or last in the Big 12? Up Next - Sacramento State