Welcome to the Weekly UWDP Pac 12 Power Poll. Now that we are in the full swing of conference games, the pecking order is starting to come into clear view. Below, we've got some Dots covering last week's action and a freshly updated poll.
- Just three undefeated teams left in the conference - one of whom only has four wins.
- Five straight games over 50+ points for the Ducks is impressive, even against pretty awful competition (by the way, nice job by Virginia to go and get smoked by Ball State).
- 500 yards passing for Connor Halliday and the Cougs is impressive, no matter how you slice it.
- Something is very wrong at Cal.
- Tough loss for the Utes in Salt Lake on Thursday night. Utah is going to hurt a few contenders before this season is over. Book it.
- USC didn't lose. Yay, Coach O!
- The Devils crappy OOC record is spoiling an otherwise dominating run by the Pac 12 against other conferences. Oh, and let's not see those helmets again. Ever again.
- Sorry, Colorado, but you are still bad. Very bad. But you have spunk and I know it is going to get better on one of the best campuses in the conference.
UWDP's Pac 12 Power Poll - Week 7
|1. oregon D*cks
|Marcus Mariota hasn't been tested yet, but that doesn't mean he isn't elite. He'll be asked to carry the load this week when the Ducks travel to Seattle with a hobble De'Anthony Thomas and a long-gone Colt Lyerla. Until we see what the Ducks and Mariota can do against competition with a pulse, they've earned the benefit of the doubt. Becoming the first team to score 50 points in 5 straight games to open a season does that for you.
|2. Stanford Cardinal
|Despite the fact that the Huskies thoroughly outplayed the Cardinal on both offense and defense, the Cardinal were far more effective on Special Teams AND they made very few "big price to pay" types of mistakes. The unheralded aspect of this team is its reliability in the execution of the basics. Combined with their physical toughness in the trenches, they've earned the #2 spot. That said, this team is beatable, and I'm not so sure that they won't get a run from Utah in Salt Lake this weekend.
|3. Washington Huskies
|Even the unbiased observer has to admit that the Huskies are the top of the "next best" in the Pac based on their resume to date. They've exerted their will and identity in every game that they've played in. Losing to the Cardinal was tough, but doubling their overall offensive yardage and shutting down Heisman hopeful quarterback, Kevin Hogan, was just about all you could ask out of this team. Short of a total mental breakdown against Oregon, the Huskies should be favorites to win just about every game they play in from here on out.
|4. UCLA Bruins
|UCLA got pretty lucky to come out of Utah with a win last Thursday night. They needed every one of Travis Wilson's six interceptions (four of the "random / tipped" variety) to pull out the one score victory. UCLA remains a dangerous team with an exceptional QB in Brett Hundley. But it is pretty clear that their D can be attacked, especially through the air. Injuries are also starting to become a factor.
|5. Arizona State Sun Devils
|The Sun Devils are a tough team to read right now. They went toe-to-toe with a tough but unranked Notre Dame team and lost a heart-breaker of a match. The Devils, who have unquestionably played the toughest schedule in the P12 to date, appear to have issues in their base D - especially on their smallish line - when they aren't dialing up their blitz packages. I expect Pac 12 teams are going to be able to do more and more damage against the Devils as more tape gets assembled on them. As for their offense, their passing game is Jaelen Strong and swings to their RBs. That's not going to get it done, but they hold fast at five for now.
|6. Washington State Cougars
|It is really hard to know what to make of the Cougars right now. The D is on-again, off-again. Their offense is on-again, off-again. I'll say this: 500 yards passing by a hobbled QB is impressive, no matter how untidy a passer Connor Halliday appears to be or how bad the Cal D is (remember what the Huskies were incapable of doing last year vs the Bears). The Cougs have athletes that pass the eye ball test on both sides (Kristoff Williams, Vince Mayle, Deone Bucannon, etc) and I think they are going to make life tough on a bunch of P12 teams the rest of the way.
|7. Arizona Wildcats
|The Wildcats were idle after getting whipped by Washington a week ago. They may be under-ranked right now. A Thursday night matchup against USC should be pretty telling for the 'Cats.
|Utah's second loss of the season was the second of the heart-breaking variety. They simply couldn't overcome six Travis Wilson interceptions en route to a loss while hosting UCLA. That said, the Utes are showing a lot of heart on D and the Travis Wilson to Dres Anderson connection is quickly becoming one of the best in the P12. This team could be on the rise.
|OSU is getting outrageous production out of Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks. The problem is that they are getting next to nothing from their running game and their Defense continues to be exposed as a below-average unit. Who knows what Mike Riley has cooked up in the BYE week after a trouncing of Colorado, but my guess is that it won't be enough to travel into Pullman and win.
|The Trojans got a week off to lick their wounds following the embarrassment against Arizona State and the dismissal of Lane Kiffin. Ed Orgeron gets a shot at redemption as a head coach for the last half of the schedule and it begins with a nationally televised Thursday night affair against Arizona. I have a feeling he'll have those Trojan players tweaked and ready to go.
|11. California Bears
|Something is very wrong in Berkeley right now. The Bears got crushed by Mike Leach in the battle of "Bear Raid" versus "Air Raid" in ways that words can't describe. The Bears D is understandably weakened by a rash of injuries that would make even the 2008 Huskies blush, but the offense is what confuses me. I don't understand the abandoning the run altogether (although, watching Brandon Bigelow fail to score on goal line rushes three straight attempts was among the lowlights of the weekend) when you have a true frosh QB in Jared Goff with three legit RB talents in Daniel Lasco, Bigelow and Khalfani Muhammad. I get that the Bear wideouts are outstanding, but this team really lacks balance and, with a hobbled D, seem to be playing exactly the wrong strategy to win. Still, they have explosive offensive capabilities, and that keeps them a spot ahead of Colorado.
|12. Colorado Buffaloes
|After a somewhat optimistic start to the season, the Buffs have gotten absolutely rolled by both the Oregon schools and have demonstrated that they are Paul Richardson and a bunch of players who are otherwise completely over-matched. I do like the attitude that Coach Mac is instilling over there and I think there are better days ahead for Colorado ... but just way far ahead.