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The 'Pound's Week 11 Pac 12 Roundup and Power Poll

Lots of movement in the muddled middle. Come see where the Huskies rank in the Pac 12 hierarchy.

Kevin Hogan has a chance to reclaim his adoring fans at the ESPN P12 Blog with an upset over the Ducks tomorrow night.
Kevin Hogan has a chance to reclaim his adoring fans at the ESPN P12 Blog with an upset over the Ducks tomorrow night.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend was the lightest weekend in the Pac 12.  Think of it as the calm before the storm. Some highlights:

  • Neither of the P12's premier teams played last week.  Both Oregon and Stanford got a weekend off before their upcoming epic Thursday night showdown.  What a coincidence ... both of them getting a weekend off like that.  Curious.
  • The Bruins got all they could handle from a spirited and feisty Colorado team.  I don't know what Sefo Liufau is really good at ... but he sure seems to have an "it" factor.  Of course, the guy on the other sideline, Brett Hundley, was basically UCLA's entire offense in the win.
  • A scary sight in Pullman as the ASU Sun Devils did their thing and rolled up another 50+ point effort and a blowout win over the Cougs.  The big news was Todd Graham's insistence on playing his starters until they scored their 55th point with just 5 mins left in regulation.  Isn't that a fireable offense in Seattle?
  • The Golden Bears almost pulled off an upset of their own as they took the Arizona Wildcats deep into the fourth quarter before finally submitting to BJ Denker and his four touchdown effort.

UWDP's Weekly Pac 12 Power Poll - Week 11

Team Record
1. Oregon Ducks 8-0 (5-0)

The Ducks were idle last week, but managed to lose their grip on the #2 spot in the most recent BCS rankings.  They get a chance to claim that spot back tomorrow night against the BCS #5 team, Stanford.  To date, the Huskies have played the "best game" against Oregon and even that wasn't too stiff a challenge.  Expect that to all change as I expect Stanford to benefit from the fact that the Ducks haven't really been pulled into a dogfight yet this season.

Stan_helmet_medium 2. Stanford Cardinal 7-1 (5-1)

Just like the Ducks, the Cardinal had last week off.  The BYE was good for the Cardinal in that they were able to get DE Henry Anderson back which will help offset the college career-ending loss of DE Ben Gardener.  It also gives David Shaw - pompous, but highly competent - a chance to game plan for Oregon.

Asu_helmet_medium 3. Arizona State Sun Devils
6-2 (4-1)
ASU flat-out dominated WSU on Halloween night as QB Taylor Kelly channeled his inner Keith Price and accounted for seven total TDs - two of the rushing variety.  Todd Graham dialed up another pressure-D type of game plan and gave his offense a ton of runway to get aggressive ... pretty much par for the course for this ASU team over the past several weeks.  At this point, ASU is the class of the Pac 12 South and they clearly control their own destiny when it comes to the Pac 12 Championship.  While ranked 22 in the AP, the Sun Devils are a shockingly-high #6 team in the country in Football Outsiders FEI index.  They are peaking at a very good time.

Uw_helmet_medium 4. Washington Huskies
5-3 (2-3)
The Huskies rise one spot despite not playing last week thanks to the thrashing that the Oregon State Beavers took - in Corvallis - at the hands of a suddenly-rising USC team.  The Huskies continue to rate out very well in the advanced metrics, ahead of higher ranked foes Oregon State and UCLA.  Thus the consideration at this position.  I'm sure Lear Pilot agrees with me (can I get a Hells Yah!)

Ucla_helmet_medium 5. UCLA Bruins
6-2 (3-2)
The Bruins struggled at home last weekend with the Colorado Buffaloes so much that the home crowd was booing their boys into the third quarter.  Against the worst rush D in the Pac 12, the Bruins leading rusher, James Jones, managed just 8 total yards rushing.  Still, Brett Hundley managed to turn some broken plays into 72 yards rushing in addition to a number of big passing plays.  I considered pushing them up to four, but the fact that all of the advanced metrics have UCLA behind UW and the fact that the Bruins have yet to pull off an AQ opponent game where they controlled from beginning to end tempered my choice.

Usc_helmet_medium 6. USC Trojans
6-3 (3-2)
The Trojans put together another complete victory to push interim head coach Ed Orgeron to 3-1.  The Trojans, despite being constrained by the availability of just 50 scholarship players, marched into Corvallis and physically dominated an Oregon State team that seemed taken aback by the men from Troy from the get go.  USC, behind the efforts of a rejuvenated Silas Redd and a streaking Buck Allen, generated nearly 250 yards in rushing offense while the Trojans D forced the return of the "old" Sean Mannion, who threw three picks and had two others flat out dropped by Trojan defenders.  This was the second dominating performance in a row for a USC team that is now tied with UCLA in the South and still has a chance to be a factor in the P12S division.

Osu_helmet_medium 7. Oregon State Beavers 6-3 (4-2)
The Beavers have lost two straight games now that they've started to get into the heart of their P12 schedule.  The good news for Oregon State is that they may be getting LB Michael Doctor very soon.  The bad news for Oregon State is that starting DT John Braun - part of a very thin corps to begin with - is out for the rest of the season.  Even worse news?  We had a sighting of Bad Mannion last week.  Even worst than that?  Oregon, Washington and ASU (in reverse order) all lay ahead on OSU's schedule.  It could get ugly quick for these Beavers. 

Ariz_helmet_medium 8. Arizona Wildcats
6-2 (3-2)
Like the Beavs did earlier, the Wildcats are feasting off of the easiest stretch in their schedule for the season.  Last weekend, the Wildcats let the Cal Bears hang around until late in the fourth quarter (the entire P12 was on upset alert), but were able to pull out the game with a strong finish.  BJ Denker continues to mature rapidly against weaker competition while Ka'Deem Carey kept his streak of 100  yard games going (38 carries, 152 yards).  Things get interesting for the Wildcats this weekend with the Bruins on their way to Tuscon.

Utah_helmet_medium 9. Utah Utes
4-4 (1-4)
The Utes were idle last weekend ... and it came at just the right time as back-to-back tilts with ASU and Oregon are on tap.  The Utes are fading fast, but still have a chance to make a statement as they fight for bowl eligibility.

Wsu_helmet_medium 10. Washington State Cougars
4-5 (2-4)
While I had suspected that the Cougs might put a bit more of a scare into ASU on Halloween night, the truth is that they absolutely clown-stomped by a streaking ASU team with a "take no prisoners" attitude.  The hallmark of the Cougs identity in the first third of the season - their opportunistic defense - has been a sieve the past several weeks.  This is a poor sign of things to come for a Cougs team who don't seem to be able to uncork that potent Mike Leach offense.

11. California Bears 1-8 (0-6)
The Bears are in a dogfight with Colorado to stay out of the basement of the 'Pound's weekly Power Poll.  They did enough this past week in making their matchup against Arizona an interesting enough affair into the fourth quarter.  I continue to be impressed with the young Bear receivers and can't help but to think that young Jared Goff has a chance to become a player in this league.  The rushing attack was a bit better for the Bears this past week (I do not believe Brandon Bigelow got a carry - talk about the dog house) but the defense continues to handicap Sonny Dykes' squad.
12. Colorado Buffaloes 3-5 (0-5)
I was close ... oh so close ... to boosting the Buffaloes to the 11 spot after their tough as nails game in Pasadena against the Bruins.  Mike MacIntyre's team showed a ton of grit in hanging with UCLA for three quarters before finally submitting to the big plays of Brett Hundley.  True Frosh Sefo Liufau stood toe to toe with Anthony Barr and a few Bruin cheap shot artists on several occassions and, in doing so, seemed to really inspire his offensive line who, in one memorable stare down with Barr, all rushed as a group back to Liufau's defense after a roughing-the-passer foul.  This is a team that is believing in one another even as the hammer keeps getting dropped on them.  The could still get one of these P12 games before the season is through, and I hope they do (just not this weekend).

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