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Pac-12 Rankings and Projections After Week 10

The second CFP rankings are out and a new Pac-12 team has emerged as a top-25 team.

NCAA Football: Southern California at California Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

There is again some debate about whether UW should have been slotted higher than #5 in the CFP rankings, especially since UW has more wins over top-25 teams than 3 of the teams ahead of them. The narrow wins over both Arizona State and Stanford still seem to be preventing them from moving up, and the win over USC wasn’t enough-especially since the defense didn’t look great. But #5 is also still where UW is ranked in both the AP and Coaches polls.

Pac-12 Rankings

UW did move up to #4 in the Massey Composite Ranking. Here is a look at the ‘New Cool Chart’ which shows where all of the Pac-12 are ranked in that ranking and how the rankings have changed over the course of the season.

Georgia is #9 in the Composite Rankings but ahead of them in the CFP. Obviously some of the rankings haven’t been impressed with their lack of quality wins so far.

I mentioned last week that Arizona was poised to possibly break into the top 25 if it beat UCLA last weekend, and that is exactly what happened. They are at #24 now.

WSU continues to drop. At one point they were #14; now they are #63. Now the question for them is if they can become bowl-eligible (more on that below), but they’ll have to play much better.

UCLA has a chance to rebound in the weeks ahead. They play Arizona State this weekend. Their game against USC could be even more winnable than it has looked early this season-especially if USC loses this weekend. And they finish against Cal.

There is now a wide gap between the top 7 teams and the bottom 5. It is interesting (to me) that Pac-12 teams don’t stay in the spots between #30 and #59 for long. WSU started out there, moved above, then dropped below that range. Colorado was in that range for a while, as was Cal; both teams have now dropped below as well. Arizona is another team that was in that range for a while, but has now risen above, where it will likely stay.

Above I mentioned that UW’s ranking is consistent between the Composite Ranking, the CFP, the AP, and the Coaches poll. It isn’t just UW which has a consistent ranking. Here’s a look at how all of the Pac-12 teams are ranked in several different rankings.

Pac-12 Rankings After Week 10

School Composite Rank CFP AP Coaches SRS CBS
School Composite Rank CFP AP Coaches SRS CBS
Washington 4 5 5 5 8 5
Oregon 8 6 6 6 7 6
Utah 16 18 13 14 27 18
Oregon State 19 12 12 13 20 12
USC 23 N/R 28 28 26 30
Arizona 25 21 23 24 23 25
UCLA 30 N/R 31 32 31 27
Colorado 60 N/R N/R N/R 57 66
Washington State 65 N/R N/R N/R 60 64
California 74 N/R N/R N/R 84 85
Stanford 89 N/R N/R N/R 95 87
Arizona State 99 N/R N/R N/R 100 101

Included in the table are the major polls, the Composite Ranking, CBS Sport’s ranking of all 133 teams, plus the SRS ranking.

There aren’t a lot of significant differences between the rankings. SRS does rank some of the Pac-12 teams lower, especially Utah. But otherwise most teams are within a couple of places between the different rankings. One noticeable difference is that the Composite Rankings have Utah above Oregon State but all of the other rankings have Oregon State above Utah. The same is true between USC and Arizona; the Composite has USC ahead, but the others have Arizona ahead.

Advanced Stats

The advanced statistics for a team looks at how well they’ve played; how efficient they are on both offense and defense (and, in some cases, special teams). Here is a comparison of different advanced stats for the Pac-12 teams.

Pac-12 Advanced Stats Rankings

School Composite SP+ F+ FEI FPI Beta Rank
School Composite SP+ F+ FEI FPI Beta Rank
Washington 4 9 9 9 15 10
Oregon 8 4 2 2 3 1
Utah 16 24 20 18 21 21
Oregon State 19 16 17 20 19 19
USC 23 17 18 19 17 30
Arizona 25 27 27 24 30 17
UCLA 30 22 24 29 26 24
Colorado 60 83 70 59 71 68
Washington State 65 53 52 55 70 62
California 74 70 60 54 53 56
Stanford 89 110 95 88 99 76
Arizona State 99 94 87 80 97 85

These advanced stats are showing that Oregon is playing better than just about any team in the country. UW has dropped in the advanced stats despite continuing to win.

The gap mentioned in the Composite Rankings between the top 7 and bottom 5 teams is present in the advanced stats as well. No Pac-12 team is between #30 and and #50 in any of the advanced stats rankings.

Some of the advanced stats have Cal as being better than WSU; others have that reversed. So it could be a good game between them this weekend.

Offensive/Defense Advanced Stat Comparison

School Off F+ Rank OPD Rank Diff Def F+ Rank DPD Rank Diff
School Off F+ Rank OPD Rank Diff Def F+ Rank DPD Rank Diff
Arizona 19 19 0 50 40 -10
Arizona State 94 117 23 62 104 42
California 54 55 1 63 125 62
Colorado 42 52 10 106 102 -4
Oregon 2 2 0 14 13 -1
Oregon State 13 10 -3 37 54 17
Stanford 87 89 2 99 124 25
UCLA 35 68 33 13 7 -6
USC 5 7 2 88 101 13
Utah 46 79 33 9 17 8
Washington 4 3 -1 35 43 8
Washington State 55 83 28 57 84 27

The table above compares the offense and defense for the Pac-12 teams using two different advanced stats. The first is F+ which has been included the last few weeks and has both an offensive and defensive component. The other is OPD/DPD which stands for Offensive Points per Drive and Defensive Points per Drive. This stat is similar to scoring offense and scoring defense, but adjusts based on the number of drives in the games; plus, it also eliminates games against FCS opponents and adjusts for ‘garbage time’.

In some cases you see that the rankings are very similar, if not identical between the two (both on the offensive and defensive sides). In other cases there are some significant differences.

The biggest difference is with Cal’s defense. They’ve given up a lot of points-some of the most in the country. But, they’ve also had to face 3 of the top 5 offenses in the country (UW, USC, and Oregon). Advanced stats like F+ adjust for opponent while DPD doesn’t.

That adjustment for opponent is also a factor in some of the other big differences. Note that all of the major differences (greater than 10 places) are when the team has a lower ‘per drive’ rank than F+ rank which would make sense if those teams are playing better opponents. The one case where the ‘per drive’ is the highest in comparison to F+ is with UCLA’s defense. That make sense given that looked best against weak offenses like San Diego State (#114 in F+), Coastal Carolina (#57), Utah (#43), WSU (#55), Stanford (#87), and Colorado (#42).

Win Projections for Week 11

Here’s a look at the win projections from both ESPN’s FPI and Massey for the Pac-12 games this weekend.

Win Percentages for Week 11 Games

Visitor FPI Win% Massey Win% Home FPI Win% Massey Win%
Visitor FPI Win% Massey Win% Home FPI Win% Massey Win%
USC 16.8% 28% Oregon 83.2% 72%
Utah 30.7% 42% Washington 69.3% 58%
Stanford 5.6% 9% Oregon State 94.4% 91%
WSU 36.4% 50% California 63.6% 50%
Arizona 70.4% 65% Colorado 29.6% 35%
Arizona State 9.4% 11% UCLA 90.6% 89%

According to ESPN’s FPI, Oregon was the underdog versus USC in the preseason; now they are a heavy favorite.

Colorado was the favorite for a while this season, according to FPI. With the way both teams have been playing lately, it is a little surprising that Arizona isn’t an even heavier favorite.

There is a slight disagreement over the WSU-Cal game. ESPN has Cal as the favorite-which they have been all season. Massey has it as a toss-up.

The Oregon State-Stanford and UCLA-Arizona State games both have the home team as heavy favorites.

And that leaves us with the Utah-Washington game where both have UW as the favorite, but not by a lot.


The Pac-12 now has 7 teams that are bowl-eligible. Arizona State has lost enough that it has no chance to become bowl-eligible (and they had a self-imposed bowl ban for this year anyway, so it doesn’t make a difference).

Of the remaining teams, Stanford has very little chance of making a bowl game. They’d have to win all of their remaining games, and they still play Oregon State and Notre Dame (plus Cal).

WSU has probably the best chance of making a bowl game. They need 2 more wins and have winnable games against Cal and Colorado before facing UW in the Apple Cup (where they could be highly motivated).

Colorado also needs two more wins. But they face 2 ranked teams (Arizona and Utah) in their final 3 games. And their other game is on the road against WSU. Even winning one of those 3 could be difficult.

California has maybe a better chance, but they would have to win out. That isn’t out of the question since they play WSU, Stanford, and UCLA. They are currently favored in 2 of the 3 games, so they’d just need to upset UCLA.