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Pac-12 Rankings After CCG

With only one game played last weekend, there wasn’t much movement in the rankings for the Pac-12 teams-except at the top

2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

I’ll dispense with some of the pleasantries since Husky fans already know where UW is ranked in the CFP. Oregon finished #8, Arizona #14, and Oregon State #19, so the Pac-12 finished with 4 teams in the final CFP ranking for the year. All 4 of the Pac-12 teams in the CFP ranking are also in the AP and Coaches polls-in roughly the same spots. Utah is receiving votes in both the AP and Coaches polls (#28 and #29 respectively).

Rankings

A week ago Oregon edged ahead of UW in the Massey Composite Rankings. This week, it is a different story. And with no other Pac-12 games , there wasn’t much change in the rest of the Pac-12 rankings. So this is what the “New Cool Chart” looks like.

As expected, UW moves up while Oregon moves down. Most of the other movement has more to do with other teams that played and won or lost last weekend.

Here’s a different look at the how the rankings have changed over the course of the season.

The dots for each team indicates their current ranking. The vertical lines indicate the range of rankings for the season. For example, WSU had a high of 14, a low of 73, and their current ranking is #63-so they are now toward the bottom of where they were ranked throughout the season.

Three teams are currently at their highest ranking: UW, Arizona, and California. Three teams are currently at their lowest: UCLA, USC, and Utah. Two teams have varied very little over the course of the season; both Oregon and Oregon State had a range of just 8 places over the course of the whole season. Colorado had the largest range: going from a low of 109 to a high of 45 before settling where they are now, at #79.

Here are the SRS (Simple Rating System) rankings for the Pac-12 teams. The Composite Rank is in ().

  • Oregon: 5 (8)
  • Washington: 7 (2)
  • Arizona: 15 (16)
  • Oregon State: 20 (18)
  • USC: 31 (32)
  • Utah: 34 (24)
  • UCLA: 44 (41)
  • WSU: 49 (61)
  • California: 52 (48)
  • Colorado: 67 (79)
  • Arizona State: 95 (91)
  • Stanford: 99 (99)

There is an obvious difference at the top, but otherwise the SRS rankings closely match the Composite Rankings. Utah, WSU, and Colorado are the exceptions-but all 3 of them are within 12 places. And Stanford’s rank is the same in both.

Advanced Stats

Again, with just one Pac-12 game (and only a few total FBS games) the advanced stats rankings wouldn’t change much. Here’s where the Pac-12 teams stand now.

Advanced Stats After CCG

School Composite SP+ F+ FEI FPI Beta Rank
School Composite SP+ F+ FEI FPI Beta Rank
Washington 2 11 11 8 13 13
Oregon 8 5 2 2 4 1
Arizona 16 20 18 17 22 12
Oregon State 18 17 16 15 18 16
Utah 24 36 30 26 25 26
USC 32 40 27 21 21 35
UCLA 42 39 39 39 35 40
California 48 63 51 44 48 41
Washington State 63 48 44 38 50 44
Colorado 79 86 77 67 75 68
Arizona State 91 120 103 92 95 89
Stanford 99 123 105 94 105 94

As it was last week as well, the SP+ rankings are for all college football teams (even DII, DIII, and NAIA). Utah, UCLA, USC, and WSU would each move up 1 spot if only FBS teams were included. Cal would move up two spots. Colorado would move up 3 spots. Arizona State would move up 12 spots. And Stanford would move up 14 spots.

Even with the second win over the Ducks, UW is still behind UW in all of the advanced stats rankings. Otherwise, there isn’t a lot of difference between the ranks for the Pac-12 teams in these advanced stats rankings-and not even much in comparison to the Composite Ranking (especially if you adjust the SP+ to remove the FCS teams). Cal’s ranking varies by 20, but that is the most and half of the teams vary by 10 or less.

Points Per Drive

Since there was only one game, the points-per-drive data didn’t change for most of the teams. But here is how the data changed for the two teams that did play with the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Oregon

  • Offensive points per drive: 4.35->4.23, stayed at #1
  • Defensive points per drive: 1.49->1.69, went from #15 to #23

While the rank for Oregon’s offense stayed at #1, the actual value for their offense took a bit of a hit as they were held to their lowest point total of the year. The rank didn’t change because they had been so far ahead of the #2 team, LSU (currently at 4.14).

Oregon’s defensive numbers and ranks took even more of a hit because this was only the second time all season that a team scored more than 30 points on Oregon. (The first time was when UW scored 37 in the first matchup.)

Washington

  • Offensive points per drive: 3.43->3.45, went from #7 to #6
  • Defensive points per drive: 1.94->2.03, went from #38 to 45

UW’s offense improved slightly based on the Pac-12 Championship Game. They were able to score over 30 points after not getting above 24 in their last 2 games.

UW’s defensive numbers did take a slight hit, but that should be expected when playing the #1 offense. That is the one issue with these stats-they don’t adjust for the competition.

That fact does contribute to UW’s rank when compared to other teams (like the other teams in the CFP). UW’s defense played 5 games against the top 10 offenses in the country; that is more than the other three teams in the CFP combined! (Michigan 0, Texas 1, Alabama 2) As a result, it should not be surprising that UW’s defense isn’t ranked in the top 25.

But that doesn’t mean that UW’s defense isn’t good. Of the 6 games where UW played a top 25 offense, UW’s defense held that offense to one of its lowest point totals.

  • Boise State (#17): 2nd lowest
  • Arizona (#9): 2nd lowest
  • Oregon (#1-first time): 3rd lowest
  • USC (#8): 5th lowest
  • Oregon State (#10): 2nd lowest
  • Oregon (#1-second time): lowest

In other words, UW’s defense came up big when it needed to. And that translated to in-game situations, especially in the 4th quarter of games.

Game Rating

Game Ratings are opponent-adjusted data representing the value generated per possession in each game relative to an average team performance on a neutral field against an average opponent. (This site has a list of the Game Ratings for every game between FBS teams.)

For the Pac-12 Championship Game, UW’s Game Rating was 1.53. That is the 64th best Game Rating (among all FBS vs FBS) games so far this season. UW has 6 of the top 100 Game Ratings this season. Oregon has 7 of the top 100, including 3 of the top 10. That would explain why some of the advanced stats give the edge to Oregon over UW-they controlled games better. But, 2 of Oregon’s 3 worst Game Ratings were their games against UW-and that is why UW is the Pac-12 Champion and Oregon isn’t.