Pac-12 Football Power Rankings: Week 1


College football is officially back as the Pac-12 went 7-3 on the opening weekend. Here are the season’s inaugural Pac-12 Power Rankings:

  1. Stanford: The Cardinal ended last season as the hottest team in the Pac-12, finishing on an eight-game winning streak, which included a 20-14 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Despite Stanford being idle, no Pac-12 team was able to unseat the defending conference champions.
  2. Oregon: Racking up 772 total yards is impressive no matter who you’re playing. The Ducks did just that Saturday in a 66-3 win over Nicholls State. Quarterback Marcus Mariota accounted for 347 yards and three touchdowns, while running back De’Anthony Thomas ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
  3. Washington: No team in the Pac-12 (and possibly the country) made a bigger statement in Week 1 than the Huskies. Washington defeated No. 19 Boise State 38-6, holding the Broncos to their lowest scoring output since 1997. Quarterback Keith Price, who struggled last season after an impressive sophomore year, threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Bishop Sankey ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
  4. UCLA: The Bruins posted an impressive 58-20 win over Nevada in their opening game. Brett Hundley started his season with a bang, accounting for 337 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Jordon James ran for 155 yards and a touchdown, easing the Bruins’ concern of how to replace Johnathan Franklin.
  5. Arizona State: The Sun Devils were idle, but ended last season by winning three straight games by an average of 26.7 points. They open the season against FCS-level Sacramento State before playing Wisconsin, Stanford, USC and Notre Dame, so we’ll know how good they are around midseason.
  6. USC: In my opinion, the Trojans’ defense was the most impressive unit in the Pac-12 on opening weekend. USC forced four interceptions and recorded seven sacks in a 30-13 victory over Hawaii, giving up their only touchdown with 30 seconds left in the game. Offense was a different story, however, as USC looked out of sync the entire game. Unless they find a quarterback, they look destined for another pedestrian finish in the Pac-12.
  7. Arizona: Head Coach Rich Rodriguez was uncharacteristically conservative in the Wildcats’ 35-0 win over NAU, throwing the ball only 13 times compared to 34 rushing attempts. When quarterback B.J. Denker did throw, it wasn’t pretty as he was mostly only able to complete short passes. The Arizona defense were the stars of the game, forcing three interceptions and recording three sacks.
  8. California: Freshman quarterback Jared Goff and sophomore wide receiver Chris Harper were impressive in a 44-30 loss, as Goff threw for 445 yards and two touchdowns, while Harper caught 11 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. However, Goff threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns by Northwestern’s Collin Ellis.
  9. Utah: The Utes managed to beat Utah State 30-26 despite 399 total yards from Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton. The Utah defense was bailed out by kicker Andy Phillips, who made three field goals, including the game-winner with 6:38 left. Travis Wilson threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns and is looking more and more like former ASU quarterback Brock Osweiler.
  10. Colorado: The Buffaloes already have as many wins as they did last season after defeating Colorado State 41-27. Paul Richardson, who missed last season due to a knee injury, caught 10 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Texas-transfer Connor Wood was impressive at quarterback, completing 33-of-46 passes for 400 yards and three touchdowns.
  11. Washington State: The Cougars dropped a close game at Auburn 31-24 despite outgaining the Tigers 464-394. Quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 344 yards, but threw three interceptions, including one in the endzone with less than five minutes left.
  12. Oregon State: Things could not have gone much worse for the Beavers, who dropped their opener against FCS-level Eastern Washington 49-46. Oregon State gave up 625 yards, including the game-winning touchdown with 18 seconds left. Kicker Trevor Romaine had a chance to tie it as time expired, but missed wide right.