Tuesday, September 30, 2008

PAC-10 Power Rankings: Week 5

I thought it would be fun each week to put together a "power ranking" of how well each team in the conference is playing right now. Instead of looking at each teams overall record, I'll simply consider how they look today and their prospects for the future. Kicking it off with week this first addition:

1. USC. The Trojans have way too much talent to be ranked any lower at this point. They showed their immaturity last week by buckling under pressure. Carroll should have them refocused and ready for the Ducks.

2. OSU. Jacquizz and his Beavers passed the test last week. This from a team that usually plays their best football later in the season. They might be vulnerable to a let down game against Utah this week.

3. Oregon. Fourth string, fifth string... what quarterback are they on? Didn't matter last week as the "system" can sure put up a lot of points. Depth is still a concern for the long haul. Game in Coliseum this Saturday should be brutal.

4. Arizona. They haven't really been tested but the numbers don't lie. Good offense and good defense... at least for now. Has Stoops finally put together a complete team? We may not know for a couple more weeks as the Wildcats host the winless Huskies this Saturday.

5. Arizona State. Don't sleep on these guys. They still have one of the best quarterback in the conference and a lot talent around him. The loss to Georgia didn't look any better after the Bulldogs got whipped by Alabama. They return to action this week against the Bears.

6. California. Despite the record, this team hasn't looked very impressive in their wins. Statistically they didn't play much better than Colorado State, but big special teams play and a pick-6 was the difference. Losing their best running back in Jahvid Best for two weeks with a dislocated elbow is a concern.

7. Stanford. Not a lot of talent. Not a lot of depth. But the Cardinal put in workman like performances each and every week. They also seem to be playing teams at the right time (see Oregon State week 1). Quarterback play is a weak spot.

8. UCLA. The offense takes two steps forward while the defense takes a step back. Giving up 30+ points each week isn't going to win many games. They have a chance at their first conference win this week when the Cougs come to Pasadena.

9. Washington. Jake Locker has accounted for 70% of the Huskie offense this season. He is also out for up to 8 weeks with a broken thumb. They weren't winning any games with him in the lineup but the chances of them winning games with him out of the lineup doesn't look very good. Willingham fired in T-minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

10. Washington State. The good news is the Cougs won a game two weeks ago. The bad news is they lost their first and second string quarterbacks for the season. Ouch. Giving up 60+ points to conference opponents is bad. Giving up 60+ points to conference opponents at home is deplorable. Maybe a road trip will change the results? Don't count on it.

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