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12 Pac Review: Stanford and ASU top first Power Poll, and Struggles with FCS?

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Just as a refresher, the 12 Pac Review is based on this weeks games and is ranked like a Power Poll. This is not a blog poll, so the rankings are not set up by resume, they are set by who I think is the better team. With the the new divisions, I'll separate them into North and South for my reviews.

North

1. Stanford 57 vs San Jose St 3 - Stanford had no problem with their WAC opponent on the day. I'm putting Stanford first in the division because I think they have the best player in the conference, and it showed again last night. Luck went 17/26 for 171 yards and 2 TDs. The Trees running game did struggle only averaging 3.5 yards per carry, and if Stanford wants to make a run at the conference crown they are going to have to keep teams honest with the running game.

2. Oregon 27 vs LSU 40 - If you really want to know how I feel about this game, there is an hour and forty-six minutes of me in a whiskey fueled rant right here. Here are some of the highlights though with more to come on these. LaMichael once again is injured/ineffective/unproductive in a big game. Chip Kelly's system once again struggles against good teams. Oregon is very young and this was a learning experience. I was right, our WRs were the problem and not the O-line. That should get you guys started.

3. WSU 64 vs Idaho St 21 - Yeah I'm putting them here. I know they just lost their starting QB for 4-6 weeks, but yesterday they whooped up on an FCS opponent and for some teams in the Pac 12 North that was a problem. It will be interesting to see how Lobbestael fills in for Tuel the next couple of weeks, and WSU's schedule is really light early. I'm going out on a limb and saying WSU will go bowling this year.

4. Cal 36 vs Fresno St 21 - Cal has some great weapons at WR. Too bad they still struggle to find a QB that can get them the ball. Junior Zach Maynard got his first start and first win but it wasn't pretty going 16/35 for 266 yards 2 TD and 1 INT. Cal has a chance to work out the kinks and get better before their first test against UW on Sept 24, as they go to Colorado next week and then take on the powerhouse Presbyterian two weeks from now.

5. UW 30 vs Eastern Washington 27 - This isn't rivalry hate me putting UW 5th in the North. As a matter of fact, I really don't think this is where UW will end the season either, but they're going to have to prove it to me after they let FCS Eastern Washington come into their house throw for 473 yards and 3 Tds. I'm sorry, but anytime a FCS school is being paid to play on your home turf, it shouldn't take an interception with 1:17 left on the clock for you to seal the victory. For all the supposed improvement UW was making with their defense, they didn't show much of it yesterday.

6. Sacramento St 29at Oregon St 28 - Ok, this was an embarrasment. There is no way you play an FCS school out of conference and let them take you to overtime. Sac St should be ashamed of themselves for letting Oregon St push them like that. I mean Oregon St isn't even in an FBS conference. Wait, what? Are you sure? Oregon St is the FBS school? Oh, wow. Ok then. Ummm, I don't know what to say. OSU paid $500k for Sac St to come into their building, in a game where Riley actually reinstated suspended players, and lost. I have no idea how this happens. Good luck at Camp Randall bavers.

South

1. ASU 48 vs UC Davis 14 - ASU showed what everyone was thinking, they have a really good defense. Those 14 points for UC Davis came late once Ericson had pulled all his starters to most likely keep them from more injuries. That will be what decides it for ASU this year. Can they stay healthy? While they are really talented, they are paper thin at this point. Their offense doesn't need to put up many points to win them games, and their defense will make sure they don't get blown out. Add to that a really favorable schedule and I think ASU is playing in the first conference championship game this year.

2. USC 19 vs Minnesota 17 - This is not your father's USC anymore. While Barkley and Woods are great, their offensive line struggles to protect or open any gaps for their running game. On top of that, the defense is really weak. With sanctions again this year, and a coach who seems happy to throw his players to the wolves, it will be interesting to see how engaged they players stay after they suffer some big losses. And big losses are coming.

3. Arizona 41 vs N. Arizona 10 - Please, no one pay attention to one of the most efficient Qbs in the country. Seriously, just keep ignoring the fact that Foles throws for an almost 70% completion rate and 300 yards per game. I know Arizona has to figure out its running game, and their rebuilding on defense, but even though they have the most brutal first half schedule, they're going to win a game or two there. The North division rest on a couple of games, Arizona @USC on Oct 1 and Arizona @ASU on Nov 19. I don't think USC is going to be able to stop UA's passing game, and I wonder if ASU will be healthy enough by Nov 19. It's a 3 team race down south right now.

4. Utah 27 vs Montana St 10 - Ok, it may still be a 4 team race, as Utah left the easy schedule of the MWC for one of the easiest schedules in FBS. We'll see if Utah is a player in the South as they take on USC next week. Wynn will get his first test against a strong D-line and while rushing for 150 yards is impressive against Montana St, White IV (seriously, being the IV is pretty cool) is going to have step up if Utah wants to contend this year.

5. Ucla 34 vs Houston 38 - Anyone want to have that Ucla may compete for the conference crown argument again? Anyone? Bueller? Ok, now that is over, let's talk about how sad we are we'll never get to play against the Weasel again. His seat had to go from warm to down-right scolding yesterday. Can't find decent QB play, can't stop the passing game, can't stop the rushing game, terrible game plan once again (Houston couldn't stop Ucla's rushing game and yet he threw it 29 times). Ucla is not going to compete for the conference championship, and may miss a bowl game once again. At Ucla, that's unacceptable, and Ricky is going to get the axe. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

6. Colorado 17 vs Hawaii 34 - It's going to take Colorado a while to get back. It's never easy going against the pass happy Rainbow Warriors (I hate they changed that name) but Moniz wouldn't even be a top 5 QB in the Pac. Wait until Colorado's defense sees Barkley, Foles, Luck and Thomas later this year. Colorado also has a brutal schedule. It's going to be a long season for the Buffs.