We all know Oregon has the best fans, atmosphere and mascot, so in this weekly article we rank the other PAC-12 schools. Think of it like a power ranking, but incredibly biased and fueled by pettiness, insecurity, hate and fear.
Rest assured, the huskies will always be ranked at the bottom of the bottom.
NO. 12 - washington huskies (2-1)
OPPONENT: Utah Utes
RESULT: Win, 21-7
If this weren’t the BOTTOM 11, but instead some other fairer power ranking, the huskies would probably be ranked at the top. Out of all the wins in week three, theirs was against the best competition. This win solidified their claim of best defense in the PAC, and also earned them the bottom spot in the BOTTOM 11.
NEXT UP: Arizona State Sun Devils
NO. 11 - UCLA BRUINS (0-3)
OPPONENT: Home against Fresno State Bulldogs
RESULT: Loss, 38-14
Last week, I said that a loss in week three would convince me that UCLA was doomed to the unthinkable- a winless season. The Bruins were dismantled by the Bulldogs, and their conference schedule could be the most difficult in the PAC-12; they miss out on Washington State and Oregon State.
Few teams needed a bye more than the Bruins. Maybe Chip Kelly can return to his winning ways with an extra week of practice. They’ll most certainly be the underdogs playing in Boulder against a team with an inverse record who also gets a bye.
NEXT UP: Bye week before Colorado Buffaloes
NO. 10 - USC TROJANS (1-2)
OPPONENT: @ Texas Longhorns
RESULT: Loss, 37-14
The Trojans had the ball at midfield with a 14-13 lead and three minutes of clock. Their next three plays consisted of a six yard loss on a Stephen Carr run, an incompletion from true freshman JT Daniels, and a sack that forced a fumble from Daniels. USC was lucky enough to recover the fumble and punt it away.
This was the end of the Trojans offensive momentum. Daniels’ lack of experience was certainly a factor in this blowout (30/48-322 yards-1 INT), but the run game, or lack thereof, is the larger problem here. The Trojans ran for -5 yards on 16 carries, electing to have their 18 year old quarterback throw fifty times instead of committing to the run.
NEXT UP: Washington State Cougars
NO. 9 - UTAH UTES (2-1)
OPPONENT: #10 washington huskies
RESULT: Loss, 21-7
The good news for fans of Utah, you’ve got a damn fine defense. The kind of defense that gave the Utes three opportunities in the fourth quarter to cut into the lead, but unfortunately, Utah also has the kind of offense that ends a game with three straight punts.
A pivotal drive happened near the start of the 4th quarter. Jake Browning did his best impression of Jameis Winston and gave the Utes the ball, though Browning’s turnover almost looked deliberate. Normally I don’t embed video in these articles, but this is too good to pass up.
This could have been a game-changing blooper, but the ineffective Utah offense was unable to score a touchdown, despite starting the drive on the huskies 11 yard line. This drive really told the tale of this game.
NEXT UP: Bye week before the Sun Devils
NO. 8 - ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (2-1)
OPPONENT: San Diego State Aztecs
RESULT: Loss, 28-21
San Diego State stumbled upon a glitch in the system during the final seconds of Arizona States near-comeback. The Sun Devils were down by two touchdowns with four minutes left in the game. Manny Wilkins led an 11-play 82-yard scoring drive, and Jay Jay Wilson was able to force a fumble that gave the fighting Herm Edwards the ball with 43 seconds left.
In the final moments of the game, Wilkins delivered a bomb from the 50 yard line, a pass which Frank Darby seemingly caught on the 2-yard line with six seconds left. The play ended with a review originally called to establish whether Darby had been targeted, but while the officials had the tape pulled up they decided the catch was actually an incompletion.
The Devils were forced to Hail Mary in the final seconds of the game and the pass was quickly batted down. So in the end we learned two things:
Lesson one- if it’s the end of a game and a guy gets a huge completion, take his head off! It’ll work in your favor!
Lesson two- This season, Arizona State IS PAC-12 AFTER DARK! Let’s hope this works in their favor against their next opponent.
NEXT UP: @ the #11 washington huskies
NO. 7 - OREGON STATE BEAVERS (1-2)
OPPONENT: @ Nevada Wolf Pack
RESULT: Loss, 37-35
This week, the Beavers are at the top of the losers pile. Why? Because when you’ve won two games in two seasons then near-wins become more impressive than they really should. Still, Oregon State rallied at the end of this game and were one missed field goal away from doubling last season’s win total.
NEXT UP: Arizona Wildcats
NO. 6 - ARIZONA WILDCATS (1-2)
OPPONENT: Home against Southern Utah Thunderbirds
RESULT: Win, 62-31
Arizona beat an FCS school. The Beavers beat that same FCS school. Next week Arizona will visit the Beavers in Corvallis. The game will be part one of the PAC-12’s “how bad do you suck?” series.
NEXT UP: @ Oregon State Beavers
NO. 5 - WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (3-0)
OPPONENT: Home against Eastern Washington Eagles
RESULT: Win, 59-24
The Cougs threw for 470 yards, won the turnover battle 4-0, and racked up 35 first downs. In what many assumed would be a down year for Wazzu, myself included, Washington State remains undefeated. Sure, they haven’t faced the best competition, but they’ve looked dominant on both sides of the ball, outscoring their opposition 131-43.
Their defense seems to have maintained its discipline and aggressiveness under new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys and Gabe Minshew has seemlessly stepped in as quarterback, so why can’t they compete for the PAC-12 Championship? First they’ll have to prove they’re good enough to beat the middle of the PAC, meaning teams like USC.
NEXT UP: @ USC Trojans
NO. 4 - CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS (3-0)
OPPONENT: Home against Idaho State Bengals
RESULT: Win, 45-23
Out of all the blowout victories in the PAC-12 in week three, this was the sloppiest. Cal certainly won the war but they lost the turnover battle and committed 11 penalties for 111 yards while doing it. Chase Gabers seems to have solidified his starting status (20/25-224 YDS- 3 TD- 1 INT) and linebacker Evan Weaver is more than ready to hurt some people in conference play.
NEXT UP: Bye week before the one and only Oregon Ducks
NO. 3 - COLORADO BUFFALOES (3-0)
OPPONENT: Home against New Hampshire Wildcats
RESULT: Win, 45-14
Really you can say this week’s top teams are tied at No. 2, because Stanford and Colorado basically looked as dominant as the other. The Buffs scored the first 35 points of this game and went to their backups by the third quarter.
Although the passing game only amassed 180 yards, Colorado was able to rush for 311 yards while limiting the Wildcats to just 42. The Buffs are now 3-0 going into bye, and then will return to action to face the New Hampshire Wildcats’ very own Chip Kelly.
NEXT UP: Bye week before UCLA Bruins
NO. 2 - STANFORD CARDINAL (3-0)
OPPONENT: Home against UC Davis Aggies
RESULT: Win, 30-10
Stanford overcame a sloppy first quarter to win this one big, surprising no one. K.J. Costello threw two interceptions but the Aggies were only able to capitalize on one of the turnovers. Every Oregon fan should be praying that this is the Costello that shows up to Autzen, because the Cardinal has proven to be deadly efficient as long as he can regularly connect with his large receivers.