Pac-12 power rankings: Week 4

Oregon, UCLA claim top spots in Pac-12 power rankings



WSU wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. (8) catches a pass during a college football game against the USC Trojans on Sept. 18 in Martin Stadium.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

With Pac-12 play just around the corner for most teams in the conference, the nonconference slate is now over. We head into week four of the young 12-week college football season, and the Pac-12 has been on the wildest roller coaster to date.

From FCS upsets in week one, to winning against ranked opponents the next week, to now losing to Mountain West Conference teams. The conference has seen its heights and downfalls and Pac-12 play has barely started.

Here are my power rankings for the Pac-12 conference heading into week four of the regular season.

1. No. 3 Oregon (3-0)
The Ducks team seems to be the only team in the conference that can be ranked for more than one week. A win against No. 10 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, solidifies their reason to be a top 10 team in the country. I will say it loud, the Ducks are slightly overrated and will fall out of the top three, but they looked impressive against No. 22 Fresno State and the Buckeyes in the first two weeks.

Pac-12 play starts for them and if head coach Mario Cristobal can actually avoid losing to a team they should beat, Oregon looks like they will repeat as Pac-12 champs.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Arizona on ESPN

2. No. 24 UCLA (2-1)
Even though they lost in heartbreaking fashion to Fresno State at home, the Bruins still have two impressive wins, especially against LSU at home the previous week. UCLA had a definite trap game against Fresno State, but still showed out and put up 37 points against them. I honestly think UCLA could really contend for the conference title, as long as they can handle their cross-town rival, USC, this year at the Rose Bowl.

Next game: 3 p.m. Saturday at Stanford on Pac-12 Network

3. USC (2-1, 1-1)
The Trojans came into Pullman off to a rocky start, with the recent firing of their former head coach Clay Helton and a lot of questions surrounding the program and their success. Despite this, they gave WSU a second-half beating of a lifetime. After junior quarterback Kedon Slovis went down with an upper-body injury, USC had to rely on true freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart. Dart delivered for 391 passing yards and four touchdowns.

The questions still surround the health of Slovis heading into their next game, but it looks like the air raid for interim head coach Donte Williams still works without missing pieces.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Oregon State on FS1

4. Arizona State (2-1)
The Sun Devils could not beat the Cougars on the road and yes, I am referring to No. 15 BYU in Provo, Utah, where the crowd played somewhat of a factor. Junior quarterback Jayden Daniels was a little rattled with the crowd being able to hear his presnap clap, causing BYU to know what the play is. The dual-threat quarterback could not adjust, throwing for 265 yards and a couple of interceptions. Four turnovers for the Sun Devils cost them a chance to stay in the top 25 and will now look to rebound.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Colorado on ESPNU

5. Stanford (2-1, 1-0)
After getting beat down 24-7 by No. 25 Kansas State in week one, the Cardinal bounced back with a big road win against USC, who was ranked at the time, and defeated Vanderbilt this past Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee. Stanford looks somewhat impressive heading into Pac-12 play.

People may say that yes, it is Vanderbilt, who is usually not a powerhouse in the SEC, but Stanford got a solid road win. This team could definitely be a sleeper heading into conference action.

Next game: 3 p.m. Saturday vs. UCLA on Pac-12 Network

6. Oregon State (2-1)
Yeah, the two wins for the Beavers are against the University of Hawaii and the University of Idaho at home, but still, a win is a win. Oregon State, back in week one, lost a close matchup against Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. Oregon State did shut out Idaho at home and Hawaii did put up some numbers against the Beavers, but a 2-1 Beavers’ team heading into conference action could be detrimental or beneficial for their season.

 Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at USC on FS1

7. Utah (1-2)
The Utes have lost two straight-to-in-state rival BYU and a heart-breaking triple OT loss to San Diego State and are now trending in the wrong direction after starting the season ranked. Utah looked promising at the beginning, landing the transfer from Baylor, senior quarterback Charlie Brewer, but still could not get the job done against BYU and the Aztecs on the road. After two road losses, Utah looks to break their losing streak at home.

Next game: 11:30 a.m. Saturday vs. WSU on Pac-12 Network

8. Colorado (1-2)
The Buffaloes, like Utah, started out promising again, defeating Northern Colorado in week one and earning a close loss at home to No. 7 Texas A&M. But losing 30-0 to Minnesota at home really put them in their place. The offense seemed to expire after week one, only putting up seven against the Aggies and not even scoring against the Gophers.

Against Minnesota, the Buffaloes only totaled 63 total yards in the game, with having negative rushing yards to end the game. Colorado will need to find where their offense is if they want to have any conference success.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Arizona State on ESPNU

9. Washington (1-2)
The Huskies did not look good at all the first couple of weeks, and that is not my WSU bias showing. Washington lost to Montana, who is an FCS team, the first week of the season at home in Seattle. After losing to No. 19 Michigan in Ann Arbor, Washington started 0-2 and got a needed win against Arkansas State 52-3. Washington is very up and down, but as conference play starts for them, the Huskies should have a clear path to success soon.

Next game: 6:30 p.m. Saturday vs. California on Pac-12 Network

10. California (1-2)
All of the Golden Bears’ games this year have been very close this year, losing a close matchup to Nevada at home in week one, losing by two on the road against TCU and finally getting their first win against Sacramento State at home. The inconsistencies for this Cal team are very damaging in their nonconference slate and this will probably continue as conference play begins for them.

Next game: 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Washington on Pac-12 Network

11. WSU (1-2)
We saw last Saturday against USC. No words. Let us move on.

Next game: 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Utah on Pac-12 Network

12. Arizona (0-3)
The Wildcats’ nonconference slate ended in utter disappointment, losing to FCS rival Northern Arizona for the first time since 1932. They also lost to San Diego State in embarrassing fashion at home and had a close loss to BYU at their neutral site game in Las Vegas back in week one. Do not expect Arizona to be contenders anytime soon. Let the rebuild begin down in Tucson, Arizona.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Oregon on ESPN