Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 2

Cancellations continue to hit Pac-12 due to COVID-19; still played five games, shook this weeks power rankings

Colorado+moves+up+two+spots%2C+coming+in+at+No.+4+in+the+week+2+power+rankings+after+winning+against+UCLA+and+Stanford.

RYAN PUGH | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Colorado moves up two spots, coming in at No. 4 in the week 2 power rankings after winning against UCLA and Stanford.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen columnist

The Pac-12 is at the end of week two of the conference’s college football season after a crazy weekend, with last-second cancellations and schedule adjustments that included Pac-12 football on Sunday.

All teams played this week except Arizona State and Utah, with both schools having problems with COVID-19 cases.

Arizona almost had No. 20 Southern California on the ropes in Tucson, and Colorado almost blew another lead to Stanford in Palo Alto, California.

Here are the Pac-12 power rankings after week two of the season.

  1. 11 Oregon (2-0); won 43-29

The Ducks almost got upset by WSU on the road, but a great second half by Oregon’s offense pulling away ended any upset talks for the Cougars. Junior running backs CJ Verdell and Travis Dye ran up and down the field against WSU, and sophomore quarterback Tyler Shough ran for 81 yards. Oregon needs to run the table if they want to keep their number one spot.

Next game: Saturday vs. UCLA

  1. 20 USC (2-0); won 34-30

The Trojans escaped an upset against Arizona as once again, they had to come back at the end to win this game. Sophomore quarterback Kedon Slovis threw for 325 yards and a touchdown, but during the game, he was missing key throws on second and third down to convert. The Trojans are in danger of falling if they win another close game like this or losing to a team that USC should easily beat.

Next game: Saturday at Utah at 7:30 p.m.

  1. Washington (1-0); won 27-21

The Huskies looked a little inconsistent at times against Oregon State on Saturday night, but in the end, they pulled out a win at home. Washington went with redshirt freshman Dylan Morris as the starter on Saturday and he only threw for 141 yards, but the run game for the Huskies clicked on all cylinders. Senior tailbacks Kamari Pleasant and Sean McGrew ran through the Beavers defense. The Huskies got the first game jitters out of their system, but more convincing wins for the Huskies, and they’ll climb in the ranks.

Next game: Saturday vs. Arizona at 5 p.m.

  1. Colorado (2-0); won 35-32; up two spots

The Buffaloes escaped another week without blowing a huge lead this week against Stanford and last week against UCLA. Colorado was up 35-16 early in the fourth quarter against the Cardinal and somehow, Colorado barely won the game. Sophomore tailback Jarek Broussard had another 100+ yard rushing game and seems to be a contender for Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. The Buffaloes’ defense forced Stanford to have three first-half field goals, instead of finishing in the red zone. Colorado must stop the lead blowing if they want to be taken seriously in this conference.

Next game: Saturday’s game against Arizona State is canceled due to COVID-19

  1. UCLA (1-1); won 34-10; up two spots

The Bruins bounced back in their first home game of the season and routed the California Golden Bears on Sunday. This game was not supposed to happen, but with the current COVID-19 situation in the Pac-12, these two teams met on Sunday morning. UCLA’s defense looked like the best defense in the Pac-12, forcing a ton of three-and-outs and only allowing 176 total yards of offense for California. After a weird game for the Bruins last week, they definitely stepped up this time and proved that they are not to be messed with in this conference.

Next game: Saturday at Oregon

  1. Washington State (1-1); lost 43-29; down two spots

The Cougars looked good for one half against Oregon on Nov. 14, and in the second half, the offense just looked inexistent. WSU forced three turnovers in the first half, but they could not capitalize in the red zone, forcing them to get field goals every time. The Cougars’ defense allowed 581 total yards on offense, with 269 of them coming from the run game. It was the battle of two halves for WSU, starting off hot and then cooling off in the second half. WSU was not a favorite in any capacity to win this game, but the game slipped away from them after not scoring in the red zone after all the turnovers.

Next game: Saturday at Stanford at 8 p.m.

  1. Oregon State (0-2); lost 27-21; down one spot

Yes, the Beavers are 0-2, but they looked really good against Washington on the road and could’ve won this game if it wasn’t for a questionable spot on a fourth-and-short for Oregon State. Junior running back Jermar Jefferson ran for 133 yards, and a touchdown against a talented Huskies’ defense. The run defense for OSU is still suspect, after allowing another 250+ yard performance on the ground, but only losing by six in Seattle is huge for the Beavers.

Next game: Saturday vs. California at 12:30 p.m.

  1. Arizona (0-1); lost 34-30

The Wildcats almost pulled off the upset at home against USC, but the defense allowing 498 yards of offense and their sophomore quarterback Grant Gunnell looking hesitant at times led to a disappointing loss. Arizona kept this game close and battled in their first game of the season, but just came up short in the end. The Wildcats put up some solid numbers on the offensive side of the ball, but their defense looked anemic and allowing that many yards won’t lead to any success in the long run.

Next game: Saturday at Washington at 6 p.m.

  1. Arizona State (0-1); down six spots

The Trojans didn’t play this week due to COVID-19 issues at their campus. Arizona State will not play their upcoming game against Colorado because of these continued COVID-19 issues.

  1. California (0-1); lost 34-10

The Golden Bears got embarrassed Sunday morning against UCLA on the road, and they just couldn’t move the ball on offense. On the defensive side, UCLA just drove up and down the field against the Cal defense, which needs to fill the hole of former linebacker Evan Weaver. The defense allowed 440 total yards, 244 of them on the ground. The Golden Bears, under redshirt junior quarterback Chase Garbers, didn’t amount any offense and not converting on third down. California needs to get all of the first game jitters out and move on to the next week.

Next game: Saturday at Oregon State at 12:30 p.m.

  1. Stanford (0-2); lost 35-32; down three spots

The Cardinal look like the worst team in the Pac-12. I said it, and I stand by it. Stanford has been down by double digits in back-to-back games and allowed 70 points on defense. The offense seems to only be alive in the last remaining minutes, after not converting in the red zone in the first half. Stanford, at one point, was down 19 to Colorado at home and couldn’t find their offensive spark at all. Stanford doesn’t seem to have that much success with senior quarterback Davis Mills throwing the ball 56 times, so they need to fix whatever is going on.

      N/A: Utah

Utah has not played a game with all of the COVID-19 issues at the school.