Longtime readers of the News Tribune know that during football season, we publish a Pac-12 power ranking and national top 25 each week. (Also, just want to note that I don’t have a vote in the AP poll this year, so this ranking doesn’t go anywhere but in Thursday’s newspaper. And here.)
Pac-12 power rankings, Week 5 (And a quick note here — the conference power ranking isn’t intended to be a predicted order of finish, or even an order of the best teams, so it might appear more skewed week-to-week than the national ranking. The conference ranking is a weekly snapshot intended to reflect which teams play the best, week to week; which teams are on hot streaks; and which teams are trending downward. For example: USC is not the worst team in the Pac-12. But last week, it was the No. 12 team in our power rankings, despite remaining in our national top 25. Hope that makes sense.)
1. Oregon (1) – 4-0 is 4-0, but close call in Pullman might have exposed the Ducks in some areas.
2. Utah (9) – Big win at Michigan was overshadowed a bit by tight games between Oregon-WSU and Cal-Arizona, but Utes are off to a great start.
3. UCLA (2) – Will Brett Hundley play or sit against ASU? Regardless, Bruins have to play better than they have been.
4. Arizona State (3) – A big one on Thursday night against UCLA.
5. USC (12) – Trojans got sent to timeout (the cellar) last week, but they’re back and ready for what should be an interesting game against OSU, which hasn’t won in the Coliseum in forever.
6. Stanford (4) – Annual game against Washington is becoming must-watch programming. Can add to fun series this weekend.
7. Arizona (6) – So, Huskies fans, does the Hill Mary top Ortege Jenkins’ “Leap By the Lake?” What, too soon?
8. Oregon State (8) – Beavers have to be licking their chops watching USC’s film of Boston College game. (Related: do Beavers have chops?)
9. Washington (5) – So, who are these guys? Stanford is first opponent capable of bringing out the real Huskies, for better or worse.
10. California (7) – Bears can’t let Hail Mary kill their season. Have to keep in mind they’re an eyelash away from being 3-0. And maybe not give up 36 points in a quarter again.
11. Washington State (10) – Going, going back, back to Utah, Utah (where Mike Leach said not-so-nice things during 2012 visit).
12. Colorado (11) – This week’s game against Cal looked far more winnable before the season started.
NATIONAL TOP 25
1. Oregon (1) – Don’t let Ducks’ poor defensive performance overshadow how great Marcus Mariota was against WSU.
2. Florida State (2) – Seminoles survived a Jameis-less night against Clemson, but can’t afford any more of those.
3. Oklahoma (3) – Winning in Morgantown ain’t easy, so you have to feel good about where Sooners are at after they put up 45 there.
4. Alabama (4) – Maybe Lane Kiffin has finally found himself a niche as an offensive coordinator.
5. Texas A&M (6) – A neutral-site game against a non-rival conference opponent? College football in 2014, everybody.
6. Auburn (7) – Hoping to avoid post-K-State hangover against Louisiana Tech. Oh, who are we kidding.
7. Baylor (8) – Leading country in scoring with 59.3 points per game.
8. UCLA (9) – Bruins have a lot to prove this week against ASU.
9. Notre Dame (10) – Quick, who is best opponent in Irish’s three-game stretch of Michigan, Purdue and Syracuse? Well?
10. Michigan State (11) – Showed Eastern Michigan who’s boss by dropping 73 points on ‘em. Tom Izzo is jealous.
11. Arizona State (12) – How the Sun Devils fare against stretch of UCLA-USC-Bye-Stanford-Washington will help determine Pac-12 South championship.
12. Mississippi (13) – Memphis will be a nice warmup for Alabama and Texas A&M the next two weeks.
13. Mississippi State (NR) – Win over LSU is great, but Bulldogs could have closed it out a little smoother.
14. Wisconsin (14) – 359.7 yards rushing per game leads the country.
15. South Carolina (16) – Game against Missouri lost luster thanks to Tigers’ colossal flub vs. Indiana.
16. Georgia (17) – Not Georgia State.
17. Stanford (18) – Don’t look know, but Cardinal have pretty good receivers (Montgomery, Cajuste) this year, too.
18. Ohio State (21) – Taking on an in-state team that’s actually still undefeated: Cincinnati.
19. LSU (6) – Great Hail Mary try and all, but why didn’t they do it the way Arizona did?
20. Brigham Young (22) – Week off before game against Utah State that shouldn’t be as difficult as it usually is.
21. East Carolina (NR) – How is it that Mike Leach doesn’t coach the team that scored 70 points on North Carolina and calls itself the Pirates?
22. Nebraska (23) – 41 points against Miami? Tommie Frazier has to like that.
23. Kansas State (15) – Had a chance to make a statement for the Big 12, but let Auburn off the hook.
24. USC (25) – Is it possible to play consecutive trap games? Trojans might have another against Oregon State.
25. Oklahoma State (NR) – 30-point win over UTSA is more impressive than you think.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple