It's Week 3, and you know what that means, especially if you read the headline. Now for the form spiel:
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 3 (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: Stanford is not the 10th-best team in the Pac-12. But this week, it is the No. 10 team in our power rankings, despite remaining in our national top 25. Hope that makes sense.)
1. Oregon (1) – Ducks still the kind of team that can trail at halftime and win going away. Scary thought.
2. USC (2) – Future text from Steve Sarkisian to Pat Haden: “Can u give me a raise plz? Maybe stay in press box tho. LOL!"
3. UCLA (4) – Close call against Memphis will make for interesting episode of “The Drive” on Pac-12 Networks.
4. Arizona State (5) – Walter White and Jesse Pinkman could have scored 50 on New Mexico.
5. California (7) – Next three games: at Arizona, vs. Colorado and at Washington State. 5-0 start isn’t out of the question.
6. Arizona (6) – UTSA is no joke, but have to think Wildcats hoped for better than three-point win there.
7. Oregon State (8) – Beavers looked better than UW in Hawaii, but still unimpressive.
8. Utah (10) – Either Fresno State is terrible this season, or the Utes are better than we thought. Or both.
9. Washington (9) – Can’t remember a UW fanbase this disgruntled after a 2-0 start. Chris Petersen has much to prove.
10. Stanford (3) – Cardinal aren’t this bad, but ugly, disorganized loss to USC was entirely avoidable and inexcusable -- particularly when it came to the red zone.
11. Colorado (12) – Close win over UMass is like a loss to most anyone else.
12. Washington State (11) – Avoid fan message boards if searching for perspective on Cougars’ 0-2 start.
National Top 25
1. Oregon (1) – A Mariota v. Winston race for the Heisman would be quality programming.
2. Florida State (2) – Seminoles yawned, stretched and handled Citadel with their eyes closed.
3. Oklahoma (3) – Let Tulsa score last week for some reason.
4. Alabama (4) – Lots of teams could use a quarterback controversy like the Tide’s.
5. Georgia (5) – BYE offered about as much resistance as Clemson did in the fourth quarter.
6. LSU (6) – Beat Sam Houston State 56-0. That team scored 35 points and totaled more than 500 yards of offense against Eastern Washington. Just sayin’.
7. Auburn (7) – First real test this week at Kansas State.
8. USC (12) – Stanford did plenty to give Trojans that win last week, but give USC credit for finding a way.
9. Texas A&M (9) – Some guy named Lamar scored three points against the Aggies last week. He didn’t play much defense, though.
10. Baylor (13) – Backup QB threw five touchdown passes against Northwestern State.
11. UCLA (14) – Seven-point win at home over Memphis equals grumpy Jim Mora on Pac-12 conference call.
12. Michigan State (8) – Proved that 13.5-point spread to be pretty dead-on.
13. Notre Dame (15) – Nothing fraudulent about 31-0 win over rival Michigan.
14. Arizona State (16) – Beat New Mexico, but you’re going to have to read the Pac-12 rankings for the subsequent Breaking Bad joke.
15. Virginia Tech (NR) – Two-score win at Ohio State is legit, Braxton Miller or no Braxton Miller.
16. Mississippi (17) – SEC nonconference schedules are so soft. Rebels played some school named Vanderbilt last week.
17. Wisconsin (18) – Whole bunch of yawners coming up (Bowling Green, South Florida, Northwestern, Illinois … ).
18. Kansas State (19) – Can make case for Top 10 with win over Auburn.
19. Stanford (10) – Not often you see a David Shaw team look so out of sorts as it did against USC.
20. Clemson (22) – Impressive 73-7 win over South Carolina … State.
21. Missouri (20) – Tigers close nonconference slate with UCF and Indiana. Zoinks.
22. Ohio State (11) – After rough loss, have to feel for such a warm, fuzzy guy like Urban Meyer.
23. Brigham Young (NR) – Taysom Hill – Idaho’s own – is pretty good.
24. South Carolina (23) – Huge 10-point win over sworn rival East Carolina.
25. North Carolina (21) – Clemson, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame coming up after visiting East Carolina.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple