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 4 (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 this week, it is the No. 12 team in our power rankings, despite remaining in our national top 25. Hope that makes sense.)
(Previous week's rank in parentheses)
1. Oregon (1) – Trap game in Pullman this weekend? Probably not.
2. UCLA (3) – Lazy decision by writers of “The Drive” to go to “backup-QB-turned-hero” plot twist so early in the season.
3. Arizona State (4) – Backup QB Mike Bercovici will try to pull a Neuheisel.
4. Stanford (10) – If Army’s offense can’t score against Cardinal, who can?
5. Washington (9) – Can’t prove a whole lot this week against Georgia State, but big margin of victory will be expected.
6. Arizona (6) – Navigated “meh” nonconference schedule undefeated.
7. California (5) – A win this week in Tucson would amplify feel-good start to the season.
8. Oregon State (7) – With injuries to Brett Hundley and Taylor Kelly, Beavers have to feel good about having big-time, healthy QB as schedule heads toward Pac-12 play.
9. Utah (8) – Big test at Michigan this week.
10. Washington State (11) – Think of how many points Rutgers could score on Portland State.
11. Colorado (12) – Only losing to ASU by 14 constitutes an improvement.
12. USC (2) – When you get out-rushed by 432 yards at Boston College, you get to come in last in the power rankings, no matter your ranking in the national top 25.
National Top 25
1. Oregon (1) – Still winning big, but offensive line injuries are a concern.
2. Florida State (2) – Can Jameis Winston remove himself from Heisman candidacy based on off-field incidents alone? He’s off to a good start.
3. Oklahoma (3) – Trip to Morgantown on Saturday could be dicey.
4. Alabama (4) – Southern Miss won’t be applying for SEC membership any time soon after 40-point shellacking.
5. LSU (6) – Should hammer Mississippi State this week.
6. Texas A&M (9) – The Legend of Kenny Trill continues to grow.
7. Auburn (7) – Feels like a Tigers blowout coming in Manhattan on Thursday.
8. Baylor (10) – Points, points, points, etc.
9. UCLA (11) – Richard Gerald Neuheisel III, come on down!
10. Notre Dame (13) – Purdue scored two more touchdowns against Irish than Michigan did.
11. Michigan State (12) – Battle of Michigans this week with Eastern coming to town.
12. Arizona State (14) – Losing Taylor Kelly for Sept. 25 game against UCLA is disappointing development.
13. Mississippi (16) – Gradual buildup to game against Alabama, with a bye this week, then Memphis.
14. Wisconsin (17) – Yawn.
15. Kansas State (18) – Statement time for the Wildcats with high-scoring Auburn coming to town.
16. South Carolina (24) – That final measurement against Georgia was thisclose.
17. Georgia (5) -- … and it cost the Bulldogs 12 spots.
18. Stanford (19) – Might be a little harder to sneak past the Ducks this year.
19. Clemson (20) – Can play spoiler in Tallahassee against FSU on Saturday.
20. Missouri (21) – Tigers will bring more shame to the Big Ten by pummeling Indiana this week.
21. Ohio State (22) – Golden Flashes of Kent State were neither golden or … flashy in 66-0 loss.
22. Brigham Young (23) – The undefeated dream lives on after close call against Houston.
23. Nebraska (NR) – There was a time when Miami at Nebraska would have been must-see TV. Not quite this year.
24. North Carolina (25) – Tar Heels are off for two consecutive weeks. Huh.
25. USC (8) – The Trojans allowed 452 yards rushing to Boston College. And rushed for 20 yards themselves. That is not good.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple