Overall, it wasn’t a good week for the Pac-12. Two teams lost to Group of 5 opponents (Stanford and UCLA), USC didn’t meet expectations in a win and none of the other games should have a significant impact on conference perception. If not for Cal’s 27-16 win over Ole Miss, it would have been even worse. Here are the updated Pac-12 power rankings after Week 3.
1. USC (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12): After their comprehensive win against Stanford last week, the Trojans took a significant step back with their performance against Texas. Time will tell how this win should be evaluated, but last night it felt more like an escape.
2. Washington (3-0): The Huskies will get their first real test next week against Colorado. So far, so good.
3. Washington State (3-0, 1-0): Quarterback Luke Falk will finish his career with 22 touchdown passes in four games against Oregon State. It’s the most any FBS quarterback has thrown against a single opponent since at least 2000.
4. Oregon (3-0): Are the Ducks the best first-half team in the country? They’ve scored 84 first-half points the last two weeks combined, but only seven after halftime.
5. Colorado (3-0): Quarterback Steven Montez (29-of-41, 357 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT against Northern Colorado) needed a game like this to get things clicking. Will it carry over next week against Washington?
6. Utah (3-0): The Utes remain somewhat of a mystery considering the caliber of their opponents, but quarterback Tyler Huntley continues to impress.
7. Stanford (1-2, 0-1): San Diego State is a good team and deserves a lot of credit. Still, since David Shaw became the coach in 2011, the Cardinal had never lost to a team from outside the Power 5. No moral victories here.
8. Cal (3-0): Based on the results, Cal probably should be ranked ahead of rival Stanford, but who are you taking if they played each other next week? They’ll have a common opponent after next week when the Bears take on USC.
9. UCLA (2-1): The Bruins’ 48-45 loss to Memphis was similar to the win against Texas A&M in that a handful of plays could have changed the outcome. That’s how UCLA’s season began in 2016, too, which isn’t a good omen.
10. Arizona (2-1): It’s hard not to like what the Wildcats did Friday night in El Paso -- 63-16 is 63-16 -- but they won’t see a less talented team than UTEP the rest of the way.
11. Arizona State (1-2): If the Sun Devils win a game before November it will be considered an upset.
12. Oregon State (1-3, 0-1): What is there to say? It’s going to be a long year.