Just two weeks into the Pac-12 football season and I have no idea what to make of the conference.
One game after upsetting the preseason No. 1 team in the country — USC — Stanford heads up to Seattle and gets knocked off by a Washington team that looked like it didn’t belong on the same field as LSU a couple weeks back. (See 41-3 drubbing).
But the Huskies have improved dramatically, it seems, under new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.
After giving up miles and miles of yards on the ground to Stanford the past couple meetings, the Huskies held the Cardinal to 65 net yards on the ground and 235 total on Thursday night.
That led to a 17-13 stunner at CenturyLink Field. (Yes the same field where the Seahawks defeated the Packers in that controversial is-it-a-catch-or-is-it-an-interception game).
The craziness at CenturyLink continued on Saturday night when the mighty Oregon Ducks went to the locker room with only a 23-19 lead on the lowly Washington State Cougars — yes, the same team that inexplicably blew a huge fourth-quarter lead to equally lowly Colorado at home a week earlier.
But the Ducks prevailed, 51-26, behind a strong third quarter.
It’s Ducks and Huskies in Eugene next Saturday night.
And, how about those Beavers? Where are all the Mark Banker, Mike Riley, etc., haters now?
Sean Mannion was marvelous as the Beavers gave up an early lead, then rallied back to top Arizona, 38-35, for their sixth straight win in Tucson.
Yep, that’s a 3-0 start for OSU.
In other action, Arizona State won at Cal, 27-17, and UCLA routed Colorado in Boulder, 42-14.
Here is my latest power rankings. Your guess is as good as mine really.
1. Oregon (5-0, 2-0): Ducks may have been overlooking the Cougars as they had another slow first half. Still, Oregon seems to be able to turn it on when needed.
2. Oregon State (3-0, 2-0): First 3-0 start since 2002, with two of those on the road, is impressive for a team that went 3-9 last season. Congrats to Mike Riley for win No. 75, tops in program history.
3. Arizona State (4-1, 2-0): Sun Devils were slowed down a bit by the Bears, but found a way to win on the road.
4. Washington (3-1, 1-0): Huskies likely won’t stay this high with Oregon and USC next, but if Stanford jumps high with win over USC, so should UW.
5. Stanford (3-1, 1-1): Can’t put USC ahead of Stanford after just one game for each, so Cardinal remain high. Not sold on Nunes at QB.
6. USC (3-1, 0-1): Trojans had a bye and fall again, because of what other teams did or didn’t do. I have a feeling they will be moving up again.
7. UCLA (4-1, 1-1): A nice bounce-back win, but it was only Colorado.
8. Arizona (3-2, 0-2): Wildcats had a chance to spring the upset but came up short. Both losses have been to the top two teams in this week’s power rankings.
9. Utah (2-2, 0-1): Utes had a bye and take on USC this Thursday.
10. Cal (1-4, 0-2): How hot is that seat now for Jeff Tedford. Bears need a win soon or he could be gone before end of the season.
11. Colorado (1-4, 1-1): Well, not much to say. Buffs stay ahead of Wazzu only because of last week’s head-to-head win.
12: Washington State (2-3, 0-2): Cougars gave Ducks a run in first 30 minutes and could have moved up. They get the Beavers next.