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Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: USC takes over top spot

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This is only the start of a bizarre conference season

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

And you thought #Pac12AfterDark only applied to football.

The Pac-12 has been the most closely-contested conference by a lot in these first two weeks of league play, and only one team has emerged unscathed out of this obstacle course, and that is Washington.

But the Huskies are not on top of our power rankings this week. A little team that beat Arizona in four overtimes is.

As always, one point is awarded for 1st place votes, two points for 2nd and so on. With eight voters, this is how the conference shakes out in our minds to this point in the season:

Rank (change from last week's ranking) Team (Pac-12 record) Points
1 (+5) USC Trojans (3-1) 19
2 (-1) Arizona Wildcats (1-2) 28
T-3 (+5) Oregon Ducks (2-1) 35
T-3 (+3) Washington Huskies (3-0) 35
5 (-2) Oregon State Beavers (2-1) 37
6 (+4) UCLA Bruins (2-2) 44
7 (-5) California Golden Bears (2-2) 45
8 (-3) Utah Utes (1-2) 57
9 (-5) Colorado Buffaloes (1-2) 70
10 (-1) Arizona State Sun Devils (0-3) 82
11 (0) Stanford Cardinal (2-2) 83
12 (0) Washington State Cougars (1-2) 92

At least we have the bottom figured out for now.

As the season plays out, I'm sure some of these massive changes in rankings will subside a little bit. Teams like Oregon, Washington, and UCLA certainly earned their big jumps, sweeping their respective weekends.

USC also deserves the love that we're giving it because the only losses the Trojans have suffered are to Washington, Xavier, and Monmouth. As Arizona fans discovered this weekend, their offensive balance and diversity will present problems for many teams in this conference as we make our way towards March.

Arizona and Utah have yet to play a home game in conference play, and will get that corrected this weekend. That should help out their records, as the Washington schools come to Arizona, and the Oregons head to the Mountains.

USC goes to UCLA, and Cal goes to Stanford this week in the rivalry matchups.

This conference is deep, as evidenced by Joe Lunardi's latest Bracketology, where he has eight teams from the Pac-12 getting in. Maybe there will be some separation, but I get the feeling that the middle will be cluttered throughout the season and tough to separate out individual teams.