Determining who is the best in the Pac-12 Conference isn’t always as easy as looking at the top of the standings and then moving down. Particularly when the number of games played by each team is as disparate as it is after four weeks of league play.
Due to a rather odd schedule to this point, one-third of the 12 teams have played eight games while another one-third have only logged six results. Figuring out how everyone sits in the standings can be complex, but that’s where the power rankings come in.
After each week’s results we will rank the league, breaking down how they fared in their most recent games and looking ahead to what’s next.
1. Oregon (17-4, 6-2)
Last week: 1st
The Ducks were the preseason Pac-12 favorites, and after some early hiccups—particularly that embarrassing loss at Washington State last week—they appear to be hitting their stride. A double overtime win over USC was followed by a total beatdown of UCLA on Sunday, extending Oregon’s home win streak to 17 games.
Up next: Thursday at California, Saturday at Stanford
2. Colorado (16-4, 5-2)
Last week: 4th
The Buffaloes had a rather effortless weekend, sweeping the Washington schools at home by a combined 36 points. Following a horrid offensive performance in Arizona a week ago, Colorado has reasserted itself as the most efficient team in Pac-12 play but it still has seven more road games left.
Up next: Thursday at UCLA, Saturday at USC
3. USC (16-4, 5-2)
Last week: 3rd
A split at the Oregon schools—that began by giving up a late lead in regulation before losing in overtime in Eugene—means the Trojans are 3-2 in conference road games after going 2-7 last season. Freshman Onyeka Okongwu is averaging 16.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in league action.
Up next: Thursday vs. Utah, Saturday vs. Colorado
4. Arizona (13-6, 3-3)
Last week: 2nd
What else needs to be said other than that blowing a 22-point lead at your in-state rival is not something a conference title contender does? The Wildcats have lost five straight on the road and continue to struggle in close games, now 1-5 in games decided by five or fewer points.
Up next: Thursday at Washington, Saturday at Washington State
5. Arizona State (12-7, 3-3)
Last week: 6th
A massive comeback against Arizona has the Sun Devils at .500 in league play after three weeks despite some of the Pac-12’s worst offensive numbers. But ASU has also held three straight opponents to less than a point per possession after allowing 1-plus to five of the previous six foes.
Up next: Wednesday at Washington State, Saturday at Washington
6. Stanford (15-4, 4-2)
Last week: 5th
As if blowing that lead at USC to fall in overtime last week wasn’t bad enough, the Cardinal followed that up with a 52-50 loss at rival California on Sunday in which they led by 11 midway through the second half. That 4-0 start to Pac-12 play seems less and less impressive by the day now.
Up next: Thursday vs. Oregon State, Saturday vs. Oregon
7. Utah (12-7, 3-4)
Last week: 9th
The Utes are still dead-last in the Pac-12 in defensive efficiency, allowing 76.4 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting, but they righted the ship somewhat with a home sweep of the Washington schools. Thursday’s 67-66 victory against the Huskies saw Utah rally from down 12 with less than seven minutes left.
Up next: Thursday at USC, Sunday at UCLA
8. UCLA (10-10, 3-4)
Last week: 10th
The Bruins aren’t good, but at least they’re consistent with their inconsistency. A road split in Oregon began with a great defensive effort in beating Oregon State and ended three days later by allowing 96 points against the Ducks. UCLA still can’t figure itself out.
Up next: Thursday vs. Colorado, Sunday vs. Utah
9. Washington State (12-9, 3-5)
Last week: 7th
Losses by 22 at Colorado and 12 at Utah brought the Cougars back down to Earth after sweeping the Oregon schools at home the week before. Wazzu is 1-5 on the road this season, the only win at nearby Idaho (which is 5-13) but its next three are in Pullman.
Up next: Wednesday vs. Arizona State, Saturday vs. Arizona
10. Oregon State (12-8, 2-6)
Last week: 8th
The Beavers have wins over Arizona and Colorado, the latter coming in Boulder, but after being swept at the Los Angeles schools they’ve dropped four in a row and averaged 61.3 points per game in the process. OSU can’t win if it can’t score effectively, not with the Pac-12’s second-worst defense.
Up next: Thursday at Stanford, Saturday at California
11. California (9-10, 3-3)
Last week: 10th
The Golden Bears are not a good team, but they’re much better than a year ago and that’s something to be proud of. Mucking it up to beat rival Stanford at home on Sunday means Cal has surpassed last year’s overall win total and matched its three Pac-12 victories (which all came after an 0-15 start in 2018-19).
Up next: Thursday vs. Oregon, Saturday vs. Oregon State
12. Washington (12-9, 2-6)
Last week: 11th
Losing point guard Quade Green to academics in early January continues to stand out for the Huskies, who in six games without him are 1-5 including losses at Utah and Colorado over the weekend. Washington blew a 12-point lead Thursday at Utah it’s averaging 15.3 turnovers per game post-Green.
Up next: Thursday vs. Arizona, Saturday vs. Arizona State