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Pac-12 power rankings, Week 2: Arizona opens in middle of the pack

The Arizona Wildcats didn't hurt their stock after a nice win against NAU.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to our first installation of the Pac-12 power rankings, where we will recap and examine the games of the week and determine who sucks and who doesn't. There was no preseason rankings because, well, I was on vacation. Sorry about it.

But it's not like I really know anything anyway. Getting the opportunity to watch these teams in Week 1 did, however, give me a good hint as to where each team stands heading into this year. Here's what we learned after Week 1. Complain about my rankings or rank 'em yourself in the comments.

1. Oregon

This week: Oregon 66, Nicholls State 3

Trending: --

It didn't take long to figure out the Ducks are the same ol' Ducks, even under new coach Mark Helfrich. Marcus Mariota looked decent enough, De'Anthony Thomas is still a breakout threat -- and a great tweeter. Nicholls State wasn't going to challenge them, but it's still hard to find anything to knock Oregon out of the top spot.

2. Stanford

This week: N/A

Trending: --

Until the Cardinal does something to say otherwise, they can hang onto the No. 2 spot behind Oregon.


This week: UCLA 58, Nevada 20

Trending: ^

UCLA throttled the team Arizona beat in last year's New Mexico bowl. Brett Hundley was bound to continue his success, and one big question was answered. Jonathan Franklin's replacement, Jordon James, went for 155 yards on 21 carries.

4. Washington

This week: Washington 38, Boise State 6

Trending: ^^^

Up, up, up they go. Keith Price had a really crappy year in 2012. Like, really crappy. Sacking him was like playing pin the tail on the donkey, except there was no blindfold and Washington's offensive linemen were pinning the tail on the donkey for you. OK, that metaphor sucks.

The Huskies looked really good on Saturday night against a very good program. Price looked like a new man, which is to be expected when it's not expected his head will get knocked off each play. The defense would stout. So far, U-Dub is the surprise of the conference.

5. USC

This week: USC 30, Hawaii 13

Trending: Down, sort of

Trending: Um, people aren't happy with Lane Kiffin, but here at Arizona we'll enjoy USC's troubles as long as it lasts. And yeah, the Trojans are along with the Wildcats as one of the few conference teams that has quarterback problems.

6. ASU

This week: N/A

Trending: --

Sorry, Arizona fellows. No room for bias here -- ASU gets a spot up on the Wildcats because the Sun Devils have a quarterback. Stay tuned.

7. Arizona

This week: Arizona 35, NAU 0

Trending: ^

Not much to complain about. B.J. Denker invented a cool new helicopter move on a touchdown run, so the Wildcats' quarterback situation at least has that going for it.

8. Oregon State

This week: Eastern Washington 49, Oregon State 46

Trending: Poop

The Beavs get the award for the worst of the week in the Pac-12 after this loss. But Mike Riley's squads usually have a terrible loss to a bad team or a painful one to a really good one. OSU always gets better as the year goes on, so I'll hold off bumping them below eighth for now.

9. Cal

This week: Northwestern 44, Cal 30

Trending: --

If I did have a preseason power ranking, the Bears would probably be lower on the list. But Sonny Dykes' team had a promising game against Northwestern that was closer than the score alluded to. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff has a cannon for an arm -- he made some bad late throws, but there's a lot of promise in Berkeley.

10. Washington State

This week: Auburn 31, Washington State 24

Trending: --

The Cougars actually looked good. I know Auburn isn't the class of the SEC anymore, but Gus Malzahn is bound to turn some things around there. WSU was in the game for the entirety and to hold it's own against a former power is a good sign. I mean, remember where this team was when Mike Leach took over?

11. Utah

This week: Utah 30, Utah State 26

Trending: ????

Who knows what's up with the Utes? They were getting beaten to a pulp but used an on-side kick to shake off a funk and turn around a game against a pretty good Utah State team.

12. Colorado

This week: Colorado vs. Colorado State, Sunday, 3 p.m. MST