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Pacific Takes Pac-12 Power Rankings week two: Cal climbs into top half of the North

Each week we publish our power rankings based on Pac-12 fans voting.

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

North

1. Oregon 2-0 (Last week 1)

With their impressive win over Michigan State and Stanford’s loss to USC, the Ducks solidified themselves as the kings of the North for the time being. They might not be challenged for this spot until they face off with Stanford in November.

2. Stanford 1-1 (2)

The Cardinal put themselves a ways behind Oregon early on with a heartbreaking loss to USC so early in the season. However, the good news is that they look like they might still have the only defense in the conference that is tough enough to stop the Ducks.

3. Cal 2-0 (4)

Who could have guessed that the Bears would already be in the top half of the North ratings? This might be an overreaction to Oregon State and Washington’s struggles against Hawaii and FCS opponents, but it does make sense for now.

4. Oregon State 2-0 (3)

The Beavers looked for a moment that they were going to run away from Hawaii as they were expected, but then the Warriors roared back and put the Beavers’ strength into question. Right now they are dueling with Washington for the title of least-unimpressive mid-level North team and coming out on top.

5. Washington 2-0 (5)

The Huskies followed up their frustrating, low-scoring win over Hawaii by giving up 52 points to FCS Eastern Washington and further dampening their early-season expectations. It might just be adjusting to a new regime under Chris Petersen, but until the Huskies prove that they are putting it all together, they will stay near the bottom of the North.

6. Washington State 2-0 (6)

The Cougars came into 2014 with as high of expectations as they have had in more than 10 years and have fallen flat on their face. Losing their opening games, which may have been their two easiest against FBS opponents put them in a massive hole early in the season.

South

1. USC 2-0 (1)

The Josh Shaw and that guy who called Steve Sarkisian racist drama couldn’t be any more in the rear view for the Trojans who have opened up the season in ideal fashion (including a disappointing start by UCLA). They need to watch out for a letdown and a trap game at Boston College this week though.

2. Arizona State 2-0 (3)

The Sun Devils haven’t proven much yet, but have ascended to second simply by not disappointing yet. However, there offense has looked very explosive against weak competition.

3. UCLA 2-0 (2)

The Bruins are 2-0, but it couldn’t be any more unenthusiastic 2-0 as evidenced here. The Bruins need to impress against a struggling Texas team Saturday to start climbing back up.

4. Utah 2-0 (5)

The Utes showed that USC isn’t the only team that can blowout Fresno State in a solid win. However, I feel like this move up is more about Arizona barely beating UTSA than the Utes’ win.

5. Arizona 2-0 (4)

I feel that this slip for the Wildcats is a bit unfair, given that I think their win at UTSA won’t look bad at the end of the season when the Roadrunners win the Conference USA West. However, I can’t really blame voters for knocking a team that only won by three against a second-year FBS team.

6. Colorado 1-1 (6)

The Buffs barely winning against woeful helped their record but not so much their cred. Still, any wins are huge for the Buffs right now.