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Pac-12 power rankings 9/10: big changes just two weeks into the season

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We see a lot of changes after huge wins by Cal and USC.

NCAA Football: Stanford at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Utah 2-0 - (Last week: 2) - The Utes slip ahead with Washington tumbling. That’s not so much as Utah has proven anything remarkable, for now, just more that Washington appears to probably be rebuilding, and not reloading, leaving the top of the conference open. Next week: Idaho State - The Utes get a breather before what’s shaping up as a huge game at USC.
  2. Oregon 1-1 (Last week: 3) - Same for the Ducks as the Utes. They slide up as Washington slides down. Still give them a lot of credit for bouncing back after the heartbreak of the Auburn game and decimating a Nevada team that looked strong after beating Purdue. Next week: Montana - The Ducks get another week to basically prep for their Pac-12 run.
  3. Washington State 2-0 (Last week: 4) - The Cougars and Anthony Gordon certainly look good against low-level talent. There’s no reason yet to think that they should be a very good team in the North. Next week: at Houston - The Cougars get their chance to prove themselves down in Mike Leach’s old stomping grounds.
  4. USC 2-0 (1-0) (Last week: 8) - The Trojans climb the ladder quickly after embarrassing Stanford in LA. They could be a very tough out all season if Kedon Slovis looks like he did against what seemed to be a tough Stanford defense. Next week: at BYU - The Trojans looks to do what Utah did in week one and get a comfortable win over BYU in Provo.
  5. Cal 2-0 (1-0) (Last week: 6) - Cal made a major statement in Seattle, putting the rest of the Pac-12 on edge for when they play the Bears. Their defense is still lights out and Chase Garbers and their offense might be making just enough strides to get them to pull out close games against good teams. Next week: North Texas - The Bears get a decent mid major at home in between to two road games as they play at Mississippi in two weeks.
  6. Colorado 2-0 (Last week: 10) - The Buffs edge out the Huskies for the last spot in the better half of the conference. They pulled out a tight game against a good opponent at home, giving them the slight edge. Next week: Air Force - The Buffs just need to take care of business against another in-state rival to go 3-0 out of conference again.
  7. Washington 1-1 (0-1) (Last week: 1) - Losing a conference game, at home, against a team projected to finish fifth in the North is the kind of deflating loss that can derail an entire season. It’s now on Chris Petersen and the Huskies to right the ship and start to climb back up the ladder. Next week: Hawaii - the Huskies get an interesting challenge against a team that’s already beaten two Pac-12 teams in Honolulu and who probably has a better offense than the team that just beat them.
  8. Stanford 1-1 (0-1) (Last week: 5) - A week after looking stout against Northwestern, the Stanford defense looked horrible against USC and new QB Kedon Slovis. The Cardinal started strong on both sides of the ball with backup QB Davis Mills, but fell apart as the game went on and will now have to rally to avoid becoming a Pac-12 afterthought. Next game: at UCF - the Cardinal get a chance to make a statement nationally at least as they play at the nation’s best mid major in what should be a huge challenge.
  9. Arizona State 2-0 (Last week: 7) - ASU gets dropped because of impressive performances by Colorado and USC. They’re fine though. Just need to show a little more offense against low-level opponents. Next game: at Michigan State - The Sun Devils get a chance to make their statement against a very good Big 10 team the way they did last year against the Spartans.
  10. UCLA 0-2 (Last week: 9) - The Bruins are still ahead of the Hawaii losers, but things look grim early on for Chip Kelly and the Bruins again. I know San Diego State is a hard out, but the Bruins weren’t even able to make it a one score game at home. Next game: Oklahoma - the good news, UCLA can totally redeem themselves if they somehow beat Oklahoma. The bad news. That’s not going to happen.
  11. Arizona 1-1 (Last week: 12) - Hey, the Wildcats were a little closer to beating Hawaii than Oregon State, not in score, but by coming up one yard short of tying the game. Next game: Texas Tech - The Wildcats can semi-redeem their Hawaii loss if they can beat a solid Big 12 program in Tucson.
  12. Oregon State 0-2 (Last week: 11) - The Beavers almost pulled it out in Honolulu. Getting to even just two or three wins might be a challenge for them this year. Next game: Cal Poly - This is OSU’s chance to get a win this season.