Week 3 Pac-12 Power Rankings: Colorado And UCLA Big Risers

After coming from behind to win, both Oregon and USC retain the top two spots in the Pac-12 Power Rankings; Colorado continues to exceed expectations while UCLA throttled Cal

Oregon and USC have remained the class of the conference after come-from-behind victories over Washington State and Arizona, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Colorado saw the biggest jump up the conference rankings with a victory over Stanford, going from No. 9 to No. 4 in our rankings. And UCLA, picked up a huge win over a Cal team that many expected to challenge the Ducks and Huskies for North division supremacy.

With that being said, here are the Week 3 Pac-12 Power Rankings... All times MST

1.) OREGON (2-0)
Last Result: 43-29 win over Washington State
Up Next: 
vs. UCLA, 1:30 p.m., ESPN2

Nov 14, 2020; Pullman, Washington, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Travis Dye (26) and Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Chris Randazzo (79) celebrate a touchdown against the Washington State Cougars in the second half at Martin Stadium. Oregon won 43-29.

While the final margin of victory may not look impressive, taking down a solid Washington State team on the road in the freezing Palousse is impressive. Once Oregon got rolling on offense, the Ducks outscored the Cougars 36-10 over the final 30:03 of game time.

Quarterback Tyler Shough continues to impress in just his second start, accounting for four touchdowns and nearly 400 yards of total offense. The defense also found its groove in the second half, making the Ducks look like the clear favorites with everyone else a step behind.

2.) USC (2-0)
Last Result: 34-30 win over Arizona
Up Next: @ Arizona, 1:30 p.m., FOX

Nov 14, 2020; Tucson, Arizona, USA; USC Trojans running back Vavae Malepeai (29) celebrates a touchdown against the Arizona Wildcats during the second half at Arizona Stadium.

Another week and another victory for the Trojans. But most importantly, another week of looking mostly inadequate until a late surge for the win. The Trojans went six plays for 75 yards in 1:10 to score with just 25 seconds left to pull it out.

Armed with arguably the most talent top-to-bottom, many are left wondering if USC really is as good as expected or are they a team that isn't going to live up to expectations. They'll get a test in Utah this week, who will be the best team they've payed this week and the best coached.

3.) WASHINGTON (1-0)
Last Result: 27-21 win over Oregon State
Up Next: vs. Arizona, 6 p.m., FOX

Nov 14, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Dylan Morris (9) passes against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.

It wasn't dominating but a win on the road in the last slot is always a good thing. 

While many believe the Huskies could've lost due to two bad spots for the Beavers, they hung on enough to win. The offense was anemic but the defense was special once again, limiting the Beavers to 252 total yards and two turnovers.

Washington has the Apple Cup in two weeks so it better not look past a better-than-expected Arizona squad.

4.) COLORADO (2-0)
Last Result: 35-32 win over Stanford
Up Next: @ USC (11/28), TBD

Nov 14, 2020; Stanford, California, USA; Colorado Buffaloes tailback Jarek Broussard (23) drags Stanford Cardinal safety Noah Wiliams as he gets extra yardage during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game at Stanford Stadium.

Easily the most surprising team of the Pac-12 continues to surprise. After taking down UCLA in week one, the offense showed up on the road in winning against a Stanford team with its entire team back.

The game wasn't as close as the final score as Colorado led 35-16 midway through the fourth quarter. Jarek Broussard ran for 121 yards while Dimitri Stanley finished with 126 receiving yards.

Their game this week with Arizona State was canceled due to COVID-19 cases with the Sun Devils program. So Colorado will get two weeks to get healthy and prepare for a huge south division showdown in LA with USC.

5.) UTAH (0-0)
Last Result: No Contest
Up Next: vs. USC, 8:30 p.m., ESPN


The Utes are the lone Power 5 team to not play a game this season, but all indications are that this will change when they host the Trojans this weekend in a massive showdown with Pac-12 south implications.

Utah is an anomaly as many don't know what to expect from a defense replacing nine starters and an offense breaking in a new quarterback and running back. The offense has the potential to be great, and if the defense can be above average, Utah might pull off the upset.

6.) UCLA (1-1)
Last Result: 34-10 win over Cal
Up Next: @ Oregon, 1:30 p.m., ESPN2

Nov 15, 2020; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Demetric Felton (10) runs against the California Golden Bears in the second half at the Rose Bowl.

UCLA's opening season loss to the Buffaloes doesn't look as damaging — but what's even more impressive was the dominating victory over Cal. The Golden Bears were a team that many expected to challenge the Ducks and Huskies for North division supremacy.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson might be the most dynamic quarterback in the conference. He's averaging 250 yards passing and 81 yards rushing per game, including having a 9-2 total touchdown-to-interceptions ratio.

This week will be telling for the Bruins, as they'll be facing the Ducks in head coach Chip Kelly's return to Eugene. A win or a close game might say a lot about the Bruins, about the same amount a trouncing would.

Last Result: 28-27 loss to USC
Up Next: vs. Utah (11/28), TBD

Oct 26, 2019; Pasadena, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) runs the ball during the first half against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl.

It's bad luck that when you don't play, you end up dropping four spots in the rankings. But for Arizona State, this could just be the start.

News broke last Friday that the Sun Devils have been ravaged by positive COVID-19 cases, with 20 or more within the program, including head coach Herm Edwards. As of right now, it's unknown when Arizona State will return to action as its game against the Utes could be in trouble.

Last Result: 43-29 loss to Oregon
Up Next: @ Stanford, 8:30 p.m., FS1

Nov 14, 2020; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Jayden de Laura (4) throws a pass against the Oregon Ducks in the second half at Martin Stadium. Oregon won 43-29.

The Cougars will have a chance to get back on track when they travel south to face a Stanford team in search of its first win.

Jayden de Laura continues to look like a star after throwing for 321 yards and three scores against Oregon. Wide receivers Renard Bell and Travell Harris have combined for 419 and three scores on 32 catches. 

Washington State could be in business if they get running back Max Borghi back, widely considered one of the top players in the conference.

9.) CAL (0-1)
Last Result: 34-10 loss to UCLA
Up Next: @ Oregon State, 1
:30 p.m., FS1

Nov 15, 2020; Pasadena, California, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Chase Garbers (7) scores a touchdown against the UCLA Bruins in the first half at the Rose Bowl.

It couldn't be a worse start for the Golden Bears. 

After missing their first game and having their second game canceled, Cal had less than 48 hours to prepare for a UCLA team that already had a game under its belt — and the results weren't good. The offense was pretty atrocious and the defense was a step slow and sort of bland.

The good news is that Cal next faces Oregon State, a team searching for its first win.

10.) STANFORD (0-2)
Last Result: 35-32 loss to Colorado
Up Next: vs. Washington State, 8:30 p.m., FS1

Nov 14, 2020; Stanford, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback Davis Mills (15) passes against the Colorado Buffaloes during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game at Stanford Stadium.

The Cardinal sit at 0-2 on the season and its largely in part to a defense that's rebuilding. 

It's one thing to give up 35 points on the road to Oregon, but to give up 35 points at home to Colorado isn't a good sign of things to come. Now Stanford must readjust as the high-scoring Cougars are coming to town, and could be getting Borghi back.

11.) ARIZONA (0-1)
Last Result: 34-30 loss to USC
Up Next: @ Washington, 6 p.m., FOX

Nov 14, 2020; Tucson, Arizona, USA; USC Trojans defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu (49) pursues Arizona Wildcats running back Gary Brightwell (0) during the first half at Arizona Stadium.

Although it's a loss, the Wildcats moved up a spot in our rankings after being 1:14 away from taking down USC.

The offense looked potent as quarterback Grant Gunnell was poised and Gary Brightwell appeared ready to take over at running back. Gunnell threw for 286 yards and three scores while Brightwell added 112 yards on the ground.

Washington awaits, and the pesky Wildcats could surprise a Washington squad still searching for an identity on offense.

12.) OREGON STATE (0-2)
Last Result: 27-21 loss to Washington 
Up Next: vs. Cal, 1:30 p.m., FS1

Nov 14, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Oregon State Beavers running back Jermar Jefferson (6) rushes against the Washington Huskies during the second quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.

The Beavers shouldn't be too heartbroken considering they were inches away from pulling off the upset. 

Their biggest issues come on offense as running back Jermar Jefferson continues to be a star but there's very little passing game to spare him. Quarterback Tristan Gebbia needs to be more consistent if Oregon State is going to upset Cal.

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