With a full slate of Pac-12 football games in the books, our SI conference analysts met once more to discuss what just happened and why, and what comes next.
Jeff Faraudo, co-publisher of the Cal Sports Report and formerly of the Oakland Tribune, moderated a group that included Max Torres of Ducks Digest, Donnie Druin of all Sun Devils, Sam Connon of All Bruins and me.
We began with — what else? — the University of Washington football team's still unconscionable loss to Montana.
Four days later, I'm still incredulous over what happened, admittedly overestimating a team that I saw no less than 30 times practice in the spring and fall.
Having watched Washington football for several decades, I can't remember a Husky team fail to show up in the manner that this one did. Yes, I've seen a lot of losses, bad losses.
Yet the way Jimmy Lake built this thing to a crescendo, following that four-game pandemic season that ended so abruptly and without reward, and with him installing all of his team-building touches, I watched a team show up pretty much devoid of emotion.
FBS teams usually intimidate FCS teams to death. These Huskies scared no one on Saturday.
Our discussion also centered around the South Division's impressive start, spearheaded by UCLA and USC looking sturdy in concept and confident in approach coming out of the gate.
We talked about Oregon's big trip to Ohio State. Can the Ducks stay with the Buckeyes? They haven't been able to previously.
It should all make for good conversation next week for our analysts. Listen to the video for our insights.
Below our are Pac-12 power rankings, as voted on by our six analysts, which also involves Claudette Montana Pattison of All Trojans.
SI PAC-12 FOOTBALL POWER RANKINGS
1. UCLA 2-0 (1) 67 points
2. USC 1-0 (3) 66
3. Oregon 1-0 (2) 63
4. Utah 1-0 55
5. Arizona State 1-0 48
6. Colorado 1-0 37
7. Cal 0-1 35
8. Washington 0-1 33
9. Stanford 0-1 23
10. Oregon State 20
11 tie. Arizona 0-1 11
11 tie. Washington State 0-1 11
DONNIE DRUIN, ALL SUN DEVILS
1. USC; 2. UCLA; 3. Oregon; 4. ASU; 5. Utah; 6. Washington; 7. Colorado; 8. Cal; 9. Oregon State; 10. Washington State; 11. Stanford; 12. Arizona
Comment: Man, what a wild weekend for the Pac-12. UCLA proved itself worthy of jumping a few spots in the rankings, while Washington's loss really stings for their chances to prove how legitimate they are. USC remains atop of my power rankings after Oregon hung on by a thread at home. It's still early on, but our power rankings are sure to see some massive shifts in the first few weeks of the season.
JAKE CURTIS, CAL SPORTS REPORT
1. UCLA, 2. Utah; 3. USC; 4. Oregon; 5. Arizona State; 6. Colorado, 7. Cal, 8. Oregon State, 9. Arizona, 10. Stanford, 11. Washington, 12. Washington State
Comment: Let’s imagine for a moment that there were no preseason polls, no preseason rankings and no preseason predictions. In that expectations vacuum UCLA’s two-game results are clearly the best of the conference, moving them from sixth to the top spot. In the same vein, Washington sinks big time, having lost its only game, at home, to an FCS team.
MAX TORRES, DUCKS DIGEST
1. Oregon; 2. UCLA; 3. USC; 4. Washington; 5. Utah; 6. Arizona State 7. Cal; 8. Stanford; 9. Colorado; 10. Oregon State; 11. Arizona; 12. Washington State
Comment: Oregon narrowly escaped against Fresno State, but they did win, which is something no other Pac-12 North school can say. UCLA looked like the real deal in its upset of LSU. Washington drops a few spots, as the season got off to a rocky start with a loss to FCS Montana after the offense struggled to put points on the board.
SAM CONNON, ALL BRUINS
1. USC; 2. UCLA; 3. Oregon; 4. Utah; 5. Arizona State; 6. Colorado; 7. California; 8. Stanford; 9. Washington; 10. Oregon State; 11. Arizona; 12. Washington State
Comment: While many of the Pac-12 North’s losses were expected, Washington’s collapse against Montana wound up being a stain on the whole conference and Oregon’s was too close for comfort and cost them Kayvon Thibodeaux. The South certainly pulled its weight, so even if USC looked iffy for three and a half quarters, they proved capable of beating a good team in a grind-it-out game. Oh, and then there’s UCLA, who’s hotter than anyone else out West and looks legit moving forward.
CLAUDETTE MONTANA PATTISON, ALL TROJANS
1. Oregon; 2. UCLA; 3. USC; 4. Utah; 5. Arizona State; 6. Colorado; 7. Washington 8. Cal; 9. Stanford; 10. Washington State; 11. Oregon State; 12. Arizona
Comment: UCLA moves up the ranks after an unbelievable win over the LSU Tigers. The Bruins drew back national attention for the Pac-12 conference, with all eyes on Chip Kelly and his team. Washington drops after a brutal loss to the Montana Grizzlies.
DAN RALEY, HUSKY MAVEN
1. USC; 2. UCLA; 3. Oregon; 4. Utah; 5. Arizona State; 6. Cal; 7. Colorado; 8. Washington; 9. Stanford; 10. Oregon State; 11. Washington State; 12. Arizona
Comment: The big news is UCLA is back, with Chip Kelly maybe moving his newer team past his old team in the standings this season. The shocking news is Washington lost. To an FCS opponent. At home. As a ranked team. I don't think the Huskies recover from this faceplant.
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