Pac-12 Power Rankings – Week 13

Posted: November 24, 2011 in Power Rankings

There’s comes a time in every college football season where the transitive property gets thrown out the proverbial window. The events of last weekend created a complete mess of both the national landscape and the Pac-12 conference standings.

As far as the power rankings go, right now this is the best I can do.
Warning: Much of this makes almost no sense whatsoever.

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TIER 1

SC beat up UO (at Autzen), who hammered Stanford (at the Farm), who escaped SC (in LA).

TIER 2

The Bruins got past ASU and Cal, who both beat Utah, who then spanked the Bruins.

TIER 3

The Beavs beat the Cougs, who beat the Buffs, who beat the ‘Cats. But who really cares?

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PREDICTIONS:
Colorado @ Utah >> The Utes draw first blood in their new regional rivalry with the Buffaloes, extending their win-streak to five games after starting 0-4 in conference play.
California @ Arizona St >> The Sun Devils snap out of their funk with some big plays on D and get the win they need to represent the South Division in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Oregon St @ Oregon >> The Beavers fight hard before the Ducks explode in the second half to get their fourth-straight Civil War victory, cementing an appearance in the Rose Bowl.
Louisiana-Lafayette @ Arizona >> The Wildcats welcome new head coach Rich Rodriguez with a home win over the 8-3 Ragin’ Cajuns, of the Sun Belt conference.
Washington St @ Washington >> Husky quarterback Keith Price returns from injury to lead his team to a close victory in another classic battle for the Apple Cup.
Notre Dame @ Stanford >> Stanford, clad in new Nike Pro Combat uniforms, gets a gritty win over their cross-country rivals behind the arm of their soon-to-be-pro QB.
UCLA @ USC >> The Bruins play inspired, but the red-hot Trojans are riding high right now. USC maintains possession of the Victory Bell.

Last week’s picks: 3-3
Season record: 58-26

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The Dirty Dozen – Week 13

Posted: November 22, 2011 in Power Rankings

1. LSU (11-0, 7-0 SEC)
2. Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC)
3. Arkansas (10-1, 6-1 SEC)
4. Stanford (10-1, 8-1 PAC)
5. Oklahoma St (10-1, 7-1 B12)
6. USC (9-2, 7-2 PAC)
>> The Trojans are arguably the hottest team in the country right now.
7. Oregon (9-2, 7-1 PAC)
8. Houston (11-0, 7-0 USA)
9. Boise St (9-1, 4-1 MWC)
10. Virginia Tech (10-1, 6-1 ACC)
>> The Hokies are good on D, but haven’t really put anybody away all year.
11. Kansas St (9-2, 6-2 B12)
12. Michigan St (9-2, 6-1 B1G)

Outliers: Wisconsin (9-2), Georgia (9-2), South Carolina (9-2)

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This week’s notable match-ups:
> Houston @ Tulsa
> Arkansas @ LSU
> Georgia @ Georgia Tech
> Alabama @ Auburn
> Virginia Tech @ Virginia
> Penn St @ Wisconsin
> Clemson @ South Carolina
> Notre Dame @ Stanford

Remember the Trojans?

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Recaps/Previews

Saturday’s loss to USC was a difficult pill to swallow. Perhaps it was that last thread of hope for sneaking into the National Championship Game. Perhaps it was all the other upsets that were lining things up so well for us. Perhaps it was the jubilation of our domination of Stanford, or the pain of seeing the nation’s longest home winning streak coming to an end. Or maybe it was just simply that losing to the Trojans is always a serious bummer, no matter what the circumstances are.

Duck fans have hated USC for quite a while now, and lately I think Trojan fans have been getting a little nervous about Oregon taking the Pac-10/12 throne from them for good. With USC coming off probation, I think we’re going to see the development of an epic rivalry over the next couple of seasons. Stanford should begin their descent after Luck goes pro, and ASU may never get over that hump. So Oregon and the Trojans are primed to be the best two teams on the west coast (sorry Boise), playing for Pac-12 titles, BCS bowl games, and national titles year after year.

Back in the present, we have to realize that our chances at another BCS title game berth were still somewhat remote. In all likelihood, we were headed to the Rose Bowl (not a bad consolation prize), a scenario that hasn’t been compromised despite our most recent loss. However, lest we get too far ahead of ourselves, we turn our attention now to beginning a brand new winning streak as we welcome our little brothers from the north, the Oregon State Beavers, into the House of Loud for the 115th Civil War game!

The Ducks will be looking for their fourth straight win against OSU, the longest streak in the series by either team since UO won four in a row from 1994 to 1997.

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Pac-12 Power Rankings – Week 12

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Power Rankings

The Ducks shocked the world last week with an authoritative pounding of Stanford. And while they have fought their way back into the national title discussion, a ton of things have to go their way during the final weeks of the season for the Quack Attack to make another BCS Championship Game appearance. Even still, there is one thing Oregon has made very clear: they are a force to be reckoned with, and will be for the foreseeable future.

1. #4 Oregon (9-1, 7-0 PAC) — Last week: W 53-30 @ Stanford
2. #9 Stanford (9-1, 7-1 PAC) — Last week: L 30-53 @ Oregon
3. USC (8-2, 5-2 PAC) — Last week: W 42-17 @ Colorado
4. Washington (6-4, 4-3 PAC) — Last week: L 17-42 @ USC
5. UCLA (5-5, 4-3 PAC) — Last week: L 6-31 @ Utah
6. Arizona State (6-4, 4-3 PAC) — Last week: L 27-37 @ Washington St
7. California (6-4, 3-4 PAC) — Last week: W 23-6 v. Oregon St
8. Utah (6-4, 3-4 PAC) — Last week: W 31-6 v. UCLA
9. Oregon State (2-8, 2-5 PAC) — Last week: L 6-23 v. California
10. Washington State (4-6, 2-5 PAC) — Last week: W 37-27 v. Arizona St
11. Colorado (2-9, 1-6 PAC) — Last week: W 48-29 v. Arizona
12. Arizona (2-8, 1-7 PAC) — Last week: L 29-48 v. Colorado

PREDICTIONS:
USC @ Oregon >> The Trojans continue to struggle in the state of Oregon, and the red hot Ducks lay the hurt on SC to extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 21 games.
California @ Stanford >> The Cardinal defense, embarrassed and angry, totally dominates Cal’s inconsistent offense as Stanford wins The Big Game in a lop-sided fashion.
Washington @ Oregon St >> The Huskies get back on track in Corvallis as star halfback Chris Polk runs wild, abusing the Beavers’ impotent rush defense.
Utah @ Washington St >> WSU QB Connor Halliday can’t replicate last week’s magic as the Utes’ control the tempo behind the Pac-12’s second-leading rusher, John White.
Colorado @ UCLA >> The Bruins become eligible for a bowl game after persevering through a competitive game against a feisty Colorado team that all but guaranteed victory.
Arizona @ Arizona St >> The slumping Sun Devils let loose against one of the conference’s worst defenses and win back the Territorial Cup from the rival Wildcats.

Last week’s picks: 3-3
Season record: 55-23

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The Dirty Dozen – Week 12

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Power Rankings

We’ve got a baker’s dozen this week with a tie for the last spot on the list.

1. LSU (10-0, 6-0 SEC)
2. Oklahoma St (10-0, 7-0 B12)
3. Oregon (9-1, 7-0 PAC)
>> The Ducks impressed the media with a scarily dominant performance against Stanford.
4. Alabama (9-1, 6-1 SEC)
5. Stanford (9-1, 7-1 PAC)
6. Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 B12)
7. Arkansas (9-1, 5-1 SEC)
8. Houston (10-0, 6-0 USA)
>> The Cougars are just a couple of wins away from becoming this year’s BCS-buster.
9. Clemson (9-1, 6-1 ACC)
10. Virginia Tech (9-1, 5-1 ACC)
11. Boise St (8-1, 3-1 MWC)
T-12. Kansas St (8-2, 5-2 B12)
T-12. Wisconsin (8-2, 4-2 B1G)

Outliers: Georgia (8-2), USC (8-2), Michigan St (8-2)

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This week’s notable match-ups:
> Oklahoma @ Baylor
> USC @ Oregon
> SMU @ Houston
> Kansas St @ Texas

Let’s not kids ourselves. We all know that Saturday’s game between the #4 Stanford Cardinal and the #7 Oregon Ducks will all but decide this year’s conference champion.

Last’s week’s LSU/Bama match-up was dubbed The Game of the Century. Well, this is the Pac-12’s version. The stakes in a conference game haven’t been higher for both teams involved in a very long time. If ever.

The Ducks have only suffered one conference loss in three years under Chip Kelly. That loss was to Stanford. Meanwhile, the Cardinal’s last loss? You guessed it: Oregon.

This will be the first time ESPN’s College Gameday has ever visited “The Farm,” and the third time the Ducks have been featured in the weekly showcased game this season.

There’s really no reason to expect a low-scoring affair. Just check out these stats:
Stanford – 48.2 points per game (3rd nationally)
Oregon – 46 points per game (5th nationally)
Oregon – 298.4 rush yards per game (5th nationally)

Author’s note: Vegas is favoring the Cardinal by 3.5, which I confidently bet against.
LET’S GO DUCKS!!

Pac-12 Power Rankings – Week 11

Posted: November 10, 2011 in Power Rankings

1. #4 Stanford (9-0, 7-0 PAC) — Last week: W 38-13 @ Oregon St
2. #7 Oregon (8-1, 6-0 PAC) — Last week: W 34-17 @ Washington
3. USC (7-2, 4-2 PAC) — Last week: W 42-17 @ Colorado
4. Washington (6-3, 4-2 PAC) — Last week: L 17-34 v. #8 Oregon
5. UCLA (5-4, 4-2 PAC) — Last week: W 29-28 v. #19 Arizona St
6. Arizona State (6-3, 4-2 PAC) — Last week: L 28-29 @ UCLA
7. California (5-4, 2-4 PAC) — Last week: W 30-7 v. Washington St
8. Utah (5-4, 2-4 PAC) — Last week: W 34-21 @ Arizona
9. Oregon State (2-7, 2-4 PAC) — Last week: L 13-38 v. #4 Stanford
10. Arizona (2-7, 1-6 PAC) — Last week: L 21-34 v. Utah
11. Washington State (3-6, 1-5 PAC) — Last week: L 7-30 @ California
12. Colorado (1-9, 0-6 PAC) — Last week: L 17-42 v. USC

PREDICTIONS:
Arizona @ Colorado >> The Buffaloes put up a valiant fight in the best remaining shot at their first conference win, but the Wildcat offense proves to be too much in the end.
Washington @ USC >> The Huskies have won the last two over USC, but the Trojans are better on D and they’ve been clicking on offense. The Men of Troy win a good one at the Colosseum.
UCLA @ Utah >> Winner secures bowl eligibility, but based on their remaining schedules, UCLA (or more specifically, Neuheisel) needs this one more. The motivated Bruins manage to get another close win.
Oregon St @ California >> The Beavers bring their best to the Bay Area to battle the Bears. But even alliteration can’t make this game any less boring. Cal wins.
Oregon @ Stanford >> In an epic clash for the ages, Heisman candidates Luck and James put on a show for the national audience. But it’s a team game, and Oregon proves it’s got the better team.
Arizona St @ Washington St >> The Sun Devils fight through the Pullman weather and a terrible Cougar defense to stay in the thick of the South Division race.

Last week’s picks: 4-2
Season record: 52-20

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