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Pac-12 Power Rankings after Week 1

The Pac-12 went 8-4 in season openers last week. Here are the power rankings for the “Conference of Champions” heading in to Week 2.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Southern California Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Washington

Auburn v Washington Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Last week the Washington Huskies lost a five point game to SEC opponent Auburn, though still remain at the top of the Pac-12 rankings. The loss showed veteran quarterback Jake Browning’s flaws, who was only 18 of 32, for one touchdown, one interception, and a couple game ending sacks. Out of the slate of Pac-12 games, Washington clearly had the toughest opponent but still managed to keep the game close.

Up next: @ home vs. North Dakota

2.) Stanford

San Diego State v Stanford Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

While the Stanford Cardinal started off slow against the San Diego State Aztecs, they eventually put together a commanding 31-10 victory. Surprisingly, star running back and Heisman favorite Bryce Love, was held to only 29 yards on 18 carries. The Cardinal however found a new player to lean on, wide receiver JJ. Arcega-Whiteside who had six catches for 226 yards and three touchdowns.

Up next: @ home vs. USC

3.) USC

UNLV v USC Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Like Stanford, the USC Trojans started off slow and ended the day with a 43-21 win in their pocket. USC struggled to convert in the red zone in the first half, which worry many a fan and analyst alike when looking at the reminder of their schedule. The Trojans eventually found their footing led by true freshmen JT Daniels and Amon-Ra St. Brown who teamed up for seven completions for 98 yards and one touchdown.

Up next: @ Stanford

4.) Oregon

Bowling Green v Oregon Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

It seems the Pac-12 was the conference of slow starts, as the Oregon Ducks fell behind 10-0 against Bowling Green. Junior quarterback Justin Herbert quickly stole the show after rallying the Ducks to 37 unanswered points, recording 281 yards through the air, 41 yards on foot, and six total touchdowns. It’s looking like it may be a three way battle for the Pac-12 North Champions T-shirt with Washington, Stanford, and Oregon.

Up next: @ home vs. Portland State

5.) Utah

NCAA Football: Weber State at Utah Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Utes pulled off a commanding win after having their piece of the slow start cake. Trailing 10-0 to Weber State, Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zach Moss combined for 403, 5 touchdowns, and 41 points. After letting Weber State’s 10 points go, the Utah defense didn’t allow another score the rest of the game. Will this finally be the Utes year to win the South?

Up next: @ Northern Illinois

6.) Washington State

NCAA Football: Washington State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington State Cougars have found their replacement to record breaking quarterback Luke Falk. Gardner Minshew the East Carolina grad transfer lit up the Wyoming Cowboys defense in the Cougars’ 41-19 win. Minshew threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns in his debut in crimson and gray. His one interception was the blemish on his stat sheet, but if he limits the turnovers for the rest of the season, he may be one of the Pac-12’s best quarterbacks by the time the season ends.

Up next: @ home vs. San Jose State

7.) Colorado

Colorado v Colorado State Photo by Joe Mahoney/Getty Images

The Colorado Buffalos put on a dominant performance on both sides of the ball in their 45-13 win against rival Colorado State. Third year starter Steven Montez had the most accurate outing of his career going 22 of 25 for 338 yards and four touchdowns, giving him a completion percentage of 88 percent. Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. had himself a day as well, recording 11 receptions for 211 yards and one touchdown. The offense was not only dominant through the air but on the ground as well. Running back Travon McMillian rushed for 103 yards and one touchdown that came off a 49 yard scamper. Will 2018 be the year Colorado rises to the occasion? Headline head coach Scott Frost and company will put them to the test.

Up next: @ Nebraska

8.) Cal

California v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

While the Cal Golden Bears offense featured three quarterbacks in their 24-17 win against North Carolina, it was the defense that had themselves a day. The defense forced four interceptions and was a wall the North Carolina’s offense could not quite scale. Before the Golden Bears can round out to becoming a complete team, they have to settle on a quarterback. If either Ross Bowers, Chase Garbers, or Brandon McIlwain can rise to the occasion, Cal may be the surprise of the Pac-12.

Up next: @ BYU

9.) Arizona State

UTSA v Arizona State Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

All those who thought the Herm Edwards hire would blow up in the ASU Sun Devils’ face, were silent during Saturday’s season opening 49-7 win against UTSA. Led by veteran Manny Wilkins, who threw for 237 yards and four touchdowns, the Sun Devils streaked past a lower caliber Conference USA team. Running back Eno Benjamin rushed for 131 yards and one touchdown, while wide receiver N’Keal Harry had one of the best games of his maroon and gold career with 140 yards and two trips to the end zone.

Up next: @ home vs. Michigan State

10.) Arizona

BYU v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In a stunning loss to BYU, the Arizona Wildcats have a lot to improve by next week. Usually sensational dual threat Khalil Tate was only 17 or 34, garnering a measly 50 percent completion percentage. His Heisman hopeful legs did not do the Wildcats any favors either as BYU held him to only 14 yards. Last season Tate rushed for over 100 yards in six of his games, but struggled to break free in 2018’s season opener. First year head coach Kevin Sumlin needs to devise a more active role for the Wildcats’ strongest player if Arizona wants to win down the road.

Up next: @ Houston

11.) UCLA

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Chip Kelly preseason hype train flamed out in the UCLA Bruins’ 26-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats. After Michigan transfer Wilton Speight suffered a back injury early in the game, true freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson couldn’t get the job done like a fellow true freshman down the street could. UCLA’s light at the end of the tunnel is running back Kazmeir Allen, who rushed for 103 yards and a highlight worthy 74 yard touchdown. Until the quarterback situation is resolved, the Bruins will have to rely on their run game to carry them in Week 2’s showdown with a Big 12 powerhouse.

Up next: @ Oklahoma

12. Oregon State

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the Oregon State Beavers will have to totally revamp their defense after their 77-31 loss to Ohio State. While quarterback Conor Blount managed to throw complete 12 of 19 passes for two touchdowns and zero interceptions, it’s clear the Oregon State offense will also need some work if they want to seriously compete in the Pac-12. If looking for a spark, the Beavers may need to lean on running back Artavis Pierce, who rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Will Nebraska transfer quarterback Tristan Gebbia be the remedy for Oregon State’s woes in 2019?

Up next: Southern Utah