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Pac-12 Power Rankings: ‘Conference Of Champions’ Continues Impressive Roll

Sep 12, 2023, 2:59 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Pac-12 continued to roll in week two of the 2023 college football season while now having eight total teams in the latest AP Top 25 Poll.

So how does all of that winning shake out for the league in terms of power rankings?

Let’s take a closer look.

Pac-12 Power Rankings 2023 Season: Week Two

There was a lot of buzz heading into the 2023 football season for the Pac-12 and rightfully so. On paper the league looked as strong as ever after having finished the previous season with six ranked teams. Those teams returned most of the same talent, while others went to work stepping up their game.

Those efforts have showed well the past two weeks leaving Pac-12 fans feeling good (and admittedly a little sad) about where things are heading during the league’s “farewell season”.

Utah and Colorado continue to impress being the only teams to have played two P5 schools in their out of conference schedule and remaining undefeated. Meanwhile, USC posted their first Pac-12 victory of the year against rival Stanford.

Washington, Oregon, and Oregon State all did what they were expected to do against their respective opponents while UCLA and Washington State made some statements.

1. Colorado (2-0, 0-0)

Colorado 36 | Nebraska 14

Much like last week, I still have some questions about this team for the long haul, but for the here and now they have done a lot of good for the Pac-12 and have significantly added to an already buzz-worthy season. Also, being one of two teams that has played two P5 OOC opponents and remained undefeated (no matter how good or bad said opponent is) has to count for something.

This week: home against Colorado State, 8:00 p.m. MT, ESPN

2. USC (3-0, 1-0)

USC 56 | Stanford 10

You can love or hate USC all you want, but what they did to Stanford- especially in the first quarter, was nothing short of eye popping. Also, the Trojans do have a jump start in the Pac-12 race with one conference win now.

This week: BYE

3. Utah (2-0, 0-0)

Utah 20 | Baylor 13

Was it a beautiful win? No. Have the Utes shown the most toughness and grit early on this season playing with backups in key spots compared to any other conference counterpart? Yes. Is what they are doing a sustainable model for the season? Probably not. Do they need to continue getting better/getting guys back? Definitely. However, they are showing they will not go down without a fight and that should scare the tar out of everyone else in the Pac-12.

This week: home against Weber State, 12:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

 

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4. Washington State (2-0, 0-0)

Washington State 31 | No. 19 Wisconsin 22

Out of every team in the Pac-12 this week, Washington State perhaps made the biggest statement of all taking down a ranked Power Five opponent in Wisconsin. The effort propelled them into the AP Top 25 and certainly put the Conference of Champions on noticed that they are big mad about the conference being dissolved and getting left behind in the ruins. We see your warning shots and we respect them.

This week: home against UNCO, 3:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

5. Oregon (2-0, 0-0)

Oregon 38 | Texas Tech 30

This might have been the most exciting game out of the bunch for the Pac-12 over the weekend. Neither team relented till the very end when ultimately the Ducks came out on top. It was an entertaining back and forth affair that really tested Oregon.

This week: at home against Hawaii, 6:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

6. Washington (2-0, 0-0)

Washington 43 | Tulsa 10

The only reason Washington was dropped was the level of opponents they’ve played so far compared to some of the others. I believe this is a really good team and they have done what you’d expect them to do so far against the teams they have played. Things get real this week though and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Huskies do against a much tougher opponent- even if they are reeling a bit.

This week: at Michigan State, 3:00 p.m. MT, Peacock

7. UCLA (2-0, 0-0)

UCLA 35 | San Diego State 10

UCLA was another team this week that made a pretty decent statement and was rewarded with a spot in the AP Top 25. The Aztecs won’t be the toughest team the Bruins play this year, but they are respectable, and they looked good beating SDSU.

This week: at home against NCCU, 3:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network

8. Oregon State (2-0, 0-0)

Oregon State 55 | UC Davis 7

The Beavs beat the heck out of UC Davis. Much like Washington, OSU’s placement for the moment has way more to do with the level of opponent they’ve played thus far than how they have looked. They have done what you’d expect against the level of competition they’ve played, and I am looking forward to seeing more. This week will be fun since Oregon State will share a common opponent with UCLA that can be compared and contrasted.

This week: home against San Diego State, 1:30 p.m. MT, FS1

9. Arizona (1-1, 0-0)

Arizona 24 | Mississippi State 31 (OT)

The Wildcats put up a heck of a fight on the road in SEC country pushing the Bulldogs into overtime. Unfortunately, Arizona wasn’t able to pull out the win, but they showed well when in years past this game was likely a bloodbath.

This week: home against UTEP, 9:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

10. Cal (1-1, 0-0)

Cal 10 | Auburn 14

Cal is another team I have to give it up to despite it not quite working out for them. The Golden Bears played Auburn tough and showed well even though they have to count the L.

This week: at home against Idaho State, 2:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

11. Arizona State (1-1, 0-0)

ASU 15 | Oklahoma State 27

After nearly laying an egg against a team that ASU had no business sniffing defeat against the week before, the Sun Devils bounced back a bit against OKST. It’s still a loss, but I think they showed some improvement against a much tougher team which is a great sign for the program.

This week: at home against Freso State, 8:30 p.m. MT, FS1

12. Stanford (1-1, 0-0)

Stanford 10 | USC 56

All the reasons this game placed USC near the top of the Pac-12 also happens to be the same reasons Stanford is at the very bottom this week. Ouch.

This week: home against CSUS, 6:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Pac-12 Power Rankings: ‘Conference Of Champions’ Continues Impressive Roll