Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week Three
Posted by Connor Pelton on December 4th, 2012
Here’s a look at the power rankings that Drew, Parker, Adam, and I have compiled after the third week of Pac-12 games (delta in parentheses):
- Arizona, 5-0 (^1): There aren’t many teams in the nation that have only played five games in 24 days, but Arizona has done it perfectly. It was a successful two-game week for the Wildcats, who jumped all over both Northern Arizona and Texas Tech from the opening taps on Wednesday and Saturday night. Sophomore guard Nick Johnson was the highlight of UA’s big road win in Lubbock, scoring 18 points and collecting five rebounds. Sean Miller’s club, the only one without a loss in the Pac-12 through three weeks of play, was a unanimous decision at number one. The only concerning part of the week was the continuing poor play of Mark Lyons. With the exception of a four-point night against Long Beach State, his scorning outputs have been fine. What’s troubling is the fact he’s turning the ball over at a pace of three per game, which was also a problem seen with Josiah Turner and T.J. McConnell before him as point guards in Miller’s system. Arizona will now get back-to-back stiff tests from 6-1 Southern Miss and 5-2 Clemson. Up Next: 12/4 vs. Southern Miss.
- Oregon, 7-1 (^2): Oregon had a quiet 2-0 week, but they got the job done and climbed a pair of spots in this week’s rankings. Senior forward Carlos Emory continued his strong play off the bench for the Ducks, averaging 12.5 PPG against Texas-San Antonio and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Up Next: 12/8 vs. Idaho State.
Emory Has Been The Surprise Of 7-1 Oregon’s Season So Far, Averaging 11.3 PPG and 4.8 RPG
- Colorado, 6-1 (٧2): It wasn’t exactly a banner week for the previously top-ranked Buffaloes, who were taken to double overtime by Texas Southern before dropping a road game at Wyoming. Still, Tad Boyle’s guys deserve to be in the upper fourth of the conference. They rolled off four straight solid wins before this week, and a loss in Laramie to the Cowboys isn’t exactly a bad one, especially by typical Pac-12 standards. Up Next: 12/5 vs. Colorado State.
- California, 6-1 (٧1): California’s seven-day layoff ended up hurting it more than it helped, as the Golden Bears came out flat and sloppy on the road against Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon. The Badgers jumped out to a 31-12 advantage and never looked back as Cal folded in front of a big and loud Kohl Center crowd. If there was a bright spot it belonged to junior guard Allen Crabbe, who poured in 25 points against a stingy Wisky defense. Unfortunately for Cal, there wasn’t a whole lot of production from anyone else on the floor. Justin Cobbs was the next highest scorer with 11. Up Next: 12/9 vs. UNLV.
- Stanford, 6-3 (^3): After dropping two places in last week’s rankings, Stanford jumped back up three spots after blowing out Seattle University and Denver. The Redhawks actually led Stanford 48-47 with 7:15 remaining, but a 12-4 Cardinal run down the stretch clinched Stanford’s fifth win of the year. Johnny Dawkins and company will now take nearly two weeks off for finals before returning to the hardwood. Up Next: 12/15 vs. UC Davis.
- Oregon State, 4-2 (^1): Oregon State moves up a spot this week despite going 0-1. However, the loss was as “good” as a loss gets, as the Beavers played with Kansas to the final horn and ended up leaving with only a 84-78 defeat. Even more important than the actual outcome was the resiliency the Beavers showed. Five separate times the Jayhawks went up by double figures, only to see Oregon State battle back and stay within reach. OSU now has seven very winnable games before opening up Pac-12 play at home against rival Oregon. Up Next: 12/8 vs. Grambling State.
- Arizona State, 6-1 (٧2): Arizona State’s poor schedule is the reasoning for this low of a ranking. Outside of playing Arkansas and Creighton on back-to-back nights in Las Vegas, teams like Central Arkansas and Florida A&M are all to frequent on ASU’s slate. Up Next: 12/5 vs. Hartford.
- UCLA, 5-3 (٧2): After blowing out Cal State Northridge on Thursday, UCLA confirmed they were San Diego State’s “little SoCal brother” two days later at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Aztecs led by as many as 12 before holding off the Bruins down the stretch for a 78-69 win. Almost worse than the loss was the awful student support showed by UCLA, compared against that of “The Show” at SDSU. Once again, just another sign that this program is spiraling downward in a hurry. Up Next: 12/4 vs. Cal State San Marcos (Exhibition).
- Washington, 4-3 (^2): The Huskies are beginning to bounce back after their awful 2-3 start to the year. Washington got a big win over a good Saint Louis team to open the week before pulling out a back-and-forth affair with Cal State Fullerton on Sunday night. Up Next: 12/8 vs. Nevada.
- USC, 3-4 (٧1): USC’s lone game of week three didn’t go too well, dropping a 63-51 decision on the road to a mediocre Nebraska team. With non-conference games left against New Mexico, Minnestoa, UC Irvine, Georgia, and Dayton, it’s looking highly unlikely that the Trojans go into Pac-12 play with a record above .500. Up Next: 12/5 @ New Mexico.
- Utah, 5-2 (٧1): Considering Utah got its first road win since February 2011 on Friday night in San Marcos, I decided to reward the Utes by ranking them four spots ahead of any other voter. If they would have started the Texas road trip with a win against SMU, perhaps the rest of the panel would have agreed with me. Instead they suffered a seven-point loss to Larry Brown’s club and ended up dropping a spot in the final picture. Up Next: 12/5 vs. Boise State.
- Washington State, 5-3 (-): Despite picking up a pair of wins at the hands of Idaho and Portland, Washington State holds steady in last. If the Cougars can earn a split their in their next two against Gonzaga and Fresno State, they will surely move up next Monday. Up Next: 12/5 vs. Gonzaga.