Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week Four
Posted by Connor Pelton on December 11th, 2012
Here’s a look at the power rankings that Drew, Parker, Adam, and I have compiled after the fourth week of Pac-12 games (delta in parentheses):
- Arizona, 7-0 (-): Another week, another spotless slate for Arizona. The easier game of the week actually proved to be a road victory at Clemson on Saturday night. The Tigers hung tough for most of the night, but the Wildcats rode a 25-7 run that stretched from around the 11-minute mark in the second half to just under the two-minute point to put down any hopes of an upset. The Wildcats weren’t able to do the same four nights earlier in Tucson against a tough Southern Miss team, as the Golden Eagles hung around and hung around until UA sealed it with some free throws in the closing minutes. Turnovers again plagued Mark Lyons and the rest of the Wildcats in general, as USM forced an astounding 27 miscues in the near-shocker at McKale. Regardless, Arizona is the only team still perfect in the Pac-12, making them the unanimous pick up at the top. Despite their problem with turnovers, I’ve bought into Sean Miller’s club after a full month of play. For the ones that still haven’t, games against Florida, and possibly Miami (FL) and San Diego State in the coming weeks, will give us a good gauge of just how dangerous this team is. Up Next: 12/15 vs. Florida.
- Oregon, 8-1 (-): Oregon’s only game of the week was an absolute massacre, a 87-35 thrashing of Idaho State in Eugene. Freshman guard Damyean Dotson continued his strong play for the Ducks, leading all scorers with 12 points in just 16 minutes of action. Up Next: 12/15 vs. Nebraska.
Damyean Dotson Is Averaging 11.3 PPG In His Inaugural Season With The Ducks (credit: NW Sports Beat)
- California, 6-2 (^1): Despite dropping its only game of the week, California rises a spot in this week’s rankings. That’s mostly thanks to a strong, albeit frustrating, showing on Sunday afternoon against UNLV, but it also helped the Bears that the teams around them either faced poor competition or got blown out last week. The Golden Bears need to break this current losing streak on Saturday against yet another tough opponent. Up Next: 12/15 vs. Creighton.
- Oregon State, 5-2 (^2): I’m still not completely sold on this Oregon State team, but it appears that the fact its two losses have come by a combined nine points, both against teams that will likely be dancing come March, has had an effect on the rest of the panel. The Beavers took the week off for finals before hosting an awful Grambling State team on Saturday afternoon. The result was an 85-54 win, a margin that would have been much bigger if not for a 24-4 Tiger run late in the second half. Junior guard Roberto Nelson led the way for OSU, going 5-of-6 from three-point land en route to a 26-point performance. Up Next: 12/12 @ Portland State.
- Colorado, 7-2 (٧2): The Buffaloes may have two more wins than Oregon State, but their embarrassing 36-point defeat at the hands of Kansas on Saturday drops them down to number five. The Buffaloes looked like they forgot to set their alarm clocks for the early start, going down 18-3 before even having a chance to catch their breath. Considering the Beavers only lost by six to Kansas, having Oregon State ahead of the Buffs seems logical at this point. Up Next: 12/12 @ Fresno State.
- Stanford, 6-3 (٧1): Life is cruel, and Stanford learned that this week. While the innocent Cardinal were hunkered down for their two-week study break, they find themselves down to number six without even taking the court last week. After more test-taking this week, Johnny Dawkins and company will return to the court for a warmup against UC Davis on Saturday before the big matchup with NC State on the December 18. Sophomore point guard Chasson Randle is currently leading Stanford with a mark of 14.7 PPG. Up Next: 12/15 vs. UC Davis.
- Arizona State, 8-1 (-): Arizona State, quite possibly the worst 8-1 team in the country, holds steady after a 2-0 week against weak competition. Except for a mediocre Arkansas club and a good Creighton squad, the whole slate leading up to this Wednesday leaves something to be desired. The Sun Devils will get a good test from DePaul at the Wells Fargo Center before getting back to the usual suspects. Up Next: 12/12 vs. DePaul.
- UCLA, 6-3 (-): The panel didn’t think much of UCLA’s late, come-from-behind win on Saturday afternoon against Texas, but hey, it’s a victory against a power conference team, and any progress is positive at this point for the Bruins. Down 59-51 with 3:45 remaining, the Bruins finished the game on a 14-4 romp to escape Houston with the win. They now get a reprieve against Prairie View A&M before facing a rough stretch running up to league play. Up Next: 12/15 vs. Prairie View A&M.
- USC, 3-6 (^1): I was apparently in the minority after picking the Trojans dead last in this week’s rankings, but it’s tough to argue that the only team under .500 in the conference should be up here in single digits. The Trojans are in some serious trouble following Saturday’s meeting with UC Riverside, with games on tap against UC Irvine, Georgia, and Dayton. Up Next: 12/15 vs. UC Riverside.
- Washington State, 6-4 (^2): It wasn’t a bad week at all for Washington State, who jumped up two spots after hanging with Gonzaga on Wednesday before dispatching a good Fresno State team on Sunday afternoon. Brock Motum had a stellar week, averaging 23 PPG and 6 RPG. Up Next: 12/13 vs. Jackson State.
- Utah, 6-3 (-): It was a good week by most accounts for the Utes, who demolished a solid Boise State team early in the week before nearly pulling a Holy War upset in Provo on Saturday. Utah took a nine-point lead into the locker room at halftime, and behind strong performances from Jordan Loveridge and Glen Dean, had a 58-56 lead with just 2:55 remaining. The upset just wasn’t meant to be, however, as BYU finished the game on a 5-0 run to escape with the victory. Up Next: 12/18 vs. SMU.
- Washington, 4-4 (٧3): Washington’s nightmare of a season continued on Saturday when it dropped a 76-73 decision at home to Nevada. Things are looking pretty bad for the Huskies, but hopefully they’ll be able to avoid complete disaster when they venture into Key Arena and face Seattle University on Thursday. Up Next: 12/13 @ Seattle University.