Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week Six
Posted by Connor Pelton on December 27th, 2012
Here’s a look at the power rankings that Drew, Parker, Adam, and I have compiled after the sixth week of Pac-12 games (delta in parentheses):
- Arizona, 12-0 (-): Arizona will be the only Pac-12 team to go through non-conference play undefeated, thanks to three walk-over wins and a last-second thriller in Honolulu in the Christmas-extended week six. After dispatching Oral Roberts in Tucson and East Tennessee State and Miami (Florida) on the islands, the Wildcats met San Diego State in the Christmas night final of the Diamond Head Classic. And if not for a game played 10 days prior in the desert, this one would have made a good choice for game of the non-conference season. Just like Arizona, the Aztecs came into Tuesday winners of their last 11. And at two points in the second half, it looked as if SDSU would leave with its 12th. But trailing 45-37, freshman Brandon Ashley made his mark on an otherwise lackluster night. Ashley scored six points and had a key assist in just over five minutes, and along with some help from Solomon Hill, pulled Arizona even at 52-all. The game would go back and forth from there, with the lead changing nine different times, and both teams tied at seven different points. The Wildcats’ perfect non-conference record was finally secured with an out-of-nowhere Nick Johnson block and controversial Kevin Parrom rebound as time expired. Up Next: 1/3 vs. Colorado.
- Oregon, 10-2 (-): Played in front of more fans but a lesser national audience, Oregon was entangled in its own thriller last Wednesday in El Paso. And this time, the Pac-12 team didn’t come out on top. UTEP appeared to be practically begging Oregon to win the game, but the Ducks gave away chance after chance before the reluctant Miners finally closed out a 91-84 triple overtime win. Up Next: 12/31 vs. Nevada Christmas Came Early For UTEP Fans, While Arsalan Kazemi And The Ducks Left The Don Haskins Center Disappointed. (credit: Pac-12.com)
Christmas Came Early For UTEP Fans, While Arsalan Kazemi And The Ducks Left The Don Haskins Center Disappointed. (credit: Pac-12.com)
- Colorado, 9-2 (-): The Buffaloes hold steady at number three after destroying an awful Northern Arizona team, 98-51. Askia Booker and Xavier Johnson led all scorers with 17 points a piece in the victory. Up Next: 12/29 vs. Hartford.
- Oregon State, 9-2 (-): Another week, another pair of unimpressive wins for Oregon State. The good news is of course that the Beavers are winning games, and that is the point of playing these contests. The bad news is that if they put out the type of efforts we saw against Howard and in the second half against San Diego, conference play is going to be a disaster. Up Next: 12/29 vs. Towson.
- UCLA, 9-3 (^2): Here come the Bruins! UCLA jumped two spots in this week’s rankings after easily getting by Long Beach State and Fresno State, a couple of solid teams who have fallen victim to challenging schedules. Ben Howland and company now prepare for their toughest game so far this season, a Friday night showdown against a top 10 Missouri club. Up Next: 12/28 vs. Missouri.
- California, 8-3 (-): California holds steady after getting a closer than expected win over UC Santa Barbara and a blowout victory against Prairie View A&M. The Golden Bears now set their sights on Harvard, who hasn’t exactly had the season we expected of the Crimson so far. Regardless, players like Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers will provide a good test to close out non-conference play. Up Next: 12/29 vs. Harvard.
- Stanford, 8-4 (٧2): We usually respect tough scheduling here on the panel, but Stanford’s 1-1 record in its cross-country road trip was enough to drop them down to number seven. Johnny Dawkins‘ squad put up a fight in Raleigh before being outlasted against NC State, and it was the Cardinal that had to hold off a feisty Northwestern team for a 70-68 win last Friday. Next up is 5-9 Lafayette, who will provide nowhere near the challenge Stanford faced last week. Up Next: 12/29 vs. Lafayette.
- Arizona State, 10-2 (-): No matter the team, notching a double-digit win at a power conference school with a record above .500 is good work. The Sun Devils did exactly that against Texas Tech, reaching ten wins in non-conference play for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Up Next: 12/29 vs. Coppin State.
- Washington, 8-4 (^3): After destroying a Cal Poly team that beat UCLA earlier in the year, and a 10-point victory over Northern Illinois, the Huskies have finally climbed their way into single digits in our rankings. The challenge will be staying there, as Washington faces four straight road games against Connecticut, Washington State, California, and Stanford. Up Next: 12/29 vs. Connecticut.
- Washington State, 8-4 (^1): Washington State dispatched Buffalo in its first half of Wazzu’s two-game, neutral site swing through the state of Washington. The Bills hung around all night before a Royce Woolridge jumper with 3:05 remaining put a dagger in Buffalo, making the score 59-50. Sophomore guard DaVonte Lacy led all scorers with 19 points. Up Next: 12/29 vs. Idaho State in Kennewick.
- Utah, 7-4 (٧2): A nice win against SMU was tarnished by a heartbreaking loss that can set a team back for weeks on Friday. Cal State Northridge rallied from 19 points down in Salt Lake City to upset the Utes, 76-71. Up Next: 12/28 vs. College of Idaho.
- USC, 4-8 (٧2): Remember all of the good feelings in Los Angeles back in October? Those are now completely gone, replaced by losses to teams like UC Irvine and Georgia. An 0-2 week six doubled SC’s losses to wins, and with not a team with a worse than .500 record left on the schedule, it’s tough to see Kevin O’Neill having any kind of success in 2012-13. Up Next: 12/30 vs. Dayton.