Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 13

Posted by Connor Pelton on February 13th, 2013

Congratulations to Arizona, who managed to climb through a messy week on the west coast and take the top spot in our power rankings. If Oregon could have scored a point or two in the final four and a half minutes against Colorado last Thursday, there is no doubt the Ducks would be in the driver’s seat right now. UCLA comes as a unanimous pick at the three spot. The Bruins barely squeaked by Washington on Thursday before getting a dominating win Saturday night against Washington State. Our conference team of the week comes in at number four in the form of Colorado, who is fresh off a road sweep of the Oregon schools. Arizona State was another unanimous pick at fifth after picking up an impressive win over California and dropping a close decision to Stanford. Those same Cardinal round out the upper half of the conference at sixth, and the surprising and fast-rising USC Trojans follow them. California, Washington, Oregon State, Washington State, and Utah round out the remainder of the rankings.

Rank School Record Last Week Δ CP AM PB AB Average
1 Arizona 20-3 N/A 1 1 1 2 1.25
2 Oregon 19-5 N/A 2 2 2 1 1.75
3 UCLA 18-6 N/A 3 3 3 3 3
4 Colorado 16-7 N/A 4 5 4 4 4.25
5 Arizona St 18-6 N/A 5 4 5 6 5
6 Stanford 15-9 N/A 7 6 6 5 6
7 USC 11-13 N/A 9 7 7 7 7.5
8 California 14-9 N/A 8 8 8 8 8
9 Washington 13-11 N/A 6 9 9 9 8.25
10 Oregon St 12-12 N/A 10 10 10 10 10
T11 WSU 11-13 N/A 11 12 12 11 11.5
T11 Utah 10-13 N/A 12 11 11 12 11.5
  • Matching The National Rankings. The three Pac-12 teams receiving votes in the two national polls appear in the same order in our rankings. Arizona, ranked ninth in both polls, is obviously first here. The second place Ducks come in at 23rd and 27th, respectively, in the national rankings. And UCLA, who has a solid amount of distance between the two teams closest to them, is ranked at 38th and 41st. This upper third of the conference also has another thing in common; the fact that all of them are considered locks for the NCAA Tournament right now. That could change for Oregon and UCLA with a couple losses this week, but they are on solid ground for now.
  • The USC/Washington Debate. The Trojans and Huskies had more than just Sunday’s game in common this week. Both teams spurred the most debate between one voter and the other three, as I ranked UW three spots ahead of SC, and the other voters did the opposite. Even as the Trojans had the obvious better week, I can’t justify in my mind placing a team that will struggle to make the postseason in front of a near lock for the NIT.
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Tough Weekend in LA: UCLA and USC Face NCAA Problems Again

Posted by Chris Johnson on September 4th, 2012

Chris Johnson is an RTC columnist. He can be reached @ChrisDJohnsonn

Situated only 12 miles apart, an angst-inducing, traffic-clogged car ride away from one another, USC and UCLA have for many years sustained an adversarial existence on the athletic playing fields. The Trojans have dominated their cross-town rivals on the gridiron of late, while the Bruins have lorded over their cardinal-and-gold clad foes on the basketball court. The rivalry is alive and well, and both teams continue to make strides hoping to find ways to outperform one another in the revenue-producing sports. It starts with recruiting, the elemental building block to any successful program. Coaches at top programs like UCLA and USC must be able to seek out and sway the nation’s best high school players to their respective institutions. The meteoric rise of recruiting, propelled by expansive coverage from general scouting sites like Rivals, Scout, 247sports and ESPN Recruiting Nation, has pushed the art of courtship into the national spotlight, and coaches/programs are now judged on their ability not only to win games and draw fans but to also attract the best prospects in the country. The two LA schools have long stood as premium destinations for top-tier high school talents, but in today’s financially-intertwined recruiting market, these programs’ reputations, coaches, facilities and prime location – who doesn’t enjoy the comfort of a sunbath on the way to practice nearly every day of the year? – don’t hold the alluring force they once did. Often times persuading the cream of the high school crop requires more than what NCAA legislation allows.

The subject of an NCAA investigation, Anderson and Muhammad might not see the court in 2012-13 (Photo credit: Albert Dickson/SportingNews)

So even when an historic program like UCLA reels in the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class – as it did in 2012, built on the backs of four commitments and featuring the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, Shabazz Muhammad – at least some measure of suspicion is warranted. Athletic director Dan Guerrero revealed on Monday that the NCAA has shifted its analytical eye toward that prized recruiting haul. In a statement released by the school, Guerrero confirmed that two members of the Bruins’ incoming class have yet to receive eligibility clearance for the upcoming season. A recent report by Scout’s  indicated three players (Muhammad, Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker) are in danger of losing their eligibility, but ESPN Los Angeles, citing an unnamed source, reported the ongoing probe concerns potential recruiting violations on behalf of Anderson and Muhammad. Parker, according to the same source, has been cleared to play this season. Muhammad’s recruitment has been subjected to NCAA scrutiny over the past several months, with particular concern over his relationship with financial advisers Ken Kavanagh and Benjamin Lincoln and his method of payment for several unofficial visits. Muhammad was held out of UCLA’s recent foreign exhibition tour to China, but Anderson and Parker both attended with the team (though Parker did not play due to injury).

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