Pac-12 power rankings: USC falls, Arizona State rises after second week of regular season

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The bottom three remain unchanged, USC drops a few rungs after suffering defeat on The Farm and Arizona State continues to move up the charts. We bring you the Pac-12 Power Rankings after two weeks of regular-season play.

1. Washington (1-1; last week: No. 1): You know the standards are high in Seattle when a 42-point win over North Dakota doesn’t feel significantly better than a five-point loss to Auburn. Even in scoring 45 points, the Huskies’ offense – and the run game, especially – seemed to stumble at times in the home opener. There wasn’t much stumbling from the defense, though.

2. Stanford (2-0; last week: No. 5): Bryce Love rediscovered his form of old and the Cardinal earned a quality 17-3 win over USC. Stanford will have plenty of chances to pick up more of those after Saturday’s game against UC Davis, with a six-week gantlet consisting of No. 20 Oregon, No. 8 Notre Dame, Utah, No. 23 Arizona State, Washington State and No. 10 Washington.

3. Oregon (2-0; last week: No. 3): Justin Herbert hasn’t been tested yet, but the Ducks’ junior quarterback has if nothing else built an impressive stat line the first two weeks of the season. In wins over Bowling Green and Portland State, he’s completed 30 of 47 passes for 531 yards and nine touchdowns.

4. Arizona State (2-0; last week: No. 7): Evidently, Herm Edwards has been spending some time with Bobby Hurley, who led the Sun Devils’ basketball team to a 14-0 start and collected a few high-profile wins along the way. Edwards is 2-0 and got his first high-profile win Saturday against Michigan State.

5. Colorado (2-0; last week: No. 9): After Travon McMillian’s breakout rushing performance in week one, Laviska Shenault Jr. is next on the list of “CU players you didn’t know about in 2017 but should learn about in 2018.” The wide receiver caught 10 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown in a 33-28 win at Nebraska.

6. USC (1-1; last week: No. 2): Talented as J.T. Daniels may be, a visit to Palo Alto in his second college start was always going to be a challenge for USC’s wunderkind quarterback. All things considered, the Trojans’ defense still held up well, conceding just 17 points to Stanford.

7. Utah (2-0; last week: 4): Utah’s defense, much like Washington State’s, has looked superb against inferior opposition. The Utes’ first true test should come this Saturday night against UW.

8. Cal (2-0; last week: 8): A perfect nonconference record didn’t mean anything for Cal by the end of last season. Who knows if it’ll translate to a bowl appearance this year, but it’s definitely a feasible target for the Golden Bears, who close out their nonleague schedule at home against Idaho State.

9. Washington State (2-0; last week: No. 6): The Cougars drop three places, and it’s not because they’ve been unimpressive. They just haven’t been any more impressive than teams like Cal and Colorado, who have won games against better competition.

10. Arizona (0-2; last week: No. 10): BYU and Houston could have been big résumé-boosters for Arizona. Those games ended up serving another purpose for the Wildcats, who have plenty to tweak before Pac-12 Conference play.

11. UCLA (0-2; last week: No. 11): Chip Kelly lost two or fewer games in three of his four seasons at Oregon. It’s only taken him two games to get there with the Bruins, who probably shouldn’t overlook their third opponent (Fresno State) either.

12. Oregon State (1-1; last week: No. 12): The Beavers have some life after beating Southern Utah. Their ground game does, too. Freshman tailback Jermar Jefferson ran 22 times for 238 yards and four touchdowns in a 23-point win over the Thunderbirds.

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