Pac-12 Power Rankings Following First Week Of 2021 Season

Sep 5, 2021, 4:22 PM

Dalton Kincaid - Utah Utes vs. Weber State...

Cheerleaders celebrate as Dalton Kincaid #86 of the University of Utah Utes scores a touchdown against the Weber State Wildcats September 2, 2021 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The first official week of the college football season is in the books within the Pac-12 Conference and it’s time to rank the teams.

It was a tough week for the North Division, who went 1-5 in their season openers. The South Division went 5-1 in Week 1, 6-1 if you count UCLA’s Week 0 win over Hawai’i.

Here is KSL Sports’ first Pac-12 Power Rankings of the 2021 season following Week 1 of the season and entering Week 2.

North Division

1. No. 11 Oregon Ducks (1-0)

Previous Result: Beat Fresno State 31-24 at home

Recap: The Ducks jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Fresno State made two unanswered field goals to pull within eight points. Oregon then scored a touchdown late in the first half before the Bulldogs found the end zone with seven seconds remaining in the half with Oregon holding a 21-13 lead. Fresno State scored the only touchdown in the third quarter and got the two-point conversion to tie the game. They took the lead early in the fourth with a field goal but Oregon would end the game with 10 straight points.

Anthony Brown threw for 172 yards and one touchdown, while racking up 56 rushing yards and a TD. CJ Verdell finished with 74 rushing yards and one touchdown, while Travis Dye found the end zone once while rushing for 64 yards. Kayvon Thibodeaux left the game with an injury which turned out to be a sprain.

Next Up: @ No. 4 Ohio State (1-0) on Saturday, September 11 at 10 a.m. MDT on FOX.

2. California Golden Bears (0-1)

Previous Result: Lost to Nevada 22-17 at home

Recap: Things were looking good early for Cal by scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter. Nevada took over from that point and scored 22 straight points. The Golden Bears added a field goal early in the fourth quarter. Chase Garbers threw for 177 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Damien Moore led the rushing attack with 79 yards and one TD.

Next Up: @ TCU (1-0) on Saturday, September 11 at 1:30 p.m. MDT on ESPNU.

3. Oregon State Beavers (0-1)

Previous Result: Lost to Purdue 30-21 on the road

Recap: Sam Noyer got the start at QB for the Beavers. Oregon State scored first with a B.J. Baylor touchdown run. Purdue then scored 16 unanswered before the Beavers found the end zone to get within two points. The Boilermakers scored a TD to go up by nine points. Oregon State answered and got back to within two points but Purdue put the game away with a touchdown with 2:09 left in the game.

Noyer finished throwing for 94 yards and one interception. Chance Nolan played late in the third quarter and threw for 157 yards. B.J. Baylor had just 24 yards on nine carries but scored two touchdowns.

Next Up: vs. Hawai’i (1-1) on Saturday, September 11 at 9 p.m. MDT on FS1.

4. Stanford Cardinal (0-1)

Previous Result: Lost to Kansas State 24-7 in Arlington, Texas

Recap: The Cardinal struggled on offense against a good Kansas State team. Kansas State scored 24 straight points before Stanford found the end zone for the first and last time in the game. Jack West got the start at quarterback and went 8-for-12 for 76 yards and two interceptions. Tanner McKee also played and went 15-of-18 passing for 118 yards and one touchdown. Stanford had just 39 rushing yards.

Next Up: @ No. 15 USC (1-0) on Saturday, September 11 at 8:30 p.m. MDT on FOX.

5. No. 20 Washington Huskies (0-1)

Previous Result: Lost to Montana 13-7 at home

Recap: Washington went down and scored a touchdown on their first drive of the game but that was it from the Huskies offense. Montana made a field goal minutes later. No one scored again until the fourth quarter when the Grizzlies found the end zone to take a three-point lead. They went up by six with a field goal with under three-minutes to play. It’s the first win for Montana over Washington in 100 years and just the fifth FCS team to beat a ranked FBS team since 2007.

Dylan Morris threw for 226 yards and three interceptions. Richard Newton led the rushing attack with 62 yards on 17 carries.

Next Up: @ Michigan (1-0) on Saturday, September 11 at 6 p.m. MDT on ABC.

6. Washington State Cougars (0-1)

Previous Result: Lost to Utah State 26-23 at home

Recap: Utah State had an 8-6 lead early in the third quarter when Washington State scored 14 points in the quarter to take a 20-11 lead going into the fourth. The Cougars went up by 12 points early in the fourth before Utah State scored 15 unanswered including the game-winning touchdown with 13 seconds to play in the game. Jarrett Guarantano got the start at quarterback but left with an injury. Jayden de Laura finished the game and threw for 155 yards and one touchdown, along with 42 rushing yards. Max Borghi racked up 86 yards and one TD on the ground.

Next Up: vs. Portland State (0-1) on Saturday, September 11 at 4 p.m. MDT on Pac-12 Network.


South Division

1. No. 15 USC Trojans (1-0)

Previous Result: Beat San Jose State 30-7 at home

Recap: USC showed in their season opener that they have a really good defense. The offense is still a work in progress. The Trojans had a 10-3 halftime lead before San Jose State scored a touchdown in the third quarter to pull within three points. USC put them away with a 17-point fourth quarter. Kedon Slovis threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Drake London had 12 catches for 137 yards. Keaontay Ingram racked up 86 yards on 15 carries, while Vavae Malepeai recorded 65 yards on 14 carries.

Next Up: vs. Stanford (0-1) on Saturday, September 11 at 8:30 p.m. MDT on FOX.

2. Utah Utes (1-0)

Previous Result: Beat Weber State 40-17 at home on Thursday

Recap: Utah scored first on a field goal which was followed by a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown by Rashid Shaheed of Weber State. The game then went into a 90-minute lightning delay. Utah went out of the locker room after the delay and scored 16 straight points before Weber State added a field goal. The Utes went on to score 21 more points to put the Wildcats away.

Charlie Brewer threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns in his Utah debut. Dalton Kincaid caught four passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Tavion Thomas racked up 107 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in his Utes debut.

Next Up: @ BYU (1-0) on Saturday, September 11 at 8:15 p.m. MDT on ESPN.

3. UCLA Bruins (2-0)

Previous Result: Beat No. 16 LSU 38-27 at home

Recap: A big win for Chip Kelly and UCLA as they took down the LSU Tigers in the Rose Bowl. LSU scored first before UCLA rattled off two unanswered TD’s. The Tigers made a field goal before halftime to trail 14-10. Both teams scored 10 points in the third quarter. UCLA found the end zone twice in the fourth quarter, while LSU had one TD. Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 260 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Zach Charbonnet had 11 carries for 117 yards and one touchdown. Brittain Brown also found the end zone on 96 rushing yards. Greg Dulcich caught three passes for 117 yards and one TD.

A case can be made to put UCLA up higher in the rankings and they really should but do we really know how good LSU is? It looks like a bigger rebuild job for the Tigers than they were expecting but can’t take away the significance of the win for the Bruins.

Next Up: Bye Week

4. Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0)

Previous Result: Beat Southern Utah 41-14 at home on Thursday

Recap: After the first half, ASU had a 28-7 lead and they coasted from that point on. Jayden Daniels threw for 132 yards on 10-of-12 passing. The Sun Devils racked up 222 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Rachaad White and DeaMonte Trayanum each ran in two TD’s.

Next Up: vs. UNLV (0-1) on Saturday, September 11 at 8:30 p.m. MDT on ESPN2.

5. Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)

Previous Result: Beat Northern Colorado 35-7 at home on Friday

Recap: It was all Colorado throughout in their home opener. Brendon Lewis threw for 102 yards and one touchdown. Jarek Broussard carried the ball 15 times for 94 yards and one TD. Alex Fontenot, Ashaad Clayton and Deion Smith all had one rushing touchdown.

Next Up: vs. No. 6 Texas A&M (1-0) at Empower Field at Mile High on Saturday, September 11 at 1:30 p.m. MDT on FOX.

6. Arizona Wildcats (0-1)

Previous Result: Lost to BYU 24-16 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Recap: Jedd Fisch made his head coaching debut at Arizona and the Wildcats have some exciting things to look forward to. After BYU jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the third quarter, Arizona responded with 10 straight points. The Cougars put the game away with a field goal in the fourth quarter and a couple of stops on defense.

Both Gunner Cruz and Will Plummer played but it looks like Cruz will be the starter after throwing for 336 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Plummer had just nine passing yards. Stanley Berryhill III hauled in 12 receptions for 102 yards in the loss.

Next Up: vs. San Diego State (1-0) on Saturday, September 11 at 8 p.m. MDT on Pac-12 Network.

Combined Power Rankings

Here is the entire power rankings combined:

  1. USC Trojans
  2. Oregon Ducks
  3. Utah Utes
  4. UCLA Bruins
  5. Arizona State Sun Devils
  6. Colorado Buffaloes
  7. California Golden Bears
  8. Oregon State Beavers
  9. Stanford Cardinal
  10. Arizona Wildcats
  11. Washington Huskies
  12. Washington State Cougars

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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Pac-12 Power Rankings Following First Week Of 2021 Season