Pac-12 Power Rankings: League Wraps Up Out-Of-Conference Play

Sep 19, 2023, 11:02 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Pac-12 wrapped up out-of-conference play in week three continuing to look good, let’s take a look at how the power rankings played out as a result.

The “Conference of Champions” is off to the strongest start they’ve had as a conference of 12 making it all the more ironic this will also be its last as we know it. Currently eight teams in the Pac-12 are ranked in the AP Top 25- the most in conference history.

Naturally, having so many ranked teams makes it a little difficult to determine where everyone is at when they still haven’t played each other. Here is my best stab at it.

Pac-12 Power Rankings 2023 Season: Week Three

There was a lot of buzz heading into the 2023 football season for the Pac-12 and rightfully so. On paper the league looks as strong as ever after having finished the previous season with six ranked teams and currently has eight teams ranked in the AP Top 25. Those teams returned most of the same talent, while others went to work stepping up their game.

Those efforts have showed well the past three weeks leaving Pac-12 fans feeling good (and admittedly a little sad) about where things are heading during the league’s “farewell season”.

Week three was a more mellow affair in the Pac-12 with most teams playing “easier” opponents compared to the previous two weeks.

Washington had the most compelling win of the week propelling them to the top of the Pac-12 Power Rankings with an absolute beat down of Michigan State. Colorado on the other-hand came through with the thriller- a double overtime affair with Colorado State. The rest of the Pac-12 slate was pretty vanilla with most teams doing what you’d expect them to do against the quality of opponent.

1. Washington (3-0, 0-0)

Washington 41 | Michigan State 7

This was easily the Pac-12’s biggest game of the week and the Huskies passed with flying colors making them the choice for the top spot in the Pac-12 Power Rankings. The Spartans are a mess right now with the hoopla surrounding now fired head coach Mel Tucker, still, MSU is a Power Five opponent and Washington did unspeakable things to them.

This week: home against Cal, 8:30 p.m. MT, ESPN

2. Oregon (3-0, 0-0)

Oregon 55 | Hawaii 10

Look, Hawaii is not a world-beater by any stretch of the imagination, but the Ducks put up a good, dominating performance in a really thin week of good games for the Pac-12. In fact, their performance was good enough that the AP voters jumped Oregon over Utah in this week’s rankings.

This week: home against Colorado, 1:30 p.m. MT, ABC

3. Oregon State (3-0, 0-0)

Oregon State 26 | San Diego State 9

This was not the Beaver’s most dominating performance of their OOC schedule, but SDSU is a respectable enough opponent. Especially given who everyone else was facing off against. This week will be a fun one for OSU, however.

This week: at Washington State, 5:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

4. Utah (3-0, 0-0)

Utah 31 | Weber State 7

Compared to the previous two weeks this game was not all that exciting for the Utes but was exactly what they needed breaking in a new backup/starting quarterback in Nate Johnson. As head coach Kyle Whittingham alluded to- this game didn’t necessarily pack any “wow” moments, but Utah got the job done well with a lot of backups playing which could bode well later in the season when injuries are bound to happen.

This week: home against UCLA, 1:30 p.m. MT, FOX


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5. Colorado (3-0, 0-0)

Colorado 43 | Colorado State 35- Double OT

The Buffs looked dead in the water for much of this game until they turned the jets on at the end and into overtime. Good teams know how to dig deep and get it done which Colorado did. However, Colorado State probably isn’t the team you should be having this moment with. From this outsider’s perspective, it looked like 1) CSU had some of Colorado’s weaknesses figured out and exposed them, and 2) the Buffs were perhaps a little carried away with media/celebrity madness currently surrounding their program and didn’t come into the game as focused early on as they probably should have been. This week is going to be a massive test for them.

This week: at Oregon, 1:30 p.m. MT, ABC

6. USC (3-0, 1-0)

BYE Week

It’s not USC’s fault they dropped down to No. 6 this week- they just didn’t play anyone, but we expect them to surge back up the rankings for the foreseeable future starting this week.

This week: at ASU, 8:30 p.m. MT, FOX

7. Washington State (3-0, 0-0)

Washington State 64 | UNCO 21

The Cougs continued to show they have some firepower on offense and absolutely obliterated UNCO. Now they turn their attention to conference play in what I suspect may be the best matchup of the week.

This week: at home against Oregon State, 5:00 p.m. MT, FOX

8. UCLA (3-0, 0-0)

UCLA 59 | NCCU 7

UCLA did what they needed to do against NCCU and it was impressive. This week the challenge is upped quite a bit traveling to Salt Lake City. I for one, am really looking forward to seeing how the Bruin’s offense does against Utah’s defense. This game has all the potential of being a good one.

This week: at Utah, 1:30 p.m. MT, FOX

9. Arizona (2-1, 0-0)

Arizona 31 | UTEP 10

UTEP is not a good team, but Arizona handled their business with the opponent they had available before turning their attention to conference play.

This week: at Stanford, 5:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network

10. Cal (2-1, 0-0)

Cal 31 | Idaho 17

Cal gave a solid performance against Idaho last week, but things will be considerably tougher this week.

This week: at Washington, 8:30 p.m. MT, ESPN

11. Arizona State (1-2, 0-0)

ASU 0 | Fresno State 29

It’s going to be a long season for the Sun Devils.

This week: home against USC , 8:30 p.m. MT, FOX

12. Stanford (1-2, 0-0)

Stanford 23 | CSUS 30

It’s going to be an even longer season for Stanford.

This week: home against Arizona, 5:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Pac-12 Power Rankings: League Wraps Up Out-Of-Conference Play