Pac-12 Week 3 Rankings: Cardinal Lead The Way

        The entire Pac-12 was in action during Week 3, with the conference slate getting kicked off. In the non-conference slate, the Pac finished week 3 with a 8-2 mark. Here's how the squads rank:

1] Stanford Cardinal 2-0 (1-0)
       After a staggering win against the Kansas State Wildcats, the Cardinal had a week off prior to kicking off Pac-12 play with a controlling win over USC. A trip to UCLA next week gives the Cardinal a shot to sweep the Los Angeles schools and getting closer to defending their title and playoff hopes, though Notre Dame's 1-2 losses to Texas & Michigan State don't seem as helpful as they once did. 

2] Washington Huskies 3-0
        The Huskies are out scoring opponents by a 49-10 margin through the closing of the non-conference slate, which seems impressive until the opposition is looked at. Regardless, the Huskies have taken care of business and hope to keep it going in Tucson in Week 4 before a Week 5 date against the Cardinal. 

3] Utah Utes 3-0
      The Utes struggled in San Jose against the Spartans, but walked away unscathed with a 34-17 victory. The defense has shown good ability to get to opposing QBs while in the pocket, though the red zone needs work. At a 71% scoring rate in the red zone, Utah is ranked dead last in the conference and 111 overall, while the defense is ranked 105, allowing a field goal/touch down every time down. Struggling USC comes into town for week 4. 

4] California Golden Bears 2-1
       The Bears took down the surprising 11th ranked Longhorns, a week after losing a close one to the San Diego State Aztecs. Though it wasn't with controversy, as a game-sealing touch down was taken away from Cal, and a fumble with 61 seconds remaining was taken away from Texas, as the ball was dropped prior to crossing the pylon. A date in Tempe looms for the Golden Bears.

5] UCLA Bruins 2-1
       Josh Rosen had a much better showing in Provo against BYU as opposed to his freshman campaign, going 26/40 for 307 yards and two scores. The Bruin rush combined for 50 yards on 35 carries, struggling without Soso Jamambo. Stanford coming in for Week 4 should provide the Bruins with a real big test.

6] Arizona State Sun Devils 3-0

       Yes, the Sun Devils are undefeated, however, they haven't played anyone of worth and struggled on the road against the University of Texas-San Antonio. They did manage to beat Texas Tech 68-55, a score more familiar to the hardwood during Week 2, but it just isn't convincing. Hosting the Golden Bears should provide some decent offense, though nothing like the Red Raider game.

7] Oregon Ducks 2-1
       The Ducks demolished UC Davis and beat Virginia (0-3), before a nice test in Nebraska, ending in a 35-32 defeat. Gambling on the part of Oregon simply cost them the game, as they went for five 2-point conversions, netting only one of those attempts. Had they simply kicked PATs on all attempts past the first (and lone) conversion, the Ducks would've had 36 points, enough for the W. A date against the stingy Buffalo's await. 

8] Colorado Buffaloes 2-1
       Colorado was seemingly on its way to a 3-0 start as the visited The Big House. It wasn't meant to be as the Wolverines ending up taking care of business with a 45-28 home victory over the Buffs.  Sefo Liufau is questionable for the date against Oregon, which would be a big loss for Colorado.

9] Arizona Wildcats 2-1
       Rich Rod has the Wildcats on the plus side of .500, though I can't see that lasting as conference play has them hosting the Huskies in week 4. Grambling State went into Tucson and nearly won, while the Cats nearly pulled off the comeback in Week 1 against BYU. It's going to be a long season in the Old Pueblo.

10] Oregon State Beavers 1-1
       The Beavers ended a 364 day victory drought with a 37-7 victory over the Idaho State Vandals, after nearly upsetting the Minnesota Gophers on the road with a date against Boise State looming. Can't see Oregon State climbing much in the standings, but they should finish with at least one conference win. 

11] USC Trojans 1-2 (0-1)
       Clay Helton deserves respect for scheduling Alabama, but the fact that the Trojans seemingly took a step back from the Week 1 demolishing to the game in Palo Alto speaks wonders of Helton's coaching ability, or lack thereof. A trip to Utah is on the horizon and is as close to a must win as one can get, as a 0-2 conference start would just diminish any division title hopes.

12] Washington State Cougars 1-2
        Wazzou came into the season with high hopes, some having pinned them as an outside favorite at winning the Pac-12 North. A home loss to FCS Eastern Washington, followed by a 3-point defeat in Boise hurt the Cougs before they blew out the Idaho Vandals. A week off before playing Oregon, Cougs will probably be down here again next week.