Three weeks into the Pac-12 season and the surprises keep coming.
ASU falters once again, USC looks like the team many thought they would be coming into the season with a sweep of the Rocky Mountain schools and the conference’s second-best team is . . . Stanford?
The Pac-12 may only get a few teams into the NCAA tournament, but if it has nothing else, it has unpredictability and parity night in and night out.
Here’s how we see it.
Pac-12 Power Rankings -- Jan. 16
|2||Stanford (+3)||Arizona State||Stanford|
|3||USC (+5)||Colorado (+1)||Colorado|
|4||ASU (-2)||UCLA (-1)||ASU|
|5||Colorado (-2)||Stanford (+2)||USC|
|6||UCLA (-2)||USC (+2)||UCLA|
|7||Oregon (+3)||Washington (-2)||Washington|
|8||Oregon State (+1)||Oregon (+2)||Oregon State|
|10||Utah (-4)||Oregon State (-1)||Utah|
|11||California||Washington State||Washington State|
Destin: Drop the resumes, forget the past, and take a look and what’s going down right now. Stanford has won four games straight, while USC just obliterated the Rocky Mountain schools, and Oregon beat ASU on its home court. Right now, ASU does not look like a top-3 Pac-12 team, and Utah (ASU’s big road win) has lost four straight. A road sweep in the Bay Area, however, could put the Sun Devils back in my top-2. Washington has three wins, but two are against Cal and WSU, the bottom feeders of the Pac. Every team has played at least five games. That’s a huge difference compared to last week’s three. The Pac is starting to mold into its actual self.
Kaye: No. 14 Arizona and, despite its recent struggles, No. 16 Arizona State still sit atop of the Pac-12 power rankings because as its rankings alluded to both have the arguably the best résumé and talent in the conference. After those two sits a bunch of teams who have vaulted themselves to the top of the Pac-12. Colorado has the best chance to crack the top two because, heck, it beat both teams. After sweeping the Arizona schools two weeks ago, the Buffs also beat UCLA. Another team trending upward is Stanford. I was skeptical of its sweep of the L.A. schools because one came in double overtime and the other on a buzzer-beater, but the Cardinal proved me wrong beating both Washington schools. USC jumped up two spots after taking care of Colorado and Utah, and Oregon also moved up a pair of spots after beating ASU on the road.
Tonis: Who could have seen the Stanford Cardinal as the hottest team in the Pac-12? After an underwhelming non-conference slate, the Cardinal have won four in a row with a balanced scoring output. They face their toughest stretch of the conference slate coming up, however, with No. 16 Arizona State and No. 14 Arizona on the horizon, it’s a chance for Stanford to prove its a true contender in the conference. On the other side of the coin, the aforementioned Sun Devils got back on track with a comeback win over Oregon State and this Bay Area trip should continue that improvement.