1. Oregon (5-0, 2-0) — Quarterback Marcus Mariota accounted for seven (!) touchdowns in a blowout of Colorado, keeping his interception-less streak alive at 202 straight attempts. Neither De’Anthony Thomas’ ankle injuryy (already out of a boot) nor Colt Lyerla’s departure should do much to slow down the Ducks, who already look like a championship-caliber team.
2. Stanford (5-0, 3-0) — Ty Montgomery’s 290 all-purpose yards helped the Cardinal eke out a 31-28 win against Washington, stretching their win streak since last season to 13. Stanford’s defense came up with a key stop up 10 points, with Trent Murphy tipping a first-and-goal pass to cause an interception.
3. UCLA (4-0, 1-0) — The Bruins survived a tough game in Salt Lake City, but lost left tackle Torian White for the season. UCLA’s surprising offensive line has keyed much of its success this season, and freshmen Alex Redmond and Caleb Benenoch must grow up quickly to prevent any drop-off. Continue reading
1. Oregon (4-0, 1-0) — De’Anthony Thomas’ status is unclear after he injured his ankle on Saturday and reappeared on crutches. Sophomore Byron Marshall carried the ball 19 times in his stead, racking up 130 yards and two touchdowns.
2. Stanford (4-0, 2-0) — Don’t look now, but Kevin Hogan is currently the Pac-12′s most efficient quarterback (174.58). The Cardinal also might have found a new target in junior Devon Cajuste, who caught two touchdowns, bringing his career total to three.
3. UCLA (3-0) — The Bruins still look like the consensus third-best Pac-12 team after the bye week, but Utah is a tough place to play. Forecasts predict a 50 percent chance of rain on Thursday. Continue reading
1. Oregon (3-0) — The Ducks are second in the country in scoring offense and fifth in scoring defense. No other Pac-12 team ranks top-10 in both, and only Arizona (15th and third) is in the top 30.
2. Stanford (3-0, 1-0) — The Cardinal rolled over Arizona State, running up a 39-7 lead after three quarters. A year in minor-league baseball hasn’t affected tailback Tyler Gaffney, who has shined immediately in his return to The Farm with five rushing touchdowns, good for third in the Pac-12.
3. UCLA (3-0) — Jordon James is fourth in the country with 141.3 rushing yards per game, a total that even surprised head coach Jim Mora. UCLA has established one of the most potent offenses in college football; now it needs to handle business against Utah and Cal to preserve a likely matchup of undefeated teams at Stanford. Continue reading
1. Oregon (2-0) — The Ducks annihilated Virginia 59-10, extending their streak in non-neutral away sites to 16 wins. Alabama and Northern Illinois share the next-longest mark at nine games. Oregon gave up some plays underneath the coverage, but still looks like the BCS contender everyone expected preseason.
2. Stanford (1-0) — The Cardinal’s rushing game hasn’t lost a step, as Tyler Gaffney returned from his minor-league baseball stint with 104 yards and two scores. A 34-13 win over San Jose State bumped David Shaw’s perfect in-state record to 10-0.
3. Washington (1-0) — Both the Huskies and the Bruins were off this week, but Washington’s win over Boise State was more impressive than the UCLA’s over Nevada. In four seasons under Steve Sarkisian, the Husky defense has finished in the top half of the conference just once. It held the Broncos to their first touchdown-less game since 1997.
4. UCLA (1-0) — Nick Pasquale’s death Sunday night rocked the program during the bye weekend, and players have dedicated the rest of the season to him. Head coach Jim Mora is insulating his team until Saturday’s game at Nebraska, closing off practices and player interviews to the media. Continue reading
1. Oregon (23-6, 12-4) — The Ducks are the best team in the Pac-12 as long as Dominic Artis is healthy, but he only saw 12 minutes in a win at Oregon State. Oregon should get its first conference title since 2002 if its point guard’s foot injury is no longer a problem. Damyean Dotson also has a hip injury, but is expected to play.
2. Cal (20-10, 12-6) — Cal’s defense had held locked down opponents to 33.7 percent shooting through a seven-win streak, but couldn’t stop Stanford in their season finale. Allen Crabbe and the Cardinal’s Dwight Powell also started a scuffle that ended with the ejection of two players and three assistant coaches — including Mark Madsen.
3. UCLA (22-8, 12-5) — The Bruins lost to Washington State for the first time in 20 years. Washington State was missing its second- and third-leading scorers. Oh, and UCLA forward Travis Wear re-aggravated his sprained right ankle. A share of the Pac-12 title is within reach if Oregon loses, but what an awful night for this team. Continue reading
1. Arizona (23-4, 11-4) — Visits from the Washington schools didn’t provide the stiffest challenges, but Arizona took care of both the Huskies and the Cougars with ease last week. Defense is an issue at times, with coach Sean Miller describing it as “terrible” after beating WSU 73-56. The Wildcats allowed Washington State to shoot 52.2 percent in the second half, and would have been in more trouble had the Cougs shot better than 14 of 28 at the line.
2. Cal (18-9, 10-5) — Conference-leading scorer Allen Crabbe has gone a bit cold lately, but Justin Cobbs ensured that a Bear would be named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the third straight time. In his past six games, Cobbs is averaging 16.6 points on 53.4-percent shooting, his best stretch since November. Cal plays its last three games at home and is at least slightly favored in each.
3. UCLA (20-7, 10-4) — The Bruins’ offense is syncing again three bumpy weeks, helped in part by better ball movement and shot selection. They’ve made 6 of 12 from beyond the arc in each of their past two games. UCLA is likely without forward Travis Wear (sprained foot) for at least another game, which is a troubling prospect as it prepares to host ASU and Arizona. Continue reading
1. Arizona (21-4, 9-4) — The Wildcats have settled into the teens in national polls and rankings, which is where they probably belonged most of the season. Sean Miller tinkered his lineup during a rough mountain trip — 13-point loss to Colorado, four-point win over Utah — and may leave glue guy Kevin Parrom in the starting five.
2. Cal (16-9, 8-5) — If the Bears had lost to USC, Mike Montgomery probably would have served a one-game suspension for pushing star guard Allen Crabbe. They won, so the push was folded into the “motivation” narrative, even though Crabbe shot 1-of-6 immediately after. Cal is playing its best ball of the season, but an NCAA tourney bid isn’t safe yet; the team never does well in the conference tournament and could lose two more games before then.
3. Oregon (21-5, 10-3) — Oregon’s win over Washington marked the first time the Ducks had more assists (10) than turnovers (9) since point guard Dominic Artis injured his foot in late January. The team returns home after surviving the trip north unscathed, but may be Continue reading
1. Arizona (20-3, 8-3) — Did anyone care that the Wildcats lost to Cal? Arizona is still No. 9 in the AP Poll, 7 in RPI, 14 in Sagarin and 15 in Pomeroy. Top-10 teams have suffered worse stumbles this year.
2. UCLA (18-6, 8-3) — Sweeping the Washington schools at home wasn’t overly impressive, but no one in the Pac-12 looks solid right now. The Bruins may be inconsistent, but they dismissed WSU with relative ease and snapped out of a three-game shooting slump — shooting over 60 percent for the first time since 2010.
3. Arizona State (18-6, 7-4) — Is ASU due for a fall? The Sun Devils have allowed each of its last three opponents to shoot at least 47 percent from the field. In the nine games prior, they held six opponents to below 40. Jordan Bachynski has vanished since his 22-and-15 outburst against UCLA, averaging 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds since. Continue reading
1. Arizona (19-2, 7-2) — The Wildcats did their part and swept the Washington teams on the road for the first time since 2005. Then, luck stepped in and put them atop the Pac-12. Oregon dropped two games and looks far more vulnerable in the conference race, though it holds a head-to-head tiebreaker. Arizona’s biggest question mark is a middling assist-turnover ratio of 1.0.
2. Oregon (18-4, 7-2) — Oregon was supposed to be most balanced team in the conference, but devolved as freshman point guard Dominic Artis (foot) sits indefinitely. The Ducks have committed 65 turnovers in three games without Artis, including 22 at Cal. Continue reading
1. Oregon (18-2, 7-0) — The Ducks have a clear path to the Pac-12 title, but starting point guard Dominic Artis is out indefinitely with a foot injury. The freshman was averaging 10.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists before missing Oregon’s win over Washington.
2. Arizona State (16-4, 5-2) — ASU isn’t the second-best team in the conference, but it’s probably the hottest. A dominant win over UCLA proved Arizona State’s contender status, but will its short rotation wear out? In the Sun Devils’ last two games, four players logged at least 81 combined minutes.
3. UCLA (16-5, 6-2) — An initially triumphant road trip turned out to be a wash after the brutal loss to Arizona State. At their best, the Bruins can knock off top teams, but inconsistency will likely keep them on the edges of the top 25 for the season.
4. Arizona (17-2, 5-2) — The lack of a true playmaker hurts Arizona at times (see Mark Lyons’ 0 assists against UCLA) but the Wildcats are arguably still the conference’s most talented team. They played Continue reading