We’re adjusting the power ratings: Moving forward, teams will be slotted within their respective divisions, rather than in straight 1-to-12 order, to better reflect relative position where it matters most.
The order of teams in the power rankings will typically track the order of teams on my AP ballot, but there could be exceptions from week to week.
The AP provides a specific set of voting guidelines, with a results-based ballot as the priority.
These power ratings include a subjective component. Call it the ‘just because’ factor.
In addition, seven Pac-12 teams made the cut for my latest AP top-25 ballot.
1. Oregon (1-1)
Last week: 5 (on 1-to-12 scale)
Result: Beat Nevada 77-6
Next up: vs. Montana
No team in the conference has greater emotional swings than the Ducks. It was going to be either the highest of highs or the lowest of lows after the Auburn gut punch. Contrary to the Hotline’s expectations, the higher highs ruled the day at Autzen.
2. Cal (2-0, 1-0)
Last week: 9
Result: Won at Washington 20-19
Next up: vs. North Texas
For the first week in 10 years, I can easily envision Cal beating Stanford without stretching the laws of logic.
3. Washington State (2-0)
Last week: 3
Result: Beat Northern Colorado 59-17
Next up: at Houston (Friday)
The Cougars have played one of the softest combinations of opponents of any team in the FBS (New Mexico State and Northern Colorado). We’ll begin to get clarity with a short week and long trip to Houston.
4. Washington (1-1, 0-1)
Last week: 2
Result: Lost to Cal 20-19
Next up: vs. Hawaii
The Hotline doesn’t get ’em right very often, but we nailed that Cal upset. Hopefully, @oldtakesexposed will notice the foresight and have mercy the next time we embarrass ourselves.
5. Stanford (1-1, 0-1)
Last week: 4
Result: Lost at USC 45-20
Next up: at UCF
Without K.J. Costello, the Cardinal is a mediocre team. With K.J. Costello, the Cardinal … might be a mediocre team. We’ll know by the end of the month is the lack of speed on defense and playmakers on offense — both were exposed by USC — are significant enough to derail the season.
6. Oregon State (0-2)
Last week: 11
Result: Lost at Hawaii 31-28
Next up: vs. Cal Poly
Was shocked to see that Hawaii only rushed for 67 yards against the Beavers, then I noticed that the Rainbow Warriors slung it around for 421.
1. Utah (2-0)
Last week: 1
Result: Neat Northern Illinois 35-17
Next up: vs. Idaho State
Doing what good teams do: Dispatching inferior opponents in drama-less fashion. Starters should play one quarter this week, then rest up for a Friday night affair in the Coliseum.
2. USC (2-0, 1-0)
Last week: 6
Result: Beat Stanford 45-20
Next up: at Brigham Young
Most impressive stat from Kedon Slovis’ record-breaking performance was the number of times he forced the ball: Zero.
3. Colorado (2-0)
Last week: 8
Result: Beat Nebraska 34-31 (OT)
Next up: vs. Air Force
Buffs got exactly what was required against Nebraska and what they’ll need more of going forward: Someone other than Laviska Shenault making big plays.
4. Arizona State (2-0)
Last week: 7
Result: Beat Sacramento State 19-7
Next up: at Michigan State
We considered placing the Sun Devils in the No. 3 spot in the South, but they simply haven’t been impressive against third-rate competition. The offensive line must get substantially better by the weekend.
5. Arizona (1-1)
Last week: 12
Result: Beat Northern Arizona 65-41
Next up: vs. Texas Tech
Early prediction for the Saturday night affair against the Red Raiders: 75-70, somebody.
6. UCLA (0-2)
Last week: 10
Result: Lost to San Diego State 23-14
Next up: vs. Oklahoma
At least the Bruins are consistent. Points scored: 14 in Week One; 14 in Week Two. Rushing yards: 62 in Week One; 62 in Week Two. Turnover margin: minus-2 in Week One; minus-2 in Week Two.