Pac-12 Power Rankings: Utah falters, and Beavers overtake the Ducks

The first week of the 2022 Pac-12 college football season was a disaster in nearly every way. No. 7 Utah and No. 11 Oregon lost to unranked Florida and No. 3 Georgia, respectively.

Oregon losing isn’t a huge surprise, but failing to score a touchdown and giving up 49 points is a debacle, even if it was against the defending champions.

Meanwhile, a costly interception from Cam Rising cost the Utes a much-needed victory, leaving the USC Trojans in the top spot of our power rankings after the first week of action.

Oregon State picked up a nice win over Boise State while Arizona defeated San Diego State, helping the Pac-12 at least maintain some credibility against Mountain West (and potentially future Pac-12?) opponents.

Here’s a full look at our Week 1 power rankings after each team’s first game:

Colorado Buffaloes (0-1)

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The Buffs were run off the field by TCU on Friday, scoring just one touchdown and giving up 21 points in the fourth quarter. Colorado’s new quarterback, J.T. Shrout, doesn’t look like he will be enough to pull this team out of the cellar in the Pac-12 this season.

California Golden Bears (1-0)

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Cal took care of business against Football Championship Subdivision opponent UC-Davis, but only after going down 7-0 in the first quarter.

Letting Davis running back Ulonzo Gilliam rush for 115 yards and a touchdown is a concerning start for the Golden Bears, one that will not go over too well in conference play if the defense doesn’t adjust.

Stanford Cardinal (1-0)

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Stanford took care of business against Colgate on Saturday, with quarterback Tanner McGee throwing for 308 yards and two touchdowns. So far so good for coach David Shaw, but this team still needs to prove it against higher level opponents before getting a bump in the rankings.

Washington State Cougars (1-0)

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Washington State’s season opener was nearly a disaster, as it barely escaped with a win over the lowly Idaho Vandals on Saturday evening.

Cameron Ward threw for three touchdowns. While this team has some upside and promise, it was a rough start for coach Jake Dickert. It will need to play better to challenge for a top spot in the conference this year.

Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0)

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Arizona State did exactly what it should have done against Northern Arizona, securing an easy 40-3 victory on Friday evening.

It will be an easier team to pin down once it starts playing a more typical Power Five schedule, but for now it resides in the middle of the conference while we see what quarterback Emory Jones can do.

Arizona Wildcats (1-0)

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Arizona looks like the most improved team in the conference, coming off two consecutive horrible seasons under coach Kevin Sumlin.

Now, led by Jedd Fisch and WSU transfer quarterback Jayden de Laura, the Wildcats are back with a statement win over San Diego State.

de Laura threw four touchdowns and the defense held the Aztecs to 20 points in a big season-opening win. The Wildcats are a team to watch in the Pac-12.

Washington Huskies (1-0)

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Washington clearly made the right choice with quarterback Michael Penix Jr, who threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns in his Husky debut.

Of course it was against Kent State, but Kalen DeBoer’s season debut sure seemed to go pretty well out on Montlake.

Oregon Ducks (0-1)

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Yikes. Oregon’s first game under new coach Dan Lanning couldn’t have gone worse. Georgia dominated from the opening kick, winning 49-3 and embarrassing the Ducks in nearly every facet of the game.

Oregon is going to rebound from this, but improvements on defense and more creative play-calling are paramount if this team is to challenge for a Pac-12 championship in 2022.

UCLA Bruins (1-0)

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Chip Kelly’s veteran squad took care of business against Bowling Green in front of a very sad Rose Bowl crowd on Saturday.

Lackluster attendance aside, a team with Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet should compete for a top bid in the Pac-12 this season, especially if the defense improves from a year ago.

Oregon State Beavers (1-0)

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The Beavers had perhaps the best win in the Pac-12 in Week 1, blasting out to a 24-0 halftime lead and downing the Boise State Broncos, 34-17.

Chance Nolan threw for a pair of touchdowns, and coach Johnathan Smith is 1-0 for the first time in his career. Could this be the year for the Beavs to push toward the top of the Pac-12 North?

Utah Utes (0-1)

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Oregon wasn’t the only team that embarrassed itself on Saturday. No. 7 ranked Utah fell to an unranked Florida squad in the Swamp.

Cameron Rising threw a very costly interception late to seal the defeat, and the Pac-12 is 1-8 in the last nine contests against the SEC. This is a bad start for the supposed conference of champions.

USC Trojans (1-0)

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Sure it was Rice, but the Lincoln Riley era started solidly with a big 66-14 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Caleb Williams threw three incompletions, going 19 of 22 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. USC needs to prove it against a higher caliber opponent, but it’s hard not to have them No. 1 at this point.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire