Pac-12 Power Rankings: Washington, Oregon move up after huge victories

The Pacific Northwest is having an excellent end of the summer. The Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Washington Huskies, and Washington State Cougars are a combined 11-1 on the young season so far, with Oregon’s loss to Georgia the only blemish.

Washington earned a huge victory over No. 11 Michigan State at Husky Stadium on Saturday afternoon, a few hours after Oregon dominated the No. 14 ranked BYU Cougars at Autzen.

Washington State defeated Wisconsin last week as well, while Oregon State has looked very good in all three of their games up to this point.

USC still remains the team to beat in the Pac-12 after a blowout win over Fresno State, and Utah is still very much in the mix, but the PNW is looking like the place to be to see some of the best college football in the nation this year.

Here is a look at our updated Pac-12 power rankings after three weeks of game action:

Colorado Buffaloes (0-3) (Last Week: 12)

Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Man oh man. It’s fair to wonder if Karl Dorrell is going to keep his job through the season, as this Colorado team looks like one of the worst Power-5 teams in the entire country after getting man-handled by Minnesota on Saturday.

Arizona State (1-2) (Last Week: 8)

Syndication: Arizona Republic

It doesn’t look like Arizona State is doing much to try to correct their issues, and after three games this team looks like they will be sitting at the bottom of the barrel this season after losing to Eastern Michigan.

Herm Edwards may not have much left in the tank, and Sun Devil fans have to be running out of patience.

Stanford (1-1) (Last Week: 9)

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford had the week off, and they still sit at 1-1 after Week 2’s loss to an excellent USC team. We’ll see if this team can make any improvements under David Shaw this season. If they do, turnovers will need to be addressed.

Arizona (2-1) (Last Week: 11)

(Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)

North Dakota State is probably not a team the Wildcats would have even beat last year, so securing a victory is a big deal for Jedd Fisch even if it is against an FCS opponent.

Arizona is probably a year or two away from really pushing for contention, but they are on the right track.

Cal (2-1) (Last Week: 10)

Syndication: Notre Dame Insider

Cal remains a tough team to pin down, mostly because a near-win over Notre Dame doesn’t mean nearly as much as it might have earlier in the season, with the Irish’s struggles on full display.

Still, quarterback Jack Plummer nearly led this team to a last second victory, or at least a forced overtime, thanks in large part to some questionable officiating. Cal deserves credit for keeping this close, but they probably aren’t going to make a ton of noise in league play this season.

UCLA (3-0) (Last Week: 5)

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The top seven teams on last week’s rankings all won this week, but UCLA was the team with the scariest victory so they find themselves moving down the power rankings.

Chip Kelly’s squad narrowly escaped with a 32-31 victory over South Alabama at a nearly empty Rose Bowl on Saturday morning, scoring nine points in the final quarter to come from behind and win.

More performances like that and this team will be well out of contention in a crowded Pac-12 picture.

Oregon State (3-0) (Last Week: 7)

Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Chance Nolan threw for four touchdowns and a dominant second and third quarter propelled Oregon State to a massive victory over Montana State at Providence Park – home of the Portland Timbers – Saturday afternoon.

Oregon State’s offense has looked excellent so far this season, and if the defense is able to catch up they could be quite the dangerous team come December.

Washington State (3-0) (Last Week: 4)

Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougars are up to 3-0 with yet another impressive victory, this one over the Rams of Colorado State by a score of 38-7.

They still fall one spot in the rankings thanks to some excellent play around them, but it is clear the Pacific Northwest has some of the best college football in the nation in the early part of the 2022 season.

Utah (2-1) (Last Week: 2)

Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Utah defeated a very good San Diego State team by 28 points on Saturday, but they fall two points in the rankings thanks to strong performances around them, and the early season loss to Florida which looks worse and worse as the year goes on.

Regardless, Utah’s squad is still a dangerous one and very much in the conversation for a Pac-12 Championship once again.

Oregon (2-1) (Last Week: 3)

(Photo Courtesy of Ethan Landa)

The Ducks remain at No. 3 in the Pac-12 power rankings, despite a three-touchdown victory over the No. 14 ranked BYU Cougars at Autzen Stadium.

More performances like that one will make Dan Lanning very happy, and will keep this team squarely in the conversation for a Pac-12 title and perhaps a spot in college football playoffs.

Washington (3-0) (Last Week: 6)

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest riser this week is also a team from the PNW, the Washington Huskies. Led by new coach Kalen DeBoer and lefty quarterback Michael Penix, Jr, this team pulled off a big upset over No. 11 Michigan State at home on Saturday afternoon.

The Huskies are now 3-0 on the season and with a huge win under their belt, they are obvious challengers for USC, Oregon, Utah and everyone else atop the suddenly crowded Pac-12.

USC (3-0) (Last Week: 1)

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A four-touchdown victory over notoriously tough Fresno State will keep Lincoln Riley’s USC squad atop the Pac-12 power rankings for this week.

USC looks like a team fully ready to challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoffs, although the top of the Pac-12 is going to make that very difficult for them this season.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire