USC Falls out of the Top 25, Leaving Pac-12 with Four Ranked
No. 25 is not a place Pac-12 teams want to be in the polls, apparently. For a second straight week, the conference occupied the final slot of the Associated Press Top 25.
USC's 10-7 defeat to Washington State dropped the Trojans from both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls. The Pac-12 now has its fewest ranked members in the young campaign with four. Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Washington held steady.
Oregon and Stanford were both impressive in Week 2 wins, while UCLA and Washington were idle. AP and Coaches pollsters were not as generous with their assessment of the Bruins and Huskies as my Bleacher Report Top 25 ballot was.
By virtue of some ranked teams losing, like Texas, and others struggling, like Oklahoma, UCLA and Washington climbed in my vote. Arizona State also earned a nod from me. The Sun Devils do not appear in either national poll, but are ranked in the dreaded No. 25 slot on B/R.
Teams are listed with AP rank/Coaches poll rank.
2/3. Oregon Ducks (2-0)
Week 2: Beat Virginia, 59-10
The Atlantic Coast Conference's Virginia Cavaliers provided a more telling test of where the Oregon Ducks are under new head coach Mark Helfrich. The answer is not far from the high standard Chip Kelly, if not on the same pace as those four consecutive BCS bowl teams.
Oregon deluged Virginia with 21 points almost immediately and cruised from there.
My Ranking: 3
5/4. Stanford Cardinal (1-0)
Week 2: Beat San Jose State, 34-13
The defending Pac-12 Conference champions picked up where they left off with an impressive, all-around performance against San Jose State. The Cardinal stifled a Spartan offense that scored nearly 35 points per game a season ago, but it was Stanford's showing on the offensive side of the ball that really shined.
Kevin Hogan remained perfect as a starting quarterback and showed measured improvement in the passing game. Tyler Gaffney was solid via the rush.
My Ranking: 2
18/18. UCLA Bruins (1-0)
Week 2: Bye
UCLA has an extra week of preparation for its showdown with No. 22/19 Nebraska Sept. 14 in Lincoln, Neb. The Bruins seemed to miss no beat after an outstanding 2012 campaign in their Week 1 rout of Nevada, but the Week 3 contest against the Cornhuskers should provide a more accurate snapshot of this team.
My Ranking: 13
20/23. Washington Huskies (1-0)
Week 2: Bye
Washington's Week 1 dismantling of Boise State is among the most impressive victories any team has scored in the young season. UW played an all-around dominant game. After a 2-0 start, Week 3 opponent Illinois suddenly looks like a test for the Huskies.
My Ranking: 18
Kyle Kensing is the Pac-12 Lead Writer. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Kyle on Twitter @kensing45.
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