Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Power Rankings Week 5

1. Oregon (Overall: 4-0, Conference: 1-0, Last Week: 1)
Scoring 55 points on just 381 yards of total offense amidst a hellish storm is incredibly impressive. Making your opponent implode to the tune of no touchdowns from its first team offense and under three yards per play in the same conditions is a sign of a truly dominant team.

2. UCLA (3-0, 0-0, LW: 2)
I don't know how they did it but UCLA managed to score another second half touchdown on Nebraska during their bye week, and oh whoops they scored another one just now.

3. Stanford (4-0, 2-0, LW: 4)
After a boring start to the season Stanford is rounding into form and punishing opponents with the most physically imposing roster in the conference.

4. Washington (4-0, 1-0, LW: 3)

Washington had another strong win and showed the killer instinct I had been waiting for them. However, the Huskies run defense looked a tad soft up the middle and their problems with dumb penalties still are not getting any better.

5. Arizona State (3-1, 1-1, LW: 6)
ASU's run defense has become a major concern that will cost them at least one more big game this year but if their offense continues to play the way it did against USC, the Devils' defense might not matter.

6. Oregon State (4-1, 2-0, LW: 7)
The Beavers finally put together a complete team game as the Beavers scored with ease and got consistent stops but the Beavers still can't run the ball. Despite a marked improvement on defense I doubt the Beavers will be able to replicate such a performance against a team better than Colorado.

7. Utah (3-1, 0-1, LW: 8)
Moved up one spot despite not playing last week.

8. Arizona (3-1, 0-1, LW: 5)
After a soft non-conference schedule the Wildcats were exposed by Washington. Arizona's defense is no joke after all as the Wildcats proved their mettle over and over again against the Huskies. However, we now know definitively that B.J. Denker is not a Pac-12 caliber starting quarterback and the Wildcats' offense will keep opponents in the game as long as he is out there.

9. Washington State (3-2, 1-1, LW: 10)
Washington State has found itself in some serious self doubt as their defensive line that imposed its will during the first four games of the year was manhandled by Stanford. Furthermore, Wazzou's sketchy QB situation has reached a fever pitch after Connor Halliday struggled once again and Austin Apodaca came on in relief and showed some flashes of brilliance.

10. USC (3-2, 0-2, LW: 11)
USC's offense finally turned the corner against the Sun Devils just as its defense fell apart. The result was USC firing head coach Lane Kiffin in a parking lot at four in the morning and leaving Ed Orgeron to pick up the pieces. We'll have to wait until next Thursday to see what happens to USC with Kiffin's toxic culture of poor leadership removed from the sideline.

11. Colorado (2-1, 0-1, LW: 9)
The resurrection of Colorado football and its transformation into a competent team under Mike MacIntyre was a fun story for a month but it all fell apart against Oregon State. Colorado just does not have the depth or quality of athletes to compete with most teams in the Pac-12. Brighter days are coming in Boulder but they are going to take a little while longer.

12. California (1-3, 0-1, LW: 12)
The Bear's defense is still atrocious and now their offense might be coming apart at the seems under a new found QB controversy. Cal looked like a team that belonged in the Mountain West against Oregon and there are several teams left on the Bears schedule that will make them feel that way again.

The Award Tracker:

Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year:
1. QB Marcus Mariota, So., Oregon (LW: 1)
Poor weather wreaked havoc on Mariota's accuracy and efficiency but he still found time to account for over 200 yards and three touchdowns in one half of work.

2. WR Brandin Cooks, Jr., Oregon State (LW: 3)
After Cooks won the match up against Colorado's Paul Richardson, there is no question he is playing at a higher level than any other receiver in college football. Cooks caught nine passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns against Colorado and maintained in his national lead in every major receiving category. Cooks now has 52 catches (12 more than second place), 807 yards (116 more than second place), and nine touchdowns.

3. QB Sean Mannion, Jr., Oregon State (LW: 2)

I decided to flip Mannion and Cooks because despite Mannion's career high production against Colorado because he didn't actually play all that well. He only completed 52% of his passes and a number of his longest completions were bailed out by Cooks adjusting to poorly thrown balls. He threw an interception and was sacked twice including a fumble. He's still the best pocket passer in the Pac-12 but I think as of right now Cooks is more indispensable to the Beavers than Mannion.

Honorable Mentions:
WR Paul Richardson, Jr., Colorado

RB Bishop Sankey, Jr., Washington

QB Brett Hundley, So., UCLA

RB De'Anthony Thomas, Jr., Oregon

QB Keith Price, Sr., Washington

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year:
1. LB Anthony Barr, Sr., UCLA (LW: 1)
Barr had the week off but he's still the most intimidating player in the Pac-12. With Will Sutton dropping off, Barr is now the one singular defensive player in the Pac-12 that teams have to game plan for on every single snap.

2. DE Scott Crichton, Jr., Oregon State (LW: NR)

Crichton started the season slowly but boy has he ever woken up in a hurry. Crichton was invisible in the Beavers' disastrous opener against Eastern Washington but since then he has recorded eight tackles for loss in the past four games. Oregon State has an offense that can win games by itself but if Crichton keeps performing the way he is right now, the Beavers could be pretty good on defense too.

3. S Tra'Mayne Bondurant, Jr., Arizona(LW: 2)
Bondurant hasn't made the impact in recent weeks that he did at the start of the year but that is largely because the word about him has gotten out and teams are avoiding him. Bondurant has the talent and play making ability to create more turnovers in the future and that has made him the focal point of one of the Pac-12's finest defenses.

Honorable Mentions:
LB Addison Gilliam, Fr., Colorado

DT Leonard Williams, So., USC

S Deone Bucannon, Sr., Washington State

DE Josh Shirley, Jr., Washington

DE Trevor Reilly, Sr., Utah

Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year:
1. QB Jared Goff, California (LW: 1)
Goff was going to go uncontested for this award but suddenly his season is up in the air after he got an early benching against Oregon. Goff accounted for exactly zero yards of total offense against the Ducks before being benched toward the end of the 1st quarter. He's been splitting first team reps in practice so far this week but until he actually loses his job, I'm going to go ahead and keep him at the top.
2. RB Justin Davis, USC (LW: 2)
Maybe now that Lane Kiffin is out of the picture Davis will finally get consistent work in the Trojans' offense. He certainly deserves it after rushing for 122 yards and three touchdowns against ASU. Davis will always be behind Tre Madden and if Silas Redd gets healthy that will complicate things for him further but, Davis has shown clear ability to be a star and as long as he keeps performing he'll get the ball.

3. RB Michael Adkins, Colorado (LW: NR)
There weren't a lot of positives to come out of Colorado's three week layoff but Adkins might have been the only one. Adkins emerged during practice over the course of Colorado's consecutive bye weeks and had a great debut performance against Oregon State rushing for 98 yards. Adkins is going to be Colorado's feature back going forward and with Goff in limbo and Davis potentially getting crowded in USC's backfield, Adkins could wind up winning this award.
Honorable Mentions:
RB Paul Perkins, UCLA

RB Thomas Tyner, Oregon

RB Khalfani Muhammad, California

WR Kenny Lawlor, California

Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year:
1. LB Addison Gilliam, Colorado (LW: 1)
There's a reason I have now added Gilliam as an honorable mention for overall defensive player of the year. Gilliam was a monster again against the Beavers recording 13 tackles including one for a loss and a pass break up. Colorado's layoff put Gilliam out of sight somewhat but after his great game on Saturday he is now leading the conference with 11.33 tackles per game, no one else in the Pac-12 is averaging better than 8.8.

2. LB Scooby Wright, Arizona (LW: 3)

Wright had a big day against Washington recording nine tackles and one for a loss. Wright's productivity and continued presence in the second level of Arizona's defense is a big reason for the Wildcats big turnaround on that side of the ball.

3.  LB Myles Jack, UCLA (LW: 2)
UCLA had another week off but Jack remains a starter on arguably the Pac-12's most talented defense and has really impressed this year.

Honorable Mentions:

DB Daquawn Brown, Washington State

DL Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA

LB Hardy Nickerson, California

S Su'a Cravens, USC

Pac-12 Coach of the Year:
1. Jim Mora, UCLA (LW: 1)

2. Steve Sarkisian, Washington (LW: NR)

3. Mark Helfrich, Oregon (LW: 3)

Honorable Mentions:
Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

Kyle Whittingham, Utah

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