Christopher Wuensch
Author's Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week One

Created on Sept. 03, 2013 6:49 AM EST

Washington is the big gainer this week in our power rankings with good reason, while Oregon State takes a tumble thanks in part to a devastating opening week. All told, half of the conference's teams changed spots from last week's Preseason Poll.

Week 1 Power Rankings

1. OREGON 1-0, 0-0 (Last week: No. 2, +1)

Oregon reminded us all just how explosive its offense can be in its season-opening win over Nicholls State. Combined with an inactive Stanford, the Ducks get the bump up to No. 1

2. STANFORD 0-0 (No. 1, -1)

It's not entirely fair to have an off week and drop in the polls, but the Cardinal will have their say when QB Kevin Hogan and company kick off their season against San Jose State on Saturday on the Farm.

3. UCLA  1-0, 0-0 (No. 3, -)

Brett Hundley threw for 274 yards and the Bruins rolled to an easy opening win over the Nevada Wolfpack. They're the highest team in our rankings to stay put from last week.

4. WASHINGTON 1-0, 0-0 (No. 7, +3)

Keith Price (324 yards, 2 TDs) and the Huskies put the nation on notice that Washington is healthy and ready to roll this season. What’s more impressive, however, might be the UW defense, which held No. 19 Boise State out of the end zone in the Huskies’ 38-6 thumping.

5. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 1-0, 0-0 (No. 4, -1)

The Trojans’ two-headed monster at QB wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done and out-lasted Hawaii on the road — thanks in large part to USC’s young and deep running back corps and its staunch defense, which should rival any in the conference this season.

6. ARIZONA STATE 0-0 (No. 6, -1)

The Sun Devils kick off their season on Saturday when they play host to the Sacramento State Hornets. For now, they keep their No. 6 slot, but expect that to change after we get our first look at Will Sutton and the ASU defense.

7. ARIZONA 1-0, 0-0 (No. 8, +1)

B.J. Denker only tossed for a paltry 87 yards, but the Wildcats running game proved it’s going to be among the conference’s leaders once again, rushing as a team for 306 yards — all without the NCAA’s incumbent national rushing leader Ka’Deem Carey, who sat with a suspension.

8. OREGON STATE 0-1, 0-0 (No. 5, -3)

Our inclinations might have been correct about Oregon State being nationally-ranked based solely on reputation. Mike Riley will rally his troops, but a horrid loss to Eastern Washington will haunt the Beavers forever. Perhaps not as badly as seeing WR Brandin Cooks (196 yards, 2 TDs) laid out on the field late in the game with an injury, but haunt them nonetheless.

9. UTAH 1-0, 0-0 (No. 9, -)

The Utes held off cross-state rivals Utah State in a thriller. Still, it wasn’t enough to bump Utah up our list.

10. WASHINGTON STATE 0-1, 0-1 (No. 11, +1)

The Cougars went on the road to hostile Jordan-Hare Stadium and gave Auburn quite the fight before running out of gas. Wazzu is almost certain to upset someone this year in the Pac-12.

11. CALIFORNIA 0-1, 0-0 (No. 10, -1)

Golden Bears Nation has to be pleased with the fight in their team after Cal dropped its season-opener to No. 22 Northwest, 44-30. Don’t let the score fool you. This game was a nail-biter until the end, thanks to freshly-minted freshman quarterback Jared Goff, who threw for 445 yards and 2 TDs in his collegiate debut. There is reason for high hopes in Berkeley with Goff under the tutelage of offensive guru Sonny Dykes.

12. COLORADO 1-0, 0-0 (No. 12, -)

Connor Wood put the brakes on the Buffs’ QB carousel that was spinning out of control this summer with a 400-yard, three TD-performance against interstate rivals Colorado State. Despite the 41-27 win, we need to see more of these types of performances to vote the Buffs out of the Pac-12 basement.

Voters: John Baker, Colin Huber, Henry McKenna, Alex Schultz and Christopher Wuensch

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