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College Hotline - Pac-12 football power ratings: Playoff implications as Texas visits Cal

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
    Likes Received:

    From the bevy of intriguing games this week, one stands out for its potential impact on the big picture … the playoff picture: Texas at Cal.

    Let’s take a few paragraphs to game this out, all while acknowledging 1) the early point in the season, 2) the myriad permutations that could unfold and 3) the hypothetical nature of the following discussion:

    * If we assume the Pac-12 champion is not undefeated …

    * And if we assume Alabama wins the SEC with fewer than two losses …

    * And if we assume Florida State/Clemson wins the ACC with fewer than two losses …

    * And if we assume Michigan State/Ohio State wins the Big Ten with fewer than two losses …

    Then the Pac-12 champion could very well be competing with the Big 12 champion for the final playoff berth.

    (Notre Dame and/or Houston might be involved, as well, but that’s for another time.)

    Through two weeks, it’s not unreasonable to think Texas could be that Big 12 champion. Oklahoma, TCU, Oklahoma State — they all have a loss and look vulnerable to varying degrees.

    The 11th-ranked Longhorns, meanwhile, have been surprisingly impressive in outlasting Notre Dame and mauling UTEP.

    Charlie Strong’s rebuilding project has gained speed, he has a quarterback, he has bulked up the lines of scrimmage — he has the Longhorns playing like you’d expect the Longhorns to play given their tradition, resources and recruiting base.

    And here they are in Week Three, making a rare west coast visit and playing their final non-conference game.

    Seems like a prime opportunity for the Pac-12 to hand the Longhorns a loss that could loom large with the selection committee two months from now.

    Potentially, it would carry more weight than a typical loss: It would be a head-to-head loss to a member of the conference Texas is competing with for a playoff berth … perhaps the final playoff berth.

    Again, it’s so early and so much can happen — not only the known unknowns but also the unknown unknowns — that I was a tad hesitant to address the issue.

    But playoff talk never gets old, no matter how early, and the Hotline is a sucker for postseason hypotheticals.

    The eyes of the Pac-12, it seems, should be on Berkeley.

    To the ratings …

    1. Washington (2-0)
    Last week: 1
    Result: Beat Idaho 59-14
    Next up: vs. Portland State
    Comment: More cupcakes for the Huskies. They had better not get fat and happy with conference play beginning next week.

    2. Stanford (1-0)
    Last week: 2
    Result: Bye
    Next up: vs. USC
    Comment: Here comes the gauntlet: USC, UCLA, Washington, Washington State and Notre Dame. Win four of the five, and the Cardinal will be set up for a playoff drive.

    3. UCLA (1-1)
    Last week: 3
    Result: Beat UNLV 42-21
    Next up: at Brigham Young
    Comment: How Josh Rosen and Co. fare against BYU’s stout defense will give us a feel for their prospects against Stanford next week.

    4. Utah (2-0)
    Last week: 6
    Result: Beat Brigham Young 20-19
    Next up: at San Jose State
    Comment: Last week: Holy war … Next week: USC … This week: The trap games of all trap games.

    5. Oregon (2-0)
    Last week: 4
    Result: Beat Virginia 44-26
    Next up: at Nebraska
    Comment: Did not include Oregon-Nebraska in playoff discussion above because there’s no chance Cornhuskers are involved. But a road win on Big Ten turf wouldn’t hurt the Pac-12’s case.

    6. Colorado (2-0)
    Last week: 5
    Result: beat Idaho State 56-7
    Next up: at Michigan
    Comment: Did not include Colorado-Michigan in playoff discussion above because there’s no chance Buffs win. Key is to avoid a spate of injuries that could hurt their chances for success in conference play.

    7. Arizona State (2-0)
    Last week: 8
    Result: Beat Texas Tech 68-55
    Next up: at UTSA (Friday)
    Comment: Roadie on a short week against off-radar foe after scoring 68 points? Feels a tad perilous for the Sun Devils.

    8. USC (1-1)
    Last week: 12
    Result: Beat Utah State 45-7
    Next up: at Stanford
    Comment: If Trojans believe they’re back … that all is good and Alabama was an aberration … they’re headed right back from whence they came.

    9. Cal (1-1)
    Last week: 7
    Result: Lost at San Diego State 45-40
    Next up: vs. Texas
    Comment: In case you had forgotten, the Bears won by one point in Austin last year. One team has improved monumentally since then, and it’s not the Bears.

    10. Washington State (0-2)
    Last week: 10
    Result: Lost at Boise State 31-28
    Next up: vs. Idaho
    Comment: No reason to panic, but that time could be just a few weeks away.

    11. Arizona (1-1)
    Last week: 9
    Result: Beat Grambling State 31-21
    Next up: vs. Hawaii
    Comment: Reason to panic.

    12. Oregon State (0-1)
    Last week: 11
    Result: Bye
    Next up: vs. Idaho State
    Comment: With the bye and ISU back-to-back, Beavers are guaranteed to go two weeks without a loss. Hope they’re enjoying it.

    * Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

    * Episode 1 of the College Hotline podcast, with ESPN’s Ted Miller as guest (we discussed Washington’s rise, UCLA’s transformation to power football, USC’s issues, Utah’s life in the shadows, the Pac-12’s position in the playoff race and loads more):

    The post Pac-12 football power ratings: Playoff implications as Texas visits Cal appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner
  2. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

    Oct 5, 2008
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    Interesting that Utah moved up after that display vs BYU. I'd say there's more questions than answers after the top 2 spots.
  3. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

    Dec 21, 2007
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    Agreed - weird that the Buffs dropped a spot after crushing their scrimmage
  4. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines beware the habu Club Member

    Oct 18, 2007
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    "No chance..."

    Wow, just wow.
  5. Buffalo Brad

    Buffalo Brad Club Member Club Member

    Sep 23, 2005
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    Saw that and immediate reaction was what a dick!
  6. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Welp, let's hope we prove them wrong. I picked us to win and usually avoid that. Maybe this time it'll be our day.

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