College Football: Week 6 Power Rankings – The Rise of the PAC-12….without USC

College Sports
Teams like UCLA and Washington have passed the Trojans by. Due in large part to players like UCLA QB, Brett Hundley…

Coming into the season we knew the PAC-12 would be a major player in the landscape of the BCS Title race. We knew about Stanford, even though the Cardinal lost quite a bit from last season’s outstanding team. We also knew about Oregon, even though they lost their coach, Chip Kelly. Two teams that were on the radar, but weren’t perceived to cause too many problems were the UCLA Bruins, and Washington Huskies.

The Huskies were looked at as a nice team. A team with a good QB, that’s led by Steve Sarkissian. A coach looked at by many as a huge reason for the success the USC Trojans enjoyed, during his tenure as assistant coach. The UCLA Bruins, who have been the forgotten team in Los Angeles for years, and rightfully so, were looked at as being a team on the rise but that’s about it. Two consecutive trips to the PAC-12 championship game were mainly by default, because USC was ineligible. Both teams, however, are in the thick of the PAC-12 race, which means both could have a lot to say about the BCS title race.

While the Huskies and Bruins have been solid, they’re not alone. The Arizona schools have played well, even though both lost on the road in the last two weeks. Washington State has also been a surprise. Their victory over USC was shocking and had to loom very large in sealing the fate for, now ex-head coach Lane Kiffin. USC Athletic Director, Pat Haden, informed Kiffin he was fired after the Trojans, Saturday night loss at Arizona St. The timing of the move was surprising, but the move itself was inevitable. Wow, how things have changed in the landscape of the PAC-12. The PAC-12 is deeper than any other league not named SEC, and they’re doing it without USC. At least for the time being….. This week Washington visits Stanford. In the coming weeks, UCLA visits Stanford and Oregon. The PAC-12 is about to get juicy y’all.

Elsewhere, Week 5, or Separation Saturday as its often called was a LOT better than Week 4. Marquee games abound. The game of the day was Georgia’s thrilling win over LSU. I have to tip my hat to the ‘Dawgs. No team had the pressure they had, this past weekend. Aaron Murray and company delivered despite a fabulous performance from LSU QB, Zach Mettenberger. The goals for each team are still in reach. This game a little more important for Georgia, in their continued effort to silence their critics.

Other big games included Ohio State’s win over Wisconsin, Alabama’s win over Ole Miss, and Oklahoma’s convincing victory at Notre Dame. Don’t sleep on the Sooners. Speaking of falling asleep, one team that fell asleep at the wheel were the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Any hope of a BCS title for the Pokes were ended at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Sooners and Baylor look to be the class of a watered down Big 12. So much for Week 5. Let’s move on to Week 6 and the rankings……

WEEK 6 POWER RANKINGS ( SIXTEEN with SWAG)

   1. Alabama Crimson Tide – (This Week: vs Georgia St.)  Ole Miss’ game plan was a bit questionable at times, nonetheless the Tide’s defense was impressive. The offense is still lagging behind. Offense will get better, as Bama enters what looks like a weak October slate of games.

2. Stanford Cardinal – (This Week: vs Washington)  The Cardinal had an easy time of it against Washington St. This week doesn’t look to be so easy, as the Huskies come to town. There are some other very good games this weekend, but none look as enticing as this one.

3. Oregon Ducks – (This Week: at Colorado)  The Ducks are still in cruise control as they travel to Boulder to face the Buffaloes. Their huge weekend visit to Seattle, to play Washington looms for next week.

4. Clemson Tigers – (This Week: at Syracuse)  Trips to the Carrier Dome can be pretty tough, but this shouldn’t be a tough trip for this Clemson team.  The Tigers are looking better and better nationally due to Georgia continuing to win, which should help when BCS rankings come out.

5. Ohio St. Buckeyes – (This Week: at Northwestern)  As weak as the Big Ten is looking overall, this will probably be one of the few chances for the Buckeyes to lose the rest of the way. The Wildcats are very tough at home. Buckeyes will be very interesting case, if they are unbeaten along with two other teams at the end of the season.

6. Georgia Bulldogs – (This Week: at Tennessee)  Mark Richt and his Bulldogs silenced all the critics with their huge win over LSU. The Florida Gators appear to be the only thing between a 3rd consecutive SEC Title game appearance. Wasn’t Richt supposed to have been fired a couple of years ago? What ever happened to that?

7. Florida St. Seminoles – (This Week: vs Maryland)  As mentioned last week, going to Boston College can be quite tricky. FSU found that out last week, as they trailed 17-3 early on. The ‘Noles got it together, though and came out with a 48-34 win. October 19 can’t get here soon enough!

8. LSU Tigers – (This Week: at Mississippi St.)  No need to drop the Tigers further than here. No shame in a 3 point loss at Georgia. Eveything is still in play for the Bayou Bengals, including the BCS Title game. Tigers can’t overlook trip to Starkville before the Gators and their tenacious D invade Baton Rouge next week.

9. Louisville Cardinals – (This Week: at Temple)  Trip to play the Owls this week, before what could be their toughest stretch of the season. At home to Rutgers and Central Florida. Sad, but true. The Cards will need a miracle to play for the BCS Title.

10. Texas A&M Aggies – (This Week: Idle)  Aggies have the week off, before their trip to Oxford. Offensively, the Aggies haven’t skip a beat. Defensively, the opposing team hasn’t skipped a beat. That’s got to change if the Aggies are to have a shot at a BCS bowl.

11. UCLA Bruins – (This Week: at Utah)  Tricky game for the Bruins this week. Playing the Utes on the road should get the Bruins more prepared for brutal road trips to Oregon and Stanford later in the month.

12. Oklahoma Sooners – (This Week: vs TCU) The Sooners made the biggest jump in the rankings, and looked like the real deal in their convincing win at Notre Dame. However, there are serious doubts about the Irish now. The Sooners have look of best team in Big 12. Right now, that isn’t saying much. Tougher games are coming. We’ll find out more, then.

13. Washington Huskies – (This Week: at Stanford)  Washington is definitely capable of going to Palo Alto and winning. I don’t think the Huskies are quite ready for that, but I do think it could be the most entertaining game of the day. It’s a late night game, but you’d be crazy not to tune in.

14. South Carolina – (This Week: vs Kentucky)  The Gamecocks had lots of problems with the UCF Knights, before finally getting it together at the start of the 2nd half, then having to hang on to win the game. All that said, Gamecocks running the table, the rest of the way is not out of the question.

15.Michigan Wolverines – (This Week: vs Minnesota)  It’s almost hard to believe the Wolverines are still undefeated, but somehow they are. The lackluster performances against Akron and UCONN must stop now, as Big Ten play gets started. The win over Notre Dame is looking worse and worse each week now.

16. Miami Hurricanes – (This Week: Georgia Tech)  We welcome the ‘Canes into the rankings for the first time. Miami should be 7-0 when they go to Tallahassee on November 2. Which could be quite intriguing. The ACC as a whole looks to be in good shape in the BCS Title picture. We’ll see how they hold up.

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