1. Oregon (4-0)
Last Week: 1
Oregon survived their first legitimate test fairly well. The Ducks are averaging an absurd 0.8 points per minute and put up 42 against one of the presumed best defenses in the conference. Oregon is the frontrunner heading into week 5. However, they did appear human in their victory. The Sun Devils put up over 30 points with a mediocre offense. Teams can beat the Ducks by taking the air out of the ball and controlling time of possession.
2. Stanford (4-0)
Last Week: 3
The Cardinal beat Notre Dame in South Bend for the first time since 1992 on Saturday. Jim Harbaugh has turned Stanford into a contender. Behind Andrew Luck, the offense has performed effectively and the young defense has done its job. The trees handed Oregon their only conference loss in 2009, but it will be tough this coming week. The Cardinal travel to Autzen for a top-10 showdown under the microscope of ESPN’s College Gameday. Nevertheless, the Cardinal are legitimate and should enjoy success as long as Harbaugh patrols the sidelines.
3. Arizona (4-0)
Last Week: 2
The important thing for Arizona is that they were able to drive down and beat Cal 10-9 in Tucson. Arizona was coming off of an emotion win against Iowa and facing a Cal team with a chip on their shoulder. The setting was right for a letdown, but the Wildcats held serve and remained undefeated. They aren’t on the same tier as Oregon or Stanford, but the ‘Cats are good.
4. USC (4-0)
Last Week: 4
The Trojans continue to improve. They routed Washington State like they should have in Pullman. USC’s defense continues to improve and the penetration by the defensive line has been impressive. Offensively, Matt Barkley has had two sub-par games, but the running attack has taken care of business. The Trojans first real test comes this weekend against the 1-2 Huskies, but USC isn’t overlooking them. Players have already said that this game is personal and that they have revenge on their minds. USC is ready to unload on the Huskies in front of the Coliseum and show that last year was an aberration.
5. Oregon State (1-2)
Last Week: 5
The Beavers non-conference schedule was brutal. Oregon State gets credit for hanging with TCU and Boise State in what amounted to one road game and one de facto road game. Ryan Katz continues to develop as the quarterback and should hit his stride in a few games. The Beavers don’t traditionally start well, but they will be scary soon. The defense is questionable, but the offense has plenty of firepower with the Rodgers brothers.
6. Arizona State (2-2)
Last Week: 6
The Sun Devils put up over 30 against a presumed tough Oregon defense and hung tough against the No.4 team in the country. The defense held Oregon below their average, and the fact that Steven Threet appeared to be a viable quarterback option is a huge plus. ASU is still young, and Dennis Erickson may have a few surprises up his sleeve for unsuspecting teams this year.
7. UCLA (2-2)
Last Week: 8
UCLA pulled off the signature upset of the weekend with their upset of Texas in Austin. The Bruins beat the Longhorns in every phase of the game in a decisive victory. Kevin Prince ran the pistol well, but there is some concern whether or not UCLA can translate that offense to Pac-10 play. The Bruins were routed 35-0 to Stanford, and didn’t do well in the Pac-10 last year either. Nevertheless, the defense should keep the Bruins competitive all year. Akeem Ayers and Rahim Moore are beasts.
8. California (2-2)
Last Week: 7
Only Cal would miss two field goals and proceed to lose by 1 on the road against a ranked Arizona team. Kevin Riley continues to be an inconsistent leader and there are some mental problems in the locker room. Jeff Tedford needs to rally the troops and get back on track. The Bears are already 0-1 in conference play and they are yet to play 4 of the 5 best squads. Blues are getting restless and Tedford’s resume may need some updating at the season’s end.
9. Washington (1-2)
Last Week: 9
Bye week gives the Huskies time to prep for the trip to Los Angeles. Jake Locker needs to rebound after a pathetic performance against Nebraska, but he doesn’t have a large amount of talent around him. The Huskies should come out with a chip on their shoulder and expect them to play with intensity.
10. Washington State (1-3)
Last Week 10
The Cougars are terrible, terrible, terrible. They are destined to lose every Pac-10 game for the second straight season. USC turned the ball over three times and still managed to blow them out.