You could call this a “very coarse” power ratings… although that term is so abused. When I think of power ratings, I think of how the teams are playing right now, whereas the term seems to have morphed over time to speak to how the teams have performed over time.
I think the conference has 3 good teams: Washington, Colorado and USC. Outside of USC making the wrong QB decision to start the season, none of these three teams have lost to anybody outside their group. They’re the best.
Next up are WSU and Stanford. I’m tempted to put WSU above Stanford, but WSU has had a very soft Pac-12 schedule thus far and didn’t look that good against Colorado. Yes, they beat Stanford, but Stanford has gotten meaningfully better since then and I’m not so sure the result would be the same now. But nevertheless, these two teams are good and beat everyone below them. But they’re not in the top tier either.
Then comes Utah, which if one just went by record, would be in a group by themselves. But I actually think they SUCK far more than people think and belong with the next group. So let me put Utah aside right now and talk about the next group…
“The Muck” are the rest of us, with the exception of Arizona (who is below the Muck and winless and conference play). Cal, UCLA, ASU, Oregon, Oregon State are all 2-6 in conference. These teams have lost every game to the top-5 teams above. The wins come from each other (and Arizona), with two exceptions. Those two exceptions are Cal over Utah and Oregon over Utah. And that’s why I think Utah belongs in The Muck. All their victories are over Muck teams, with 1 exception, and they’ve lost to 2 of The Muck. The only thing positive they’ve got going is a victory over USC, but that was the pre-QB switch USC and can safely be discounted. And once you discount that, you’re looking at a team that had a Muck heavy schedule and competed reasonably among the Muck, but as the two losses indicate, are not meaningfully better than the rest in The Muck.
So what does that mean for this weekend games? It means that Cal has a real shot at UCLA, another Muck team. It also means that I’m expected Colorado to kick the crud out of a WAAAAY over appreciated Utah team.