In spite of another lackluster offensive effort Saturday against California, expect Oregon to climb in the college football polls this week.
Who else in the Pac-12 are people going to vote for? And it seems there is some sort of unwritten rule that they have to vote for somebody because the conference has had way too many teams appear in the Top 25, given how weak it is. Last week, Washington, Utah and Arizona State joined the Ducks, who were ranked 13th. California, by the way, was 26th.
That’s a lot of teams getting respect for a conference that doesn’t appear to be in line for a berth in the postseason playoffs.
In the Pac-12 North, Saturday’s results led to a curious situation. If I asked you who was in second place in the division behind the undefeated-in-conference Ducks, who would you say?
Well, it’s Oregon State, which, after its convincing win in the Rose Bowl over UCLA, is 1-1 in conference play. Washington, California, Stanford and Washington State now already have two losses.
In the Pac-12 South, the surprising leader is Arizona, the only other team aside from Oregon that’s undefeated in conference play this early in the season. And remember, that’s a Wildcat team that gave up 45 points to Hawaii in a road loss and then allowed 41 to Northern Arizona in a home win. Arizona beat UCLA by just a field goal, by the way.
So if you’re a pollster looking at this conference and you seemingly have to put someone from the Pac-12 up there, it’s got to be Oregon, right? Even though the Ducks were not impressive in that 17-7 win over the Bears in Autzen Stadium.
My take on all this:
Congrats to the Beavers for getting that road win and in this conference, they have a shot at a few more. And Oregon? Keep plugging along, relying on that defense, which is probably going to throttle most of the conference teams it plays. But don’t get too carried away with it.
Folks, this conference is just not very good and on a given weekend, anybody can seemingly beat anybody else. And that's not because they're all great teams.