PAC-10 Basketball

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PAC-10 Power Rankings: Week 3

Posted by naterb on November 25, 2009

It has certainly been a bizzare week of PAC-10 basketball. With so many teams struggling out of the gate it not only looks like the PAC-10 is down, but it is way down. But as I said earlier, withhold your judgement. Afterall, do you really trust records that put Arizona State (4-0) as the top team in the conference?

That is the very reason I do the Power Rankings, because the quality of a team isn’t just in wins and losses…

  1. Washington – The Huskies are showing no signs of slowing down and have been the only team that hasn’t stumbled out of the gate. And, no, I don’t consider WSU and ASU to be performing stellarly right now – name three players from teams they have played, I bet you can’t.
  2. CAL – You can’t knock Cal for losses to Syracuse (who beat the pants off of UNC as well) and Ohio State. Both are quality programs that are better than any other PAC-10 opponent thus far – even Wisconsin. While a 3-2 start has to be a concern for Cal, I’m not going to take anything away from them for losses to tough teams. But they certainly are struggling thus far.
  3.  Arizona Wildcats – Had the ‘Cats not spotted the Badgers a 13-point lead to start the game, they might be undefeated. But considering the rough play characteristic of a young team with a new coach – I doubt it. The ‘Cats are up here because of the potential they have shown and for not slipping up against lesser teams like so much of the conference already has.
  4.  UCLA Bruins – I’m being generous in giving the Bruins the four spot. Based upon their performance to date they don’t deserve it, but honestly I can’t think of who does. The potential on that bench is why I’m keeping them in the top five. They have a ton of talent – now they just need to tap into it.
  5. Washington State – Ken Bone is turning heads at the same tempo his team is scoring points – FAST. The new-look Cougars will be fun to watch this season, but don’t put too much trust in their unblemished three-game start.
  6. Oregon Ducks – It’s Jekyll and Hyde for the Ducks. Their volatile one day, and about as dangerous as Donald Duck the next. I still expect to see the Ducks having a fine season this year, but creating a winning habit takes time. Perhaps starting the season with back-to-back-to-back games was a bit much…
  7.  Arizona State Sun Devils – Sparky and the boys have had a good run thus far – but I don’t expect it to last much longer. They haven’t played anybody worthwhile, and might as well have played Southwestern College or Grand Canyon College four times as far as I’m concerned. Beat someone legit and their stock will rise. In the mean time, I’m keeping them where they deserve to be.
  8. Stanford – The Cardinal are 3-2, which is three more games than I thought they’d win. Even though it’s hard to gauge just how good they really are at this point in the season, one thing is for certain – they have been better than the rest of the teams below and their season-outlook is better of than the Trojans.
  9. Oregon State – Are you serious? Perhaps the Beavers ’09 season was more a result of the players than it was the coach. It’s hard to justify taking a team seriously with losses like Texas A&M -CC (a blowout), Texas Tech, and Sacramento State. The Beavers don’t have the talent or athleticism to keep up this year.
  10. USC – If losing to Loyola-Marymount wasn’t bad enough, losing Alex Stephenson made this team the front-runner for the PAC-10 cellar this year. It is going to be a brutal year for a team whose head coach was the eight year old attempting to shove a square peg into a circle hole. It didn’t work then, and it isn’t going to work now.
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