PAC-10 Basketball

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PAC-10 Power Rankings: Week Five

Posted by naterb on December 7, 2009

Most seasons if you lose a close game, you’re going to drop a spot or two in the conference power rankings. Most seasons if you get blown out on the road you’re going to drop in the power rankings as well. But this isn’t most seasons.

The PAC-10 is down a significant amount, there’s no question about it. It is down so much that losing on your home court to a team that finished ninth in the Big-12 actually solidifies a higher spot in the power rankings.  It’s still early, but things are certainly starting to take form in the conference.

  1. Washington – They finally suffered the “2010 PAC-10” bug with a seven-point road loss to Texas Tech. That’s not enough to drop them from the top spot, but with some real challenges coming up in the next few weeks, we could see a changing of the guard.
  2. Cal – They’ve lost three times and are shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the arc on the season. That’s five percent fewer than their nation leading 42.7 percent last year. If Cal returns to their shooting form of ’08-09, they could go on a run. In the mean time, they’ll sit dangerously at the second spot in the conference.
  3.  Arizona State – While being “close” is ultimately meaningless, it is a sign that the conference is down when a “close loss” to a team that finished ninth in the Big 12 a year ago is counted as an advantage for the Sun Devils. And that’s exactly what it is happening to the PAC-10 this year. This is a shaky third place until they can come out on top against a quality opponent.
  4.  Washington State – A five point lost to Gonzaga wasn’t bad, but it revealed that they really aren’t that good. What’s concerning is a 17 point road loss to Kansas State. The only thing keeping them from dropping further in the polls is that just about everyone below them lost too. They better hope these last two games are simply a hiccup in the road and not a tell that they aren’t really that good.
  5. Arizona – Keep reminding yourself just how young this team is. They can’t close out games, and they are inexperienced on the road. Both of which came back to haunt them in an overtime loss to #24 UNLV, and a 17 point loss in their first road trip of the season. “Close” isn’t cutting it anymore, these kids need to start winning.
  6. Stanford (?) – They last played a week ago Sunday, but still moved up in the rankings thanks to the uncertainty and inconsistency of the Ducks. Suddenly they seem like they may be in the mix for a 4-6 placed finish.
  7. Oregon – What happened to that explosiveness that dropped 54 in a half earlier this year? The Ducks have now lost three of their past four, and Kent has to be deeply concerned about his future in Eugene. They have the pieces, but like Cal under Braun things may not change until it happens with the coach first.
  8. UCLA – They’ve now lost four straight, five if you include the departure of Drew Gordon. Things may get better for the Bruins this year, but it won’t be by much.
  9. Oregon State (?) – They’ve won four straight, but they haven’t played anyone. The Beavers could remain a mystery until conference play. So withhold the verdict on coach Robinson and the rebirth of the Beavers.
  10. USC – They’ve won just twice on the season, and have been blown out in their past two games. I don’ know how much worse it could get for the Trojans this year. Fortunately they won’t be underachieving since there are basically no expectations for them this season.

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