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JPPR Week 5: Ducks or Cal? Who gets the Number-one spot?

by Judah Newby

The chaos of Pac-12 football hit mid-season form last week.  A 67-63 Pac-12 After Dark game in Pullman? Yes, please.  A Pac-12 team winning in an SEC house?  I’m here for it.  A Friday night of South-on-South crime?  Not ideal (I had a Utah ticket), but unsurprising.  Let’s get to my Pac-12 Power Rankings for Week Five and see what’s in store.  Ranks are from the AP Poll and lines are from Bovada.

JPPR Archives:  Week 1   Week 2   Week 3   Week 4

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12. Oregon State Beavers (1-2)

JPPR Trending: NO CHANGE

Last Week: Bye

This Week: vs Stanford — 4pm (Pac-12 Network)    Line:  STAN -4.5

Oregon State has a great chance to climb out of the cellar with a win this week vs Stanford.  Unfortunately, I don’t see them pulling off the upset.  Have to see it to believe it with these Beavs.  Prove me wrong!

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.12.  No change as the Beavers lose a close one at home to the Cardinal.

 

11. Arizona Wildcats (2-1)

JPPR Trending: Down 2

Last Week: Bye

This Week: vs UCLA – 7:30pm (ESPN)   Line:  ARIZ -7

Coming off a bye, the Wildcats slip in JPPR thanks to a couple big upsets from UCLA and Colorado, but I still think Arizona is finding its right recipe of success after holding down Texas Tech 28-14.  Interested to see if they come out sharp at home and take care of business against the Bruins.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.10.  Up one after edging UCLA in a close one in Tucson.

 

10.  Stanford Cardinal (1-3)

JPPR Trending: DOWN 2

Last Week: Lost 21-6 vs #16 Oregon

This Week: at Oregon State – 4pm (Pac-12 Network)    Line: STAN -4.5

The offensive struggles caught up with Stanford last week vs the Ducks.  This week, I see the Cardinal’s physical style helping them on the road against a physically out-matched Beavers team.  David Shaw restores order to the program after a three-game losing streak.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.9.  Up one after avoiding the upset in Corvallis.

 

9.  UCLA Bruins (1-3)

JPPR Trending: UP 2

Last Week: Won at #19 Washington State 67-63

This Week: at Arizona – 7:30pm (ESPN)              Line: ARZ -7

What.  A.  Game.   Happy for Chip after last week’s bizarre 67-63 comeback win at Washington State that featured UCLA clearing a 32-point deficit in the third quarter.  But that’s an outlier.  Don’t love the spot for the Bruins this week with a second straight late-night road game against an Arizona team with two weeks rest and preparation.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.11.  Down a couple spots with a loss to Khalil Tate.

 

8.  Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1)

JPPR Trending: DOWN 2

Last Week: Lost vs Colorado 34-31

This Week: at #15 Cal  – Fri., 7:30pm (ESPN)    Line: CAL -4.5

QB Jayden Daniels finally threw his first interception last week vs Colorado, but boy, he looks talented for a true freshman (9.3 y/a, 5 TD, 1 INT).  Losing outright as a touchdown home favorite to Colorado is a tough beat, especially a week after upsetting Michigan State on the road.  If ASU faces a potent offense, they’re in trouble.  But this week they visit the defensively-dominant Cal Bears.  We’ll see if the road power of Herm and the gang will manifest itself once again.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.9.  Down 1 with a touchdown defeat in Berkeley.

 

7.  Colorado Buffaloes (3-1)

JPPR Trending: UP 3

Last Week: Won at #24 Arizona State 34-31

This Week: Bye

The Buffs have offense.  That much is clear.  I had them covering the spread in Tempe and cashed another ticket on Mel Tucker, thank you.  Chilling in Boulder this week feels good as they get ready to host Arizona next week.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.8.  Being idle doesn’t help.

 

6.  Washington State Cougars (3-1)

JPPR Trending: DOWN 4

Last Week: Lost vs UCLA 67-63

This Week:  at #19 Utah – 7pm (FS1)                          Line:  UTA -5.5

So, “Coug’n it” is a thing, still.  With Mustache Minshew in the house to celebrate a sure-fire victory, Washington State fumbled away the aforementioned thirty-two point lead and allowed 67 points at home.  What the hell, Coach Leach.  You can’t demand national respect and then lay an egg.  Brutal.  A 9-TD game for Anthony Gordon all for nothing.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.7.  The season gets worse with a road loss at Utah.

 

5.  No.19 Utah Utes (3-1)

JPPR Trending: DOWN 3

Last Week: Lost at USC 30-23

This Week: vs Washington State – 7pm (FS1)          Line:  UTAH -5.5

Utah’s defense was a major disappointment last week.  After being the No.1 JPPR team three straight weeks, the Utes gave that all away and then some with their pitiful effort on the road at USC.  Third-string quarterback for USC?  Really, Kyle Whittingham?  Where was the pass rush?  Where is the pursuit in the secondary?  Utah has no one to blame but themselves.  Desperation match up for both them and Wazzu this week in Salt Lake City.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.5.  No change with a home win over the Cougs.

 

4.  No.21 USC Trojans

JPPR Trending: UP 2

Last Week: Won vs #10 Utah 30-23

This Week: at #17 Washington – 12:30pm (FOX)      Line:  WASH -10

Jack Fink is a hell of a story, just like Kedon Slovis was when he took over at QB for JT Daniels.  A Friday night upset of Utah was the positive story USC needed as a program.  But are they in it for the long haul?  SC will either be affirmed as contenders or exposed as pretenders this week on the road against a Washington team that has regained its footing.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.6 with road loss to Washington.

 

3.  #17 Washington Huskies (3-1)

JPPR Trending: UP 2

Last Week: Won at BYU 45-19

This Week: vs #21 USC – 12:30pm (FOX)                    Line:  WASH -10

Chris Petersen’s squad is feeling themselves once again after taking BYU to the woodshed.  Solid blowout win for the Dawgs.  Jacob Eason is heating up (8.9 y/a, 10 TD, 2 INT), and the defense is coming together.  Great match up with the high-flying offense of USC this week.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.3.  Washington wins convincingly over the Trojans.

 

2.  #15 Cal Golden Bears (4-0)

JPPR Trending: UP 2

Last Week: Won at Ole Miss 28-20

This Week: vs Arizona State – Fri., 7:30pm (ESPN)    Line: CAL -4.5

Tough as hell.  That’s what Justin Wilcox’s team is.  I thought playing a morning game in SEC country would be too much for the Bears, but I was wrong.  Big ups to offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin for opening up the offense last week and letting QB Chase Garbers sling it around in the first half.  Garbers is not that talented a passer, but with strategic hits like that from Baldwin and Wilcox, the Bears have a shot to beat anybody in the Pac-12 this year.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No. 1.  Rise a spot with a home win Friday night over ASU.

 

1.  #13 Oregon Ducks (3-1)

JPPR Trending: UP 2

Last Week:  Won at Stanford 21-6

This Week:  Bye

This defense can straight flex.  Having not allowed an opponent touchdown in 12 quarters, the Ducks are now a defensive team, not an offensive team.  The identity has officially switched.  Oregon is built on defense.  But to keep collecting wins, the offense must produce more than it is, even with Justin Herbert’s efficiency (74.4%, 8.7 y/a, 14 TD, 0 INT).  Good time for a bye week before facing a probably unbeaten Cal team in a battle of Top-2 JPPR programs next week in Eugene.

JPPR Week 6 Prediction: No.2.  Cede the top spot to Cal after a bye, but host the Golden Bears next week.

@JudahNewby


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