Pac-12 Power Rankings: League Off To Strong Start After Opening Final Season 13-0

Sep 5, 2023, 2:35 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Pac-12 is off to a great start in its final season of existence going 13-0 in opening weekend and putting six total teams in the latest AP Top 25 Poll.

So how does all of that winning shake out for the league in terms of power rankings?

Let’s take a closer look.

Pac-12 Power Rankings 2023 Season: Week One

There was a lot of buzz heading into the 2023 football season for the Pac-12 and rightfully so. On paper the league looked as strong as ever after having finished the previous season with six ranked teams. Those teams returned most of the same talent, while others went to work stepping up their game.

The efforts showed well in the opening week of the 2023 college football season leaving Pac-12 fans feeling good about where things are heading during the league’s “farewell season”.

Colorado and Utah had the most impressive wins of opening weekend while USC, Washington, Oregon, and Oregon State did exactly what they needed to do. Teams like Arizona, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Washington State, and Arizona State showed they are maybe ready to step up to the plate and be taken a little more seriously.


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1. Colorado (1-0, 0-0)

Colorado 45 | No. 17 TCU 42

Look, there is a lot I still want to see from the Buffs moving forward, but they were the only team that played and got a win over a ranked opponent in week one. It was splashy and it definitely got people talking about the Pac-12. Will it last? We’ll find out.

This week: home against Nebraska, 10:00 a.m. MT, FOX

2. Utah (1-0, 0-0)

Utah 24 | Florida 11

The Gators are a far-cry from their National Championship days, but they still have talent and a brand that draws eyeballs. (SEC- it just means more, amirite?) Add in that Florida, or really any SEC team for that matter never comes out west and this was an important game for the Utes and Pac-12 to get. Adding some extra impressiveness, Utah was without starting quarterback Cam Rising.

This week: at Baylor, 10:00 a.m. MT, ESPN

3. USC (2-0, 0-0)

Week 0: USC 56 | San Jose 28

Week 1: USC 66 | Nevada 14

USC hasn’t played anyone “wow” worthy yet, but they are already two games into their season and have done what you’d expect them to do to the type of opponent they’ve had. Offensively they seem to have picked up right where they left off, but defensively there are maybe still a few questions left to answer?

This week: home against Stanford, 8:30 p.m. MT, FOX

4. Washington (1-0, 0-0)

Washington 56 | Boise State 19

Washington’s game started a little rough, but they got into the swing of things against the Broncos and never really looked back. Much like Florida, BSU doesn’t quite look the way we all remember them, but still a solid win for the Huskies and the Pac-12 to kick-off the 2023 football season.

This week: home against Tulsa, 3:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

5. Oregon (1-0, 0-0)

Oregon 81 | Portland State 7

Yup. You read that score correctly. The Ducks showed zero mercy to Portland State over the weekend which is exactly what you’d expect out of a top team in the country. While the score is incredibly impressive, the reason Oregon isn’t up higher is because of quality of opponent, however, we are looking forward to seeing how this Ducks team does against better competition moving forward, cuz, wow!

This week: at Texas Tech, 5:00 p.m. MT, FOX

6. Oregon State (1-0, 0-0)

Oregon State 42 | San Jose 17

The Spartans appear to be a little tougher than some wanted to give credit for, but the Beavs handled their business and looked pretty good doing it. This is the first common opponent for any Pac-12 team (USC played SJSU earlier in week zero) and the results are pretty similar.

This week: home against UC Davis, 7:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks

7. UCLA (1-0, 0-0)

UCLA 27 | Coastal Carolina 13

The Chanticleers have a knack for tripping good teams up as of late but the Bruins held strong and got the job done. It may not be the biggest win of the week, but a solid win nonetheless.

This week: at San Diego State, 5:30 p.m. MT, CBS

8. Washington State (1-0, 0-0)

Washington State 50 | Colorado State 24

The Cougs appear to have picked up where they left off last season with a pretty solid win over the Rams during the opening weekend. We expect Washington State (along with OSU) to play with an extra chip on their shoulder after being left in the Pac-12 ruins by the other 10 schools.

This week: home against No. 19 Wisconsin, 5:30 p.m. MT, ABC

9. Cal (1-0, 0-0)

Cal 58 | University of North Texas 21

The Golden Bears have been down on their luck in recent years but showed some moxy against UNT over the weekend. Will they be any good moving forward? Yet to be determined, but it was a nice win to start their football season.

This week: home against Auburn, 8:30 p.m. MT, ESPN

10. Arizona (1-0, 0-0)

Arizona 38 | Northern Arizona University 3

The Wildcats have been on the rise since Jedd Fisch took over. While NAU isn’t threatening anybody, it was a dominant win to start off Arizona’s 2023 campaign.

This week: at Mississippi State, 5:30 p.m. MT, SEC Networks

11. Stanford (1-0, 0-0)

Stanford 37 | Hawaii 24

The Cardinal are in the process of rebuilding under new head coach Troy Taylor and got off to a good start. While true that Hawaii is far from a world-beater, you still have to play the games on the schedule and Stanford accomplished that week one.

This week: at USC, 8:30 p.m. MT, FOX

12. Arizona State (1-0, 0-0)

ASU 24 | Southern Utah 21

This game gets the last billing for the week because frankly it is closer than it probably should have been. The Sun Devils have a lot of work ahead of them to fix years of damage and while not the prettiest win of the weekend for the Pac-12, they at least checked off the dub box.

This week: home against Oklahoma State, 8:30 p.m MT, FS1

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Pac-12 Power Rankings: League Off To Strong Start After Opening Final Season 13-0