Pac-12 Power Rankings: Stanford, Washington vie for No. 1

Sep 17, 2016; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (7) passes against the Texas Longhorns in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Cal won 50-43. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2016; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (7) passes against the Texas Longhorns in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Cal won 50-43. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Pac-12 week 3 schedule featured some huge matchups, including a conference showdown between USC and Stanford. Here are our Week 3 power rankings.

As the college football calendar slowly ticks towards October, the Pac-12 conference is showing the rest of the country they are for real. The California Golden Bears knocked off No. 11 Texas on Saturday, while Colorado hung tough against Michigan in the Big House. The Utah Utes ran their record to 3-0, defeating San Jose State, while Arizona State stayed undefeated as well.

In the biggest conference matchup of the week, Stanford defeated USC in a rematch of the 2015 Pac-12 Championship Game. The rest of their conference opens up their Pac-12 schedule this week, so the rankings will start to have more clarity going forward.

12. Washington State Cougars (1-2), Last Week: W 56-6 vs. Idaho

The Washington State Cougars finally got in the win column on Saturday, as they trounced the Idaho Vandals at home. The Cougars went from their classic Air Raid offense to a ground game, as they racked up 228 rushing yards. Quarterback Luke Falk also had a good day, throwing for 226 yards and three touchdowns.

The Cougars raced out to a 21-3 halftime lead against the Vandals, but would not put them away until the fourth quarter. Falk tossed two of his three touchdowns in the final frame, with his final TD pass going to Kyle Sweet to give the team a 42-6 lead. Gabe Marks and Robert Lewis also caught touchdowns from Falk on Saturday.

Washington State will now head into their bye week, before hosting the Oregon Ducks on October 1. That game will open up their Pac-12 schedule, as they will then head to Stanford to take on the Cardinal the following week. Grabbing a victory before the meat of their conference schedule should be a confidence booster for Mike Leach and his Cougars.

11. Oregon State Beavers (1-1), Last Week: W 37-7 vs. Idaho State

Like the Cougars, the Beavers were looking for their first win of the season when they welcomed Idaho State to town on Saturday. Coming off a bye in Week 2, the Beavers built a 23-0 halftime lead, easily pulling away from the Bengals. The Beavers were led by their defense in this one, as they were able to pick off Bengals quarterback Tanner Gueller four times.

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Victor Boldin Jr. was the star on offense for the Beavers, as he scored on the ground and through the air. His 92-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter really put away the game, as he picked up 167 yards of total offense. Quarterback Darrel Garretson and running back Ryan Nall also scored on the ground, as the team christened their newly renovated Valley Football Center with a win.

Treston Decoud led the Beavers defense with two interceptions, one in which he returned 75 yards for a touchdown to ice the game. The Beavers will hit the road to take on Boise State this week, and will definitely have their work cut out for them. If they are going to hang with Boise State, they are going to have to get more from Garretson through the air.

10. USC Trojans (1-2), Last Week: L 27-10 at #7 Stanford

In a rematch of the 2015 Pac-12 Championship Game, the Stanford Cardinal dominated the USC Trojans. Despite the score looking close, the game really was not, as the Cardinal manhandled the Trojans all game long. With the loss, the Trojans fell to 1-2 for the first time since 2001, which was Pete Carroll’s first season as head coach.

After being ineffective through the first three games of the season, quarterback Max Browne will not become the team’s backup. On Monday, head coach Clay Helton announced that redshirt freshman Sam Darnold will start the team’s week 4 matchup against Utah. Darnold got some time late in the fourth quarter against Stanford, throwing an interception in the end zone.

Hopefully, for the Trojans, Darnold can get the offense moving in the right direction. He has one of the best wide receivers in college football in JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has not been used with Browne under center. Darnold can do a bit of everything on the football field, and will at least be entertaining to watch on Friday night.