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PAC-10 WEEKEND WRAP: Time for a new No. 1 ...

After declaring last week that thing were beginning to shape up in the conference race essentially as we expected, things were more or less going according to plan this weekend until Arizona State, who had sat on top of our weekly power rankings for the past two weeks, decided to crap the bed against the hated Wildcats -- at home, no less.

Here is how things now look in the standings:

Pacific-10 Conference Standings

(updated 1.24.2010 at 12:45 AM PST)

Conf Overall
California Golden Bears 5 2 13 6
Arizona St. Sun Devils 4 3 14 6
USC Trojans 4 3 12 7
Stanford Cardinal 4 3 10 9
Arizona Wildcats 4 3 10 9
UCLA Bruins 4 3 9 10
Washington St. Cougars 4 4 14 6
Washington Huskies 3 5 12 7
Oregon Ducks 2 5 10 9
Oregon St. Beavers 2 5 8 11

Only one big surprises for me last weekend: Arizona State getting destroyed in the second half against Arizona at home, where the Sun Devils had only lost one other game this year -- to a pretty darn good Baylor team. However, that loss by the Devils exposed something that Seth and I have talked about on 18 And Life -- mainly that the Sun Devils are susceptible to teams with superior athletes, especially if they're not hitting their perimeter shots. (Just like what happened with the Bears.)

I said in these rankings last week that Arizona should be a scary team for the rest of the conference, and I stand by that statement. They had 20 assists on their 23 made field goals, with 28 free throws to boot. Their interior guys are starting to play with a lot of confidence.

Not much else surprised me. Washington has already shown it can't beat anyone on the road, Stanford has already shown it plays well at Maples, the Cougs have already shown their inconsitency, and the Bruins have already shown they can beat anyone in this conference. Big fat yawn.

On to the rankings! Just a reminder that these are power rankings, meaning that I would expect any team ranked above another to beat that team right now on a neutral floor. Also, abbreviated comments this week, as I've got a ton of things on my plate. It's the end of the semester, you know.

1. California

Rank last week: 2
Record last week: 2-0
Overall Record: 13-6

Don't be too concerned with the close margin against the Beavers at home on Saturday -- OSU figured out a way to hand Cal two of its seven conference losses last year.

2. Arizona State

Rank last week: 1
Record last week: 0-1
Overall Record: 14-6

The temptation would be to drop the Sun Devils significantly, but I try not to read too much into one game. But, if there is one soft spot in that zone, it's the middle -- Boateng is no Pendergraph. This bears watching, although I question whether many other teams have the personnel in the frontcourt to really take advantage.

3. Arizona

Rank last week: 4
Record last week: 1-0
Overall Record: 10-9

Derrick Williams had another monster game -- 20 points, six rebounds. That nervous tapping sound you hear is coming from Johnny Dawkins' office.

4. Washington State

Rank last week: 6
Record last week: 1-1
Overall Record: 14-6

Picking a team for No. 4 was hard, but while the Cougs laid an egg at UCLA, they did figure out a way to beat USC on the road. At some point this season, a sweep would really do wonders for them in the standings.

5. USC

Rank last week: 5
Record last week: 1-1
Overall Record: 12-7

The home loss to WSU wasn't good, but the Trojans showed what they're capable of against UW. Stopping the Huskies' offense isn't much of an accomplishment these days, but domination is.


Rank last week: 7
Record last week: 2-0
Overall Record: 9-10

Lookie who just put together a home sweep! All those "sky is falling" UCLA fans can relax, at least for a short time. Ben Howland is still a good coach -- good enough to recognize (perhaps belatedly) that a 2-3 zone is best suited for his personnel, and then deploy it.

7. Washington

Rank last week: 3
Record last week:
Overall Record:

That's more like it! Wonder where all those people who declared the Huskies back are now? People are making a big deal out of that last-second loss to UCLA and throwing a lot of love toward the former walk-on who hit the game-winner, but the Huskies made three critical errors on that play: 1) Allowing UCLA to inbound the ball unimpeded; 2) Allowing the UCLA player to catch the ball at midcourt; and 3) Venoy Overton left his feet on the pump fake, giving the guy a clear look at the basket. Just a complete and totally inexcusable breakdown by UW.

8. Stanford

Rank last week: 9
Record last week: 2-0
Record: 10-9

Sorry guys. Can't give you a whole heck of a lot of credit for sweeping the Oregon schools at home. But on the bright side ... Landry Fields!


9. Oregon State

Rank last week: 8
Record last week: 0-2
Overall Record: 8-10

Putting a mild scare into the Bears just isn't good enough, especially on the heels of that beatdown in Palo Alto. Really, guys -- .59 points per possession? Against the worst defensive team in the conference? You're lucky I don't drop you down to No. 10!

10. Oregon

Rank last week: 10
Record last week: 0-2
Overall Record: 10-9

"Hi Mark? Mike Bellotti. What would it take to get you to leave Spokane?"

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