Pac-12 power rankings: who can catch the Wildcats?
1. No. 1 Arizona (21-0, 8-0 Pac-12 Conference)
The Wildcats are making history with every win from here on out. It will be interesting to see how they rebound if they eventually lose.
2. UCLA (16-4, 5-2)
In a struggling conference, the Bruins are trying to prove that defense doesn’t necessarily win championships. But in order to be the best, they must beat the best, and in their only regular season matchup, UCLA’s lack of defense couldn’t overcome the Wildcats.
3. Stanford (13-7, 4-4)
The players’ brains and brawn may make them perfect husband material, but the Cardinal is severely lacking in size. Head coach Johnny Dawkins doesn’t quite have the talent on his bench to compensate for Stanford’s misfortune.
4. California (14-7, 5-3)
Golden Bears point guard Justin Cobbs is making a strong push for the best in the conference, ahead of Arizona’s T.J. McConnell. A more consistent scorer, Cobbs will have a chance this weekend as California hosts Arizona.
Sophomore center Kaleb Tarczewski tries to win the tip off during Arizona's 65-56 win over Utah on Sunday.
5. Utah (14-6, 3-5)
The Utes are good, really good. Forward Delon Wright is the best player on a talented team and is making a case for first team All-Pac-12. But for some reason, Utah can’t win on the road, at all. The Utes beat then-No. 25 UCLA at home, but after having already lost to schools such as Boise State and Washington State on the road.
6. Colorado (15-6, 4-4)
It’s amazing how much one player can mean to a single team. Five games after losing its veteran scoring leader, Spencer Dinwiddie, the Buffaloes have lost four games, including a 72-51 stomping by ASU. Colorado is still talented, but if it can’t quickly fix the holes that Dinwiddie left, it’ll be a disappointing season for the team.
7. ASU (16-5, 5-3)
Herb Sendek has had a nice run. Sendek led the Sun Devils to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2009 and won the conference Coach of the Year award in 2010. Most of his success, though, can be attributed to former ASU guard James Harden. Since Harden left for the NBA, Sendek has struggled to consistently recruit well out of the West.
8. Washington (13-8, 5-3)
If Stanford thinks it has a size problem, it should take a peek at what Washington is working with. The Huskies have not been able to recover since they lost big man Jernard Jarreau to a knee injury in their first game of the season.
9. Oregon (14-5, 2-5)
The Ducks don’t have a size problem; they just have a confidence issue. Since being ranked No. 10 on Jan. 2, Oregon has lost five of six games and is no longer in the top 25. The Ducks face UCLA tonight and No. 1 Arizona next week.
10. Oregon State (11-8, 3-4)
The Beavers might need a trim. OSU ranks near the bottom in many big men categories.
11. USC (10-10, 1-6)
The Trojans don’t provide the protection needed to be an elite conference team. Currently, USC ranked 280th in the country in points allowed.
12. Washington State (8-12, 1-7)
These aren’t your Scottsdale, Ariz., cougars. Washington State isn’t aggressive enough on offense. The Cougars don’t go after it. They rank 337th in the country in points per game.
—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella