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Pac-12 Power Rankings: USC Trojans Lead, Arizona Schools Surge Towards Top

Evaluating and ranking each Pac-12 team through two games.

Sep 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Syracuse Orange during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
Sep 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Syracuse Orange during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

We are now two weeks into the college football season and there are already plenty of intriguing storylines to keep an eye on. The Pac-12 has been as impressive as any conference in the nation, especially last weekend as Arizona, Oregon State and UCLA all pulled upsets over ranked opponents from the Big 10 or Big 12. USC and Oregon look like two juggernauts offensively, while Washington and Utah remain very dangerous despite tough road losses.

Here is a look at SB Nation Arizona's Pac-12 power rankings as of Sept. 10, 2012.

1. USC Trojans (2-0)

The Trojans were a little sloppy at times against Syracuse, especially on defense. This being said, the offensive numbers speak for themselves and a win is a win. We'll see what Matt Barkley and Co. are really made of as they travel to Stanford this weekend. USC is ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll.

2. Oregon Ducks (2-0)

Another game, another blowout for the Ducks. They led Fresno State 35-6 at the half and put it into cruise control the rest of the way, winning 42-25 with their backups playing nearly all of the final two quarters. They'll likely see similar results this weekend as they welcome in Tennessee Tech to town. Oregon is ranked 4th in the AP Poll.

3. Stanford Cardinal (2-0)

After struggling a bit in their season opener against San Jose St., the Cardinal impressed against Duke and exploded for 50 points in their second game without Andrew Luck around. Stanford moved up four spots in the AP Poll and are now ranked 21st. A huge test against USC awaits the Cardinal this weekend in Palo Alto.

4. UCLA Bruins (2-0)

The Bruins went back and forth with a very talented Nebraska team and pulled out a 36-30 victory late in the fourth quarter. UCLA has a favorable schedule the next month and could make some noise in the South. They are currently ranked 22nd in the AP Poll.

5. Arizona Wildcats (2-0)

Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats nearly stumbled in their season opener, needing overtime to beat a talented Toledo team that won nine games last year. Despite falling behind early to Oklahoma State this past weekend, Arizona hung in before their offense exploded for a 59-38 upset win over the nationally-ranked Cowboys. UA is now ranked 24th in the AP Poll.

6. Arizona St. Sun Devils (2-0)

The Todd Graham era in Tempe is off to a solid start, beating up on Northern Arizona and an Illinois team without their starting quarterback. We'll see just how good the Sun Devils are next weekend as they travel to Columbia to face a talented-yet-shorthanded Mizzou team.

7. Washington Huskies (1-1)

Washington did not look great against San Diego St. in their opener and got absolutely pounded by LSU at home over the weekend. It's tough to punish a team for challenging themselves early in the season, but the simple fact is other schools in the conference have looked better than UW to this point. Look for Keith Price and Co. to rebound nicely against Portland State next weekend.

8. Oregon St. Beavers (1-0)

It wasn't pretty, but the Beavers upset No. 13 Wisconsin by a score of 10-7 to open their season. Is it a sign of things to come, or did they catch a young Badgers team napping? We'll find out shortly as a big road test against UCLA now looms.

9. Utah Utes (1-1)

Utah fell in overtime to Utah State on Friday night in front of a pretty raucous crowd. The loss hurts, but there's still a lot to like about this team moving forward. The Utes now prepare for a big game at home with BYU.

10. California Golden Bears (1-1)

The Bears dropped their home opener against a solid Nevada team and then led Southern Utah by three points entering the fourth quarter this past weekend. They ended up winning big, but Jeff Tedford's seat can only be a little bit warmer now.

11. Washington St. Cougars (1-1)

So Mike Leach didn't come in, wave his magical wand and turn Wazzu into a powerhouse overnight. Who would've thunk it? A bad loss at BYU followed by an unimpressive 24-20 win over Eastern Washington isn't exactly the start most were looking for. They'll hit the road to take on a winless UNLV team on Friday night.

12. Colorado Buffaloes (0-2)

It's going to be another long season in Boulder. Two losses in two games with two road games looming, followed by five of their next six against ranked opponents. Yikes.