2022 Week 12 SuperWest Football Power Rankings
Posted on November 16, 2022
The battle for the Mountain West crystallized over the weekend. Fresno State and Boise State appear to be on a collision path after each won their respective games.
San Diego State posted a respectable win over San Jose State, too, while Arizona and Washington secured upset wins over ranked Pac-12 programs.
The results sent our writers and broadcasters back together to produce a new Power Ranking.
The list below is a composite of each voter’s picks, while the table at the bottom displays each individual ranking.
1. USC (9-1, 7-1) ▲2
The Trojans struggled in the first quarter against Colorado but scored 53 points in the final 45 minutes at the Coliseum.
The season-ending injury to Travis Dye dampened the blowout victory, though.
Facing two ranked opponents to finish the year, USC’s defense is under microscope.
The unit has allowed 33.0 points per game over the last four matchups and gave up 62 points to UCLA last season.
2. Utah (8-2, 6-1) ▲2
Overcoming a slow start, the Utes put it together in the final three quarters at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The victory sets the stage for a colossal matchup with Oregon this weekend.
The path to the Pac-12 Championship is relatively straightforward: Win the final two games of the year and the Utes are in.
3. Oregon (8-2, 6-1) ▼2
Overly aggressive play-calling cost the Ducks on Saturday night.
The failed fourth down attempt deep inside Oregon’s own territory led to the game-winning field goal, but the onside kick attempt in the first half also contributed to three Washington points.
The defeat knocks UO out of the Playoff race.
Still, the Rose Bowl remains a possibility if the Ducks win out.
4. UCLA (8-2, 5-2) ▼2
Needing a win to stay in the Playoff picture, the Bruins stumbled when it mattered most.
The defeat to an inferior team is emblematic of the Chip Kelly era in Westwood, a seemingly annual failure that is as inexplicable as it is embarrassing.
The path to the Pac-12 Championship Game is now a long shot, while a New Year’s Six Bowl might be out of reach, too.
5. Washington (8-2, 5-2) ◄►
Kalen DeBoer was already a year or two ahead of schedule, but the victory over Oregon exponentially moved the needle forward.
The win sets the expectation for a 10-win regular season and might make Washington a candidate for a New Year’s Six Bowl.
The magical turnaround is attributable to the fit between DeBoer’s offensive system and the Huskies’ personnel.
Credit the UW staff for putting it all together in just a single offseason.
6. Oregon State (7-3, 4-3) ◄►
Handling California with ease, the Beavers put the three-point loss to the Huskies behind them.
The 38 points scored was the second-highest in conference play while the 10 points allowed were the second-fewest all season.
But Oregon State faces two difficult games to finish the year and its bowl destination is yet to be decided.
Winless in Tempe since 2009, a victory in the desert could diversify OSU’s bowl options.
7. Washington State (6-4, 3-4) ◄►
It was a tale of two halves in Pullman.
Scoring 28 points in the first two quarters while holding Arizona State scoreless, it appeared that Washington State would run away with the game.
But the pedal was let off and the Coug Raid didn’t score in the final thirty minutes.
The light-switch nature of the offensive production is worrying and arguably indicates confidence issues within the staff.
8. Boise State (7-3, 6-0) ▲1
Dominating Nevada on the road, Boise State continued its march to the Mountain West Championship Game.
The balanced offense was on full display in Reno with 261 yards passing and 267 yards rushing.
Taylen Green’s touchdown run helps to keep opposing coordinators preoccupied with his run threat, a factor that will pay dividends the rest of the year.
9. Arizona (4-6, 2-5) ▲4
Johnny Nansen and the Arizona defense gave the Conference a taste of what the Wildcats are capable of.
The victory in Pasadena was entirely attributable to the defensive stops generated, a testament to the healthy rotation of veteran and freshmen players.
Nansen’s group posted three sacks, three fourth-down stops, and seven tackles for loss.
If the UA defense can string together two similar performances to finish the year, bowl eligibility is a distinct possibility.
10. Fresno State (6-4, 5-1) ◄►
Fresno State edged out UNLV on the road to move one step closer to the Mountain West Championship Game.
The win at Allegiant Stadium might not have been pretty, but the “W” will be taken however it comes.
On a five-game winning streak, the Bulldogs have fought through injury issues all year. The struggles can be forgotten, though, with a MWC title.
And facing Nevada this week, the West Division can be locked up with a victory in Reno.
11. BYU (5-5) ▼3
The Cougars used their bye week to get healthier.
Injuries have been a problem all season for Kalani Sitake’s program, arguably contributing to several of BYU’s defeats.
But with Utah Tech and Stanford left on the schedule, a 7-win season is a clear expectation.
The postseason destination is yet to be determined, but ESPN should present a handful of options for the administration to pick from.
12. Arizona State (3-7, 2-5) ◄►
At risk of posting one of the worst seasons in program history, Arizona State is in dire straights.
If the Sun Devils lose their final two games, the three wins will be the fewest in a non-Covid season since 1994.
The roster did battle back in Pullman, yet the coaching decisions to go for two on three separate occasions made zero sense.
It may not have made a difference in the end, but the odd moves are a worrying sign.
13. San Diego State (6-4, 4-2) ▲1
Regaining some regional respect, San Diego State beat up a capable San Jose State team.
The 43 points scored was the highest of the year and the SDSU defense limited the Spartans to just 223 total yards of offense.
If Jalen Mayden continues to play like he did against SJSU, the Aztecs might find themselves on a four-game winning streak entering their bowl game.
14. Cal (3-7, 1-6) ▼3
Justin Wilcox fired offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and offensive line coach Angus McClure after the 38-10 loss to Oregon State.
The moves were needed and arguably should have come earlier in the year. Musgrave’s offense has been woefully ineffective since he arrived in Berkeley.
His termination opens the door for a much-needed schematic overhaul on offense.
15. Stanford (3-7, 1-7) ◄►
The Tree were blown out again last weekend, an occurrence that has become far too common.
When will the Stanford administration say, “Enough is enough?”
Injuries have played a role, but those problems are arguably attributable to strength and condition shortcomings.
The common denominator is a staff failing to get the job done and an athletic department complicit in the results.
16. Colorado (1-9, 1-6) ◄►
The off-field action surrounding Colorado’s search for a new head coach is heating up.
Reportedly entering the closing stages of the hiring process, the CU administration may make an announcement within the next few weeks.
Despite the down year, student support for the program appears to remain strong. That’s a positive sign for a team in the infancy of its rebuild.
How our Senior Football Writers and Broadcasters Voted
—More from Dane Miller—
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