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Block U Pac-12 Power Poll Week 5

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NCAA Football: Washington at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A week into the conference schedule and what do we know? USC is still playing like they have the last few years, very much below average against lower level members of the league (although, Cal looks to be improved). Stanford still owns UCLA, ASU got over the hump with the Ducks, and Washington repeated their Pac-12 title game performance against the Buffs. We still have a lot to learn, but here are our overall rankings, and then our individual ballots.

Many thanks to board member YeOldeJimmy for sharing his ranking system and allowing us to include it into our weekly rankings.

Overall Rankings:

  1. Washington
  2. USC
  3. Wazzu
  4. Utah
  5. Cal
  6. Colorado
  7. Stanford
  8. Oregon
  9. ASU
  10. UCLA
  11. Arizona
  12. Oregon State

Brittany’s Ballot

  1. Washington
  2. USC
  3. Wazzu
  4. Cal
  5. Utah
  6. Colorado
  7. Stanford
  8. ASU
  9. Oregon
  10. UCLA
  11. Arizona
  12. Oregon State

Alex’s Ballot

  1. Washington
  2. USC
  3. Wazzu
  4. Utah
  5. Cal
  6. Stanford
  7. Colorado
  8. ASU
  9. Oregon
  10. UCLA
  11. Arizona
  12. Oregon State

Neel’s Ballot

  1. Washington
  2. USC
  3. Wazzu
  4. Cal
  5. Oregon
  6. Colorado
  7. Stanford
  8. Utah
  9. UCLA
  10. ASU
  11. Arizona
  12. Oregon State

Shane’s Ballot

  1. Washington
  2. USC
  3. Wazzu
  4. Utah
  5. Stanford
  6. Colorado
  7. Cal
  8. Oregon
  9. ASU
  10. UCLA
  11. Arizona
  12. Oregon State

YeOldeJimmy’s Ballot and explanation:

Here's the big unveil of the new name everybody: The WOW-POWR ratings! That is the [W]eighted [O]pponent [W]in [P]ercent vs. [O]wn [W]in [R]ate ratings. Thanks for the suggestions everyone, this is definitely an A+ acronym. :D

Here is a recap of the rules: Team ratings are based only on actual results and not hypothetical projections. Wins are ranked as follows: (1) P5 wins > G5 wins > FCS wins, (2) road wins > home wins, (3) close wins over better opponents > blowout wins against lesser opponents (margin of victory does not matter), and (4) any wins > any losses (i.e. no moral victories). Losses follow the same overall weighting e.g. P5 loss > G5 loss > FCS loss. The value of each P5, G5, and FCS win is determined by looking at the opponent win percentage (OW%) separately by games won (WOW%, in parentheses) and lost [LOW%, in brackets]. This takes away school names and bases the strength of victory entirely on how often the opposing team wins in their other games for each respective level of competition. In these ratings, BYU is considered a G5 team and Notre Dame counts as a P5 team. One final rule, which is new this week: if two adjacent teams in the ratings have an equivalent resume in terms of win percent and quality of wins (equal P5, G5, and FCS wins), then a head-to-head win will trump any advantage one team may hold in their WOW%, which is usually the first tie-breaker. This can be seen with Stanford-UCLA this week.

Ok, on to the ratings!

1) USC (4-0) - 3 P5 wins (WOW% = 55%), 1 G5 win (50%); most P5 wins with good WOW% as well

2) Washington (4-0) - 2 P5 wins (50%), 1 G5 win (33%), 1 FCS win (50%); second-most P5 wins, respectable WOW%

3) Utah (4-0) - 1 P5 win (50%), 2 G5 wins (22%), 1 FCS win (25%); big rise here by finally playing a P5 team! Better P5 win gives the edge over WSU, who has basically the same schedule strength as Utah at this point

4) WSU (4-0) - 1 P5 win (25%), 2 G5 wins (25%), 1 FCS win (33%); last of the PAC-12 undefeated teams

5) Cal (3-1) - 2 P5 wins (43%), 1 FCS win (75%), 1 P5 loss [LOW% = 100%]; highest P5 win total for a team with a defeat

6) Oregon (3-1) - 1 P5 win (50%), 1 G5 win (50%), 1 FCS win (50%), 1 P5 loss [50%]; Pretty good WOW%, but a "bad" loss and lack of P5 wins hurts

7) Colorado (3-1) - 2 G5 wins (38%), 1 FCS win (67%), 1 P5 loss [100%]; stays above the schools below it with a higher overall win rate

8) ASU (2-2) - 1 P5 win (75%), 1 G5 win (50%), 1 P5 loss [100%], 1 G5 loss [100%]; here's where it gets a bit muddled, ASU beats out UCLA, who has equivalent WOW%, by virtue of a stronger P5 loss (higher LOW%, both games on the road)

9) Stanford (2-2) - 1 P5 win (50%), 1 G5 win (25%), 1 P5 loss [100%], 1 G5 loss [100%]; Stanford beats out UCLA, who has a better overall WOW%, because of the head to head victory and same number of quality wins (1 P5, 1 G5)

10) UCLA (2-2) - 1 P5 win (75%), 1 G5 win (50%), 1 P5 loss [50%], 1 G5 loss [100%]; UCLA fares poorly based on losing two subsequent tie-breakers to the above teams

11) Arizona (2-2) - 1 G5 win (0%), 1 FCS win (33%), 1 P5 loss [100%], 1 G5 loss [67%]; bad wins and lack of P5 victory put it at the bottom of the 2 win teams

12 OSU (1-3) 1 FCS win (0%), 2 P5 losses [100%], 1 G5 loss [50%]; easily the worst resume in the PAC-12

The ratings graph shows us that UCLA is in a nosedive from grace with 2 straight losses, while Utah and WSU are steadily climbing. Hopefully that continues for the Utes!