The Return of BootPowerRatings™

Check out Jeff Fawcett's first installment of the 2008-09 BootPowerRatings™ (BPRs) for Pac-10 hoops as we move into the second week of play in the conference. Can the Bay Area schools sweep the Washington schools in the Northwest? Will the programs in Tempe and Tucson dominate the Oregon schools in the desert? Who will win the battle of LA? Check out the BPRS...NOW!

They're baaaack! The Bootleg Power Ratings return after the wildest offseason in conference history. Half the Pac-10 left school early for the NBA, the three-point line was moved back to the international distance, Lute finally retired, and I think something happened involving Bay Area coaches (things are a bit blurry after six months of drowning my 401k sorrows).

Below are our exclusive BootPowerRatings™ of the Pac-10 conference. Each week during the basketball season, we will release our secret-formula rating of all teams of the Pac-10. The BootPowerRating™ (BPR) is calculated by utilizing a wide range of factors rumored to include: past results, statistics, common-opponent comparative results factor, strength-of-schedule, home-venue environment, cheerleader attitude and an unrevealed school spirit multiplier. The resulting rating score falls within a 1-100 scale, where 100 approximates a championship-bound team and a score of 1 is somewhere south of D-1.

Pac-10 BootPowerRatings
As of 1/8/08

1. UCLA (2-0, 12-2)
The least intimidating Bruin squad in recent memory nevertheless starts where they left off at the top of the list, albeit with a lower BPR than usual. Talented frosh try to make up for Love and Luc being replaced by Aboya and Keefe in the starting lineup, so far so good against cake schedule. Many threes were used in sweeping the Oregon road trip, mainly because Ernie Kent had the Ducks collapsing inside to assure that Kevin Love wouldn't abuse them again. Reporters gave him the bad news after the game. Polls:8.5 Sagarin:25 RPI:46  [Bruin Report Online]
2. California (2-0, 13-2)
In the words of Chester A. Riley, "what a revoltin' development." The Dirty Golden Bears were supposed to be even worse than usual after the departure of Ryan Anderson and Devon Hardin, playing their usual style of more Braun than brains. Instead they hire OUR GUY, Mike Montgomery, who instantly improves every facet of their game, with the whole team playing defense and sharing the ball. Jerome Randle looked like Chris Paul with a better jumper in a home sweep of the Arizonas. Argh. Polls:30 Sagarin:17 RPI:12  [The Bear Insider]
3. Arizona St. (1-1, 12-2)
Were headed for the #1 spot after abusing our boys in Maples in a game mercifully not televised, but ran into the hot weenies for a road split. James Harden, the heavy favorite for Pac-10 POY, as well as First Team AA honors, and Jeff Pendergraph may finally live up to his potential in his last season as a Satan. Home stand vs. the OR schools should be easy pickings Polls:18 Sagarin:7 RPI:16  []
4. Stanford (1-1, 11-1)
Simply saying the Cardinal winning streak came to an end is like saying The Humungus' car came to a stop in The Road Warrior. No need to rehash that massive crash, instead let's concentrate on the impressive bounce back win over Arizona. Running and gunning is a beautiful thing when shots are falling and the other team is cooperative, the sudden surge in Cardinal dunks is a fun new feature as well. Bigger test up north this week at the rejuvenated Huskies and pesky Cougars. Polls:45 Sagarin:41 RPI:40  []
5. Washington (1-0, 10-3)
Since starting the season 2-3, including an opening loss to Eric Reveno's Portland Pilots, the puppies have run off 8 straight wins. The most recent win was an especially sweet beat down of WSU, breaking a six-game losing streak to the once docile, but recently dominant, kitties. Jon "is he still here?" Brockman leads the way but balanced scoring and exciting mini-frosh Isaiah "not that one" Thomas make for much more dangerous dogs. Polls:46 Sagarin:42 RPI:39  []
6. USC (1-1, 10-4)
Another group of Trojans, another year of writing "talented but erratic." Their starting lineup matches any in the conference man for man, but a wafer-thin bench contributed just 24 minutes and seven points in an OT loss to Oregon State?!? 23-year old junior Taj Gibson is rock solid inside, but star recruit DeMar DeRozan does not yet DeServe DaHype. 0-14 on his threes so far, I wonder what the record number of misses to start a career is? Polls:NR Sagarin:68 RPI:86  [SCPlaybook]
7. Arizona (0-2, 9-5)
The Lute-less Cats are in danger of a Madoff meltdown just one week into the new year. This was supposed to be The Year. Lute Olson going for win # whatever the hell he was up to, an unstoppable backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Jerryd Bayless, Jordan Hill patrolling the paint, Chase Budinger doing a bit of everything and throwing down monster jams off the break. Well the backcourt is in Portland and Italy, Budinger can't dunk from the three-point line, and the new coach has the word "interim" in his title. Still talented, but Russ Pennell has his hands full. Polls:NR Sagarin:59 RPI:55  []
8. Oregon St. (1-1, 6-6)
The streak is over! The biggest news from the opening weekend of Pac-10 play wasn't the reeking Ducks or the no longer endangered Bears, it was the Beavers breaking their 21 game conference losing streak – over USC no less! This brought a sigh of relief from yours truly as I was running out of quotes about losing. Kudos to OSU students for the "just like football" chant and congrats Beavs, you are the BPR Team of the Week! (TOW to come in all future columns) Polls:NR Sagarin:206 RPI:263  []
9. Washington St. (0-1, 8-5)
Everyone knows the Pac-10 dominated the 2008 NBA draft, with conference players picked 3,4,5,10,11,15,21,37,38,48,50, and 54. Despite UCLA and Stanford each losing two first rounders, it was actually WSU that lost the most irreplaceable guys. 38th pick Kyle Weaver and undrafted Derrick Low were the heart and soul of the Cougs. A combined 26 points per game doesn't sound like much, but for a defensive team that averages in the 60s, they were huge. This season the declawed cats are 1-5 against major conference schools and are averaging 51.7 points in those six games. Oklahoma's football team is at 54. Polls:NA Sagarin:77 RPI:139  []
10. Oregon (0-2, 6-8)
Well, maybe Oregon lost the most, but isn't Ernie Kent paid like someone who just reloads? Maybe his powder is wet. The foul fowl are making famed McArthur Court downright hospitable for visitors with an incredible five home losses already. Huge frosh Michael Dunigan and beefy junior Joevan Catron are the most talented players on the team, yet the quackers launch 21 three pointers per game. Catron leads the team in assists per game so he shares the rock, too bad the gunning guards don't do the same. Polls:NR Sagarin:132 RPI:95  [eDuck]

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