This Week In BootPowerRatings™

Take a look at Jeff Fawcett's latest installment of the 2008-09 BootPowerRatings™ (BPRs) for Pac-10 hoops as we move into the 3rd week of play in the conference. Can the Oregon schools inflict any damage to NCAA hopes in the Bay Area? How will the LA schools do up in Seattle and Pullman? Who will take the "Duel in the Desert?" Check out the BPRs...NOW!

Marquee matchups dominated Week Three, unfortunately the games getting the most hype were ugly defensive struggles that only reinforced the belief that the Pac-10 is way down from last season. Standard bearer UCLA must have set a team record for air balls and bricks vs. ASU, while those same Sun Devils couldn't even break 50 points against USC. At least viewers who managed to find Mike Montgomery's return to The Farm on CSNBA saw a fast-paced, clean, well-played game. Only three squads are averaging over 70 points in conference play, while four teams are holding opponents to 60.2 or less. Ugh.

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 1/21/09

1. UCLA (4-1, 14-3)
Hanging onto #1 by a thread after pasting ‘Zona but then dropping a home OT non-thriller to ASU. With 8:12 left in regulation the Bruins led 54-43 and CBS viewers must have figured the Satans were exorcised. Then Clint Howard's team picked up the intensity of their matchup zone and UCLA put up a steady stream of late in the clock clanking threes. Held scoreless for that eight-minute span, they add just four more in OT. Those foul-drawing bad boys of yesteryear are no more, as 25 three-point attempts to just eight free throws is the telling stat of the day. P.S. I've just been informed that Herb Sendek is in fact the coach of ASU, so sorry. Polls:12 Sagarin:26 RPI:42  [Bruin Report Online]
2. Arizona St. (4-2, 15-3)
Last week's BPRs mentioned their trap game at USC before the big UCLA showdown. Bingo, upset city, outscored by 19 in the 2nd half as James Harden goes an inconceivable 0 for 8 from the floor. Of course, we all know a Pac road game against a team with USC's talent isn't really an upset (line was pick'em). Special mention to Ty Abbott, whose back to back goose eggs in the scoring column drop his conference average to 2.3 ppg. Can a team that runs "watch James go one-on-three" really be a serious March threat? Polls:16.5 Sagarin:12 RPI:24  []
3. California (4-1, 15-3)
Well, that was a quick stay in the top 25. Celebrated their 1st week as a ranked team since, um, hell I don't know, by having a "bad week of practice" per Monty. Settled for lots of jumpers against the fired up Cardinal, not the recipe for success against a team lacking an inside presence. Driving and dishing resulted in a 10-13 from the field day for low scoring big man Jamal Boykin. Must sweep home stand against the sorry pair from Oregon on deck. Ben may have lost games like these, Mike does not. Polls:27.5 Sagarin:17 RPI:11  [The Bear Insider]
4. Washington (4-1, 13-4)
Got the expected two road wins in Oregon and did it in style with a combined 43-point margin. Erratic backcourt mates Thomas and Dentmon combined for 45 points against Oregon, which tells you everything you need to know about the ucks (they have no D). Still waiting for a signature win, they get their chance with the El-Lay schools coming to town. Polls:37.5 Sagarin:36 RPI:37  []
5. Stanford (2-3, 12-3)
That's what I'm talkin' about! Bounced back in style in the first "must win" game of the year before a raucous Maples crowd. Lawrence Hill's 25 point effort garnered conference POW honors but it was a total team effort based upon constantly attacking on offense. Crystal ball sees a focused Cardinal avoiding the temptation to look ahead to Los Angeles and instead putting a severe spanking on the weak sisters (I think I rented that one once). Polls:NR Sagarin:42 RPI:41  []
6. USC (3-2, 12-5)
Huge week for the Baby Blockers as they continue their stellar defensive play and get a home sweep of the desert duo. Leonard "the package smacker" Washington returned from his ankle injury just in time, as the bench has contributed nothing during his absence. Quite possibly the most talented first five in the league, Washington roadie this week will test their mental fortitude. Not sure what that is, but they say it on TV a lot. Polls:NR Sagarin:51 RPI:66  [SCPlaybook]
7. Arizona (2-4, 11-7)
Swept by SC and UCLA, but the one point loss at the tough Trojans is probably their most impressive showing in 2009. Yet to win a true road game, they welcome ASU Wednesday night. Budinger out of his shooting slump, but Jordan Hill is the key to attacking the Devils D. UCLA had no inside threat to back the zone off their perimeter shooters, the Cats do and must go to him as much as possible. Whoever gets in foul trouble first between Pendergraph and Hill loses. Polls:NR Sagarin:61 RPI:75  []
8. Washington St. (3-2, 11-6)
Took the BPR advice of last week and got the ball to Baynes in sweeping the Oregons; the lumberjack was ok as he averaged 18 and 12. Rochestie kept up his hot shooting and was Art Lee-like in going 16-16 from the line in the Oregon win. Frosh Klay Thompson has emerged as the vital third scoring threat with four straight double-digit games. Still not a believer, lets see how they do against the big boys this week. Polls:NA Sagarin:63 RPI:98  []
9. Oregon St. (1-5, 6-10)
So close…Almost pulled off win #2 against WSU, but went scoreless over the last two minutes as all they managed was a trio of missed threes and lost in OT. Stuck with UW for 22 minutes, then faded like Michael Jackson's face. Incapable of scoring 60 points, that does not bode well for trip to Bay Area. Polls:NR Sagarin:199 RPI:223  []
10. Oregon (0-6, 6-12)
Up to four straight double-digit losses, the ucks some how allowed 74 points to WSU, at home no less! The Cougs' previous season high? 76 against Sacramento St. and Miss. Valley St. Lucky they extended Ernie Kent to 2013 last March. They called that one like I call the stock market. At the risk of raising the ire of the woofing gods, next predicted win: March 1. Polls:NR Sagarin:149 RPI:120  [eDuck]

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