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 4th week of play in the conference. How will the Bay Area schools do in a trip to SoCal to face their California brethren? Can the Washington schools do some damage in the desert? Who will win the battle of Oregon? Check out the BPRs...NOW!

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!!! In case you missed it, recent parolee readers, the Oregon State Beavers just swept a road trip. Not just any road trip, but the one that includes our own former national power Stanford Cardinal. Ralph Miller was not coaching, Steve Johnson wasn't hitting 8 out of 10, they weren't wearing knee high socks. The same guys who went 0-18 in conference last season soundly smacked our Sweet 16 team and are now 3-5 in conference. Even with Washington sweeping the Smog Duo, OSU is the Team of the Week.

A note on the Pac-10 standings: every team but the Oregons has played seven conference games, but not all schedules are created equal. First place Washington is certainly playing well, but their three road games were WSU, OU, and OSU. UCLA has only played two games at Pauley. The Beloved Cardinal? Five of seven at home so far, making that 3-4 record even worse. The Boot Computer takes these things into account.

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 1/29/09

1. Arizona St. (5-2, 16-3)
It certainly wasn't pretty, but Los Diablos got an always welcome and rare win on their in-state rival's home court. Doing it with defense, as they lead conference play in fewest points allowed despite not blocking many shots or being particularly good on the boards. Harden and Pendergraph combine for over half their points, but this is the team least likely to have a really bad night. Washingtons come to town. Polls:14 Sagarin:13 RPI:21  []
2. Washington (6-1, 15-4)
May have caught a break with Dwight Lewis missing the game for USC, but they followed up that win with a convincing W over UCLA to grab sole possession of first place. 79 points from the Munchkin backcourt of Dentmon and Thomas in the two games makes the Huskies scary on offense. Now at 81.4 per game in conference, kal at 72.1 is a distant second. Very cushy schedule gets tougher with trip to the desert this week. Polls:26.5 Sagarin:29 RPI:26  []
3. UCLA (5-2, 15-4)
Back-to-back crappy second halves left the Bruins with a Washington split. They actually outscored the Huskies by 15 from the field but were done in by 36 made FTs by the home team. Bruins finally getting called for their physical D, or another case of a Dave Libbey led crew going whistle crazy? Vaunted five man freshman class has been underwhelming so far. Beaver battered Bay boys bop in this week. Polls:16.5 Sagarin:22 RPI:40  [Bruin Report Online]
4. California (5-2, 16-4)
Shock and embarrassment of home lose to Beavs was quickly lessened by Stanford losing to them in even worse fashion. Still led by their "possibly best in conference" trio of guards, but Jamal "too big to be a" Boykin has a streak of three straight double-digit games. Huge weekend coming up, a split in Los Angeles solidifies their March resume. Randle vs. Collison is the matchup of the week. Polls:34 Sagarin:25 RPI:32  [The Bear Insider]
5. USC (4-3, 13-6)
Got Leonard Washington back, but were still short-handed as leading scorer Dwight Lewis missed both games with an ankle sprain. Two close games ended with a road split, exactly what every team wants at this point in a balanced conference. Daniel Hackett is averaging 39 minutes per game in conference play – look for him to get a pay raise soon. Given U$C's history, that is only partially a joke. Welcome Stanford and Montgomery's wards this week. Polls:NR Sagarin:47 RPI:56  [SCPlaybook]
6. Stanford (3-4, 13-4)
Raise your hand if you can predict what this year's Cardiac Card squad will do from game to game. Liar, put your hand down. From blaster to blastee, as Duck walk over Oregon was followed by a shocking 15 point loss to OSU. Almost certain that "Duke style" offense involves making threes, not just taking. 8-33? Ugh. PG Mitch Johnson was sorely missed on both ends, he returns this week. The only other home loss was a humiliating outing against ASU, that was followed by an inspired rout of Arizona. A similar bounce back is desperately needed with two games as a clear underdog on tap in Los Angeles. Get swept and postseason hopes start to dim. Polls:NR Sagarin:49 RPI:64  []
7. Arizona (2-5, 11-8)
You've been Libbeyed (Libbeyied? Libbey'd?). Down two at home with the ball against ASU, the Cats get called for a moving screen that looked like 95% of the screens you've ever seen. The Napoleon in stripes then drove a final stake in their hearts by T-ing up an assistant coach. From attempting the game tying or winning shot to down four without the ball and another loss. They might have lost anyway, but that is just no way for a game to end. Rallied impressively for a wild OOC win against Houston to break a three game slide, this is a very dangerous 2-5 team. Let's go crazy and predict they sweep the Washington home stand. Polls:NR Sagarin:60 RPI:70  []
8. Washington St. (3-4, 11-8)
Luck finally ran out as they drop a pair of nail biters at home to the El-Lays. Actually lead the conference in both steals and blocks (Pac games only), a rather unusual parlay. Frosh Klay Thompson continues to impress and he is now the NCAA career leader in FT% (ok, he only has 20 attempts, but 100% ain't bad). O/U vs. ASU tonight of 109 is the lowest on the entire board by seven full points. Polls:NA Sagarin:72 RPI:108  []
9. Oregon St. (3-5, 8-10)
Answer: 1993. Question: When did OSU last sweep the Bay Area road trip. So much for "incapable of scoring 60 points," they erupt for 69 and 77 against da Bears and the suddenly hapless Cardinal. Seriously, 62% shooting, wtf? Pac-10 Player of the Week is Roeland Schaftenaar, which is so inconceivable Vizzini would have a meltdown. He also has the single hardest name to spell in the conference. Biggest one week jump in BPR history, but still ninth for now. From 0-18 to a team suddenly no one wants to play? What next, a black man as President? Polls:NR Sagarin:152 RPI:157  []
10. Oregon (0-8, 6-14)
Losing streak at eight, but at least the last one was single digits. Look for benefactor Phil Knight to supply rocket powered Nikes soon. Or helium infused uniform tops perhaps. In past seasons a trip to Corvallis would be a welcome relief right now, but ultra disciplined OSU at home in front of a bunch of rabid Beavers (fans I mean)? Could be even more fowlness on tap for the Quackers. Polls:NR Sagarin:149 RPI:117  [eDuck]

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