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 come down the homestretch of the second half of play in the conference. What do the Washington schools have in store for Arizona and Arizona State? Will Cal and Stanford get some revenge on the LA duo? Who will the battle of Oregon? Check out our BPRs!

"And then, depression set in..." – John Winger

In a wild week that saw UCLA win their big showdown with Washington and then get upset by WSU, a week in which ASU barely held off a furious Arizona rally, a week in which USC players almost came to blows with each other, the biggest news was Oregon finally winning a game. Unfortunately for suicidal Booties, Stanford was the humiliated upset victim.

At the other end of the standings, the Huskies hold a slim 1/2 game lead on ASU, who are one game ahead of UCLA and kal. Barring an 0-fer finish, each of those squads has their NCAA ticket punched. Arizona has a little work left to do, USC is in some trouble. TOW to Oregon State for their home sweep of the Bay pair by nearly identical scores.

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 2/26/09

1. Washington (11-4, 20-7)
Lost a run-and-gun showdown at Pauley, but came back to top USC in one of the ugliest games of the year. Formula of guards take all the shots, forwards rebound the misses seems to be working, but there is clearly a dearth of quality bigs around the league. With Pondexter scoring 1/3 of their points vs. USC, Brockman is now only their fourth leading scorer in conference play. Are teams worrying about him too much? Romarulans with nothing but home games the rest of the way, Arizona schools on deck. Polls:21 Sagarin:21 RPI:18  []
2. Arizona St. (10-4, 21-5)
Who is Rihards Kuksiks and why is he knocking down five threes and scoring 17 points? Blew all of a 17-point lead against Arizona, but came away with a 70-68 to sweep the season series for the first time since the last time they did it. A win Thursday at UW would give the Satans sole possession of first place and a decent chance of winning out. Polls:12.5 Sagarin:17 RPI:22  []
3. UCLA (9-5, 20-7)
Blew everything they gained from the UW win by getting Rochestied. 82-81 Cougs in a wonderfully entertaining game. Since kicking people when they are down is the American Way, we must point out the week Jerime Anderson had. Combined points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals: four. Turnovers plus fouls: nine. This least scary UCLA team in years is struggling badly on the boards. Consider that last season they led the conference with a 7.9 rebounding margin in Pac-10 play. This year they've now gone into the red at -0.4. Relying heavily on the three, allowing second shots, and not drawing many fouls is a recipe for an early March exit. Try to snap three-game road losing streak at mighty Stanford. Dream on, Ursus actos! Polls:20.5 Sagarin:20 RPI:35  [Bruin Report Online]
4. Arizona (8-6, 18-9)
From 17 down with 13 minutes to play, the cardiac cats actually were up one on ASU with under two to play but could manage only one more basket and lost a heartbreaker. But that is the definition of a "good loss," especially because the grungy felines will finally end their non-shaving streak. Budinger is looking too much like a Blazers era Bill Walton, his idol Jordan never went grunge. WSU then UW on deck. Polls:30.5 Sagarin:36 RPI:43  []
5. California (9-5, 20-7)
Ready to move into a virtual tie atop the Pac-10 standings, holding a seven point halftime lead at OSU, weenies get roasted 44-26 in the second half. Most disturbing to already disturbed kal fans is the season low 54 points. 3-20 from deep for the second best long ball team in the league, yeech. Close to locking up NCAA bid, but with tough Arizona trip still to come, they'd better take care of USC Thursday. If not, UCLA on Saturday becomes their first "must win" game of the year. Polls:33.5 Sagarin:27 RPI:32  [The Bear Insider]
6. USC (7-7, 16-10)
Holding high scoring Washington 20 points below their average? Excellent. Scoring 22 points less than Washington normally allows? Unexcellent. You would think that with quality guards and wings and a mobile big in Gibson, USC would thrive in an up-and-down game, but in fact they struggle against pressing, running teams. 0-4 against the quick guards of Washington and UCLA, 2-0 against methodical WSU, 1-1 against half court oriented ASU. PG Hackett was clearly rattled by the undersized but UW guards, refs weren't calling hand checks so he spent more time trying to swat their lemurish paws away than running the offense. At kal Thursday is their last chance to add a quality win before Pac tourney. Signed stud PF recruit Renardo Sidney, who clearly prefers a short commute to school than peace and harmony among his teammates. Polls:NR Sagarin:44 RPI:50  [SCPlaybook]
7. Oregon St. (7-8, 13-13)
The days of being hard on the Beavers are officially over. Waxed Stanford by building a big halftime lead, but had a close shave with kal that required a second half rally. Coach of the year officially decided in that game as Monty was the most likely competition for Coach Robinson. That makes a perfect 4-0 against Stanford and kal this year, the first season Bay sweep since the Gary Payton led 1990 squad. Only the waterfowl this week, on the road. Polls:NR Sagarin:100 RPI:115  []
8. Washington St. (6-9, 14-13)
When is a split a great road trip? When game two is a thrilling one point victory at Pauley Pavilion, just the second win at UCLA in 52 tries for the Cougs. PG Taylor Rochestie was the Pac-10 Player of the Week as he followed up a solid 16,5,4 game vs. USC with a fantastic 33 point effort against the Bruins. He scored 14 of their last 15 points and showed just how badly scouts can miss. High school class of 2004 from Santa Barbara High, he was a 2* recruit who signed with Tulane. It was a loaded PG class that year, with Livingston, Telfair, Rondo, Gibson, Farmar, and Darius Washington the 5* guys. A whooping 62 PGs were three stars or higher, most of whom have long been forgotten, another 150 got two stars. Which is my way of saying: Coach Dawkins, please sign somebody, anybody, who might be able to play point. Gimme a short white dude who might make it over a stack of unused scholies anytime. Polls:NA Sagarin:67 RPI:104  []
9. Stanford (4-10, 15-10)
If an unwatchable game is also unwatchable on one's cable system does that mean it didn't happen? How about two games, same situation? Season dissolving faster than an Alka-Seltzer in a glass of boiling Coke. 2009 held such promise. A 10-0 record before conference play, including a 111-66 demolition of Texas Tech. Maybe our guys really could press and run and nail three pointers and become the anti-Stanford, a playground team having fun out there, overcoming a lack of size with sheer skill and energy. A reality check spanking at the hands of ASU was quickly followed by an easy win over the hated Wildcats so the dream lived. The Washington road trip brought two heart breaking one point losses, but that was followed by a solid win over the weenies and squashing of the Ducks. The dream lived. And we'll just skip the rest, shall we? No road wins yet, but with easy home games against UCLA and USC this week to get the confidence back, that losing streak will clearly end later in Arizona. Yes, I am drinking as I type. Polls:NR Sagarin:72 RPI:111  []
10. Oregon (1-14, 7-20)
I hate to admit this, but I was glad Oregon got off the schneid. Wish someone else had been the kind donor of the W, but being forever known as one of the Ducks that laid a goose egg is not something I'd wish upon a college kid. Interesting that the player of the game according to Ernie Kent was the vocal crowd. No wins and still supporting the team, while Stanford fans are staying home in droves and giving up their season tickets. Then again, they do have hot cheerleaders. Polls:NR Sagarin:144 RPI:159  [eDuck]

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