Boot Power Ratings™: Oct. 1

No. 1 USC ... No. 4 Stanford ... No. 10 Wazzu. Tree Boy fills in the blanks in this week's BPR.

USC 85

Despite turning in another stalwart defensive effort, the baby blockers are struggling to find any rhythm on offense, even with the return of Wunderkid Matt Barkley. For the last seven years, no one has bothered to pick a different preseason conference champ, but attrition and a rare dearth of game breakers have caught up to the Team from Troy. Held down for too long, the rest of the dwarves smell blood and are making a move to be king of the hill. This may be Pom Pom Pete's biggest challenge yet.

Oregon 84

Whoever claims they saw this coming is a bloody liar. Not even the most optimistic mallard backers thought their humbled fowl would put the beat down on the nation's then-No. 6 team, not to mention keep one of the most dangerous runners out of the end zone and well below his career average in yards. Perhaps most surprising was the gunslinging show put on by Duck QB Jeremiah Masoli, who set the unofficial record for biggest week-to-week improvement in passer rating. We know how this team handles being the underdog and out of the spotlight, now we get to see how they handle the newfound expectations of greatness.


Quietly going about their business, UC Westwood is now the trendy story in Los Angeles, which has Slick Rick absolutely smitten. Although they are off to a fast start, Neuweasal's squad has yet to taste Pac Ten blood, and after a plateful of Toby for lunch on Saturday, they may have a mouthful of their own. Sources say in order to simulate the experience in practice, coaches have purchased a pair of adult rhinoceroses (rhinoceri?) for a drill that involves strapping defenders to a blocking sled and spooking the adrenaline infused beasts with air horns.

Stanford 81

If you are one of those people who likes to arrive fashionably late to Stanford games , you aren't getting full entertainment value, as Chris "Quick Six" Owusu continues to hit lead-off home runs. Incited by unflattering comments about the library-like atmosphere, the home crowd brought their natural noisemakers and kept the juice flowing. Even the local wildlife got into the act. In control of their own destiny for the Rose Bowl, each game from here on out is big, starting with the only undefeated team left in the Pac X.

California 80

Death, taxes and kal choking on their chance to move into the National Championship discussion. Certainly we knew the weenies would eventually take their rightful place in a pre-January bowl slot, but Christmas came early this year, as their performance In Autzen was so hideous, they managed to fall 16 slots in an otherwise unremarkable Top 25 poll. HIstory suggests Ted Air will continue its nosedive, but this weekend's clash with $C has the sense of urgency that comes with the realization that the loser will have to share a bunk with perennial bed-wetter Wazzu in the basement.

Arizona State 76

Proving once again that the SEC is more reputation than substance, the heretofore unimpressive Solar Satans went between the hedges and nearly pulled off what would have been the second-biggest shocker of the week. Like a lot of teams in the league, ASU is looking high and low for some offensive production. It doesn't help that their wall builders have accumulated a full-season's worth of bumps and bruises after just one month, but their skill positions aren't picking up the slack either.

Arizona 72

Bob's little brother Mike has taken a lot of heat for executive decisions during his tenure, but his latest just might make Cat fans forgive and forget. When his offense couldn't get anything going against Iowa, Stoops turned to backup QB Nick Foles and just like that, Foles delivered. In what was the best game of the night you didn't hear about, the new team leader racked up more yards and touchdowns in a thrilling 37-32 win in Corvallis than his predecessor had all season.

Washington 71

Media darlings one day, another notch in Toby's belt the next. Coach Sark knew he was in for a long day when his team (or more aptly his kicker) couldn't follow simple instructions on the opening kickoff. Or, maybe the players haven't gotten to the "Knowing your Right from your Left" lesson in the remedial courses they collectively enrolled in. When asked about his subpar performance, Jake Locker said, "Their "D" was good, but I was distracted all night by these signs in the crowd that said, "Thanks Amy." It was driving me crazy...what does it mean?"

Oregon State 70

The fortunes of the pelted nutria rely heavily on the Brothers Rodgers, who account for 70 percent of their offensive production. Maybe Riley should ask them to lineup in the secondary as well? Usually the Beavs end up doing better than projected, but after consecutive home losses and the meat of their schedule remaining, this may be a year that proves the pundits right. To make matters worse, their next contest is in Tempe, where they haven't won in 40 years.

Washington State 63

A valiant effort at The Coliseum may have only yielded a 21-point loss, but considering the circumstances, it had to feel pretty good. With nothing to lose, headman Paul Wulff unveiled a new Tuel, and true freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel marched the troops downfield for a touchdown, ending the ten-quarter scoreless streak against the Trojans. The stats are still ugly (ranking no better than 98th in all significant categories) a year after their worst on record, but that sense of despair seems to have left this program, if not its loyal fans.

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