Pac-12 power ratings: Stats and facts edition

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*** Quick housekeeping item: I was unable to write the Week Five preview on Tuesday morning because of that itty-bitty piece of news from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.

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The news and subsequent reaction and Hotline content on the matter caused the football column to get pushed aside.

Hotline policy (established Tuesday morning):

When the FBI levels fraud charges against Pac-12 assistant coaches, drop everything.

Even without the thunderous FBI news, my week was crammed: I’m attending the College Football Playoff mock selection exercise in Dallas. (Any information relevant to the Pac-12 will be published on the Hotline).

I’ll make sure to include some of the Week Five preview material in the game day coverage package (Tailgate Tidbits and Need-To-Knows).

*** Also, for fans who missed the news Monday:

The kickoff times for the Cal-Washington and Washington State-Oregon games on Oct. 7 will be announced this weekend, as Fox has opted to use one of its two six-day selections.

The available slots for next Saturday are 5 p.m. on FOX and 7:45 p.m. on ESPN. The Cal-Oregon winner will almost certainly play at 5 p.m., because FOX has first choice.

To the stat-heavy power ratings …

1. Washington (4-0/1-0)
Last week: 2
Result: Won at Colorado 37-10
Next up: at Oregon State
Comment: Dante Pettis is responsible for 17 percent of all the punt-return touchdowns in major college football through four weeks. Remarkable.

2. USC (4-0/2-0)
Last week: 1
Result: Won at Cal 30-20
Next up: at Washington State (Friday)
Comment: Third-down conversion rate (51.8) is second in the Pac-12 behind Washington State (56.7), but disparity in schedules make USC’s efficiency far more impressive

3. Utah (4-0/1-0)
Last week: 6
Result: Won at Arizona 30-24
Next up: Bye, then vs. Stanford
Comment: Tied for second nationally in turnover margin against FBS opponents (13 gained, seven lost). No other Pac-12 team in in the top 10.

4. Washington State (4-0/1-0)
Last week: 3
Result: Beat Nevada 45-7
Next up: vs. USC (Friday night)
Comment: Luke Falk on third down: Seven touchdowns, one interception and a completion percentage of 69.2.

5. Cal (3-1/0-1)
Last week: 4
Result: Lost to USC 30-20
Next up: at Oregon
Comment: Dramatic year-over-year improvement in yards-per-play allowed against FBS competition, from No. 119 nationally to 36th (5.09 ypp).

6. Oregon (3-1/0-1)
Last week: 5
Result: Lost at Arizona State 37-35
Next up: vs. Cal
Comment: Fifth in the FBS in red-zone touchdown percentage (89.3), with 25 touchdowns in 28 trips. Percentage in 2014 with Marcus Mariota: 62.7.



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