Vilardo: 2023 Week 14 SuperWest Football Power Rankings

With the regular season over and the championship games set, we see how the teams stack up

Posted on November 30, 2023


  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

The regular season is over for teams from the Pac-12, Mountain West, and BYU, and the championship games are set.

Oregon, Washington, UNLV, and Boise State are bound for their respective title matchups and other teams will be going bowling.

All will continue building for their futures.

With that in mind, here’s a final look at how the 25 SuperWest teams stack up.

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12

1. Oregon (11-1, 8-1) ◄►
Oregon has looked impressive all season.

The Ducks looked like the better team in the first meeting with Washington but made some self-inflicted errors.

This week they have a chance to even the score and punch their ticket to the CFP.

Washington football pac-12

2. Washington (12-0, 9-0) ◄►
Washington has now won 19 straight games, the second-longest active streak in the nation.

The Huskies struggled a bit with WSU, but they got a win and that is the most important thing.

A shot at the playoffs is within their reach. Beat Oregon and they are in, fall to the Ducks, and they are off to a New Year’s Six bowl.

Arizona football Pac-12

3. Arizona (9-3, 7-2) ◄►
Arizona dominated Arizona State in the Territorial Cup.

Noah Fifita is the real deal and Jedd Fisch has the program heading in the right direction.

The Wildcats will be a contender for the Big 12 title next season.

4. Oregon State (8-4, 5-4) ◄►
Oregon State was no match for the Ducks on the field last week. And the bigger issues for the Beavs may have come off the field.

Johnathan Smith is off to Michigan State and has taken some of the staff with him.

The Beavers have a new coach in Trent Bray, but no conference, and they are about to embark on a long off-season. Nonetheless, on the field, this is clearly the fourth-best team out west this season.

5. San Jose State (7-5, 6-2) ▲1
San Jose State ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak.

The Spartans handed UNLV their first loss in Vegas this year and averaged 38.7 points per game during their win streak to close the season.

The strong finish was not enough to get them to the championship game, but a bowl game and a share of the regular season conference crown are their rewards.

6. Utah (8-4, 5-4) ▲1
The Utes rebounded from the shellacking they got from Arizona with a win over Colorado to finish with eight wins in the regular season.

The win over Colorado was not their best performance as they were limited to 61 yards passing.

With a healthy Cam Rising back next season Utah should be poised for a solid first season in the Big 12.

7. Boise State (7-5, 6-2) ▲2
Spencer Danielson is just the second interim head coach in college football history to take over midseason and lead his team to its league championship game.

The only other coach to achieve that feat was Clay Helton with Southern Cal in 2015.

This week the Broncos will look for their first win in the MW Championship game since 2019.

8. UNLV (9-3, 6-2) ▼3
UNLV will enter the MW title game coming off their first home loss of the season.

The Rebels have reached the nine-win mark for the first time since 1984. UNLV has scored at least 24 points in 10 straight games for the first time since they became an FBS program.

They will look for another first this week as they play in their first MW Championship game.

9. Wyoming (8-4, 4-4) ▲2
Wyoming closed out the regular season in fine form with a pair of wins by a combined score of 84-15.

The Cowboys collected 21 TFL in the final two games and head into their bowl game with momentum.

A bowl win would give them their ninth win of the season. It would be the program’s most victories in a single season since going 10-2 in 1996.

10. Cal (6-6, 4-5) ▲4
Cal has battled all the way back to earn a bowl bid.

The bowl appearance most likely keeps Justin Wilcox in Berkeley as the Bears move to the ACC.

The postseason and, perhaps more importantly, the extra practices that go along with it could be a springboard to the 2024 season.

11. UCLA (7-5, 4-5) ▼3
Chip Kelly will be back for another season with the Bruins.

The offense never got on track, but the defense was elite this season.

UCLA has held eight of their 12 opponents to under 100 yards rushing, the most for a Bruin squad since the 1985 team held nine opponents to under the 100-yard threshold.

Cal was able to run for 124 on the defense and UCLA had no answer in the big loss at home.

12. Fresno State (8-4, 4-4) ▼2
Fresno State closed out the season with a three-game losing streak.

For a team that was trending toward a conference championship all season, the rough finish was troubling.

Adding to the dismay two of the three losses came at the hands of teams at the bottom of the MW.

13. Air Force (8-4, 5-3) ▼1
The Falcons lost their last four games after opening the season 8-0.

The offense went missing in the last month of the season. They averaged 33.6 points per game during their eight games to start the season.

In their four-game losing streak to close things out, that figure fell to 15.5 points per game.

usc logo

14. USC (7-5, 5-4) ▼1
The 6-0 start for the Trojans seems like an eternity ago.

USC has completed its regular season with three straight losses and dropped five of their last six. The final loss to UCLA was an embarrassing performance.

A season that began in August with so much promise will end in a mid-tier bowl game.

15. Utah State (6-6, 5-4) ▲1
How about a storybook ending to the regular season?

Levi Williams in his first career start accounts for 351 yards of offense and five touchdowns in leading the Aggies to bowl eligibility for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons.

Williams had thrown a total of 30 passes in his two seasons with Utah State prior to getting his first start in the finale.

16. Hawai’i (5-8, 3-5) ▲5
Hawai’i played spoiler and kept Colorado State out of a bowl game.

The Rainbow Warriors finish out the season with wins in three of their last four and carry a lot of momentum into the offseason ahead of year three under Timmy Chang.

17. BYU (5-7, 2-7) ◄►
BYU lost to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State by a combined 13 points in the final two games of the season.

The Cougars took OSU to OT as they tried to spoil the Cowboys’ chance at a Big 12 title while getting bowl-eligible.

It was not to be, and BYU fell one win shy of a bowl bid after navigating one of the toughest schedules in the country this season.

18. Washington State (5-7, 2-7) ◄►
Washington State played Washington tough in the Apple Cup but came up short at the end.

Rivalry games bring out the intensity, but if you’re a Wazzu fan you have to wonder, where that was against the likes of Stanford and ASU?

19. Colorado State (5-7, 3-5) ▼4
The Rams finished their season with a loss via a 51-yard FG as time expired.

It was the third loss this season for CSU that came on the final play of the game.

Three road games were there for the taking this season: Colorado, UNLV, and Hawai’i—and the Rams let them all slip away.

Winning one of them would have punched their ticket to a bowl game.

20. Stanford (3-9, 2-7) ▼1
Stanford was doubled up by Notre Dame in the season ender.

The 56-23 loss saw the Cardinal give up 521 yards of offense and 381 on the ground.

Stanford had some good moments in year one of Troy Taylor and the program should be headed in the right direction.

21. New Mexico (4-8, 2-6) ▼1
The Danny Gonzales era in Albuquerque has ended with a four-year mark of 12-32 including 5-26 in conference play.

The 2023 season was the most successful and the Lobos’ four wins were their most since 2016.

22. Arizona State (3-9, 2-7) ◄►
Arizona State has finished 3-9 in each of the last two seasons.

To find a worse two-year stretch for the Sun Devils you have to go back to 1942 and 1946 when they had matching two wins in the two seasons (they did not play in 43-45 so 42 & 46 were concurrent)

23. Colorado (4-8, 1-8) ◄►
The Buffaloes ended the season losing six in a row. The results were not great in 2023.

Deion Sanders has brought excitement to Boulder and will get the program moving in the right direction.

24. San Diego State (4-8, 2-6) ▲1
At 4-8 San Diego State had their first sub-.500 season since 2009. The season ended with a win in Brady Hoke’s final game.

Now the Sean Lewis era is set to begin, and the Aztecs should look different with a more explosive offense if the new head coach can get his system in place.

25. Nevada (2-10, 2-6) ▼1
Nevada picked up two just two wins in 2023, but they did collect their first shutout since 2011.

Nevada had some good moments, but just not quite enough of them.




—More from Stephen Vilardo—