Pac 12 Power Rankings: Is Arizona a lock?

Turning our attention to the Pac 12 (well, those of us who have the Pac 12 Network), we find a conferene which has been relatively awful in the past few years. What about this year?

For our power rankings, we start with the offense. If you are unclear why we use points per possession, then read the first three paragraphs of the ACC Power Rankings.

These numbers are adjusted for the strength of opponents.

On this side of the ball there is UCLA, Arizona, and everyone else. The Bruins and Wildcats both have borderline ellite offenses (No. 14 and No. 16 nationally), but the next one doesn't come in until Colorado at No. 57. Furhtering the data which shows that this conference isn't very powerful offensively is that four teams at the bottom are clustered right around the national average. This isn't good for a power conferenence.

What about the defense?

Defensively, the conference rates much better. There are no elite defenses but four are in the nation's top 50, while Washington State is just outside that at No. 51. And here you can really see the separation between Arizona and UCLA. Zona is solid on both ends of the floor. UCLA needs to figure out how to get stops.

How does this become a power ranking? It’s simple – we just look to efficiency margins. Offense minus defense. If you are a good team you score more than your opponent, right? How much more is the question. Here's the chart:

I prefer this method because it provides a visual for the separation between teams. Arizona is clearly the team to beat, while UCLA (thanks to their offense) and Oregon (thanks to their defense) could possibly contend. Colorado, Stanford and Washington have some potential, while the bottom half of the league should be happy if they can squeak out a .500 conference record.