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Pac-12 Football Notebook: Week 11 Power Rankings & What To Watch For

With only 3 weeks left in the Pac-12 season, what can we expect as the season winds down?

NCAA Football: California at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

In honor of the Queen movie coming out, let’s have a fun intro!

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in the Pac-12? No escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see. Wazzu’s in first place, guess we’re all drinking. Cause it’s easy come, easy go. No one wins, we all lose. Anyway the ball goes, Chip Kelly’s taking... an L....

Crappy Queen monologues aside, we are back with Pac-12 Football Notebook and updated Power Rankings. Let’s rip it!

What to Watch For...

Chip Kelly Losing to the Ducks


NCAA Football: Fresno State at UCLA Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Wazzu Screwed in the CFP Rankings

Okay, back to being serious. But seriously, how can the committee bump LSU to only #7? After the 29-0 shellacking that Alabama put on the Tigers, LSU fell four spots, and prevented the Cougs from moving up at all. It’s immensely frustrating as it shows a two loss SEC team will still have a better shot at playoffs as opposed to a one-loss Pac-12 team that still has a very realistic chance at being the conference champion. Wazzu already faced a steep hill to get in, but the latest rankings do the Cougs no favors.

NCAA Football: Washington State at Stanford Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Seriously, who doesn’t want this guy in the playoffs?

Incoming Bowl Eligible Teams...

This past weekend got the Pac-12 to four bowl eligible teams. That’s a solid turnout so far, the major question is how many more can we send? With three weeks of college football left, the Pac-12 has six teams at five wins. If each team manages to scrounge together one more win, the Pac-12 could send a max of 10 teams bowling. Still, it seems like a good guarantee that more than half of the teams will clinch a spot. A solid turnout for a worst case scenario.

NCAA Football: Utah at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Tate is Back.

Khalil Tate is back, and it is awesome. It may not be the level of awesomeness of Tiger Woods being back, but it is certainly better than Texas being “back”. Jokes aside, Khalil Tate turned it on against a struggling Colorado team with 5 passing touchdowns and 350 passing yards. Even though Tate wasn’t a game changer on the ground, he was excellent as a passer. He has the Wildcats on the verge of going bowling, and has the rest of the conference on notice.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Power Rankings

1. #8 Washington State Cougars (8-1 Overall, 5-1 Conference)

It wasn’t pretty, but the Cougs found a way to get it done. Wazzu found themselves in a slugfest against a feisty Cal team that would not go away. Yet, Gardner Minshew managed to pull together a go-ahead fourth quarter touchdown to put the Cougs ahead for good. This game was arguably the worst game Wazzu played all year (aside from their loss), yet they still managed to get it done and get the win. They find themselves in control of their own destiny for the Pac-12 as long as they keep getting W’s.

Up Next: @ Colorado

2. #25 Washington Huskies (7-3 Overall, 6-2 Conference)

Washington found a way to get things done despite a less than stellar second half against a strong Cardinal team. Jake Browning again displayed that he is destined to be an average QB against a Stanford defense that has allowed big plays. The saving grace on offense was the workhorse Myles Gaskin who put together 148 yards and a touchdown. Gaskin carried the team to a win even when the defense was less than it’s stellar self. U-Dub could find themselves in position to steal the North if they can avoid another loss before the Apple Cup in a few short weeks.

Up Next: Bye

3. Oregon Ducks (6-3 Overall, 3-3 Conference)

Oregon got back to their winning ways and managed to be the fourth Pac-12 team to punch their ticket to go bowling this season. Justin Herbert looked like his normal self once again and got the Ducks back on track. Oregon put up a ton of points and got a couple of turnovers, but they let UCLA hang around longer than they should have. It also has to be noted that Oregon allowed nearly 500 yards of total offense to lowly UCLA. The Ducks’ defense will have to be fixed soon before bowl season comes rolling in.

Up Next: @ Utah

4. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-4 Overall, 3-3 Conference)

The Sun Devils pulled off arguably the win of the season with a complete game against the Utes. Manny Wilkins and Eno Benjamin were the stars for ASU, as the two playmakers combined for over 400 yards and five touchdowns. Even the defense put forward a solid game as they forced three turnovers. ASU has been hit or miss much of the season, but wins such as this can remind you of the potential this team has.

Up Next: Versus UCLA

5. Utah Utes (6-3 Overall, 4-3 Conference)

Utes. COME ON. All season I have preached that Utah has been on the verge of being a great team, and just when they start hitting their stride, they suffer a boneheaded loss against a team they should beat. Now, it didn’t help that starting QB Tyler Huntley suffered an injury that could set him out for the rest of the season. This was a major blow to the Utes offense that Coach Whittingham will have to fill. It helps that Zack Moss is still a stud, and the defense is still fairly stout even though their performance against ASU might tell you otherwise. The Utes are bowling, so there is still glimmer of a successful season.

Up Next: Versus Oregon

6. Stanford Cardinal (5-4 Overall, 3-3 Conference)

Once again, Stanford came so close to a win this past weekend. The Cardinal were in a position to win before poor clock management doomed the team’s hopes against a formidable Huskies team. KJ Costello was responsible for three turnovers that put Stanford in bad positions, and looked uncharacteristically out of funk all game. You have to feel for Stanford. It’s quite possible that no other team in the Pac-12 has suffered as many injuries as this team, and it has cost them a couple wins. Stanford will still have a chance at bowl eligibility, but you have to wonder how good they could’ve been.

Up Next: Versus OSU

7. USC Trojans (5-4 Overall, 4-3 Conference)

USC got back in the win column against Oregon State this past weekend. By no means did USC play a complete game, as they had a fight on their hands with OSU, but they still pulled away late for the W. Easily the biggest factor in USC’s win was running back Aca’Cedric Ware and his 205 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Though, if you’re a Beaver fan, that’s come to be expected. The Trojans have been hanging around in the Pac-12 and now find themselves within one win of bowl eligibility.

Up Next: Versus Cal

8. California Golden Bears (5-4 Overall, 2-4 Conference)

Cal put up a tremendous fight against Washington State and nearly pulled off a massive upset to put themselves into bowl eligibility. The offense again was shoddy, but the defense for Cal continued to be outstanding. Cal has consistently fielded one of the best defenses in the conference; thus allowing them to keep it close in so many games. Just this past week, they held the Cougars to a season low in points in addition to two turnovers. Cal will have the chance to sneak in another win or two and get themselves bowl eligible.

Up Next: @ USC

9. Arizona Wildcats (5-5 Overall, 4-3 Conference)

So it is entirely possible that we may have written off the Wildcats too early. I know yours truly may or may not be guilty of such an offense. But still the Wildcats finally have hit their stride on offense. Khalil Tate finally looks like the Heisman candidate he was at the end of last season, and JJ Taylor continues to be a workhorse for Arizona (40 carries last game!). The Wildcats sit on the verge of bowl eligibility, and it is largely thanks to Kevin Sumlin and the turnaround this offense has had.

Up Next: Bye

10. UCLA Bruins (2-7 Overall, 2-4 Conference)

So, no one expected much from UCLA in this game. Yet, the Bruins still put up a lot better of a fight than anyone expected against Chip Kelly’s former team. RB Joshua Kelley did it all for UCLA and helped keep them in the game, and the offense as a whole compiled nearly 500 yards. Yet, the defense also allowed almost 500 yards, and turning the ball over three times certainly doesn’t help your argument. This season can’t end soon enough for UCLA.

Up Next: @ ASU

11. Colorado Buffaloes (5-4 Overall, 2-4 Conference)

Colorado has spiraled since becoming ranked just a few short weeks ago. The Buffs suffered another loss to U of A and were 34 yards short of allowing 600 total yards. Steven Montez had a good game and did his best to help the Buffs succeed, but it wasn’t enough. The Buffs still are in a great position to go bowling because of their early success in the season, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll be fighting for anything other than a lower-tier bowl.

Up Next: Versus WSU

12. Oregon State Beavers (2-7 Overall, 1-5 Conference)

I won’t lie, this one hurt. The Beavs were in prime position to get back into this game on multiple occasions. A correct call on a scoop and score could have totally changed the momentum of the game. Still, it resulted in another week of missed opportunities, and another week of taking an L. The Beavs cannot win games with the defense they currently have. They simply cannot hold up against Pac-12 competition. This offseason will be key, as any improvement to the defense from Coach Smith, and the Beavs will have a couple more wins to look forward to next year. Oh, and don’t ask us about that fake field goal. None of us know wtf is up with that.

P.S. Jake Luton completed 31 of 45 passes. When adjusted to the nearest percentage, that round up to a very nice 69% completion percentage.

Up Next: @ Stanford

The Pac-12 race is heating up. Who will take control? What will you be looking for this weekend? Do you agree or disagree with the new Power Rankings?

Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!