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Pac-12 Notebook: Week 8 Power Rankings

Did we just have a “normal” week in the Pac-12?

NCAA Football: Utah at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

We are now at just about two months into the football season. Conference play is in full swing, and the CFP rankings will drop for the first time this season on Tuesday. This means it’s time for postseason talk to ratchet up.

As we gear up for this playoff-talk, let’s take a look at a new power rankings to help us all get ready...

#12. UCLA Bruins (1-5 Overall, 1-2 Conference)

UCLA had a bye to recover from a poor loss to Oregon State. They will travel to the Farm to play Stanford in Palo Alto.

Next Opponent: @ Stanford

#11. Oregon State Beavers (2-4 Overall, 1-2 Conference)

So the Beavs got beat down. There’s really no way around this, it was a good ole fashion rout. The offense barely creeped past 200 total yards while the defense allowed over 500 total yards. That... just sucks. There’s not really any positives in this game; Jake Luton didn’t even hit 125 yards passing, the offense didn’t reach 50 yards rushing AS A TEAM, and no receiver had more than 80 yards receiving. The best part about this game for Beaver fans is that it’s over, let’s just get onto Cal.

Next Opponent: @ Cal

NCAA Football: Utah at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

#10. Colorado Buffaloes (3-3 Overall, 1-2 Conference)

So, it’s clear Beaver fans didn’t have any fun this past week. But, our friends at Ralphie Report did not fare much better. So they understand our pain right now. Colorado suffered a 45-3 beatdown at the hands of the Ducks. The offense put up just under 300 total yards, but also surrendered 527 total yards to the Ducks. While the offense wasn’t horrible, the four turnovers the Buffs committed doomed them against a tough team like the Ducks. Things won’t get easier for the Buffs as the high-flying Cougar offense comes to town. Ralphie will need to step up on offense if they want to get back in the win column when Wazzu arrives.

Next Opponent: @ WSU

#9. Stanford Cardinal (3-3 Overall, 2-2 Conference)

The Cardinal enjoyed a bye week to rest an injury-ridden roster. They will hope that KJ Costello returns this week as they prepare for UCLA to come to town.

Next Opponent: vs UCLA

#8. Cal Bears (4-2 Overall, 1-2 Conference)

Cal rested this past week. They now return home to prepare for the Beavers as they look to inch towards another postseason birth.

Next Opponent: vs OSU

#7. Washington State Cougars (3-3 Overall, 0-3 Conference)

The Cougs traveled to Tempe and gave the ranked Sun Devils all they could handle. Anthony Gordon was solid and threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns. The Wazzu offense was safe with the ball and put up points to give the team a chance. The only problem? The defense forgot to get off the plane for this game. Sure, losing your defensive coordinator doesn’t help, but surrendering 532 total yards and 38 points is just something a quality team like Wazzu can’t be doing. The Cougs have flirted with greatness all season long. Their offense is among the best in the conference, but the defense will be what holds this team back for the rest of the season.

Next Opponent: vs Colorado

#6. Arizona Wildcats (4-2 Overall, 2-1 Conference)

Arizona came back down to Earth this week with a humbling loss at the hands of the Huskies. After racing to a 4-1 start and possession of first place in the South, the Wildcats got a gut check that will test their resilience this coming weekend against the Trojans. Khalil Tate looked human and it dragged the offense as a whole down. J.J. Taylor had himself a nice game, but it doesn’t matter how good a player is performing when the offense turns the ball over four times to a team like Washington. The offensive turnovers put the Wildcat defense in rough spots, and it resulted in surrendering a 50-burger. Arizona will have to get back on track this week in a pivotal matchup in the Pac-12 South against the Trojans.

Next Opponent: @ USC

#5. USC Trojans (3-3 Overall, 2-1 Conference)

The Trojans were given the daunting task of taking on the Fighting Irish in their famous rivalry. And, much against the expectations of the BTD staff, USC put up a tremendous fight against Notre Dame and nearly pulled off an upset bid. In the 30-27 loss, USC compiled 426 yards on the day. Kedon Slovis returned to the starting QB role and had an average day in his return with 255 yards and 2 touchdowns. USC didn’t start turning it on until the second half, and by that point it was just too late. Even though the Trojans dropped this game, standing tough with a team like Notre Dame is an encouraging sign that USC is a quality team that will be dangerous in the Pac-12.

Next Opponent: vs Arizona

#4. #25 Washington Huskies (5-2 Overall, 2-2 Conference)

On Saturday night, it looked as if the Huskies had bitter feelings after last week’s loss to Stanford. So they decided to release their frustrations by beating the piss out of Arizona. Jacob Eason was back to his quality self, while Sean McGrew and Salvon Ahmed combined for over 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The defense was also back to it’s usual self and took the ball away four times from a dangerous Wildcat offense. It’s hard to say why Washington dropped their recent game against Stanford, but they made sure to right the ship before an important Pac-12 North matchup against Oregon this weekend.

Next Opponent: vs #11 Oregon

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

#3. #17 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1 Overall, 2-1 Conference)

To take down an offensive juggernaut like Wazzu, ASU needed to summon a little offense of their own. And they sure did so as they compiled 532 total yards. Jayden Daniels didn’t look like a freshman as he passed for 363 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Eno Benjamin looked electric again with 137 rushing yards, 6 catches and a touchdown. It’s games like this that shows that ASU is a legit team in the south. Did the defense play great? No. But that’s the territory when playing Washington State, so I’m okay letting a defensive outing like this slide. The Sun Devils now prepare for a huge matchup against the Utes that could dictate the fate of the Pac-12 South.

Next Opponent: @ #13 Utah

#2. #13 Utah Utes (5-1 Overall, 2-1 Conference)

After a nice bye weekend, the Utes got back to business by just destroying our poor Beavers. In their 52-7 win, the Utes defense showed why they’re arguably the best in the conference by holding a potent Oregon State offense to less than 220 total yards. Meanwhile, the Utes offense basically did whatever they wanted all game long. Zack Moss had 121 yards, which is a pretty good game. But the plot twist? HE DID THAT ON 5 CARRIES. Seriously, he averaged 24.2 yards per carry. Part of that inflated number was due to a 91 yard touchdown run, but those numbers are still insane. I can keep rattling off numbers but I think you all get it. Utah just came to play.

Next Opponent: vs #17 ASU

#1. #11 Oregon Ducks (5-1 Overall, 3-0 Conference)

And now, the moment that none of us have been looking forward to, we have the Ducks at #1 again. Oregon thrashed Colorado pretty much from the first drive of the game. The defense played exceptionally well and forced four turnovers to keep the Buffs out of this game. Justin Herbert had another solid game, but the real star was CJ Verdell who racked up 171 rushing yards and took pressure off Herbert and the rest of the offense. The Ducks put forward another complete game against a Colorado team that is no pushover. As we are almost two months into the season, Oregon and Utah have pulled away and have clearly established themselves as the frontrunners in this conference. But, knowing how this conference plays, that means they both will probably lose a dumb game in two weeks or something like that.

Next Opponent: @ #25 Washington

NCAA Football: Colorado at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

What are your thoughts on this power ranking? Should one team be higher? Lower? Let us know in the comments section!