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Pac-12 Notebook: Week 10 Power Rankings

We are officially back into #Pac-12AfterDarkTerritory...

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

Well, we finally found some normalcy in this conference. Things started

#12. Colorado Buffaloes (3-5 Overall, 1-4 Conference)

I feel bad putting Colorado at the bottom of this list, but the losses they’ve ran through the past few weeks have been discouraging, to say the least. This past weekend against USC could’ve been the turning point that Colorado needed to propel their season back on course. Steven Montez and the Buffs offense played well enough to win this weekend, but they received little help from their defense this week. The Buffs accrued 520 total yards to go with their 31 points, but the defense allowed 518 yards and 35 points. The Buffs came close this weekend, it should be a matter of time before they start winning and climbing these rankings again.

Next Opponent: @ UCLA

#11. UCLA Bruins (3-5 Overall, 3-2 Conference)

Let’s get this out of the way now, Joshua Kelley is a monster. The senior compiled 164 rushing yards and four touchdowns against a stout Sun Devil defense. The Bruins stunned everyone with their offensive outburst against ASU as they put up nearly 400 total yards of offense to go with 42 points. And they did all of this in spite of turning the ball over three times. It’s games like these that show the impact that Chip Kelly can have on a program. The Bruins may still be a few years off, but glimpses are starting to show what this team’s potential can be.

Next Opponent: vs Colorado

NCAA Football: Arizona State at UCLA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

#10. Arizona Wildcats (5-3 Overall, 2-3 Conference)

Losing to a weaker Stanford team is.... brutal, to say the least. The Wildcats could not stop a Stanford offense that has struggled for much of the year and allowed 41 points and 472 total yards to them. The offense for that cats wasn’t a problem, as Khalil Tate and Grant Gunnell headed up a two-QB approach by Arizona that churned out 495 total yards. A big problem for them came in the form of two turnovers that benefitted Stanford immensely. Arizona came out to a hot start this seasonand climbed towards the top in the south, but have quickly come back down to Earth as they sit on the fringe of bowl eligibility.

Next Opponent: vs Oregon State

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

This game for ASU was flat-out bad. The offense was inefficient for most of the night and got more than half of their 32 points in the final 10 minutes of the game. Not to mention the defense forced three turnovers and the team still could not capitalize and keep this game from being the blowout that it was. The defense allowed 393 yards and 42 points and never gave the offense a chance. Jayden Daniels was probably the lone bright spot on offense for ASU, and even he was just above-average. This was not a fun week to be an ASU fan.

Next Opponent: Bye

NCAA Football: Arizona at Stanford D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

#8. Stanford Cardinal (4-4 Overall, 3-3 Conference)

What a difference KJ Costello makes for the Cardinal. Costello returned to the starting QB role and lit up Arizona for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Costello’s return sparked an offensive outpouring from Stanford that also helped the run game accumulate 160 yards and two touchdowns. This was the kind of Stanford team we thought we were getting this season. As bad as their start has been, Stanford is still somehow second in the Pac-12 North and has a strong chance at returning to a bowl with the return of their QB.

Next Opponent: Bye

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

Cal, oh boy. This was a bad game for Cal. Like, worst-game-of-the-year-bad. Cal had less than 100 total yards on offense. Like, between the passing game and running game they couldn’t hit 100 yards. That’s brutally bad. Also, the vaunted Bears defense that we saw early in the season vanished against Utah and surrendered 473 yards and 35 points. Cal should be thanking the scheduling gods that they have a bye this weekend. Justin Wilcox will need it after this dud of a game.

Next Opponent: Bye

#6. Oregon State Beavers (3-4 Overall, 2-2 Conference)

The Beavs had a weekend to relax after taking down Cal. There will be opportunities against Arizona for the Beavs this weekend, and they will need to be ready if they want to continue their hot streak.

Next Opponent: @ Arizona

#5. Washington State Cougars (4-4 Overall, 1-4 Conference)

Every year, Wazzu plays the Ducks tough. And this year was no different. The Cougs almost pulled it off this weekend. Anthony Gordon led the way for the offense and put the team in position to win late in this game. It was the defense that ultimately let the team down. They allowed the Ducks to rack up over 500 yards of offense and then hit a walk-off field goal to steal the win. I’ve said it before in past articles, but the Cougs routinely flirt with greatness, and have been so close, so many times. It’s frustrating to see the offense of this team be wasted by the defense.

Next Opponent: Bye

#4. USC Trojans (5-3 Overall, 4-1 Conference)

USC fought tooth and nail to get this W against Colorado. Kedon Slovis balled out and threw for 400 yards in the win. While the defense wasn’t electric, they played well enough to give the offense a chance to keep USC in the game. USC has looked brilliant for a good majority of the season. After Clay Helton walked into the season on the hot seat, the team has responded by showing they can hang with anyone on any day. They will receive another massive challenge this week as the Ducks come to the Coliseum.

Next Opponent: vs #7 Oregon

#3. Washington Huskies (5-3 Overall, 2-3 Conference)

The Huskies had a bye this past weekend and now prepare for a colossal Pac-12 tilt against the Utah Utes this coming weekend

Next Opponent: vs #9 Utah

#2. #9 Utah Utes (7-1 Overall, 4-1 Conference)

The Utes played about as perfect of a game as you can ask for. The defense was absolutely electric and allowed zero points and less than 100 total yards of offense against Cal, proving again that they are the standard of defensive superiority in the Pac-12. Zack Moss was the leading rusher and receiver for Utah and had over 200 total yards of offense by himself. Meanwhile, Tyler Huntley played within himself and led the way to let Zack Moss go nuts against the Bears. It’s easy to see Utah insert themselves into the playoff conversation if they keep playing like this. They quite possibly will have the biggest remaining hurdle of their season this weekend as the Huskies come to town looking to make a mess of the Utes season.

Next Opponent: @ Washington

NCAA Football: California at Utah Gabe Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports

#1. #7 Oregon Ducks (7-1 Overall, 5-0 Conference)

The Ducks found a way to win. Sometimes that’s the biggest part of a championship-caliber team’s formula, winning when it counts. The Ducks were tested in every way against the Cougs but still found a way to prevail in the final seconds. CJ Verdell went OFF and racked up 257 yards rushing a three touchdowns while also accruing 46 yards receiving. Having your RB account for 300 total yards is an awesome path to success for an offense. And holding Wazzu to 35 points is a win for any defense. Oregon is humming along and now prepares for another massive test in the Coliseum this weekend.

Next Opponent: @ USC

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