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Pac-12 Notebook: Week 12 Power Rankings

Alabama lost. So I guess that’s a good week for everyone...

Washington State v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

This week was especially hard for me to put together these rankings. A few teams have separated themselves from the pack (no pun intended), but the remaining teams are so close to compare to one another. This list could be flipped and all of these teams could make an argument for any spot.

Welp, let’s give it our best college try on this...


#12. Arizona Wildcats (5-4 Overall, 2-4 Conference)

The Cats rested this weekend but fall to the bottom of the rankings thanks to Colorado winning. Arizona will have a tall task of facing the Ducks in Autzen this weekend.

Next Opponent: @ #7 Oregon

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

Losing to Colorado is absolutely brutal for the Cardinal. Stanford still has winnable games remaining on their schedule, but facing a Colorado team that had been struggling over the past few weeks was a tough game to lose. Still, even in losing the team did not play horribly. The defense kept the Buffs to 358 yards and less than 20 points. It just so happened that the offense for the Cardinal did not show up on Saturday. KJ Costello played decently, but not well enough to win the game. That will have to change if Stanford wants to go bowling.

Next Opponent: @ Wazzu

#10. Colorado Buffaloes (4-6 Overall, 2-5 Conference)

On the other side of the game we just mentioned are the Buffs. The Buffs needed this win in the worst way possible and it will be a huge boost for the team to get this. Alex Fontenot and Laviska Shenault Jr. had the best games for Colorado and they helped carry the load for the offense. The defense, meanwhile, played spectacularly and kept Stanford to under 400 total yards and just 13 points. The Buffs will have a bye before finishing their season against Washington and Utah. So the Buffs will need to enjoy this rest weekend before they have a ROUGH finish to the season.

Next Opponent: Bye

Stanford v Colorado Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

#9. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-4 Overall, 2-4 Conference)

Sparky gave the Trojans all they could handle this weekend. In a 31-26 loss, the Sun Devils fought tooth and nail to try and keep up against USC. While they were able to mount a late rally, it was too little, too late. USC’s offense was rolling all night and the Sun Devils were unable to catch up after their poor start. In their loss, ASU turned to another freshman QB in Joey Yellen after Jayden Daniels was ruled out with a knee injury. Yellen played about as well as you could hope for in his first collegiate start, but it was clear that the team missed Daniels playmaking ability. Still, ASU is one win from bowling, so a strong finish is essential for the Sun Devils to get themselves into a higher quality bowl.

Next Opponent: @ Oregon State

#8. UCLA Bruins (4-5 Overall, 4-2 Conference)

UCLA enjoyed a bye this weekend but now must face the class of the Pac-12 South. UCLA has slowly been creeping into the bowl picture, and will need to keep up their strong play if they wish to go bowling.

Next Opponent: @ #8 Utah

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

Welp, the Cougs flat-out got beaten. No other way to put it. The defense was handled by a Cal offense that couldn’t find it’s footing ever since losing their starting QB and the offense couldn’t capitalize throughout much of the evening. Washington State looked like they were flat-out not ready to play. While this loss stings for Wazzu, they still have three winnable games remaining and can easily make it to postseason this year.

Next Opponent: vs Stanford

#6. Cal Bears (5-4 Overall, 2-4 Conference)

Cal remembered how to play offense. Holy cannoli the Golden Bears offense actually looked dangerous. Sure, it was against Wazzu’s horrendous defense, but it was still massive for Cal to put some points up after sputtering out ever since they lost Chase Garbers. Devon Modster had himself a huge day and tallied four total touchdowns while Christopher Brown Jr. had a solid day rushing for the Bears. What was also impressive is how the defense stepped up against a dangerous Cougs offense and even forced two turnovers. Cal put together a complete game and now sit on the edge of bowl eligibility.

Next Opponent: vs USC

Washington State v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

#5. Oregon State Beavers (4-5 Overall, 3-3 Conference)

A tip of the cap needs to go to the Beaver defense for putting on a fantastic game against a dangerous Husky offense. Holding the Huskies to 19 points and forcing two turnovers (including a pick-six) is a huge testament to the fight this defense put on. As for the offense, yuck. 119 total yards. That’s it. That sucks. The offense did not show up for this game and it ultimately dragged the whole team down. The defense gave the offense every chance to stay in the fight, but Jake Luton and co. had nothing going the entire night. They will need to get it together as they prepare for ASU this weekend.

Next Opponent: vs Arizona State

#4. Washington Huskies (6-4 Overall, 3-4 Conference)

The Huskies did not have their cleanest game, but they still walked away with the W. Two huge factors played into this. First, the Husky defense balled out and kept the Beavs to less than 119 yards of total offense, which gives the offense a huge boost. And the second factor is Salvon Ahmed. This kid balled out and finished the night with 174 yards rushing to go with two touchdowns. A fantastic showing from this crew put officially puts the Huskies into the postseason as they are now bowl eligible.

Next Opponent: Bye

#3. USC Trojans (6-4 Overall, 5-2 Conference)

After getting manhandled by the Ducks, the Trojans came out and put it to the Sun Devils for most of the night. USC put together a commanding league early in the game and never looked back. Kedon Slovis turned it on this week with 432 yards passing as well as four touchdowns. Slovis paved the way for the offense, but we can’t forget about the other side of the ball. The defense also had a stellar game, holding the Sun Devils to 292 yards passing to go with three turnovers. It was this combined performance that kept the Trojan lead and helped put USC back into bowl season.

Next Opponent: @ Cal

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

#2. #9 Utah Utes (8-1 Overall, 5-1 Conference)

The Utes received a bye after their tough game against the Huskies. They will need to be on alert, as UCLA could be a sneaky challenging opponent for Utah.

Next Opponent: vs UCLA

#1. #7 Oregon Ducks (8-1 Overall, 6-0 Conference)

The Ducks also relaxed this weekend as they ready for the final championship push. Oregon and Utah both should win out and see each other in Santa Clara. I say “should” because we all know how likely this conference is to blow itself up.

Next Opponent: vs Arizona


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