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Pac-12 Notebook: Week 14 Power Rankings

From the cover photo alone, take a guess at who lost?

Oregon v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Welp, if you’re on this page reading this, there’s a chance that you’re still slightly depressed from Saturday. It’s okay, I am too. But we are just gonna move on and not talk about it and bury our feelings. Right? RIGHT?!?!

Whatever. Let’s just get into it...

#12. Arizona Wildcats (4-7 Overall, 2-6 Conference)

After a bad loss to Utah, Arizona is officially eliminated from postseason play. The Wildcats had no answers all night against the Ute, as the defense couldn’t stop a runny nose and the offense couldn’t string together a competent drive. The last few weeks, the Wildcats have insisted on using a two-QB-system. This should come as a shock to no-one that it did not work, again. Both Khalil Tate and Grant Gunnell both threw for less than 100 yards, and neither posted a QBR rating above 25 (which is football nerd talk for saying that they really sucked). Arizona’s inability to roll with one of their two talented quarterbacks has hampered the whole offense as they failed to reach 200 total yards as a team on the day. The only salvation left for the wildcats is to take down the rival Sun Devils in the territorial cup next weekend.

Next Opponent: @ Arizona State

#11. Stanford Cardinal (4-7 Overall, 3-6 Conference)

For the first time in over a decade, Stanford will not be going to a bowl game. That streak dates back to when Jim Harbaugh was coaching at Stanford, for those keeping track. The Cardinal fought a tough game against Cal that went to the very end. Davis Mills again started and played well, but the problem was that the rest of the team did not help Mills all that much. The rushing attack for Stanford totaled just 61 yards, and no receiver had more than 65 yards. The defense played well enough to win the game, they just weren’t bailed out by the offense.

Next Opponent: vs #15 Notre Dame

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

UCLA was the third team in the Pac-12 to be officially be eliminated from postseason play after a rough loss to USC in the Battle of LA. UCLA did all they could to hang with the Trojans, but they just couldn’t muster the firepower to overcome USC. Dorian Thompson-Robinson lit up the stat-sheet with over 400 total yards and four total touchdowns. Though UCLA’s season has been marred with poor play at times, it’s clear the DTR should be at the forefront for the future of UCLA. The defense, meanwhile, had absolutely no answers for the Trojans and allowed 643 total yards and 52 points. UCLA will have a chance to finish the season strong as they play Cal to finish the season.

Next Opponent: vs Cal

#9. Colorado Buffaloes (5-6 Overall, 3-5 Conference)

Colorado pulled off one of the biggest jaw dropper upsets in the Pac-12 this year as they took down the Huskies. Laviska Shenault Jr. was the biggest star of the game and had some incredible plays at incredibly clutch moments throughout this game. While the Buffs offense had it’s moments, the defense showed out and shut down U-Dub to 238 total yards of offense, which is seriously impressive considering how good Washington’s offense can be. Now, as we approach the last week of the regular season, Colorado will have to muster possibly the upset of the year against Utah if they want to go bowling.

Next Opponent: @ #6 Utah

#8. Cal Bears (6-5 Overall, 3-5 Conference)

In an old-fashion slugfest with Stanford, the Golden Bears won the Big Game to reclaim the Axe as well as punch their ticket to the postseason. Chase Garbers finally looked healthy and turned in a clutch performance for Cal with 285 passing yards, 72 rushing yards, and two total touchdowns on the day. It is also worth noting that Nikko Remigio had himself a day receiving with 157 yards and a score on the afternoon. The Cal defense also returned to their old habits and held Stanford to less than 350 total yards. Now that the pressure to get to bowl eligibility is off, Cal should have the chance to increase the prestige of the game they go to if they can win at UCLA this week.

Next Opponent: @ UCLA

NCAA Football: California at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

#7. Arizona State Sun Devils (6-5 Overall, 2-5 Conference)

Oh ASU, how I love you. Jayden Daniels and Eno Benjamin delivered dynamic games and led the Sun Devils to a stunning upset of the Oregon Ducks. This game was the epitomy of some good ole fashioned Pac-12 After Dark. The Sun Devil offense took command in the game and led the way to this victory. ASU quickly became every Beaver fan’s favorite Arizona school overnight with this win. Forgotten in this stunning upset is the fact that ASU punched their ticket to the postseason with this win and will have a chance to better their bid if they can win the Territorial Cup this weekend.

Next Opponent: vs Arizona

#6. Oregon State Beavers (5-6 Overall, 4-4 Conference)

Okay. This loss sucks. Like really bad. But I think a few things need to be pointed out. Jake Luton again proved that Jonathan Smith made the right call in dubbing him the starter as Luton threw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jermar Jefferson was a beast on the ground with 132 yards and two touchdowns. All in all, over 600 yards of offense and over 50 points should get you a win in almost any game you play. It just sucks that we played quite possibly the best offense in the conference this week. The Beavers still are one win from bowling, and with one game left, it is literally all or nothing come Saturday.

Next Opponent: @ #14 Oregon

#5. Washington Huskies (6-5 Overall, 3-5 Conference)

My god Washington, oof. I don’t know if the Huskies were looking to next weekend against Wazzu, but there shouldn’t really be any excuse to drop an egg like this against an inferior opponent coming off a bye week. Washington showed up in this game and looked like they forgot to get off the bus. Jacob Eason was average, while the Husky rushing attack couldn’t even top 40 total yards as a team. Having the defense hold Colorado to just 20 points is far more generous than the offense could have asked for. The Huskies are lucky they are already bowl eligible, cause next week’s game against Wazzu just got a lot more daunting after this embarrassing loss.

Next Opponent: vs Wazzu

#4. Washington State Cougars (6-5 Overall, 3-5 Conference)

Ugh. Look, I’m not really excited to have to talk about these guys after this loss. Let’s tip our caps to the Cougs and move on. Anthony Gordon had a monster day for the Cougs and turned in 606 yards passing and six touchdowns. Sure, he threw the ball 70 times and threw three picks, but those numbers are still pretty sweet. The air raid offense worked to perfection and took advantage of Oregon State’s weakness on defense. The defense of the Cougs was as expected, basically non-existent and that’s probably the nicest thing anyone can say about it. The win now puts the Cougs in the postseason with a pending result fron their date against the Huskies for the Apple Cup this weekend.

Next Opponent: @ Washington

#3. #25 USC Trojans (8-4 Overall, 7-2 Conference)

The Trojans are the first team on this list to wrap up their season, and they did so in a big way with a convincing 52-35 win over cross-city rival UCLA. Kedon Slovis continued his spectacular season and could quite possibly be the best storyline in the conference this season. His 515 yards passing and four passing touchdowns highlight that he deserves a chance at the starting role next season. Even with a solid season such as this, Clay Helton’s job is still up in the air. All his team can do to save his job now is to wait and see where they’ll be traveling to in December.

Next Opponent: N/A

NCAA Football: UCLA at Southern California Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

#2. #14 Oregon Ducks (9-2 Overall, 7-1 Conference)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay. Now that that’s out of my system, let’s get back to being professionals. The Ducks dropped a horrible loss to Arizona State as they were on the cusp of earning their way into the CFP discussion. Now, the best they can hope for is a trip to the Rose Bowl (No, I’m not saying that’s bad). Justin Herbert turned in probably his worst game of the season and his lack of execution dragged down the whole offense. CJ Verdell had a solid day rushing, but it wasn’t enough to help Herbert overcome ASU’s offense. The defense surrendered over 500 yards and 31 points to ASU and never really had an answer to slowing down the Sun Devils. Oregon has already clinched the North, so they have no reason to panic. They will have to finish the season strong if they want a trip to Pasadena.

Next Opponent: vs Oregon State

#1. #6 Utah Utes (10-1 Overall, 6-1 Conference)

Utah took care of business and handled the Wildcats. Utah is now one win against Colorado away from finishing the year with one loss and a trip to the championship game. With Oregon’s loss this weekend, Utah is now the conference’s best shot at going to the CFP. Even if they win out, it could still be a longshot as we have no idea what the committee will decide. As for this past weekend, Zack Moss was easily the biggest standout as he racked up over 200 yards rushing as well as 43 yards receiving to go with. Utah’s defense also was again dominant and continues to be one of the team’s biggest strengths. Utah needs to keep it’s focus for the next two weeks, and they could easily find themselves in the playoffs.

Next Opponent: vs Colorado

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

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