Another solid week of football in the Pac-12, if you’re into like blowouts and whatnot. Still, the conference has seen surprise contenders rise to a shot at bowl eiligbility.
With the CFP committee releasing it’s first series of rankings this week, now is as important as any time to review our rankings and prep for the last month of college football (*insert sad face emoji*).
#12. Colorado Buffaloes (3-6 Overall, 1-5 Conference)
The poor Buffs. It has become apparent as the season has gone on that the Buffs are firmly in the bottom tier of this conference. Getting handled by UCLA the way that they did is disheartening and makes it hard to justify any ranking spot other than last. The Buffs have three games left this season and it is extremely difficult seeing them winning more than one between Stanford, U-Dub and Utah. It seems to be looking like the Buffs will spend another year of watching bowl season from home.
Next Opponent: vs Stanford
#11. Arizona Wildcats (5-4 Overall, 2-4 Conference)
It feels weird posting a five-win team with the offensive firepower like Arizona this low, but here we are. This team is talented, but they have found ways to consistently blow important games and lose in spectacular fashion. While the offense is still pumping out 500 yard games, it’s apparent that the Khalil Tate and Grant Gunnell two-QB system isn’t working as well as Coach Sumlin had hoped. The Wildcats need to roll with one guy to get some sort of continuity on offense. As for the defense, I have no idea how to start with this. UofA now has had four straight weeks of allowing 40-plus points to teams, making that six of the nine total games on the season of allowing 40 or more. You guys tell me, I’m just a blogger and I can’t save this defense with my electronic quips.
Next Opponent: Bye
#9. Stanford Cardinal (4-4 Overall, 3-3 Conference)
Stanford rested this past weekend and now prepare for the reeling Buffs.
Next Opponent: @ Colorado
#8. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-3 Overall, 2-3 Conference)
The Sun Devils rested this weekend and will ready themselves for a Pac-12 South tilt against the Trojans this weekend.
Next Opponent: vs USC
#7. UCLA Bruins (4-5 Overall, 4-2 Conference)
Okay, what if I told you that UCLA is tied for second in the Pac-12 South? Seems hard to believe, right? Well, here we are. Joshua Kelley again had an impressive night and shouldered the load for the Bruins as they handled Colorado for the entire night. While the offense hanging up 31 points is nice, it’s the defense that really stepped up for the Bruins. Allowing less than 300 total yards and forcing a turnover is a solid feat for a defensive unit that has looked ROUGH throughout this season. With Utah, USC and Cal remaining, bowl eligibility may be a long shot, but at least it’s not impossible like we thought it was for Chip Kelly one month ago.
Next Opponent: Bye
#7. Cal Bears (4-4 Overall, 1-4 Conference)
The Golden Bears also enjoyed a much needed bye week as they try to right the ship after a horrendous start to conference play.
Next Opponent: vs Wazzu
#6. Washington State Cougars (4-4 Overall, 1-4 Conference)
The Cougs were the fourth team this past weekend to rest up. Mike Leach and his boys in Pullman have four games left to get to bowl eligibility. Look for the air-raid offense to lead the way on this last push for the Cougs.
Next Opponent: @ Cal
#5. Oregon State Beavers (4-4 Overall, 3-2 Conference)
Wow. Just... amazing. This team’s rise from the bottom of the conference this season has been tremendous, to say the least. Hardly anyone (if anyone at all) would’ve predicted that the Beavs would have a chance at being bowl eligible with a month left in the season. Yet, the season is looking bright for OSU after a convincing win against Arizona this weekend where the Beavs posted 56 points and nearly 600 total yards of offense. Jake Luton was downright brilliant and it can no longer be in question that Isaiah Hodgins is the best receiver in this conference. We can’t say it enough, J-Smitty is building this team up the right way. Four games left, with just two needed to be bowl eligible, now is the time for the Beavs to fight to the finish.
Next Opponent: vs Washington (Friday Night)
#4. USC Trojans (5-4 Overall, 4-2 Conference)
USC, ugh. Leading up to this game, many (including yours truly) thought USC had a legit upset bid against the Ducks this weekend. Yeah, that hope lasted to about halftime. The Trojans were outmatched basically from the start of this game. Kedon Slovis played a bad game and didn’t get much help from the rest of his team. The Trojans turned the ball over four times as a team and allowed 56 points to be scored against them. NOT an ideal strategy to winning. Still, USC has three very winnable games remaining and could make a bowl run that could help cool Clay Helton’s seat this offseason.
Next Opponent: @ Arizona State
#3. Washington Huskies (5-4 Overall, 2-4 Conference)
The Huskies gave Utah everything they could handle. Jacob Eason played decently outside of his two interceptions and the defense forced three turnovers to keep the Huskies in the game. It just so happened that Utah arose to the challenge and proved their elite status in a massive conference game. The Huskies still have a good squad on their hands after a season that has been below their standards. They have three games remaining and all three are winnable. Look for the Huskies to get back to the postseason sooner, rather than later.
Next Opponent: @ Oregon State (Friday night)
#2. #9 Utah Utes (8-1 Overall, 5-1 Conference)
In a game that required him to step up, Tyler Huntley turned in arguably the best game of his career. This will go down as one of the most clutch performances in school history, as Huntley needed every yard of his outstanding performance to hold on against the Huskies. Zack Moss also turned in a big game to help out Huntley, but the defense also needs love in this recap. They held a dangerous Husky team to less than 30 points and less than 370 total yards. Utah established that they are legit and prepared to take the South. This also includes a possible run at the CFP or, at the very lest, a trip to Pasadena. With three games left against UCLA, Arizona and Colorado, the Utes should breeze their way to the conference championship.
Next Opponent: Bye
#1. #7 Oregon Ducks (8-1 Overall, 6-0 Conference)
So much for the trap game in SoCal that everyone was predicting. Oregon beat the piss out of USC and put them away early to stop any chance of a Trojan upset bid. The craziest part about this game is that while the score looks absolutely bonkers (56-24), the Ducks and Trojans both combined for 755 total yards. It just so happened that the Ducks forced four turnovers and made the Trojans pay for each one. Justin Herbert played a good game and had perhaps the strongest game of any offensive player outside of wide receiver and Penn State transfer Juwan Johnson. This game against USC was arguably the toughest remaining game for the Ducks, as they look to finish strong and clinch the North in convincing fashion.
Next Opponent: Bye
What are your thoughts on this power ranking? Should one team be higher? Lower? Let us know in the comments section!