Sunday Afternoon Quarterback – Pac-12 Power Rankings


Pac-12 Power Rankings

Note … These are my subjective Power Rankings, which will be updated every Sunday. (Please feel free to post your own rankings in the comments section) …

12. Oregon State (1-5, 0-3) … Ranking last weekend: 12

This weekend … Bye Week

The Beavers didn’t play last weekend, but still lost ground to the rest of the conference when UCLA picked up win No. 1 in convincing fashion against Cal. With the Bears in free fall (3-3, 0-3) after a hot start, and a November death march (USC, at Stanford, at Washington State, Oregon), this weekend might be Oregon State’s last best chance at a win in 2018.

Up next … California, 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

11. California (3-3, 0-3) … Ranking last weekend: 9

This weekend … Lost to UCLA, 37-7.

Remember when Cal was 3-0 and nationally ranked?

That was so three weeks ago. Since then, the Bears have lost the conference games (two at home), and now face a stretch with three of the next four games on the road … and the only home game coming against Washington.

A win over Oregon State could right the ship. A loss could start the season on a death spiral where the regular season finale against the Buffs might not even have bowl implications for the Bears.

Up next … at Oregon State, 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

10. Arizona (3-4, 2-2) … Ranking last weekend: 8

This weekend … Lost to Utah, 42-10.

Arizona without Kahlil Tate is like Stanford without Bryce Love … only worse. The Wildcat calling card for the last year has been Kahlil Tate, but with Tate either injured or restricted by the new Kevin Sumlin offense (or both), Arizona’s offense has been anemic.

The road game against UCLA looked like as easy win a week ago. Now, with Arizona facing back-to-back road games before a home game against Oregon, the game against the Bruins is looking like a must win for bowl eligibility this fall.

Up next … at UCLA, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN2

9. UCLA (1-5, 1-2) … Ranking last weekend: 11

This weekend … Defeated Cal, 37-7.

Don’t look now, but if the Bruins defeat Arizona at home this weekend (a distinct possibility), and Colorado loses to Washington this weekend (a distinct possibility), the two teams will be tied in the Pac-12 South standings with 2-2 records. Now, the Bruins still have Oregon, USC, and Stanford on the schedule, so bowl eligibility is still a long shot, but at least the Bruins are off the list of winless teams (yes, we’re looking at you, Nebraska).

Up next … Arizona … 8:30 p.m., MT, Saturday, ESPN2

8. Arizona State (3-3, 1-2) … Ranking last weekend: 10

This weekend … Bye week.

The Sun Devils have had an extra week to think about what went wrong against Colorado, and will have a chance to make a statement against the (surprisingly) struggling Stanford Cardinal this Thursday. The nation will be watching the nationally televised game, with the focus on new head coach Herm Edwards. Football fans, though, will be focusing on whether Arizona State can climb out of the Pac-12 South basement.

Up next … Stanford, Thursday, October 18th, 7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN

7. Stanford (4-2, 2-1) … Ranking last weekend: 6

This weekend … Bye week.

It’s going to be a shakeup weekend in my Pac-12 Power rankings, what with my No. 12 playing No. 11, No. 10 playing No. 9, and my No. 8 team, Arizona State, facing off against my No. 7 team, Stanford. Arizona State may want the cameras to shine brightly upon their new head coach, but Stanford fans are hoping that the spotlight will be upon their oft-injured star running back, Bryce Love. If Love can go, you have to think the Cardinal will win. If he can’t go, Stanford’s fall down the standings may continue.

Up next … at Arizona State, Thursday, October 18th, 7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN

6. Colorado (5-1, 2-1) … Ranking last weekend: 3

This weekend … Lost to USC, 31-20.

What a difference a week makes. Last weekend, the Buffs were riding high, with an undefeated record and a national ranking. Now (if you read the fan message boards), the Buffs are crap and are on their way to a weak finish, a la 2017.

The fear and hand-wringing probably wouldn’t be so great if Oregon State was next on the schedule, instead of a road game against Washington. A second straight loss appears imminent, which would leave Colorado at 5-2.

5-2? Buff fans upset with a 5-2 record heading into games against Oregon State and Arizona?

Pretty fickle fans.

Up next … at Washington, 1:30 p.m., MT, Fox

5. Utah (4-2, 2-2)… Ranking last weekend: 7

This weekend … Defeated Arizona, 42-10.

Is Utah this good … or Arizona this bad? Left for dead after an 0-2 conference start (and a road game against Stanford looming), the Utes are a force to be reckoned with. Utah gets USC at home this weekend. A win over the Trojans, and, believe it or not, the Utes become the favorites in the Pac-12 South.

Up next … USC, 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

4. Washington State (5-1, 2-1) … Ranking last weekend: 4

This weekend … Bye week.

Like Utah, the Cougars were not considered to be a candidate for the Pac-12 title game a few weeks ago. Like Utah, though, Washington State now has its destiny in its hands. A win over Oregon at home – after a bye week, no less – and Washington State could face off against Washington in the Apple Cup in a game which could have meaning for both teams.

Up next … Oregon, 5:30 p.m., MT, Fox

3. USC (4-2, 3-1) … Ranking last weekend: 5

This weekend … Defeated Colorado, 31-20.

After a pathetic effort against Stanford (17-3), and a lopsided defeat at the hands of Texas (37-14), the Trojans have gotten their act together, handling Washington State, Arizona, and Colorado.

A win over Utah this weekend, and the Pac-12 South race is all but over. A loss to Utah this weekend, and the Clay Helton haters will crawl back out from under their beds, and call for a new coach once again.

Up next … Utah, 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

2. Washington (5-2, 3-1) … Ranking last weekend: 1

This weekend … Lost to Oregon, 30-27, in overtime.

It’s going to be a week of “woulda, coulda shoulda” for the Huskies this week in Seattle. A missed field goal at the end of regulation may be what keeps Washington from a Pac-12 championship game, and potentially a shot at a College Football Playoff berth.

The Buffs are up next, and the Huskies could go one of two ways. Playoff hopes at an end, they could be lethargic. Or … they could come out angry and take out their aggression on the visitors from Boulder.

Up next … Colorado, 1:30 p.m., MT, Fox


1. Oregon (5-1, 2-1) … Ranking last weekend: 2

This weekend … A loss to Stanford in Oregon’s Pac-12 opener set the Ducks back, but now the future looks bright. The Cardinal are no longer looking like a championship caliber team, and Washington is now looking up at Oregon in the standings.

Oregon got the benefit of a bye week to prepare for Washington … and now Washington State has had a bye week to prepare for Oregon. A win by the Ducks in Pullman, and it could be smooth sailing for Oregon to the Pac-12 title game.

Up next … at Washington State, 5:30 p.m., MT, Fox

… Your thoughts? Post your rankings in the comments section … 





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