The king is dead, long live the king! Thanks to Stanford’s 26-20 victory over Oregon there is a new team atop these rankings for the first time since I started doing this, six long weeks ago. Yes the Ducks have finally fallen from their perch and, who knows, there’s no guarantee they’ll be ranked No. 2 this week. Maybe Oregon deserves a couple weeks slumming with the teams that don’t need a personal stylist to help them manage their game-day wardrobes.
1 Stanford (8-1, 6-1 in Pac-12; last week: 2) The Cardinal control their own destiny. Stanford just needs to take care of business against USC and Cal to ensure a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
2 Oregon (8-1, 5-1 in Pac-12; last week: 1) OK. You caught me. Of course the Ducks are No. 2. Oregon (again) played itself out of a shot at a title and will have to settle for double-digit wins, and pasting some poor foe in a lesser BCS bowl.
3 USC (7-3, 4-2; last week: 4) Well look who it is. The Trojans are playing even better than they were expected to before Lane Kiffin was fired. USC looks so good right now that Stanford winning in the Coliseum is no guarantee.
4 Arizona St. (7-2, 5-1; last week: 3) Utah has been tough at home this season but the Sun Devils barely escaped Salt Lake City. More was expected from the Pac-12 South’s hottest team.
5 UCLA (7-2, 4-2; last week: 5) As fun as UCLA’s win over Arizona was (and it’s always fun when your leading rusher is a freshman linebacker) it was still too close for comfort.
6 Washington (6-3, 3-3; last week: 7) Washington pasted Colorado and Cal, putting their three-game losing streak behind them. Upcoming road tests with UCLA and OSU will determine if UW can continue to “climb the mountain” or if they’ll have to make base camp for another year.
7 Oregon St. (6-3, 4-2; last week: 6) The Beavers took the weekend off. They needed with ASU, UW and UO upcoming.
8 Arizona (6-3, 3-3; last week: 8) After barely beating Cal on the road the Wildcats come home and barely lose to UCLA. While Arizona may not be consistent, running back Ka’Deem Carey is consistently excellent.
9 Utah (4-5, 1-5 in Pac-12; last week: 9) Utah can play with anybody at home. They’ve beaten Stanford and took ASU to the wire. Unfortunately, the Utes only have one more home game, and need two wins to make a bowl game.
10 WSU (4-5, 2-4; last week: 10) The Cougars will have had 16 days to prepare for their game against Arizona. A win would do wonders for a team that hasn’t tasted victory since October 5th.
1 1 Cal (1-9, 0-7; last week: 11) The Golden Bears will have to put 11th place on the line this weekend when they take on Colorado.
12 Colorado (3-6, 0-6; last week: 12) Doormats no more! With a win over Cal the Buffaloes can show that they’re not actually the worst team in the conference.