Order has been restored in the Pac-12 football universe. We know, change was scary, but Oregon is back on top after a one-week hiatus. Stanford found out just how difficult it is to dominate a deep conference, falling on the road to Ed Orgeron’s upstart Trojans. We’ll have another potential shakeup this week when Arizona State travels to Pasadena to face UCLA in a game that could very well determine the Pac-12 South champ.
1 Oregon (9-1, 6-1 in Pac-12; last week: 2) Oregon probably won’t play for the national title but the Ducks are still the fastest, and best in the West.
2 USC (8-3, 5-2; last week: 3) We’re feeling pretty good about putting the Trojans so high last week, if we may say so ourselves. Just imagine if coach Orgeron had taken over at the start of fall camp.
3 Stanford (8-2, 6-2 in Pac-12; last week: 1) What a difference a week makes. On Friday Stanford was all but assured of playing a team that it had already beaten in the Pac-12 championship game for a Rose Bowl berth. Now the Cardinal has more conference losses than the Sun Devils.
4 Arizona St. (7-2, 5-1; last week: 4) ASU might have leaped over Stanford had they been able to paste Oregon State. However, the Beavers actually outscored the Sun Devils in the second half.
5 UCLA (7-2, 4-2; last week: 5) Myles Jack is the best freshman to enter the Pac-12 since … Lew Alcindor? The Bruins got a big win against Washington, but let the Huskies stick around despite losing their quarterback.
6 Oregon St. (6-4, 4-3; last week: 7) We’re moving Beavers up despite their two-touchdown loss because the Sun Devils have been blowing out everybody, and OSU played well in the second half.
7 Washington (6-4, 3-4; last week: 8) The Huskies kept it close against a good team on the road despite uncharacteristic fumbles by their best players, an egregious call the Pac-12 has already apologized for and the loss of starting quarterback Keith Price.
8 WSU (5-5, 3-4; last week: 10) The Cougars end their losing streak with a good win on the road. Bowl eligibility is there for the taking but now the pressure steps up as well.
9 Arizona (6-4, 3-4; last week: 8) The Wildcats’ season is starting to look like a house of cards. Arizona’s three wins over BCS teams come against the three last-ranked teams on this list.
10 Utah (4-6, 1-6 in Pac-12; last week: 9) The Utes aren’t exactly carrying the torch for successful mid-major teams that think they could withstand the rigors of playing week in and week out in a major conference.
11 Colorado (4-6, 1-6; last week: 11) No ripping on the Buffaloes this week, they ended their conference losing streak with a convincing win over Cal.
12 Cal (1-9, 0-8 last week: 12) The American justice system’s burden of proof has been met. There is no longer any reasonable doubt that Cal is terrible.