Pac-12 Conference power rankings
The Pac-12 season has come and gone, with only the championship game left to be played. Some teams will play in bowl games, others will not. But all must submit themselves for judgement via power rankings. There wasn’t a single upset in the Pac-12 last weekend, and so there hasn’t been much drastic movement in the rankings this week.
1 Arizona St. (10-2, 8-1; last week: 1) The Sun Devils survived against their giant-killing rivals, avoiding the pitfall that befell Oregon. With a home game all that stands between ASU and a Rose Bowl, the Sun Devils will play in the conference’s plum bowl game for the first time since the 1996 season.
2 Stanford (10-2, 8-2 in Pac-12; last week: 3) A rougher-than- expected season for the Cardinal, but Stanford can still play in a BCS game with a win on Saturday. Revenge over Notre Dame for last season’s iffy ending was a good end to the regular season.
3 UCLA (9-3, 6-3; last week: 7) After a rough couple weeks the Bruins righted the ship with an emphatic win over their crosstown rival. In fact, UCLA beat up USC so bad that the Trojans got a new football coach … again.
4 Oregon (10-2, 7-2 in Pac-12; last week: 4) Yes, Oregon hasn’t looked like Oregon the last two weeks, but really, who has? The Ducks are still very dangerous and with weeks to prepare for a bowl game should have no trouble with their lesser opponent.
5 USC (9-4, 6-3; last week: 2) USC let go of a coach with six Pac-12 wins to hire one with five. It’s a bold move that could pay off for the Trojans, or blow up in their face. Kind of like Lane Kiffin, Pete Carroll, etc…
6 Washington (8-4, 5-4; last week: 5) The Huskies won the Apple Cup but lost their coach. Who UW hires next will determine whether it rises to the top of falls to the bottom of these lists.
7 WSU (6-6, 4-5; last week: 8) The Cougars were unable to win the Apple Cup but gave themselves a chance to do so late in the game. After bowl practices, how the Cougs do in the bowl – if they play in a bowl game – will say a lot about what WSU will be capable of next season.
8 Arizona (7-5, 4-5; last week: 7) That Wildcats win over Oregon? That may have been a fluke. Still, the Wildcats officially have the best offensive player in the Pac-12, and won seven games in Rich Rodriguez’s second season as coach.
9 Oregon St. (6-6, 4-5; last week: 10) The Beavers came oh-so-close to a critical Civil War victory, but made the crippling mistake of giving Oregon too much time left on the clock to score.
10 Utah (5-7, 2-7 in Pac-12; last week: 9) Two wins in Pac-12 play probably wasn’t what Utes fans had in mind when the school joined the conference. Still, a victory over their new rival has to help a bit.
1 1 Colorado (4-8, 1-8; last week: 11). Colorado’s long march to the offseason is finally over. Can they improve enough in the offseason to be competitive next year? Losing Paul Richardson to the draft wasn’t a good start.
1 2 Cal (1-11, 0-0 last week: 12) Cal did not play football last week. Par for the course these days.