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Jacob Thorpe’s Pac-12 power rankings

PULLMAN – The Pac-12 Conference certainly has parity this season, but maybe parity is overrated. Sure, the conference has six teams in the Top-25, but intraconference upsets have taken a toll and only Oregon appears to have any shot left at a spot in the college football playoffs, and having a Pac-12 representative no longer feels like a sure thing. Out of conference losses by teams like Stanford and USC have appeared to depress the national perception of the Pac-12, which is now viewed as a gaggle of good teams without any great ones.

1 Oregon (5-1, 2-1; last week: No. 2) With starting left tackle Jake Fisher back, Stanford at home and a newfound sense of urgency it’s hard to imagine the Ducks dropping

2 Stanford (4-2, 2-1; last week: No. 3) Oh, what could have been. The Cardinal will be kicking themselves at the end of what should have been a special season if not for uncharacteristic special teams and red zone troubles.

3 Arizona St. (4-1, 2-1; last week: No. 4) Every week that passes that young Arizona State defense gets a little older. By the end of the year don’t be surprised if the Sun Devils emerge at the top of the Pac-12 South.

4 USC (4-2, 3-1; last week: No. 8) Because of the Boston College loss it feels like the Trojans have disappointed this season, but don’t be surprised if at the end of the year USC has one of the conference’s best records.

5 Arizona (5-1, 2-1; last week: No. 1) The Wildcats were never going to go undefeated this season, so now that the first loss is out of the way we can find out how good this team really is.

6 Utah (4-1, 1-1; last week: No. 7) Utah entered the Top 20 this week. How highly would the Utes be thought of if they could have held onto a 21-point lead at home against WSU?

7 Washington (5-1, 1-1; last week: No. 10) As impressive as holding the California offense to seven points was, getting a big game out of quarterback Cyler Miles was more important.

8 UCLA (4-2, 1-2; last week: No. 5) Once trendy college football playoff pick to start the season, the Bruins now have to win at Cal to avoid a three-game losing streak. Even more surprising: a win in Berkeley is no sure thing.

9 California (4-2, 2-2; last week: No. 6) Nothing says “we’re not gonna win this game” like scoring the day’s first touchdown on a quarterback sneak, for the other team.

10 Oregon St. (4-1, 1-1; last week: No. 11) The Beavers have feasted on a weak schedule so far this year and given young players plenty of time to get acclimated. Now the schedule is about to get a lot tougher.

11 Washington St. (2-5, 1-3; last week: No. 9) On the bright side, WSU is undoubtedly the best 2-5 team in the country. But that’s not much of an honor.

12 Colorado (2-4, 0-3; last week: No. 12) Colorado’s bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. I think we were all pretty tired of watching Colorado.


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