The Pac-12 was nearly the Conference of Upsets in week four, with three teams needing second-half comebacks to beat heavy underdogs and Colorado barely outlasting Hawaii despite not scoring a single point in the second half.
All the favorites found ways to win, however, and the Pac-12 went 3-0 in its nonconference games, including a 26-10 pasting of Michigan by Utah to continue the conference’s dominance over the beleaguered Big Ten.
1 Oregon (4-0, 1-0; last week: No. 1)
There was no way any team was going to get through this year’s Pac-12 without a few scares. Oregon survives its first test and picks up its first true road win since last October.
2 Stanford (2-1, 0-1; last week: No. 2)
It had been so long since the Cardinal had a bye week following a Saturday game (Sept. 2011) that coach David Shaw had to dig through his old notes to figure out what to do.
3 Arizona State (3-0, 1-0; last week: No. 3)
The Sun Devils timed their bye week perfectly, getting an extra week to prepare for the biggest game of the year at home on Thursday against UCLA. So did their opponent.
4 UCLA (3-0; last week: No. 4)
The bye week may not have been a blessing for UCLA, which had to spend seven extra days ferreting the possibly injured Brett Hundley to secure locations away from the media.
5 USC (2-1. 1-0; last week: No. 5)
Geeze, did every team in the Pac-12 South take the week off?
6 Utah (3-0; last week: No. 8)
It’s entirely likely that Michigan is terrible this year. Still, a big win in the Big House shows that Utah is taking care of business.
7 Arizona (4-0, 1-0; last week: No. 7)
The Wildcats raised the expectations for their offense with a 36-point explosion in the fourth quarter last weekend. Now it’s a disappointment if Arizona doesn’t score 100 every game.
8 Washington (4-0; last week: No. 6)
At halftime against Georgia State the Huskies finally realized that there is no point in throwing a game that doesn’t have a betting line.
9 Washington St. (1-3, 0-1; last week: No. 10)
The Cougars played well on offense and defense against the Ducks, and would have had a shot to tie the game late if not for some very questionable officiating. But, hey, no moral victories and all that.
10 California (2-1, 0-1; last week No. 9)
It is better to be lucky than good, but in the fourth quarter on Saturday the Golden Bears were neither.
11 Oregon St. (3-0; last week: No. 11)
The Beavers are getting better but haven’t yet done enough to rise above any of the teams ahead of them on this list. Beat USC this weekend and OSU will skyrocket up the rankings.
12 Colorado (2-2, 0-1; last week: No. 12)
Nelson Spruce looks ready to continue Paul Richardson’s legacy of putting up big receiving numbers on bad Colorado teams.
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