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Jacob Thorpe’s Pac-12 Power Rankings

The Pac-12 was exceedingly predictable in hindsight last week. The top six teams in our power rankings all won, the bottom six all lost and so there was very little movement this week.

That’s not to say Week 10 did not provide some intrigue. Oregon, USC and Washington State became bowl eligible and Utah kept its playoff hopes alive by pulling out a win against a Washington team that played one of its better games this year.

But we now have a fairly firmly established Pac-12 pecking order. Arizona and UCLA each moved up this week because of the relative quality of their performances to the teams ranked immediately higher in the standings.

1 Stanford (8-1, 7-0; last week 1) A matchup with Notre Dame looms large given its playoff implications but it won’t matter if the Cardinal gets sidetracked.

2 Washington State (6-3, 4-2; last week: 2) That the Cougars even have the ability to outscore ASU 21-0 in the fourth quarter hints at WSU’s enormous potential.

3 UCLA (7-2, 4-2; last week: 5) With USC and Utah still on the schedule, there’s no reason the Bruins can’t win the Pac-12 South.

4 USC (6-3, 4-2; last week: 3) Now Ronald Jones II is starting to get the “next Reggie Bush” treatment, and for once it doesn’t feel quite so hyperbolic.

5 Utah (8-1, 5-1; last week: 4) The Utes escaped Seattle with a win but haven’t looked like a playoff team since their Week 4 win over Oregon.

6 Oregon (6-3, 4-2; last week: 6) Mark Helfrich has managed to navigate the Ducks through what will certainly be a bad season by UO’s standards, but not a tire fire.

7 Washington (4-5, 2-4; last week: 7) The Huskies will have plenty of time to think about the questionable officiating decisions that went against them in their loss to Utah if it means they’re staying home during bowl season.

8 California (5-4, 2-4; last week: 8) The Bears were once the Pac-12’s golden team. But the magic left a long time ago and Cal has not won since Oct. 3.

9 Arizona State (4-5, 2-4; last week: 9) The Sun Devils fell apart in Pullman really quickly for a program that has experienced so much success.

10 Arizona (5-5, 2-5; last week: 12) The Wildcats put up a credible showing against USC, proving it’s not yet one of the Pac-12’s dregs.

11 Colorado (4-6, 1-5; last week: 10) The Buffaloes appeared to be getting closer to respectability with a series of close losses against conference opponents. Then they played Stanford.

12 Oregon State (2-7, 0-6; last week: 11) Oregon State is averaging 14.5 points against Pac-12 opponents and has scored just 25 total points in its last three games.


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