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Pac-12 power rankings: After a weekend of upsets, some new CFP hope for the conference out west

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 7, 2017, 7:16 p.m.

Washington’s Dante Pettis celebrates with teammates after his 64-yard punt-return touchdown against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Seattle on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Pettis holds the NCAA record for punt returns for touchdowns with nine. (Bettina Hansen / Associated Press)
Washington’s Dante Pettis celebrates with teammates after his 64-yard punt-return touchdown against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Seattle on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Pettis holds the NCAA record for punt returns for touchdowns with nine. (Bettina Hansen / Associated Press)

Did a few Big Ten belly flops thrust Washington back into the College Football Playoff debate? It’s probably too early to determine that, but the Huskies are still an easy No. 1 in our power rankings. While USC put itself in a prime spot to take the Pac-12 South, UW and WSU might need a few more weeks to settle the North.

Here’s a look at the weekly rankings…

1. Washington (8-1, 5-1; last week: No. 1) – Dante Pettis has more punt return touchdowns (nine) than Oregon State has passing touchdowns (six) this season.

2. USC (8-2, 6-2; last week: No. 2) – Khalil Tate finally found his kryptonite and the Pac-12 South is finally beginning to shape up like we all expected it to.

3. Washington State (8-2, 5-2; last week: No. 4) – The Cougars close out an unbeaten home season for the first time since 2003, but it won’t mean much if they can’t scare off their road demons this Saturday in Salt Lake City.

4. Arizona (6-3, 4-2; last week: No. 3) – A Pac-12 South title is probably out of the realm of possibility for the Wildcats, but a season that began with Rich Rod squarely on the hot seat might still end with eight or nine victories.

5. Stanford (6-3, 5-2; last week: No. 5) – The Cardinal dropped to 0-2 in snow games played since 1936. If it’s any consolation, they probably won’t see the white stuff this weekend in Palo Alto.

6. Arizona State (5-4, 4-2; last week: No. 6) – Behind 381 rushing yards – and 189 from Demario Richard – the Sun Devils ground out a 41-30 win over Colorado. Their bowl prospects are looking pretty good with three weeks to go.

7. Oregon (5-5, 2-5; last week: No. 7) – A team that was 4-1 with Justin Herbert behind center is now 1-4 without its starting quarterback. Herbert or no Herbert, the Ducks should be able to cruise by the Beavers in the Civil War to gain bowl eligibility.

8. Utah (5-4, 2-4; last week: No. 8) – Which Utah team will show up to face the Cougars? The one that clocked UCLA 48-17, or the one that lost its previous four games – and the last two by 20 points.

9. Colorado (5-5, 2-5; last week: No. 9) – Does Phillip Lindsay have enough in his legs to get the Buffaloes to the postseason? Colorado needs to win at home against USC or on the road against Utah to become eligible.

10. Cal (5-5, 2-5; last week: No. 11) – The Golden Bears will finish with a losing mark in Pac-12 play, but they’ll be thankful for those early nonleague wins if they can beat Stanford or UCLA to reach postseason eligibility.

11. UCLA (4-5, 2-4; last week: No. 10) – An offense without Josh Rosen looked just as we might expect it to. The Bruins completed just eight passes and managed just 249 yards of offense in a loss to Utah.

12. Oregon State (1-8, 0-6; last week: No. 12) – Earlier in the year, OSU tight end Tuli Wily-Matagi threw a touchdown pass on his only attempt of the season. Beavers starting quarterback Darell Garretson has that many touchdowns, but on 136 attempts.


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