Of the five Pac-12 teams currently guaranteed a spot in the postseason, four are still in the hunt for a league title – and a presumed New Year’s Six bowl berth – while six of the last seven head into the final two weeks looking to punch a ticket. Could the Pac-12 send 11 teams bowling? Chances are no. But at least 11 of the 12 have something to play for as the season winds down.
Here are the weekly power rankings:
1. Washington State (9-2, 6-2; last week: No. 3) – I’d listen to an argument for USC, but the Trojans will probably finish the regular season with one Pac-12 loss – and it came to WSU. Also, not sure I wouldn’t take the Cougars in a rematch.
2. USC (9-2, 7-1; last week: No. 2) – The Trojans wrapped up the South a few weeks early and it should be advantageous to have a bye right before the conference championship game.
3. Stanford (7-3, 6-2; last week: No. 5) – Stanford’s Pac-12 North chances are still intact, as are Bryce Love’s Heisman hopes after the star tailback gashed UW for 166 yards and three touchdowns.
4. Washington (8-2; 5-2; last week: No. 1) – In just a few hours on The Farm, the Huskies went from potential College Football Playoff contender to Pac-12 title game long shot.
5. Arizona (7-3, 5-2; last week: No. 4) – A Heisman candidate and a bowl game? Those are two things the Wildcats didn’t expect to have when this season began.
6. Arizona State (5-5, 4-3; last week: No. 6) – The teams ranked No. 6-11 are all pretty interchangeable, but of those six teams, the Sun Devils have the best mark in conference play.
7. Oregon (5-5, 2-5; last week: No. 7) – The Ducks have scored more than 20 points just once since losing Justin Herbert. They’ll need more than 20 this week, so they’ll probably need Herbert.
8. Cal (5-5, 2-5; last week: No. 11) – Year No. 1 under Justin Wilcox will be deemed a success if the Golden Bears can reach bowl eligibility. Getting there with a win in the Big Game would be even sweeter.
9. Utah (5-4, 2-5; last week: No. 8) – I’ll go out on a limb and say eight turnovers won’t get the Utes very far against the Huskies, either.
10. UCLA (5-5, 3-4; last week: No. 10) – Josh Rosen hasn’t exactly had the prodigious career UCLA fans were counting on when he signed a few years back, but the Bruins QB still has a chance to something he’s never done: beat the Trojans.
11. Colorado (5-6, 2-6; last week: No. 9) – The Buffaloes have a bye before visiting Utah in the regular season finale. There’s a good chance both teams will enter that game seeking their sixth win.
12. Oregon State (1-9, 0-7; last week: No. 12) – The Beavers are on the cusp of their worst season since 1995. With losses to Arizona State and Oregon, they’d finish thePac-12 portion of their schedule without a win for the second time in three years.