The Cougars and the Huskies trade spots, as do the Cardinal and the Utes. The Wildcats make a big jump, while the Golden Bears and Buffaloes continue to tank. All of that and more in this week’s power rankings. And just remember, only 51 days until the Apple Cup…
1. Washington State (6-0, 3-0; last week: No. 2) – The Cougars haven’t beat Oregon and USC in the same season in 15 years. Bad news: they also lost to the Huskies that season. Good news: they still qualified for the Rose Bowl.
2. Washington (6-0, 3-0; last week: No. 1) – Cupcakes, cream puffs, whatever you prefer to call them – UW’s opponents have been softer than soft. Their combined record? 15-19. And you can probably that argue WSU’s third-toughest opponent is better than all six of the Huskies’.
3. USC (5-1, 3-1; last week: No. 3) – The Trojans probably could’ve used a few more style points against Oregon State and Sam Darnold didn’t exactly do anything to push his name back into the thick of the Heisman conversation.
4. Stanford (4-2, 3-1; last week: No. 5) – Best two-loss team in college football? That distinction could very well go to Stanford, which easily has the most productive player in the country.
5. Utah (4-1, 1-1; last week: No. 4) – Losing at home to Stanford tells us the second-best team in the South is no better than No. 4 – maybe No. 5 – in the North. But the defense is still playing admirably.
6. Oregon (4-2, 1-2; last week: No. 6) – Just like the Utes, the Ducks are another team that needs their sophomore quarterback to return from injury before they can even think about challenging the top teams in the conference.
7. UCLA (3-2, 1-1; last week: No. 7) – The Bruins were idle last weekend, so you can bet Josh Rosen hit the books.
8. Arizona (3-2, 1-1; last week: No. 11) – Do we credit Rich Rodriguez for unlocking a new phase of his offense, or do we knock him for not realizing Khalil Tate was a scholarship player at Arizona until the midpoint of the 2017 season?
9. Arizona State (3-2, 1-1; last week: No. 8) – One of four three-win teams in the South that you can’t get a good pulse on right now. You couldn’t last weekend when the Sun Devils were off and you won’t this weekend when the Huskies come to town.
10. Cal (3-3, 0-3; last week: No. 9) – So as it turns out, the Golden Bears will have played three top-eight teams – and Oregon – by the time they finish up this gauntlet in the middle of the schedule.
11. Colorado (3-3, 0-3; last week: No. 10) – The Buffaloes also hit reality once they started Pac-12 play. And what a harsh reality it’s been for a team that fell one game shy of a Rose Bowl last season.
12. Oregon State (1-5, 0-3; last week: No. 12) – Oregon State is the top story in the Pac-12 this week, but given the circumstances, it’s far from a good thing.
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