From Pullman –After laying dormant the past few weeks, the Pac-12’s depth asserted itself this week. One of the conference’s made men was iced by an underling, and some middle tier teams emphasized their superiority over the bottom feeders. It’s pretty obvious who the king of the hill is, and who is destined to remain at the bottom of the heap. But there are a number of teams scrambling over each other to get to the top, and it’s anyone’s guess how they stack up. What is clear: The Pac-12 is an exceptionally deep conference.
1 Oregon (6-0, 3-0 in Pac-12; last week: 1) Last week, last month, last year. It’s been awhile since the Ducks weren’t nesting high above the rest of the conference.
2 UCLA (5-0, 3-0) The Bruins appear poised to challenge Oregon. Maybe not for the conference’s throne, but at least for the title of “most fun team to watch.”
3 Stanford (5-1, 3-1 in Pac-12; last week: 2) The Cardinal had their annual puzzling loss against Utah, but that says more about the Utes than it does Stanford. With a talented, well-coached squad, don’t expect Stanford to slip up twice.
4 Utah (4-2, 1-2 in Pac-12; last week: 9) The Utes jump four spots thanks to a home win over Stanford. Earlier losses to Oregon State and UCLA are looking better by the week.
5 Oregon State (5-1, 3-0; last week: 7) The Beavers have won two straight games against Pac-12 opponents by a combined score of 96-41. The Pac-12’s two most impressive quarterbacks so far this season both live in the Beaver State.
6 Arizona State (4-2, 2-1; last week: 5) The Sun Devils are victims of their opponent this week, as a 41-point win over Colorado just isn’t as impressive as the big wins by the teams higher on this list.
7 Washington (4-2, 1-2; last week: 3) The Huskies held Oregon to its lowest point total of the year while scoring more points against the Ducks than anyone else has this season. And still lost by 21 points at home. Think about that.
8 USC (4-2, 1-2; last week: 9) The Ed Orgeron era began with a badly-needed conference win against the Wildcats. Can quarterback Cody Kessler play well enough for the Trojans’ talent to shine through?
9 Arizona (3-2, 0-2; last week: 10) Kadeem Carey is an exceptional talent at running back. But he may be the only “exceptional” thing about the Wildcats this year.
10 WSU (4-3, 2-2; last week: 6) The Cougars were so close, entering the fourth quarter tied with OSU. One quarter later, WSU had a 52-24 loss and a date with the Ducks to look forward to.
11 Cal (2-3, 0-3; last week: 12) Cal has talent at the skill positions, but it is young talent. Maybe next year the Bears will be Golden.
12 Colorado (2-3, 0-3; last week: 11) Turning over the offense to a true freshman quarterback is a sure sign that a team is playing for next year. Shame that there’s no college football draft.