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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jacob Thorpe’s Pac-12 power rankings

PULLMAN – These are exciting times in the Pac-12. Brett Hundley and UCLA smashed the Sun Devils 65-27 in Tempe to take control of the race for the Pac-12 South, but rival USC showed that it’s still a team to be reckoned with. Regardless, one of the roads to the Pac-12 championship games goes right through Los Angeles.

Stanford showed that it’s still a factor in the North Division thanks to the conference’s best defense, Utah may have collapsed itself out of a bowl game and California seems determined to make every conference game come down to the final play.

1 Oregon (4-0, 1-0; last week: No. 1) The best team in the conference is only going to get better as injured offensive linemen start returning to the lineup.

2 UCLA (4-0, 1-0; last week: No. 4) Uh, yeah, that’s the UCLA team everyone was talking about in the preseason.

3 USC (3-1; 2-0; last week: No. 5) The Trojans have the talent to win the Pac-12 but can they start playing like it?

4 Stanford (3-1, 1-1; last week: No. 2) The Cardinal offense is excellent minus a crippling inability to score in the red zone.

5 Arizona (4-0, 1-0; last week: No. 7) Quarterback Anu Solomon has played well for a rookie but he has a great group of receivers to throw to.

6 Arizona St. (3-1, 1-1; last week: No. 3) Everyone knew Arizona State had nine new starters on defense, but we didn’t know that they’d never played football before.

7 Washington (4-1, 0-1; last week: No. 8) The Huskies might as well try Shaq Thompson at quarterback. He’s done everything else, and it’s not like the passing game could get much worse.

8 Washington St. (2-3, 1-1; last week: No. 9) The Cougars appear to be employing the Benjamin Button strategy of getting younger as the season progresses. Hey, it’s working, just remember how the movie ends.

9 California (3-1; 1-1; last week: No. 10) No matter what the Golden Bears are likely the most improved Pac-12 since last year and the last-second finishes are exciting but if the Golden Bears want to make a bowl game they better start putting teams away before the final play of the game.

10 Utah (3-1, 1-1; last week: No. 6) A week ago Utah’s win over Michigan still looked pretty good. Now we just have to wonder how the Utes didn’t win by more.

11 Oregon St. (3-1, 0-1; last week: No. 11) Sean Mannion may be a great quarterback but even he needs someone capable of catching his passes.

12 Colorado (2-3, 0-2; last week: No. 12) The Sefo Liufau and Nelson Spruce combination isn’t going to be enough to win Colorado games, but the quarterback-receiver tandem alone makes the Buffaloes worth watching.

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