PULLMAN – Now that there have been three weeks of Pac-12 games, the conference is starting to sort itself. But definitely not the way we expected it to at the start of the season.
Who would have thought that in Week 7 California, Oregon Stanford and UCLA would only have three combined conference wins, with one of the coming when Stanford and UCLA played each other?
Colorado, universally projected to finish at the bottom of the Pac-12 South is instead one of just four teams with four wins and Arizona, who won the division two years ago, is still searching for its first conference win.
We should see even more separation after this week, with none of the Pac-12 games expected to be especially close.
1 Washington (6-0, 3-0; last week: No. 1) – With a bye week and a game against Oregon State upcoming, the Huskies are going to make it to at least Week 9 with quarterback Jake Browning in the Heisman race.
2 USC (3-3, 2-1; last week: No. 6) – Fooling the rest of the Pac-12 into thinking USC was vulnerable, only to start playing like a team full of high school All-Americans once everybody’s guards were down. How like a Trojan (horse).
3 Colorado (4-2, 2-1; last week: No. 2) – Another sign of CU’s growth: Even when the Buffaloes lose to more talented teams, they make a competitive game of it. It’s not all-or-nothing with this crew.
4 Washington State (3-2, 2-0; last week: No. 8) – The Cougars make three players available to the media each week. We reporters would be fine with just one, as long as it was always outrageous orator Gabe Marks.
5 Utah (5-1, 2-1; last week: No. 5) – The Utes cannot keep sacrificing a running back to the football gods in exchange for a win every week. Somebody actually has to tote the rock.
6 Arizona State (5-1, 2-1; last week: No. 9) – We’re going to reach Week 13 and realize that ASU still only has one or two losses and deserves a little more respect, aren’t we?
7 Stanford (3-2, 1-2; last week: No. 4) – So, it turns out quarterback play IS pretty important after all.
8 UCLA (3-3, 1-2; last week: No. 7) – Just two years removed from back-to-back 10-win seasons, the UCLA program feels like it is floundering.
9 Arizona (2-4, 0-3; last week: No. 11) – The 2016 season was always going to be a struggle for the Wildcats, even before they were beset by injuries at crucial positions.
10 Oregon State (2-3, 1-1; last week: No. 12) – Hey! Look who knocked off one of the (formerly) better teams in the Pac-12. Good for the Beavers, who needed something besides dams to build on.
11 Oregon (2-4, 0-3; last week: No. 6) – It’s a good thing freshman Justin Herbert appears to have some talent, because I can’t imagine any more Big Sky quarterbacks are going to be too excited about spending their senior seasons in Eugene.
12 California (3-3, 1-2; last week: No. 3) – Shameful.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.