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Pac-12 power rankings: North still rules northern region of power rankings heading into final week of regular season

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 20, 2018, 6:33 p.m.

Our top three teams all secured victories over the weekend and a game between Nos. 4 and 5 was canceled, so the top five remain unchanged. As for the bottom seven? There was plenty of shifting after another chaotic weekend in the Pac-12 South.

1. Washington State (10-1, 7-1; last week: No. 1): A quarterback hasn’t performed well for the Cougars in the Apple Cup since they last won it, in 2012. Gardner Minshew isn’t carrying the weight of all those losses to the Huskies. Perhaps some loose play from the most important position on the field will make the difference for WSU.

2. Washington (8-3, 6-2; last week: No. 2): Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin have formed the most productive backfield in Washington history, but the mission wouldn’t be complete without a fourth straight victory over WSU. The Cougars have not shut down both players in a single Apple Cup game.

3. Utah (8-3, 6-3; last week: No. 3): The offense hasn’t blinked since losing two key pieces, quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss. The Utes can close out the regular season having won seven of eight with a victory against BYU.

4. Stanford (6-4, 4-3; last week: No. 4): Chances are the Big Game, postponed to Dec. 1, will still determine which Bay Area school finishes the season in the top four of these power rankings …

5. Cal (6-4, 3-4; last week: No. 5): … But both teams should bludgeon their next opponent and return to the rivalry game with seven wins.

6. Oregon (7-4, 4-4; last week: No. 8): Oregon still can’t seem to put two halves together. That’s killed the Ducks before, but they managed to escape Arizona State behind a strong first half from quarterback Justin Herbert (262 passing yards, two TDs), Travis Dye (105 rushing yards) and Dillon Mitchell (103 receiving yards, TD).

7. Arizona State (6-5, 4-4; last week: No. 6): No team in the Pac-12 boasts a better running back-wide receiver combo than Eno Benjamin and N’Keal Harry. It makes you wonder what the Sun Devils would be capable of if they had an elite quarterback.

8. Arizona (5-6, 4-4; last week: No. 7): The Pac-12 could still send up to 10 teams to bowl games this postseason. Arizona is one of three teams that needs to take care of business Saturday for that to happen. USC and Colorado are the others.

9. USC (5-4, 4-5; last week: No. 9): In danger of missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2011, the Trojans close out the season against No. 3 Notre Dame. Unless this one rivalry game somehow goes better than the last one, USC is probably watching bowl season from the sofa.

10. UCLA (3-8, 3-5; last week: No. 11): Joshua Kelley turned in one of the best solo efforts by a Pac-12 running back this season, carrying the ball 40 times for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Kelley and Kelly – Chip, that is – could be a scary duo for the Pac-12 in 2019.

11. Colorado (5-6, 2-6; last week: No. 10): Quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper will serve at least one game as CU’s interim coach. It will be two if the Buffs can pull off a shocker against Cal in Berkeley and snatch their sixth win.

12. Oregon State (2-9, 1-7; last week: No. 12): Just like UCLA, Oregon State has a stud running back to build around next season. Jermar Jefferson, already at 1,316 yards, looks to close his outstanding freshman campaign with his eighth 100-yard effort of the season.

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