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Sports >  NCAA football

Pac-12 power ratings: USC, UW end regular season on top, with Washington State solidly at 7th

Nov. 29, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 29, 2022 at 5:18 p.m.

By Jon Wilner Bay Area News Group

Welcome to the Hotline’s final Pac-12 football power ratings of the 2022 regular season. We will publish a full assessment of each team’s performance once bowl games are complete.

Disclaimer: The ratings below don’t necessarily track with the order of teams listed on my Associated Press Top 25 ballot, which is based on guidelines provided by the AP.

1. USC (11-1/8-1)

Last week: 1

Result: beat Notre Dame 38-27

Next up: vs. Utah (Friday, 5 p.m. on Fox)

Comment: Unless something goes very wrong, the Pac-12 will have its first Heisman Trophy winner since 2014. Caleb Williams is now the heavy favorite after several scintillating big-stage performances.

2. Washington (10-2/7-2)

Last week: 4

Result: won at Washington State 51-33

Next up: bowl game

Comment: We have seen fans bemoaning the Pac-12’s shift away from divisions – with the previous structure in place, UW would have won the North. And sure, that’s true. But so is this: All the Huskies had to do was beat Arizona State, and they would be Las Vegas-bound.

3. Utah (9-3/7-2)

Last week: 3

Result: won at Colorado 63-21

Next up: vs. USC (Friday, 5 p.m. on Fox)

Comment: The Utes have won at least nine games for the seventh time in the past eight years (excluding 2020), which might explain why this season feels a little ho-hum.

4. Oregon State (9-3/6-3)

Last week: 5

Result: beat Oregon 38-34

Next up: bowl game

Comment: If quarterback Ben Gulbranson had been a tad more precise over three quarters, the Beavers wouldn’t have gone all-in with the running game in the fourth – and then who knows how it would have turned out.

5. Oregon (9-3/7-2)

Last week: 2

Result: lost at Oregon State 38-34

Next up: bowl game

Comment: The performance didn’t match the personnel on defense. In fact, it didn’t come close.

6. UCLA (9-3/6-3)

Last week: 6

Result: won at Cal 35-28

Next up: bowl game

Comment: The schedule was gift-wrapped for eight wins, and the Bruins finished with nine.

7. Washington State (7-5/4-5)

Last week: 7

Result: lost to Washington 51-33

Next up: bowl game

Comment: Undefeated against teams with fewer than nine wins – that’s not bad, not bad at all.

8. Arizona (5-7/3-6)

Last week: 8

Result: beat Arizona State 38-35

Next up: season complete

Comment: On the bright side, the Wildcats didn’t blow a game they should have won, limiting the offseason angst over not sneaking into the postseason with the sixth victory.

9. Cal (4-8/2-7)

Last week: 9

Result: lost to UCLA 35-28

Next up: season complete

Comment: Time to play some granite defense and keep Jaydn Ott and J.Michael Sturdivant out of the transfer portal.

10. Arizona State (3-9/2-7)

Last week: 10

Result: lost at Arizona 38-35

Next up: season complete

Comment: The nonconference lineup awaiting Kenny Dillingham features three home games: Southern Utah, Oklahoma State and Fresno State (according to FBSchedules.com).

11. Stanford (3-9/1-8)

Last week: 11

Result: lost to Brigham Young 35-26

Next up: season complete

Comment: The Cardinal ought to seek advice from Jim Harbaugh on the coaching hire. Seriously, there is no downside to picking his brain.

12. Colorado (1-11/1-8)

Last week: 12

Result: lost to Utah 63-21

Next up: season complete

Comment: Let’s be clear: Deion Sanders would make the Pac-12 immensely more interesting, but we’ll believe it when we see it.

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