Pac-12 power ratings: Oregon is No. 1 ahead of showdown with UCLA (all eyes on Eugene this week)
Oct. 19, 2022 Updated Wed., Oct. 19, 2022 at 5:39 p.m.
Typically each week, the Hotline devotes this section of the Pac-12 power ratings to developments from the weekend or emerging trends that impact the collective.
But for the first time in six years, the conference has a top-10 matchup looming. Our focus here, is there.
When No. 9 UCLA visits No. 10 Oregon on Saturday afternoon, it will mark the first time top-10 teams have collided in a Pac-12 regular-season conference game since September 2016, when No. 10 Washington blasted No. 7 Stanford on a Friday night in Seattle.
The matchup is a big deal – big enough that ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’ will make its first appearance on a Pac-12 campus since … the UCLA-Oregon game last year.
In fact, the showdown in Autzen Stadium is only the sixth duel of top-10 teams since the Pac-12 expanded in 2011 and only the 14th such occasion this century.
Here’s the list, provided by the conference office, with the winner in italics and asterisks noting the two Pac-12 championship games (neutral field).
2000: No. 5 Oregon at No. 8 Oregon State
2001: No. 10 Washington at No. 7 UCLA
2003: No. 6 Washington State at No. 3 USC
2004: No. 7 Cal at No. 1 USC
2007: No. 9 USC at No. 5 Oregon
2007: No. 6 Arizona State at No. 4 Oregon
2009: No. 4 USC at No. 10 Oregon
2010: No. 9 Stanford at No. 4 Oregon
2011: No. 6 Oregon at No. 3 Stanford
2013: No. 2 Oregon at No. 6 Stanford
2014: No. 8 Arizona vs. No. 3 Oregon
2016: No. 7 Stanford at No. 10 Washington
2016: No. 9 Colorado vs. No. 4 Washington
Potentially relevant for this weekend:
•The higher-ranked team is 8-5.
•The home team is 10-1.
•Oregon is 6-2.
•UCLA coach Chip Kelly was 3-0 during his tenure with Oregon (from 2009-12).
To this week’s power ratings …
Disclaimer: The Hotline power ratings 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. Oregon (5-1/3-0)
Last week: 2
Next up: vs. UCLA (12:30 p.m. on Fox)
Comment: Quarterback Bo Nix this season against teams not named Georgia: 12 touchdown passes, one interception and a completion percentage of 73.8. Oh, and 9.2 yards per carry. The Ducks have reasons to fret this week, but Nix isn’t one of them.
2. UCLA (6-0/3-0)
Last week: 3
Next up: at Oregon (12:30 p.m. on Fox)
Comment: Bill McGovern, UCLA’s first-year defensive coordinator, is reportedly earning $900,000 annually. According to a little-known clause in the contract discovered by the Hotline’s crack research team, McGovern’s per-game payment plan is as follows: $450,000 for USC, $449,999 for Oregon and 10 cents for each of the other 10 opponents.
3. USC (6-1/4-1)
Last week: 1
Result: lost at Utah 43-42
Next up: idle
Comment: Upcoming USC opponents are frantically rewriting their playbooks to ensure the tight end is targeted at least 20 times per game. Opponents without tight ends on the roster will be holding tryouts.
4. Utah (5-2/3-1)
Last week: 5
Result: beat USC 43-42
Next up: idle
Comment: On the short list of big moments in a game packed with them: Early second quarter, Trojans up 21-7 and driving, with fourth-and-5 at Utah’s 38 … and the defense held.
5. Oregon State (5-2/2-2)
Last week: 6
Result: beat Washington State 24-10
Next up: vs. Colorado (5 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks)
Comment: OSU’s defensive front and linebackers are solid, but we have yet to spot a better secondary anywhere in the conference.
6. Washington (5-2/2-2)
Last week: 7
Result: beat Arizona 49-39
Next up: at Cal (7:30 p.m. on ESPN)
Comment: How times have changed: Through seven games, the Huskies have allowed 17 passing touchdowns. Across the entire 2017-18 seasons – that’s 27 games – they allowed 22.
7. Washington State (4-3/1-3)
Last week: 4
Result: lost at Oregon State 24-10
Next up: idle
Comment: The only thing the Coug Raid and the Air Raid have in common is a four-letter word: Home. Because the former doesn’t like to travel, apparently.
8. Arizona State (2-4/1-2)
Last week: 9
Next up: at Stanford (1 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks)
Comment: Win this week, and the postseason becomes a very real possibility for a program that recently lost four consecutive games and its head coach.
9. Arizona (3-4/1-3)
Last week: 10
Result: lost at Washington 49-39
Next up: idle
Comment: It’s more than a month away, but never in the long history of the Territorial Cup have the Wildcats and Sun Devils combined for 100 or more points. Can’t imagine why I felt compelled to look that up.
10. Stanford (2-4/0-4)
Last week: 11
Result: won at Notre Dame 16-14
Next up: vs. Arizona State (1 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks)
Comment: Not unrealistic to think the defensive collapse against Oregon State will end up costing Stanford a bowl berth. The second-half schedule is packed with mediocrity.
11. Cal (3-3/1-2)
Last week: 8
Result: lost at Colorado 20-13 (OT)
Next up: vs. Washington (7:30 p.m. on ESPN)
Comment: The Hotline wouldn’t be surprised to see staff changes in Berkeley this week or next. The situation has reached DEFCON 1 levels on offense.
12. Colorado (1-5/1-2)
Last week: 12
Result: beat Cal 20-13 (OT)
Next up: at Oregon State (5 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks)
Comment: We considered slotting the Buffs ahead of Cal, but only briefly. Can’t discount the previous five games for each team, and in that regard, the Bears hold a clear advantage.
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