1. Oregon Ducks (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) 70 points (4 first place votes)
Last week: 57-16 W @ Colorado Buffaloes
This week: @ No. 16 Washington Huskies
The Ducks continue to look like the not only the top team in the conference but the top team in the nation. Of course, some will argue they haven’t faced a quality opponent yet. But that changes this Saturday, when the Ducks come to Montlake in search of their 10th straight win against the Huskies.
2. Stanford Cardinal (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12) 68 points (2 first place votes)
Last week: 31-28 W vs. No. 16 Washington Huskies
This week: @ Utah Utes
Stanford barely edged out a win at home against the Huskies. An argument can be made that the Huskies, in fact, outplayed the Cardinal on both offense and defense, but lost the game because of special teams woes. Nonetheless, Stanford came out with the “W,” but now face a Utah team that came within six interceptions of upsetting UCLA.
3. Washington Huskies (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) 58 points
Last week: 31-28 L @ No. 5 Stanford Cardinal
This week: vs. No. 2 Oregon Ducks
The Huskies and Cardinal played the most entertaining game of the weekend Saturday night, but the Dawgs came out on the wrong end of the final score. It only dropped them one spot in the AP and coaches polls, and they earned the same amount of points in our power rankings. If they really want to jump in the polls, they’ll upset Oregon on Saturday.
4. UCLA Bruins (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) 57 points
Last week: 34-27 W @ Utah Utes
This week: vs. California Golden Bears
If Utes quarterback Travis Wilson hadn’t imploded and thrown six interceptions, they probably would have knocked off UCLA last weekend. But he did, and they didn’t. The Bruins survived, and they’ve got as much of a cupcake as the Pac-12 is going to offer this week, with Cal at home.
5. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) 50 points
Last week: 37-34 L vs. Notre Dame (at AT&T Stadium in Dallas)
This week: vs. Colorado Buffaloes
The Notre Dame loss doesn’t really have an effect on the Sun Devils season, but it really puts a damper on the fans hopes for it. Like fellow South contender UCLA, the Sun Devils get an “easy” game at home before hosting the Huskies the following week. The Sun Devils won’t move into the top third of the conference until offensive coordinator Mike Norvell opens up the playbook.
6. Oregon State Beavers (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) 46 points
Last week: Bye
This week: @ Washington State Cougars
If not for a Week 1 loss to FCS Eastern Washington, the Beavers would be on track for their expected 7-0 start, but look to be headed to 6-1 at this point. They’ve stepped up their play since early in the season, but the defense is still non-existent. Sean Mannion might be the most underrated player in the nation right now, having already thrown for more than 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns.