Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week Eight


1.) #2 Oregon (6-0)

Oh, Oregon. You are so damn good. I’m done doubting you. I’m serious. You destroyed Arizona when they looked good, and you destroyed Washington when they looked pretty good. Even on the road, I see no reason to doubt you against Arizona State this week. I’m not even sure I’ll doubt you against USC any more. Certainly not Stanford. Just watch out for those Beavers. Beavers are much more dangerous than Ducks. They chop down trees and build complex dams. They’re also pretty good at football.

2.) #8 Oregon State (5-0)

I don’t know why I felt that I had to address Oregon directly. I’ll stop. Not only do I believe that Oregon State has what it takes to remain undefeated at least until the Civil War, I also find myself starting to really enjoy the prospect of an elite Oregon State this year. Yes, they are in the Pac-12 North and directly compete with the Huskies, but to me, if it can’t be Washington, why not the Beavers? It’s just so out of nowhere.

Oct 13, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) kisses his girlfriend Birttany Langdon after the game against the Washington Huskies at CenturyLink Field. USC defeated Washington 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

3.) #11 USC (5-1)

The Trojans managed to win on the road, and that win can’t be taken away. Yet, Matt Barkley struggled throughout the game, penalties were a big issue, and the offense as a whole couldn’t manage a single second half point. For a team that is not satisfied with anything but Rose Bowls or National Championships, those are issues that must be solved. Still, the run game was rugged, and the offensive line kept Barkley pretty clean, and this team must be taken seriously as a contender for the Pac-12 title.

4.) #20 Stanford (4-2)

Can’t really fault this team for losing in overtime at #7 Notre Dame. That’s a blowout situation for almost any other team in the country. 4-2 not good enough for you? Well, with games against Cal, WSU, and Colorado coming up, 7-2 looks pretty likely. 7-2 with a loss on the road to UW and an overtime defeat at the hands of Notre Dame is not exactly a failure. To bad they still have Josh Nunes at quarterback.

5.) Arizona State (5-1)

Who would have guessed at the start of this season that the Sun Devils, under Todd Graham, would be 5-1? They’ve put up over 40 points a game while surrendering just over 14. That’s a recipe for success, but unfortunately, the Ducks are up next, so expect this defense to give up a few more than 14 points.

Oct 11, 2012; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Terrel Smith (41) and defensive back Parker Orms (13) are not able to stop Arizona State Sun Devils running back Cameron Marshall (6) from scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Folsom Field. The Sun Devils defeated the Buffaloes 51-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

6.) Washington (3-3)

So the Huskies only managed to upset one top-15 team out of the four they played? That is honestly better than most people were predicting at the start of the year. Now it is time to see if the Huskies can beat a much more reasonable opponent on the road. Until Washington starts dropping those kind of very winnable games, there is nothing to be worried about. Thing is, we have not seen if this team can keep it together on the road, as both road trips this year have been to top-3 schools.

7.) Arizona (3-3)

The Wildcats may be slight favorites against Washington, but I’m not buying it. Not at all. Arizona has a terrible defense, which should help Washington’s weak offense find its rhythm. Arizona passes the ball like crazy, but pass defense is a real strength for the Huskies. Even though it seems wrong for an Arizona team that puts up so many points, I’m thinking a 3-4 record is likely. With USC coming right after that, things may have to get worse before they get any better.

8.) Cal (3-4)

Well, what to think about Cal. They beat UCLA, and that really just leads everyone to believe that UCLA isn’t very good. Then they defeated WSU, but that isn’t impressing anyone. Now they take on Stanford and finally get a chance to force everyone to acknowledge that they have turned things around. I don’t think it will happen, but I also don’t think it will be a blowout.

Oct. 13, 2012; Pullman, WA, USA; California Golden Bears running back Brendan Bigelow (5) runs with the ball as Washington State Cougars safety Deone Bucannon (20) defends during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Golden Bears won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

9.) UCLA (5-2)

Brett Hundley is still playing great. Johnathon Franklin is still racking up rushing yards. The defense is extremely inconsistent, but they only give up 22.6 point per game. This team, statistically speaking, doesn’t appear to be on track to crash and burn. Cal may have just caught them off guard. They are still 5-2, and if they just take care of business and beat both Arizona schools, they will be ranked, and everyone will stop criticizing Jim Mora so much. Thing is, they haven’t done that yet, so they will stay down low in these rankings until they prove to me that they are once again on the upswing.

10.) Utah (2-4)

So, the Utes have now beaten Northern Colorado, an FCS team, and BYU. However, the three point BYU win looks less impressive when you consider that BYU’s four wins are over WSU, Weber State, Hawaii, and Utah State. The schedule isn’t brutal moving forward, so there are probably at least two or three wins left to be had for Utah, but overall, there is no way this team finishes over .500.

11.) Washington State (2-5)

A team that can’t settle on a quarterback usually isn’t going to succeed much. Especially in the case of teams that pretty much lack a defense. I mentioned last week that the Cougars seem lost. Well, they are still lost. I’d be willing to bet money that they will not win another game this season.

12.) Colorado (1-5)

Speaking of teams that will not win another game this season…