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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 7

Bradford Evans |
October 10, 2014 | 3:07 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Nelson Agholor and the Trojans are closer to the bottom of the Pac-12 than the top. (Charlie Magovern/Neon Tommy)
Nelson Agholor and the Trojans are closer to the bottom of the Pac-12 than the top. (Charlie Magovern/Neon Tommy)
Pac-12 play is well under way and the teams atop the conference at the moment are shocking to experts and fans alike. Here are the power rankings of the Pac-12 heading into this week’s batch of games.

12.  Colorado

Colorado has been a perinneal loser in the Pac-12 since it joined. The Buffalos have an underwhelming 4-26 record since joining the conference and their 0-3 start in Pac-12 play suggests the pattern of poor play will continue. Their two wins so far this season have come against Hawaii and Massachusetts. Those victories are hardly anything to brag about. One thing can be said about the Buffalos is that they have kept games close every week, but that’s about it.

11. Washington State

The Cougars are heading into their next game against Stanford with a 2-4 record. Their two wins were against Utah and Portland State. The win against Utah came down to the wire and that victory looks solid because the Utes upset Pac-12 South favorites UCLA. Like Colorado, Washington State has played its games close and are coming off a 60-59 loss to Cal. Additionally a positive that can be taken from the game was quarterback Connor Halliday set a passing yards record, throwing for 734. 

10. Oregon State

After losing 35-10 to USC two weeks ago, Orgeon State responded, beating Colorado 36-31. A win is a win, and teams will take them any way they can, but when playing a team as poor of quality as Colorado, it is necessary to win by a large margin. Since the game was close, Oregon State still remains towards the bottom of the power rankings, but can definitely rise with a win against Utah this week. 

SEE ALSO: Behind Enemy Lines: Can Arizona Continue Surprise Start Against USC?

9. USC

USC is one of four teams with multiple losses and hold a record of 3-2. If not for a defensive breakdown and a miracle against Arizona State, the Trojans would be much higher in the rankings. But poor play against Boston College and bad execution late against Arizona State puts them towards the bottom.  The Trojans' hopes of getting into the college football playoffs are all but gone. USC must perform at a higher level so it does not end up playing in the Papa John’s Bowl, which would be a disgrace to such a storied program. The Trojans seek redemption against the undefeated Arizona Wildcats this weekend. 

8. Washington

The Huskies are a hard bunch to evaluate. They are coming off a 20-13 loss to Stanford, ending their four game win streak. Before playing the Cardinal, they were enjoying an undefeated spell, but in that period of time, Washington did not play one ranked team. It is safe to assume the reason they were undefeated was because they played the likes of Eastern Washington and Georgia State. Their next game against Cal will reveal whether or not this team is a legitimate threat to challenge for the Pac-12 title. 

Arizona State is neither a contender nor a pretender. (Ben Dunn/Neon Tommy)
Arizona State is neither a contender nor a pretender. (Ben Dunn/Neon Tommy)
7. Arizona State

After getting destroyed 62-27 by UCLA two weeks ago, the Sun Devils responded by beating USC with a miraculous Hail Mary. One could argue that ASU was lucky to have won that game, but the fact of the matter is that it came out of the Coliseum with a victory. Winning on the road is not easy and the Sun Devils deserve credit for not giving up, even when it looked as though their second loss was eminent. 

6. California

The Golden Bears have won four out of five games, but there is one major problem with the four wins that Cal have so far: they have come against teams that are not that good. Wins against Northwestern, Colorado, Washington State and Sacramento State do nothing to prove their worth. Cal can prove its skeptics wrong the next two weeks if the Golden Bears can beat Washington and UCLA.

SEE ALSO: Heisman Watch 2014: Dak Prescott, Nick Marshall Duel For Top Spot


With the exception of its performance against Arizona State, UCLA really has not looked too good. The Bruins were upset by Utah, 30-28, hurting their chances of making the playoffs dramatically. Although this team has underachieved for most of the season, there is simply too much talent on the Bruins roster to rank them lower. Brett Hundley is a legitimate top-ten NFL pick and has the capability to carry this team. UCLA can really help their chances of teaching the college football playoffs, by beating Oregon this weekend.

Brett Hundley and the UCLA Bruins have had their troubles this season. (Neon Tommy)
Brett Hundley and the UCLA Bruins have had their troubles this season. (Neon Tommy)
4. Utah

The Utes are this high on the list for one reason. They beat an undefeated UCLA team at the Rose Bowl. It was a great win for Utah, and helped their stock dramatically, but they still have a lot to prove as they face many more difficult teams such as Arizona State, USC, and Oregon. If they can win those three games, their chances of reaching the Pac-12 championship will increase dramatically.

3. Stanford

People may disagree that Stanford is ranked this high in the Pac-12 when it has two losses, but both of those losses came against difficult teams in Notre Dame and USC. Its first loss against USC came down to a field goal difference and so did its loss to Notre Dame. Stanford plays tough defense and manages to always keep their games close. This team is not going to put up a ton of points, but a good defense can win a lot of games. Do not be surprised if the Cardinal win the rest of their games and get a shot at the Pac-12 championship. 

2. Oregon

The Ducks were upset by the Wildcats last week losing 31-24 last Thursday. Other than its game against Arizona, Oregon has looked impressive throughout the season. In its four other games, Oregon has put up a ton of points. The lowest amount of points they scored in their first four weeks is thirty-eight. Many FBS programs have yet to even reach thirty-eight points as their season high. Their performance against Arizona was not up to the standards that are set in Eugene. Do not be surprised if Oregon beats UCLA convincingly this weekend. 

1. Arizona

The Wildcats are the only undefeated team in the Pac-12, and nobody could have predicted this. Arizona finished 8-5 last year and 4-5 in Pac-12 play. Rich Rodriguez has his team playing at an exceptionally high level and their wins against Cal and Oregon are a testament to the team buying in to the coach’s philosophy. The Wildcats have been running the ball effectively, putting up 1275 yards as a team through their first five games. If Arizona can get through tough games against USC and UCLA, reaching the Pac-12 championship is very likely.

Reach Staff Reporter Bradford Evans here



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