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Pac 12 Power Rankings: Week 9

Garrett Schwartz |
November 1, 2015 | 11:06 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Stanford holds on to the ranking's top spot (Flickr/ Daniel Hartwig)
Stanford holds on to the ranking's top spot (Flickr/ Daniel Hartwig)
A Washington State near-win could have really shaken things up in the rankings, yet a Halloween treat for Stanford came in the form of a missed field goal as time expired, allowing the Cardinals to hold on to the ranking's top spot. With just four weeks remaining in the regular season, Stanford, Utah and UCLA are the only teams that control their own fates en route to a conference title. Without further ado: 

1. Stanford (7-1; 6-0)

The No. 8 Cardinals avoided a spook on Halloween, relying on a little luck to eek past Washington St. Quarterback Kevin Hogan led the second-half charge for the Cardinals with his feet, rushing for 112 yards and two scores.  Stanford’s playoff hopes are still very much alive, remaining the only undefeated team in conference play. They will look to continue rolling against Colorado next week.

2. Utah (7-1; 4-1)

There’s nothing like playing Oregon State in order to pump some confidence back into your squad. The No. 13 Utes control their own fate atop the Pac-12 South and are even in the mix for a College Football Playoff bid. The Utes will face Washington next week, a team that has proven capable of pulling off the big-game upset.

3. USC (5-3; 3-2)

Finally, some consistency for the Trojans gives the team their first win streak in conference play. The USC defense dominated, holding the normally high-scoring Golden Bears to only 21 points and picking off quarterback Jared Goff twice. With a new "ground 'n pound" formula that seems to be working under the helm of interim coach Clay Helton, the Trojans will look to keep rolling against a sloppy Arizona team next week.

4. UCLA (6-2; 3-2)

Despite blowing an 18-point lead, the No. 22 Bruins managed to hold on against Colorado. Past injuries continue to haunt the Bruins, whose depleted defense struggled to get off the field on Saturday. The Bruins, like Utah, control their own fate for the top spot in the Pac-12 South. UCLA will have no excuse against a potentially Seth Collins-less Oregon St. next week.

5. Oregon (5-3; 3-2)

The Ducks won a triple-OT thriller against Arizona State, led by the elusive, play-extending capabilities of quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. Oregon’s Pac-12 North title chances are alive, yet the Ducks will need the help of a future Stanford loss. Oregon will look to make it three in a row against Cal next week.

6. Washington St. (5-3; 3-2)

The Cougars were a 43-yard field goal away from grabbing the ranking’s top spot. The Cougs may blame this one on the weather and poor officiating, yet red-zone struggles spoiled the Cougar’s dominant first-half performance. The loss to Stanford ends a three-game winning streak for the Cougars. With a bowl game in mind, the team will look to bounce back next week against Arizona State. 

7. Arizona St. (4-4; 2-3)

Late-game theatrics and controversial officiating deliver a gut-wrenching blow for the Sun Devils, who have lost two straight after supposedly turning around their season. The Sun Devils' conference title chances have seemingly dissipated, yet the team must somehow look to recover against Washington St. next week.

8. Cal (5-3; 2-3)

Three losses in a row for the Golden Bears push Cal even further down the rankings. Jared Goff's offensive mistakes were an issue for a second straight week. However, despite poor offensive play, a strong second-half defensive performance gave the Golden Bears a fighting chance up until the final minutes on Saturday. Cal has a tough matchup next week against Oregon, who seems be trending in the opposite direction of the Golden Bears.  

9. Washington (4-4; 2-3) Quarterback Jack Browning was back and so were the Huskies, ending a two-game skid with a statement win against Arizona. The Huskies were excellent on both sides of the ball, scoring a season-high 49 points and giving up only three points to the Wildcats. Most notably, however, was the high level of energy from Washington, who will need to carry their momentum heading into a matchup against Utah next week.

10. Colorado (4-5; 1-4)

The Buffs aren’t quite there yet, failing to put away the Bruins after erasing an 18-point deficit. Colorado dominated possession against UCLA, but failed to capitalize in scoring situations and fell short in the fourth quarter. Colorado will have another tough test against Stanford next week.

11. Arizona (5-4; 2-4)

Yikes. Talk about a whooping. Turnovers galore, a murky quarterback situation, and a consistently disastrous defense, the Wildcats are simply a mess. Arizona will somehow have to fix a handful of problems heading into a tough matchup against USC at the Coliseum next week. 

12. Oregon St. (2-6; 0-5)

The Beavers’ offense was non-existent without starting quarterback Seth Collins. Oregon St. will need Collins back next week in order to stand any change of earning their first win of conference play against UCLA.

Contact Garrett Schwartz here and follow him on Twitter @gschwartz95.  



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