Welcome to the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10. Aside from Oregon and Utah, it is nearly impossible to pick winners consistently from week to week in conference play. Teams who get a big win seem to get blown out the following week. It makes no sense, but that’s life in the Pac-12. The North division is all but wrapped up by Oregon while the South division is up for grabs. Even UCLA is still very alive to win the south. USC still controls its own destiny. Two teams, Oregon and Utah have a shot at landing a berth in the College Football Playoff Top 4 if things shake out in their favor. That also makes the Rose Bowl up for grabs if Oregon gets in the playoff. So, keep your eyes on Utah vs Washington this Saturday.
I would be wrong if I didn’t mention how brutal the Pac-12 refs were this weekend. Until this weekend I thought they had been better. But, they came back to full 2018 form last week. We have seen in the NFL that challenging pass interference calls is stupid and doesn’t work. But there has to be something done to train the refs to be better.
For Reference Check out the Pac-12 Power Rankings from Week 9.
Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10:
Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games. The Pac-12 Power Rankings will available on Unafraid Show every Monday morning. Make sure you send your comments and grievances to email@example.com.
12. Cal Golden Bears (4-4, 1-4)
Last Week: 0-35 (L) vs Utah
Things have completely fallen apart for the Golden Bears since Chase Garbers broke his collarbone. They are averaging 8 points per game over their last three games. Even the defense’s consecutive streak of holding opponents under 24 points was broken. We are watching the bottom falling out on a team that was 4-0 and had some believing they could win the Pac-12 North.
At this point, it would take nothing short of a miracle for Cal to make a bowl game.
11. Colorado Buffaloes (3-5, 1-4)
Last Week: 31-35 (L) vs USC
Colorado showed a lot more life against USC than they did against Oregon and Washington State. Their offense was efficient and Steven Montez stopped throwing interceptions. These Buffaloes have limited depth and little margin for error offensively because their defense gives up 486 yards and 35 points per game. At least Laviska Shenault had a big game and entertained the Colorado faithful.
Knowing their defense is so bad, I can’t figure out why Mel Tucker decided to punt on 4th and 4 at USC’s 38-yard line with 6 minutes left leading by four points.
10. Arizona Wildcats (4-4, 2-3)
Last Week: 31-41 (L) at Stanford
There is no more frustrating team to watch than Arizona. They have now lost three straight. Kevin Sumlin is trying to use two quarterbacks in every game, but it’s not working. QB math is not the same as real math. 1+1 =0. If you a coach says he has two QBs he really has none. The team gets divided and chooses sides, and there is bitterness and frustration that brews under the surface.
Arizona is second in the Pac-12 in total offense (492 ypg) and second to last in total defense (469 ypg).
9. Stanford Cardinal (4-4, 3-3)
Last Week: 41-31 (L) vs Arizona
What a difference a quarterback makes. The same team that looked completely inept against UCLA with Jack West under center was clicking on all cylinders against Arizona with KJ Costello. It is unbelievable to see how far the Cardinal have fallen offensively. They are 10th in Pac-12 in rushing (120 ypg) and 11th in passing (228 ypg).
Right now, the goal has to be getting to a bowl game. With Stanford’s up-and-down play who knows how their last four games (Colorado, WSU Cal, Notre Dame) will go.
8. UCLA Bruins (3-5, 3-2)
Last Week: 42-32 (W) vs Arizona State
What on earth has happened to UCLA’s defense in the last two weeks? The defense had been awful against everyone, but then had moments of domination against Stanford and Arizona State. Most fans were even calling for DC Jerry Azzinaro’s job. This has been a completely different team since their 32-point comeback at Washington State. Chip Kelly seems to have the Bruins headed in the right direction.
At the end of the ASU game, Dorian Thompson-Robinson injured his knee. Any hope UCLA has of making a bowl game may be out the window if he misses time.
7. Oregon State Beavers (3-4, 2-2)
Last Week: IDLE
By far the most improved team in the conference is Oregon State. They are no longer amongst the worst teams statistically. The Beavers had a week off and will be doing their best to play Pac-12 spoiler. They have already knocked off Cal and UCLA. OSU heads to Arizona this week.
Subscribe to the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast:
6. Washington State Cougars (4-4, 1-4)
Last Week: 35-37 (L) at Oregon
Washington State’s loss to Oregon was a heartbreaker. There is nothing worse than to make a comeback and lose. The good news is the Cougars are back to competing on the field. Mike Leach had much higher expectations for this season than what the results have been. At Pac-12 media day, he not-so-subtly hinted that his team wasn’t getting enough respect. It has been clear that the attention WSU was getting was appropriate.
This is still one of the most dangerous teams to play in the conference.
5. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-3, 2-3)
Last Week: 32-42 (L) at UCLA
Over the last two weeks, ASU has been the worst team in the Pac-12. But they were amongst the best through the first six weeks. Their offensive woes that were present early in the season are back on full display. Herm Edwards’ young team did not mentally bounce bad well from the Utah beatdown. It feels like this team hit a wall. That is pretty normal when you play the most freshman in the conference.
This team is averaging 23 ppg on the season and giving up 21ppg. The Sun Devils margins a super thin.
4. USC Trojans (5-3, 4-1)
Last Week: 35-31 (W) vs Colorado
The Trojans have their quarterback of the present and future in Kedon Slovis. I would not be surprised if JT Daniels ends up in the transfer portal. after this season. Two of USC’s five wins (Utah, Colorado) belong to the wide receiving corps. In both games, they took over the game and were literally unstoppable. If I have said it once, I have said it 500 times, St. Brown, Vaughns, and Pittman are the best WR unit in college football.
It seems pretty unbelievable that USC controls their own destiny in the Pac-12 South despite Clay Helton being fired rumors hovering all season.
3. Washington Huskies (5-3, 2-3)
Last Week: IDLE
The Washington Huskies going to be mad and extremely focused with Utah coming to town. They feel like they let a game against Oregon slip through their fingertips. They have a chance to ruin the Utes CFB Playoff hopes and keep their Rose Bowl hopes alive. If they beat Utah and finish 9-3 and Oregon goes to the CFB Playoff, the Rose Bowl can choose between Utah and Washington. If that is not enough motivation to show up big, I don’t know what is.
2. Utah Utes (7-1, 4-1)
Last Week: 35-0 (W) vs Cal
The Utes have done mean things to ASU and Cal the last two weeks. They gave up a combined 3 points and 230 yards of total offense. Utah may be a little upset that everyone is talking about Oregon making the CFB Playoff but not mentioning them. Joel Klatt even believes they are the best team in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10. That may end up being the ultimate jinx because he has caped for Georgia and Wisconsin the week before they were upset too. Here is the CFB Top 10 As it Should Be.
I really like this Utah team but know their game in Seattle will be extremely difficult. All season I have said that Tyler Huntley will have to be great 2 games when the defense gives up points. This game against Washington will be that game.
1. Oregon Ducks (7-1, 5-0)
Last Week: 37-35 (W) vs Washington State
Oregon is getting every team’s best shot. The entire conference is trying to derail the Ducks CFB Playoff dreams. Next man up mentality has been paramount for this team in 2019. They have either lost of had key wide receivers, tight ends, linebackers, and defensive linemen miss time. The offensive line will have to continue to dominate if the Ducks want to finish the season unscathed. Justin Herbert’s efficient and near mistake-free football has added to their success.
Now, don’t screw it up. This could end up being a very special season.
Check back every Monday for the next Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 10.