There is so much parity in Pac-12 that it is a tough undertaking to rank the teams outside of #1 Washington State. Washington lost to Oregon and Cal who lost to Arizona who lost to UCLA who lost to Arizona State who lost to Colorado, who lost to Oregon State who lost to USC who lost Stanford, who lost to Utah who lost to Washington. Teams 2-10 have switched up a lot this season and are pretty fluid from week to week. The Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13 is based on four things: quality wins, schedule played, dominance, and how teams are playing now. The “eye test” and preseason rankings are not factored into the Unafraid Show’s rankings. I know some of you are used to the biased rankings, but you won’t find those here.
You can see last weeks rankings here.
Pac-12 Bowl Projections are after the rankings.
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12. Colorado (5-6)
(L) 7-30 Utah
Not only has Colorado lost six straight games since starting 5-0. The Buffaloes have scored a grand total of 14 points in the last two weeks! The team isn’t playing as hard and their intensity is gone. It is obvious that the team sees the writing on the wall. Mike MacIntyre likely won’t be retained as the head coach for next season. He deserves credit for bringing stability to a program that was in total dysfunction. However, after six seasons and only one of those with more than five wins, it is hard to advocate for him. The Buffaloes will try to get bowl eligible this weekend at Cal.
11. Oregon State (2-9)
(L) 23-42 Washington
Everyone knew there would be no upset against Washington, but things are looking up for the Beavers. While their defense still can’t stop anyone ever their offense is continuing to show promise for the future. Jonathan Smith can at least take solace in the fact that multiple times this season the Beavers were not the worst team in the Pac-12.
10. Arizona (5-6)
(L) 28-69 Washington State
The Arizona defense returned back to form against Washington State. They allowed Wazzu quarterback Gardner Minshew to have a career day with 473 passing yards and seven touchdowns. The Wildcats defense had been poor all season against the pass and run despite back to back solid performances against Oregon and Colorado. Khalil Tate was one of the few bright spots this week. He finished with 319 total yards and four passing touchdowns. It seemed the freezing temperatures in Pullman took a toll on the warm-blooded Wildcats as they fumbled the ball six times. Coach Kevin Sumlin has to get his team back firing on all cylinders if he hopes to make a bowl game year one.
9. USC (5-6)
(L) 27-34 UCLA
The doomsday scenario has happened for USC. They do not have a school President, the athletic director Lynn Swann will likely be leaving soon, the boosters, fans, and alumni are demanding Clay Helton be fired, and they lost to a 2-8 UCLA team. The game against UCLA looked like it was going in Helton’s favor until a pair of horrendous second-half interceptions by quarterback JT Daniels sealed the Trojans fate. USC allowed UCLA running back Joshua Kelley to rush for 289 yards. So, I have no idea how they are going to compete against Notre Dame this week. If Helton can upset the Fighting Irish and knock them out of the College Football Playoff, he just might be able to save his job.
8. UCLA (3-8)
(W) 34-27 USC
It is all smiles for the “boys in blue”. I actually have never heard anyone other than Maurice Jones-Drew call them that, but whatever. They beat USC after starting off the season 2-8. Chip Kelly has started 20 freshmen this season. Their start was slow, but have improved more than any other Pac-12 team from the beginning of the season until now. Their rushing offense and pass defense have steadily improved throughout the season. The future is extremely bright for the Bruins. I believe Chip Kelly will have UCLA in the College Football Playoff discussion in two more years.
7. Arizona State (6-5)
(L) 29-31 Oregon
If I told ASU fans that they would hire Herm Edwards (who hasn’t coached in forever), and have a chance to finish 7-5 year one they would have been happy. It will only take a win against their rival Arizona to make that a reality. The Sun Devils had to feel like they let a game slip away against Oregon. After a slow start, their defense held the Ducks to only a field goal in the second half. They picked off Justin Herbert twice and put up 16 points as well. If ASU can hold Khalil Tate in check this weekend, their bowl game destination will improve.
6. Cal (6-4)
Postponed vs Stanford (Dec. 1)
Cal is last in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (22.7 ppg). Ordinarily, that would be a huge impediment to winning games. But the Cal defense is only giving up 21.1 ppg. If they can get two wins to finish the season 8-4 coach I am positive you will start to hear Justin Wilcox’s name floated around for other head coaching jobs.
5. Oregon (7-4)
(W) 31-29 Arizona State
The good news is Ducks offense showed signs of life against Arizona State. The bad news is that it was only for one half of football. The Ducks offense scored 28 points in the first half. But only managed three more points and under a hundred yards of total offense in the second half. If the Ducks finish off the Beavers in Corvallis they will finish the regular season 8-4. It will be a could games less than I predicted preseason, but the future still appears bright. The biggest question for the Ducks is will their stars return for their senior seasons Herbert, Mitchell, Dye) . If they do, the Ducks will be in the preseason national championship conversation.
4. Stanford (6-4)
Postponed vs Cal (Dec. 1)
There has been nothing “Stanford-like” about this season. They still need two more wins just to tie David Shaw’s worst record at Stanford. UCLA and Cal won’t be pushovers the next two weeks. The Cardinal will need to get refocused after their game got postponed due to the California fires.
3. Utah (8-3)
(W) 30-7 Colorado
Everyone thought the Utes were done competing for the Pac-12 South crown when they lost their top two offensive playmakers, Tyler Huntley, and Zach Moss. Kyle Whittingham’s team had no intention of packing it in. They have had decisive victories against Oregon and Colorado since then. No matter what happens this week against BYU this week, Utah will still play the winner of the Washington vs. Washington State game in the Pac-12 Championship game. The conference needs Utah to dominate BYU and Washington State to beat Washington. It would set up at top 15 matchup in the championship game. The Utes will have an opportunity to make it to their first Rose Bowl appearance.
2. Washington (8-3)
(W) 42-23 Oregon State
The Huskies had been battling injuries all season, but are finally getting healthy. Myles Gaskin returned to the lineup last week and rushed for over 130 yards in both games. Washington’s offense came back to life and the look like a team that can win the Apple Cup. It will be interesting to see how the #2 defense holds up against the #1 offense in the Pac-12. A potential berth in the Rose Bowl will come down to Jake Browning’s ability to make throws and be special. Washington’s preseason hopes of playing for a national championship are gone, but there is still plenty on the line this week.
1. Washington State (10-1)
(W) 69-28 Arizona
DOMINATION. The Cougars whipped Arizona at every part of the game. Mike Leach’s team had 55 points at halftime. If he were Steve Spurrier in his Florida days he may have just done it. This was one of the statement games Washington State needed to send a message to the College Football Playoff committee that they deserve real consideration for the top four.
Now if they can survive the Apple Cup against Washington on a short week, and handly beat Utah in the Pac-12 championship, the Cougars just may get a berth in the playoffs. There feels like there is something magical about this squad. If they get in the playoffs, everybody better watch out!
via- Sports Illustrated
Rose Bowl– Ohio State vs. Washington State
Holiday– Iowa vs. Washington
Sun– Syracuse vs. Cal
Alamo– Iowa State vs. Utah
Red Box– Indiana vs. Oregon
Cheez-It– Army vs. Arizona State
Las Vegas– Utah State vs. Stanford