Pac-12 power rankings: Oregon, Utah set up for College Football Playoff run
There wasn't a lot of movement this week with four teams having byes, including the top two teams, and most other games going as expected.
The top of the Pac-12 remains solid with Oregon and Utah ranked No. 6 and 9 respectively in the most recent Amway Coaches Poll.
Ten teams are in action next week.
1. Oregon (8-1, 6-0 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 1.
The Ducks had a bye but should be energized by the fact they have worked their way into the College Football Playoff conversation, so they're not going to want to slip up now. The toughest regular season games are in the rear-view mirror. They should be able to run the table over the rest of the regular season, then there's the conference title game, most likely against another top 10 team in Utah.
Next: Saturday vs. Arizona, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.
2. Utah (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 2.
Like Oregon, the Utes are well situated for the stretch run. Utah has won five consecutive games since its lone loss of the season to USC. It had a bye to rest up, but is still playing strong under QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss. All three of Utah's remaining games are against opponents with losing records so while not locked up, that spot in the conference championship game looks like a pretty solid bet.
Next: Saturday vs. UCLA, 8 p.m., Fox.
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3. Southern California (6-4, 5-2 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 4.
The Trojans are starting to get their injured players back with the defensive starters that had been out returning in Saturday's 31-26 victory over Arizona State. Freshman QB Kedon Slovis got knocked out the game in the second half but was able to return. He ended up throwing for 432 yards, with 297 yards and four touchdowns coming in a first quarter that ended with a 28-7 lead for USC.
Next: Saturday at California, 11 p.m., FS1.
4. Washington (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 3.
The Huskies chalked up a 19-7 victory over host Oregon State on Friday and have a bye the coming week. Washington relied more on the ground game with Salvon Ahmed rushing for a career-high 174 yards on 25 carries. His 64-yard touchdown jaunt with 2:34 left put the game away. Washington is just 2-3 in its last five games and finishes the regular season with games against Colorado and Washington State.
Next: Nov. 23 at Colorado.
5. UCLA (4-5, 4-2 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 5.
The Bruins had a bye. They have played well of late but four of the last five games have been against teams with losing records. The toughest games are ahead in Utah and USC with the third game left being against California, so time will tell just how much progress the team has made in Chip Kelly's second year.
Next: Saturday at Utah, 8 p.m., Fox.
6. Stanford (4-5, 3-4 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 6.
The injury-riddled Cardinal lost to Colorado 16-13 on a field goal on the last play off the game. K.J. Costello threw for 245 yards in the loss. Stanford had won three of its last four before being dealt the last-second setback. The Cardinal have three games left - conference games against Washington State and California and the season finale against Notre Dame.
Next: Saturday at Washington State, 4:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network.
7. Arizona State (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 7.
The Sun Devils were dealt a third consecutive loss, this one by visiting USC, 31-26. The same things did in ASU - a slow start and crucial penalties. The Sun Devils gave up 28 points and 297 passing yards in the first quarter alone. After that it was an uphill battle. The Sun Devils proved resilient and had a chance to win the game on a last-minute drive.
Next: Saturday at Oregon State, 7:30 p.m., FS1.
8. Oregon State (4-5, 3-3 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 8.
The Beavers are coming off a 19-7 loss to Washington in which they managed only 119 yards total offense and offense isn't usually the team's issue. The Beavers' lone score came on a 36-yard interception return by Jaydon Grant. The team already has won two more games than it did last year. It has two very winnable games before facing rival Oregon so Jonathan Smith's team really has a chance to make a statement.
Next: Saturday vs. Arizona State, 7:30 p.m., FS1.
9. Washington State (4-5, 1-5 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 9.
The Cougars were dealt a 33-20 setback by Cal despite another 400-yard passing day by QB Anthony Gordon. It marked the fifth loss in the last six games. Cal, not exactly known for its offensive prowess, racked up 426 yards offense against a defense that now ranks 109th among FBS schools in total defense. The Cougars have winnable games left against Stanford and Oregon State but that last one was supposed to fall into that category as well.
Next: Saturday vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network.
10. California (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 11.
The Bears snapped a four-game skid against Washington State which is in even more of a free fall. QB Devon Modster returned from an unspecified injury and had a career day, throwing for 230 yards and three touchdowns and running for another score. The Bears finish out the regular season with a stretch of games against state rivals - USC, Stanford and UCLA, all of whom have been schizophrenic this season.
Next: Saturday vs. Southern California, 11 p.m., FS1.
11. Colorado (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 12.
The Buffaloes snapped a five-game losing streak, beating Stanford 16-13 with the difference being a 37-yard field goal by freshman Evan Price on the last play of the game. Price was filling in for the injured James Stefanou and had three field goals in the contest. The Buffaloes are off next week but face a tough final two games against Utah and Washington.
Next: vs. Washington, Nov. 23
12. Arizona (4-5, 2-4 Pac-12)
Previous: No. 10.
The Wildcats had a bye and it was much needed as Kevin Sumlin's squad could use the time to prep for North division leader Oregon. Making a bowl game seems like a stretch since it not only plays Oregon but Utah as well. The other game is against rival Arizona State. The defense is going to have to make monumental strides for any of those games to be winnable.
Next: Saturday at Oregon, 10:30 p.m., ESPN.