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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Arizona continues nosedive after back-to-back loses

North

1 Stanford — The Cardinal dodged an upset against Washington State to improve to 7-1, as Christian McCaffrey led the charge with another game of over 100 yards. The No. 9 Cardinal remains the Pac-12 Conference’s last chance for a bid to the College Football Playoff, with so many teams ahead of them facing grueling schedules. But Stanford still has to win out, including a tough season finale against No. 8 Notre Dame.

2 Oregon — The Ducks edged out Wazzu for No. 2 in the North after their thrilling victory against ASU on Thursday. Oregon needs one more win to become bowl eligible and will have to find its stride against either California, Stanford, USC or Oregon State.

3 Washington State — The Cougars suffered another crushing defeat, as they were a missed field goal away from upsetting Stanford. How Portland State beat Wazzu by a wider margin than the Cardinal is a serious question that needs answering.

4 California — In the words of the immortal Dennis Green, “They are what we thought they were,” after losing their third consecutive game. One team will become bowl eligible this week, as the Golden Bears head to Eugene for a showdown with Oregon.

5 Washington — Huskies’ quarterback Jake Browning had six passing touchdowns all season heading into last weekend, but even he torched Arizona to the tune of four passing touchdowns. He’ll have to do it again if the Huskies have any hopes of knocking off No. 13 Utah at home this week.

6 Oregon State — The Beavers lost again, but at least football season is almost over. Look on the bright side: basketball season is almost here and Oregon State does have the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in Gary Payton II. So there is that.


South

1 Utah — A 10-win season is a real possibility for the Utes after defeating Oregon State 27-12 on Saturday. Their only tough matchup remaining is against UCLA on Nov. 21, which could end up determining the Pac-12 South.

2 USC — Judging by the current state of Arizona’s defense, Cody Kessler might have more touchdowns than incompletions when the Wildcats come to the Coliseum on Saturday. USC is quietly only one game behind Utah in conference play, so keep an eye on the Trojans in November.

3 UCLA — After narrowly defeating Colorado, UCLA faces an Oregon State team that is still looking for its first conference win. That likely will not happen, but you never know considering they barely beat Colorado last week.

4 ASU — The Sun Devils lost a thriller in overtime after choosing to throw the ball near the goal line on second and goal. The battle for the Territorial Cup might decide which team becomes bowl eligible after disappointing seasons for both Arizona schools.

5 Arizona — One day, I hope to tell my grandchildren about the time College GameDay came to Tucson. Hopefully, they do not ask the result or what followed. On another note, consistently leaving the middle wide open on defense has been a bold move that still isn’t paying off. The Wildcats will need to upset USC, Utah or ASU to at least become bowl eligible.

6 Colorado — Always rely on the good ol’ Buffs to keep Arizona out of the Pac-12 cellar. Colorado lost a hard-fought battle to UCLA 35-31, so it will at least have something to talk about at the end-of-season banquet. Colorado faces a November filled with four of the Pac-12’s most talented teams in Stanford, USC, Wazzu and Utah.


Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.


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