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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Pac-10 Power Rankings

Half way through the 2010 season, the Pacific 10 Conference has narrowed its focus, dividing into the elite, a highly contested middle and those teams that continue to fall deeper. Although Oregon remains perfect on the season and No. 2 in BCS standings, one slip up could change the outlook of the entire conference.

No. 1 — Oregon Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-10):

This season, the No. 1 AP spot hasn’t been so kind to those who occupy it. The Ducks are hoping history won’t repeat itself. There’s only been one instance in which the No. 1 AP lost three weeks in a row in 1960 when Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri each lost their positions as the No. 1 team. Sound familiar? October is an eerie month, Duck fans.

No. 2 — Stanford Cardinal (5-1, 2-1):

Andrew Luck and the Cardinal haven’t fallen off yet this conference season, and its schedule doesn’t look too difficult on the horizon. With just the one loss to conference leader Oregon, Stanford has been able to win the blowouts (vs. Wake Forest) and the close games (vs. USC). If the Ducks slip in any conference game, Stanford will be right there to take the Pac-10 title.

No. 3 — Arizona Wildcats (5-1, 2-1):

Mums the word on quarterback Nick Foles’ injury. Coaches won’t say exactly what’s wrong or how long it will keep him out of the huddle. But Arizona has enough pieces in place to still be legitimate contenders in the conference, even without Foles calling the shots. The fact that the Wildcats host Washington this weekend will help with adapting to Matt Scott at quarterback, and give the defense the momentum it needs to shut down Jake Locker.

No. 4 — USC Trojans (5-2, 2-2):

The words ‘blow out’ would be an understatement. The Trojans have been fickle all season, at their best contenders during their losses against Washington and Stanford and at their worst worrisome in their wins at Hawaii and against Virginia. The 48-14 win over Cal was convincing enough to get them to the .500 mark in conference play and out of the four-way tie for the No. 5 spot.

No. 5 — Oregon State Beavers (3-3, 2-1):

With Oregon State comes the beginning of the jumbled middle in the Pac-10. Oregon State beat ASU, but then lost to Washington, who then lost to ASU. So which of the three really deserves the No. 5 spot? Given the Beavers win against Arizona and two tough losses at then-Top-10s TCU and Boise State, Oregon State gets the best of the rest spot.

No. 6 — Washington Huskies (3-3, 2-1):

The uncertainty continues. Which Jake Locker will show up this week? Will it be the quarterback that threw five touchdowns and nearly 300 yards last week or the quarterback that had a career-low 71 yards and just one touchdown in the beginning of the year?

No. 7 — ASU Sun Devils (3-3, 1-2):

ASU comes off its bye week at Cal, which would seem problematic if the Bears could get it figured out on offense. Not saying that it will be a walk in the park for ASU, but the Sun Devils have shown flashes of competitiveness this season; a win in this game could help ASU rise in conference perception.

No. 8 — UCLA Bruins (3-3, 1-2):

The Bruins have had a bye week to prepare for undefeated Oregon but it remains to be seen if it will do UCLA any good. Going up against the nation’s top team in terms of total offense, with a defense that has given up at least 31 points in all of its games this season, it doesn’t look good for the Bruins, but maybe they can bring some of that No.1-slayer luck with them to Eugene, Ore.

No. 9 — California Golden Bears (3-3, 1-2):

Two words for Cal’s performance at USC: utterly embarrassing. The Trojans put up 42 points by half time, while the Bears were kept off the scoreboard. The little amount of buzz Cal created when it nearly upset Arizona and then beat UCLA is all but gone after such a dismal performance.

No. 10 — Washington State Cougars (1-6, 0-4):

Although they showed some tenacity against Arizona over the weekend, the Cougars still remain at the bottom of the Pac.

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