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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Return of the Ducks

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Oregon redshirt senior offensive lineman Hamani Stevens (54), Oregon redshirt junior quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) and Oregon junior defensive lineman Tui Talia (55) celebrate during Arizona’s 31-24 win against Oregon on Oct. 2 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. The Ducks defeated UCLA over the weekend and jumped right back in the college football playoff hunt.

North

1. No. 9 Oregon (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12 Conference)

After losing to Arizona at home, the Ducks rebounded to beat then-No. 18 UCLA 42-30 at the Rose Bowl. Oregon quickly clawed its way back into the playoff race.

Last week: First, W vs. UCLA 42-30

This week: Saturday vs. Washington (5-1, 1-1)

2. No. 23 Stanford (4-2, 2-1)

The Cardinal recovered from its close loss at Notre Dame to double up Washington State on The Farm. Stanford held the prolific Air Raid offense to just 266 yards.

Last week: Second, W vs. Washington State 34-17

This week: Saturday at No. 17 ASU (4-1, 2-1)

3. Washington (5-1, 1-1)

The Huskies spanked California on the road to set up a huge matchup with big-time rivals, Oregon. U-Dub opened up the scoring with a 100-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Shaq Thompson.

Last week: Third, W at California 31-7

This week: Saturday at Oregon

4. Oregon State (4-1, 1-1)

After enjoying a bye, the Beavers move up by default because of the Golden Bears’ poor showing against Washington. OSU gets a chance to show it belongs in the top half of the Pac-12 with No. 20 Utah coming to town.

Last week: Bye

This week: Thursday vs. No. 20 Utah (4-1, 1-1)

5. California

 The Golden Bears’ stay atop the Pac-12 North was brief, and now they face a desperate UCLA team in the UC rivalry. Fun fact: the Bruins stole the Bears’ fight song because Cal didn’t copyright it.

Last week: Fourth, L vs. Washington 31-7

This week: Saturday vs. UCLA (4-2, 1-2)

6. Washington State (2-5, 1-3)

After throwing for an Football Bowl Subdivision-record 734 yards against Cal, Stanford held WSU quarterback Connor Halliday to 292 yards. With a pissed off Arizona team on deck, Wazzu head coach Mike Leach might need to get his shed ready.

Last week: Sixth, L at Stanford 34-17

This week: Bye

South

1. No. 16 Arizona (5-1, 2-1)

The Wildcats were one play — on offense, defense or special teams — away from being 6-0. As a result, some fans sent junior kicker Casey Skowron death threats like he’s an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria member or former UA kicker Alex Zendejas. Shameful. 

Last week: First, L vs. USC 28-26

This week: Bye

2. No. 22 USC (4-2, 3-1)

The Trojans have two road wins over teams ranked in the top-13 at the time, but their inconsistency keeps them out of the top spot. Don’t be surprised if they actually lose to Colorado this week.

Last week: Fifth, W at Arizona 28-26

This week: Saturday vs. Colorado (2-4, 0-3)

3. Utah

 By not playing last week, the newly ranked Utes avoided the Pac-12 South’s shake up. This week, we find out more about them and whether their UCLA upset was more of a one-time thing.

Last week: Fourth, Bye

This week: Thursday at Oregon State

4. UCLA (4-2, 1-2)

Remember when the Bruins were in the Top 10 and a playoff contender? That seems like ages ago, but at least they spanked ASU in Tempe.

Last week: Second, L vs. Oregon 42-30

This week: Saturday at California

5. ASU (4-1, 2-1)

Saturday’s game isn’t just a matchup of the Harvard of the West and the Harvard of Central Arizona — it’s a big opportunity for the Sun Devils. ASU can show its USC win is a more accurate representation of its quality than the UCLA shellacking.

Last week: Fifth, Bye

This week: Saturday vs. Stanford.

6. Colorado (2-4, 0-3)

While the Pac-12 South gets shaken up again, the Buffaloes remain in their familiar spot. Fun fact: They used to be good.

Last week: Sixth, Bye

This week: Saturday at USC

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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