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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pac-10 Power rankings

    This weekend was just an appetizer for what should be an epic showdown on Thursday. The Pacific 10 Conference has been the most competitive league in the country this season, and the champion will be crowned on Thursday. Not only will the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State decide who goes to the Rose Bowl, it’ll feature two teams with rested legs coming off of a bye.

    1. Oregon (9-2, 7-1 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 1

    Key to the game: Get Jeremiah Masoli running. He can win games by himself.

    Bye week advantage: Masoli will be well rested after his battle against Arizona.

    They’ll win if: The offense is clicking. It’s the most dynamic attack in the country and no defense has figured out how to stop the post-Boise State version of Masoli. I think the Ducks win this one big.

    2. Oregon State (8-3, 6-2 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 2

    Key to the game: The Rodgers brothers match Oregon’s big plays.

    Bye week advantage: The Beavers have had two weeks to draw up a defensive scheme.

    They’ll win if: They can some how contain Masoli and if James Rodgers is able to make an impact on special teams. OSU is going to have to score if they want a chance to win.

    3. Stanford (8-4, 6-3 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 3

    The regular season is over for the Cardinal and not enough can be said about what a fantastic job head coach Jim Harbaugh has done. He’s turned Stanford from a book school to a legitimate football school. Observation: Toby Gerhart deserves the Heisman Trophy, no doubt about it. Question: Did Harbaugh’s dismantling of Notre Dame make him a top candidate to replace Charlie Weis?

    4. California (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 4

    The Golden Bears should beat Washington this week, giving them a nine-win season. What a roller coaster: Ranked in the top 10 nationally in the beginning of the season, lose two straight in embarrassing fashion, win three in a row, then lose not only the game to Oregon State but the best player in the Pac-10 in Jahvid Best. Then, the Bears rip off back-to-back wins against ranked Arizona and Stanford. Well done, Coach Tedford.

    5. Arizona (7-4, 5-3 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 5

    While his brother Bob is being mentioned as a candidate for the Notre Dame job, Mike Stoops has quietly built the Arizona football program to one of the most competitive teams in the nation’s most competitive conference. The Wildcats did not play well against ASU, but pulled out a win and finally got a bounce their way. Arizona wouldn’t have won these types of games in the past. With Holiday Bowl implications this week against USC, the team hopes it can rally from its lucky break.

    Question: Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that Bob Stoops goes to Notre Dame. Would Mike Stoops become a candidate to go to Oklahoma?

    6. USC (8-3, 5-3 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 6

    I say good for you, Pete Carroll. He’s got the image of a nice, laid back guy, which I’m sure he is, but he’s certainly building some rivalries between Stanford’s Harbaugh and UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel. The Trojans can still make the Holiday Bowl and, shockingly, are in the mix for a BCS at-large depending on what happens this weekend.

    7. UCLA (6-6, 3-6 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 7

    Not the game the Bruins were hoping for, and certainly not the finish they saw coming when the called a late timeout. UCLA is bowl eligible, but it isn’t a guarantee that they will go to a bowl, only time will tell. Either way, the question must be raised: when will UCLA and its all-star coaching staff and top-notch recruiting classes put together a consistent winner?

    8. Washington (4-7, 3-5 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 9

    That was the break the Huskies needed. After an extremely difficult schedule this year — out of conference games against LSU and Notre Dame — Washington cannot be disappointed in its season. They still have one more chance to spoil some dreams when they take on Cal this weekend.

    9. ASU (4-8, 2-7 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 8

    It’s tough to see a team lose that way, and it’s even more difficult to see an individual crumble in such devastating fashion. Kyle Williams was the best player on the field on Saturday, and while it’s unfair to pin the entire loss on his muffed punt, it certainly was the deciding factor. The same question for UCLA can be asked to ASU, by the way.

    10. Washington State (1-11, 0-9 Pac-10)    Last Week: No. 10

    Goal No. 1 for 2010: win a conference game.

    — Compiled by Tim Kosch

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