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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Pac-12 Power Rankings: This one is for all the marbles

Tyler Baker

Arizona safety Jared Tevis (38) tries to take down Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) during Arizona’s 31-24 win at Autzen Stadium. The Wildcats and Ducks will face each other in the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game this Friday.


1. No. 3 Oregon (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12 Conference)

As expected, the Ducks solved “the Stanford problem” and got past the Cardinal. However, now they have an “Arizona problem,” as the Wildcats have beaten them twice in a row. Still, it’s better than having 99 problems.

Last week: First, W vs. Oregon State 47-19

This week: Friday vs. No. 8 Arizona (10-2, 7-2) (Santa Clara, Calif.)

Preseason pick: First

2. Stanford (7-5, 5-4)

The Cardinal’s streak of four straight BCS bowls ended this season and not just because of the BCS’s end. They underachieved a bit, but winning seven games in a rebuilding year is still pretty impressive, and they capped the season with a dominant win over UCLA on the road when the Bruins had everything to play for.

Last week: Second, W at UCLA 31-10

Preseason pick: Second

3. Washington (8-5, 4-5)

The Huskies were also rebuilding this season and while they won eight games, it was barely impressive. U-Dub played five teams that were ranked at the time and lost each time and won eight games against teams like Eastern Washington, Hawaii, Wazzu and Colorado.

Last week: Third, W at Washington State 31-13

Preseason pick: Third

4. California (5-7, 3-6)

While the Golden Bears will miss out on a bowl, their season was a great success. They came within eight points of going bowling after winning one game last year and none against Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

Last week: fourth, L vs. BYU 42-35

Preseason pick: Sixth

5. Oregon State (5-7, 2-7)

The Beavers were yet another Pac-12 North rebuilding team and they played like it. They upset ASU but lost to Wazzu, which cost them a chance to go a crappy nameless bowl. Thus, they are stuck in Oregon for the holidays.

Last week: Fifth, L at Oregon 47-19

Preseason pick: Fourth

6. Washington State (3-9, 2-7)

Cougar fans were hoping for back-to-back bowl seasons, but instead, WSU was as disappointing as going to Pullman, Wash., and expecting to see a Pac-12 city. On a positive note, they actually played pretty well after one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, Connor Halliday, was lost for the season.

Last week: Sixth, L vs. Washington 31-13

Preseason pick: Fifth


1. No. 8 Arizona (10-2, 7-2)

No one saw this coming except for me: In the preseason I picked the Wildcats to play in Levi’s Stadium after 12 games. Okay, fine, I admit I picked them to go to the bowl game there, not the championship game. At least the Pac-12 will finally have a watchable championship game.

Last week: Second, W vs. ASU 42-35

This week: Friday vs. No. 3 Oregon (11-1, 8-1) (Santa Clara, Calif.)

Preseason pick: Third

2. No. 16 UCLA (9-3, 6-3)

Coming in as the Pac-12 South’s biggest disappointment is the Bruins. Many people saw them as playoff contenders, but instead they choked and let the division slip away. Oh well; they’ll always have that game where they destroyed ASU 62-27 on national TV.

Last week: First, L vs. Stanford 31-10

Preseason pick: First

3. No. 17 ASU (9-3, 6-3)

For much of the season, the school that inspires young Sun Devils fans to throw up the shocker shocked the college football world. However, they ended the season in the stink by losing two of their last three.

Last week: Third, L at Arizona 42-35

Preseason pick: Fourth

4. USC (8-4, 6-3)

The Men of Troy started out strong but didn’t have a happy ending, much like the ancient Trojans. Yeah, they beat up on Notre Dame last week, but that’s been done ad nauseam this season.

Last week: Fourth, W vs. Notre Dame 49-14

Preseason pick: Second

5. No. 24 Utah (8-4, 5-4)

The Utes had a season to remember as they were in contention for the Pac-12 South deep into November and had their best season as a Pac-12 team. In 2012 and 2013, they went 5-7, and in 2011, they went 8-5, but they missed Oregon and Stanford.

Last week: fifth, W at Colorado 38-34

Preseason pick: Fifth

6. Colorado (2-10, 0-9)

I had a fun time making fun of Colorado, but honestly, they didn’t really deserve such a hideous record. They played an absolutely brutal schedule that a rebuilding program shouldn’t have to face. Good thing it’s basketball season for them. If you don’t check out the basketball power rankings, I’ll make fun of you for 14 weeks straight!

Last week: Sixth, L vs. Utah 38-34

Preseason pick: Sixth


Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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