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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-10 Power Rankings

For the majority of the 2010 season, the Pacific 10 Conference hierarchy has been uncertain outside of frontrunner Oregon. But with another week of in-conference battles in the books and only a quarter of the season remaining for most, the Pac-10 pecking order is finally taking shape. Here’s a look at this week’s Pac-10 power rankings:

1    NO. 1 OREGON

(9-0, 6-0 Pac-10)

The Ducks are not only far and away the best team in the conference, but also the top squad in the nation. They’re racking up a ridiculous 54.67 points per contest, featuring an offense that’s college football’s version of the 2004-05 “”Seven Seconds or Less”” Phoenix Suns. They let Washington hang around momentarily last week before Darron Thomas and LaMichael James combined for six scores to step on the throats of the howling Huskies. With Cal, Arizona and Oregon State rounding out their 2010 campaign, the Ducks are well on their way to an undefeated season and a trip to the BCS National Championship.

2    NO. 6 STANFORD

(8-1, 5-1 Pac-10)

Through eight games Stanford had yet to earn the title of Pac-10’s second best  — until it embarrassed Arizona in Stanford Stadium last Saturday. The Cardinal and Andrew Luck dominated the Wildcats in every aspect of the game on their way to a 42-17 win that proved they are indeed the best one-loss team in America.

3  NO. 18 ARIZONA

(7-2, 4-2 Pac-10)

 While Stanford proved its worth on Saturday, the Wildcats showed they weren’t quite ready for primetime. They were thoroughly dominated, offensively and defensively, and those chants of “”Rose Bowl”” that have broken huddles since training camp quickly faded. Although Arizona continued its streak of laying an egg in big games, it still remains the third-best team in the conference with a pair of bowl games to play for in the Holiday Bowl and Alamo Bowl. But it doesn’t get any easier for Arizona, with USC, Oregon and ASU on tap to close out the season.

4 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

(6-3, 3-3 Pac-10):

What’s more confusing than an uber-talented team with nothing to play for? Enter the Trojans. USC has the talent to land at No. 2 or No. 3 in the Pac-10, but its inconsistencies (hanging with Stanford but losing to Washington) leave the Trojans at a reasonable four-spot. That could easily change this weekend, however, when USC heads to Tucson to take on the Wildcats. They’re coming off of a 34-33 win over ASU and have the talent to bring even more disappointment to the state of Arizona.

5 OREGON STATE

(4-4, 3-2 Pac-10)

The Beavers are yet another Pac-10 team that’s difficult to gauge. One week Ryan Katz turns in a Heisman-like performance in a win over Arizona, but a few games later the Beavers score only 14 in a loss to UCLA. Oregon State is still better than the conference bottom-feeders but lacks the consistency to crack into the upper-echelon.

6 CALIFORNIA

(5-4, 3-3 Pac-10)

Cal has quickly proven they’re respectable at home and near embarrassing on the road. While they’re 4-0 at home, the Golden Bears are 1-4 on the road. The Bears have 22 touchdowns at home compared to 10 scores on the road. Cal was able to pick up its first road win of the season last weekend with a 20-13 victory over Washington State. But it’s Washington State, so that doesn’t say much. Cal is another Pac-10 team that’s tough to put your finger on, but it should be a lot easier to gauge their caliber when they face No. 1 Oregon and No. 6 Stanford back-to-back in the coming weeks.

7 UCLA

(4-5, 2-4 Pac-10)

Speaking of schizophrenic teams, UCLA and its pistol offense squeaked past Oregon State last weekend to continue its roller-coaster ride of a season. The Bruins have proven they can beat teams like Texas and Oregon State, while falling to Stanford and Cal by a combined 70-7. Despite that inconsistency, they’re still better than ASU, Washington, and Wazzou.  

8 ASU

(4-5, 2-4 Pac-10)

The Sun Devils have endured a season full of what-ifs. Aside from a 33-point drubbing at the hands of Cal, ASU has lost four of its five games by a combined 16 points, most recently a 34-33 loss to USC. The Sun Devils have surprised some people, nearly beating Wisconsin, and competing with Oregon, Oregon State and USC. But a loss is a loss and the Sun Devils still deserve to land at No. 8 in this week’s power rankings.

 

9 WASHINGTON

(3-6, 2-4 Pac-10)

It’s hard to say who’s been worse at living up to the expectations this season: The Huskies or quarterback Jake Locker. The former projected No. 1 pick has been banged up and is currently out with a broken rib, but he’s been a shell of the quarterback people expected him to be. And conversely, the Huskies have failed to live up to the hype. They’ve been blasted by Stanford, Arizona and Oregon, while beating Oregon State and USC by a combined two points. Despite the preseason belief, the Huskies are simply not very good.

10 WASHINGTON STATE

(1-9, 0-7 Pac-10)

The Cougars still have zero conference wins. But WSU has shown a few flashes of improvement this season. Quarterback Jeff Tuel was abysmal going 9-for-25 in a loss to Cal last weekend, but Wazzou has a potential to do the unthinkable and actually win a conference game this season. Bold prediction: the Cougars take their in-state rival Washington and win their first conference game since November 22, 2008. Who was Wazzou’s opponent in the win? None other than Washington.

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