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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 9: Survival Saturday in the South division

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Tyler Baker

Arizona football then-sophomore safety Anthony Lopez (28) pursues UCLA football then-freshman receiver Thomas Duarte (18) during Arizona’s 31-26 loss against UCLA at Arizona Stadium last season. The Bruins and Wildcats are among a handful of Pac-12 South teams who will face each other this week.

North

1. No. 5 Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12 Conference)

Sitting just outside the top four nationally, and with an easy schedule to finish the season, the Ducks look like the Pac-12 Conference’s best playoff hope. Oregon’s only tough game until the Pac-12 championship game is at No. 18 Utah.

Last week: First, W at California 59-41

This week: Saturday vs. Stanford (5-3, 3-2)

2. Stanford (5-3, 3-2)

The Cardinal recovered from its poor showing at ASU to beat Oregon State. It can recover some prestige by beating Oregon, but that seems doubtful.

Last week: Second, W vs. Oregon State 38-14

This week: Saturday at Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12)

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

The Huskies looked pretty helpless at home against ASU last week. It’s the first time Chris Petersen has lost back-to-back games since 2007.

Last week: Third, L vs. ASU 24-10

This week: Saturday at Colorado (2-6, 0-5)

4. Oregon State (4-3, 1-3)

On Saturday, the Beavers lost their third game of the last four. Their only win during the span was against lowly Colorado. After they started 3-0, it looks like Oregon State will struggle to make a bowl.

Last week: Fourth, L at Stanford 38-14

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

5. California (4-4, 2-4)

The Golden Bears have quadrupled their win total from last year and look poised to make it to a bowl this year. This week they have an easier test, after playing UCLA and Oregon in back-to-back weeks.

Last week: Fifth, L vs. Oregon 59-41

This week: Saturday at Oregon State (4-3, 1-3)

6. Washington State (2-6, 1-4)

Since beating Arizona last November, the Cougars have lost eight games, including an embarrassing New Mexico Bowl collapse. But at least on Saturday, Wazzu scored more points (37) than its men’s basketball team did against Arizona last year.

Last week: Sixth, L vs. Arizona 59-37

This week: Saturday vs. USC (5-3, 4-2)

South

1. No. 14 Arizona (6-1, 3-1)

So why are the Wildcats ranked nine spots below Oregon in the AP poll, a team they beat on the road? Arizona’s strength of schedule is 36th while UO’s is 29th. Maybe the playoff committee will fix this on Tuesday when its rankings come out.

Last week: Second, W at Washington State 59-37

This week: Saturday at No. 25 UCLA (6-2, 3-2)

2. No. 18 Utah (6-1, 3-1)

This week is survival Saturday in the South as Arizona and UCLA play and Utah and ASU play. It’s hard to believe Utah lost to lowly Washington State at home.

Last week: Third, W vs. USC 24-21

This week: Saturday at No. 15 ASU (6-1, 4-1)

3. ASU (6-1, 4-1)

It’s hard to slot the Sun Devils ahead of UCLA, a team that blew them out at home, but it looks like the Arizona schools and Utah are distancing themselves from the Los Angeles schools. Plus, ASU’s defense has really improved.

Last week: Fifth, W at Washington 24-10

This week: Saturday vs. Utah (6-1, 3-1)

4. USC (5-3, 4-2)

Few teams are as up and down as the Trojans. The Los Angeles school must love drama. This week, they figure to star in a slasher flick when they face struggling WSU.

Last week: First, L at Utah 24-21

This week: Saturday at Washington State (2-6, 1-4)

4. UCLA (6-2, 3-2)

Once again, the Bruins were disappointing, needing overtime to beat cellar-dweller Colorado. Facing another Arizona school this week, will they play to their potential for the second time this year?

Last week: Fourth, W at Colorado 40-37 2OT

This week: Saturday vs. Arizona (6-1, 3-1)

6. Colorado (2-6, 0-5)

The Buffaloes rallied from a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime against UCLA but lost, of course. CU has only won four Pac-12 games ever.

Last week: Sixth, L vs. UCLA 40-37 2OT

This week: Saturday vs. Washington (5-3, 1-3)

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