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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Little changes in South

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Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat

North

1. No. 6 Oregon (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12 Conference)

The only North team to actually win last week, the Ducks look like they have their swagger back and are right back in the playoff hunt. Plus, their throwback Donald Duck uniforms were just plain cool.

Last week: First, W vs. Washington 45-20

This week: Friday at California (4-3, 2-3)

2. Stanford (4-3, 2-2)

There isn’t a Pac-12 North team that deserves to be second, but the Cardinal shamefully takes this spot. At least its close loss at Notre Dame looks good after the Irish almost beat Florida State.

Last week: Second, L at ASU 26-10

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

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

The Huskies got spanked at Oregon, and, except for a close loss to an overrated Stanford side, haven’t looked at all like a team that was ranked in the preseason. This week, they must face a resurgent ASU team.

Last week: Third, L at Oregon 45-20

This week: Saturday at No 14 ASU (5-1, 3-1)

4. Oregon State (4-2, 1-2)

The Beavers began the South’s misery with a home loss to Utah on Thursday. This week, a trip to Stanford could mean their third loss in the last four games. 

Last week: Fourth, L vs. Utah 29-23 2OT

This week: Saturday at Stanford (4-3, 2-2)

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

The Golden Bearsplayed their UC rival tough but ultimately came up short to UCLA: Another loss to the North for the South. Cal is much improved from last year, but it faces a tough road to get a few more wins and bowl eligibility.

Last week: fifth, L vs. UCLA 36-34

This week: Friday vs. Oregon (6-1, 3-1)

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

Last November, the Cougars shocked Arizona and got a bowl bid as a result. Since that win, they’ve lost seven games and may need to surprise the Wildcats again to make a bowl game this year.

Last week: Sixth, Bye

This week: Saturday vs. No. 15 Arizona (5-1, 2-1)

South

1. No. 20 USC (5-2, 4-1)

The South is absolutely brutal, and with five Pac-12 Championship Game contenders, ranking it is almost as hard as playing in it. The Trojans are in first place, so they’re a good choice to top this week’s power rankings.

Last week: Second, W vs. Colorado 56-28

This week: Saturday at No. 19 Utah (5-1, 2-1)

2. No. 15 Arizona (5-1, 2-1)

The Wildcats own the best win of any Pac-12 team, so they stay near the top. Fun fact: With a No. 2 ranking in the Preseason Coaches Basketball Poll, Arizona has the highest-ranked average of football and men’s basketball teams. Credit goes to the ZonaZoo for figuring that out; I’m not a math major.

Last week: First, Bye

This week: Saturday at Washington State (2-5, 1-3)

3. No. 19 Utah (5-1, 2-1)

This is where the South gets fuzzy. The Utes get third because they beat UCLA in Los Angeles, which beat ASU on the road. The Utes face a death-row schedule of USC, ASU and Oregon in the next three weeks, though.

Last week: Third, W at Oregon State 29-23 2OT

This week: Saturday vs. USC (5-2, 4-1)

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

The Bruins were once thought to be a playoff contender but have dropped out of the rankings. However, the South is so cannibalistic, they have a good chance to win the division. 

Last week: Fourth, W at California 36-34

This week: Saturday at Colorado (2-5, 0-4)

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

After they got annihilated by UCLA, almost everyone gave up on the Sun Devils, and ASU fans wondered when basketball season started — well, women’s basketball season. Fun fact: The ASU newspaper actually does power rankings for women’s hoops. After beating USC and Stanford, ASU is a legit contender again. 

Last week: Fifth, W vs. Stanford 26-10

This week: Saturday at Washington (5-2, 1-1)

6. Colorado (2-5, 0-4)

The Pac-12 South has five teams that can win its championship. And then there’s Colorado. Why are the Buffaloes even in the South? Colorado has a ski team, but no baseball team.

Last week: Sixth, L at USC 56-28

This week: Saturday vs  UCLA (5-2, 2-2)

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter. 

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