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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-10 Power Rankings

Well here we are again — the Pacific 10 Conference is wide open. Six teams still have a mathematical chance to win the conference and earn a Rose Bowl bid. Stanford and Oregon State are on the way up after a big weekend, USC and California are on the way down, and Oregon and Arizona stayed the same, setting up what should be a great matchup in two weeks. With Oregon’s loss, the Pac-10 doesn’t have a realistic chance to send a team to the BCS National Title Game, but the nation’s toughest conference already has six bowl-eligible teams.

1. Stanford (7-3, 6-2 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 3

One thought: Stanford would be wise to lock up Jim Harbaugh to a long-term deal.

Rose Bowl forecast: As well as Stanford has played lately, it might be a little too late. The Cardinal only has one conference game remaining against archrival California (it also plays Notre Dame, but that game doesn’t matter in the Pac-10 picture). Stanford needs Arizona to beat Oregon and then hope that Arizona and Oregon State lose somewhere down the line. 

2. Oregon (8-2, 6-1 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 1

The Ducks only moved down because Stanford is playing so well. Oregon’s trip to Tucson will be a dicey one, especially considering what happened last time it came to the desert as a heavy favorite.

Rose Bowl forecast: The Pac-10 is Oregon’s to lose, especially considering that its final two games are against Arizona and Oregon State — two teams chasing them. If it loses either game it could be in trouble, though, because tie-breakers would not be in its favor.

 

3.  OSU (7-3, 5-2 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 4

Left for dead after its loss to Arizona, the Beavers have quietly stampeded back into the race. They dominated Washington over the weekend and, fortunately for them, get to play Washington State this weekend.

Rose Bowl forecast: OSU will beat Washington State, potentially setting up a Pac-10 Championship game against Oregon in both teams’ final game. If Oregon loses to Arizona, though, OSU better hope Arizona loses to ASU or USC because the Wildcats own the tiebreaker over the Beavers.

 

4. Arizona (6-3, 4-2 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 2

The loss to Cal was a tough pill to swallow for Arizona, and it was even more alarming because the Wildcats have still not played a complete game against any team other than Washington State. The momentum will be on their side this weekend, though.

Rose Bowl forecast: The loss to Cal took away Arizona’s room for error in its shot at Roses. If the Wildcats win their final three games — Oregon, at ASU, at USC — they will win the Pac-10. A loss in any of the games will likely eliminate them, though.

 

5. California (7-3, 4-3 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 6

Impressive, spirited win over Arizona over the weekend. The win was dedicated to injured running back Jahvid Best, but backup Shane Vereen was the difference maker in the game. Likely out of the Rose Bowl picture, Cal has a great chance to play spoiler this weekend when it makes the short drive to Stanford. Will the band be on the field this time?

 

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

This is weird, does anybody know what to do? I’ll tell you: remember what a fantastic coach Pete Carroll is. This is the first time that USC won’t win the Pac-10 or make a BCS bowl since 2001, and it was really the first time that USC was physically and schematically dominated since Carroll’s first year as coach. To the Pac-10: Enjoy the opportunity, it won’t happen again. From: USC.

 

7. UCLA (5-5, 2-5 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 8

And suddenly the Bruins are bowl eligible. UCLA has to win one of its last two games — ASU and USC — to make it to the postseason, which would be a significant accomplishment considering it started 0-5 in the Pac-10.

 

8. ASU (4-6, 2-5 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 7

So, who’s going to play quarterback this week? Your guess is as good as Dennis Erickson’s. The Sun Devils have a winnable game against UCLA this weekend and then host Arizona for the Duel in the Desert. If ASU beats UCLA, it’ll be one win away from bowl eligibility and wouldn’t it be nice for the Sun Devils to clinch the postseason and potentially crush Arizona’s Rose Bowl hopes in one week?

9. Washington (3-7, 2-5 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 9

It was fun while it lasted, but Washington’s staying power ended a long time ago. Enjoy Jake Locker, citizens of Seattle. He might be gone soon.

 

10. WSU (1-9, 0-7 Pac-10)   Last Week: No. 10

Wouldn’t it be something if the Cougars beat Oregon State this weekend? Not likely, but it’s WSU’s last chance to pull off a shocking and meaningful upset.

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