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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-12 power rankings: bowl picture becomes clearer

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Alexander Plaumann
Alexander Plaumann / The Daily Wildcat UA junior safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant celebrates after the Arizona defense stopped Oregon at the goalline on Saturday at Arizona Stadium.

1. No. 8 Stanford (9-2, 7-2 Pac-12) Last week: 2

The Cardinal should really write Arizona a thank you letter.

With the Wildcats’ 42-16 win this past week over then-No. 5 Oregon, Stanford clinched the Pac-12 North title. If the Wildcats defeat No. 12 ASU next week, that locks up the home field advantage for the Cardinal in the conference championship game.

2. No. 12 ASU (9-2, 7-1) LW: 3

A well-balanced Sun Devils team has strung together six straight wins, most recently defeating then-No. 14 UCLA on the road, 38-33. The win secured a Pac-12 South title, and a win next week over rival Arizona will force Pac-12 North champion Stanford to come to Tempe, Ariz., to play the championship game on Dec. 7. The winner earns a spot in the Rose Bowl.

3. No. 13 Oregon (9-2, 6-2) LW: 1

The disappointed Ducks made it clear early last week that they didn’t care to play in the Rose Bowl because they already won it in 2012. Well, after losing to Arizona this past weekend, the Ducks are probably going to play in the Valero Alamo Bowl or National University Holiday Bowl.

4. No. 23 USC (9-3, 6-2) LW: 4

The Trojans could still tie ASU for first place in the Pac-12 South, but ASU holds the tiebreaker because of its 62-41 win over the Trojans on Sept. 28 that cost former USC head coach Lane Kiffin his job. Since taking over, interim head coach Ed Orgeron has led the Trojans to a 6-1 (6-0 Pac-12) record. Whether or not Orgeron loses the interim title could be determined this week when USC hosts rival No. 22 UCLA. Currently, USC appears to be attending the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

5. No. 22 UCLA (8-3, 5-3) LW: 5

Despite winning three of their last four games, the Bruins’ 38-33 loss last week to ASU showed that while the Bruins are a talented team, they are not an elite one. As of right now, UCLA is likely looking at a trip to the Royal Purple Las Vegas bowl, but a win this week over USC would bump them into a “better” one.

6. Arizona (7-4, 4-4) LW: 9

The Wildcats were perfect against Oregon last week. If they can play that well against ASU next week, they could have one of their most successful seasons in recent memory. But because of a rocky start, for now the Wildcats look to be heading back to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

7. Washington State (6-5, 4-4) LW: 8

The Cougars are going bowling for the first time since 2003. WSU scored 49 points to lock up its sixth win. It could get better, but for now the Cougars will probably replace a Mountain West Conference team in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

8. Washington (7-4, 4-4) LW: 7

There’s just nothing exciting about this Huskies team. While a good start to the season means the Huskies are just one win away from an impressive 8-4 record, a poor finish to their season means head coach Steve Sarkisian is one loss away from being fired. Expect Washington to attend the Fight Hunger Bowl.

9. Oregon State (6-5, 4-4) LW: 6

With a good offense but terrible defense, the Beavers fill a Conference USA spot and get invited to the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

10. Utah (4-7, 1-7) LW: 10

For the first time since 1998, the Utes will miss a bowl game for a second consecutive year.

11. Colorado (4-7, 1-7) LW: 11

Efforts to rebuild are working in Boulder, Colo.

12. California (1-11, 0-9) LW: 12

Don’t worry, Golden Bears fans, the season is finally over.

—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella

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