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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-12 football rankings: Stanford running game dominates

North

1. Stanford — Christian McCaffrey is leading a dominant Cardinal rushing attack that keeps on humming as Kevin Hogan continues to play efficiently. They should be favored in every game remaining in the regular season, including their finale against Notre Dame.

2. California — A loss against Utah brought the Golden Bears back down to Earth, but they better rebound quickly as upcoming opponent UCLA is also trending down. A loss would all but end Cal’s still attainable goal of a Pac-12 North title.

3. Washington State — FCS team Portland State beat Washington State by a wider margin than No. 20 California — strange, but true. Had Wazzu dodged that slip-up, it would have a strong case at being ranked.

4. Oregon — The Ducks beat Washington last week to move all the way up to .500 in conference play. They should beat Oregon State to end the season, but every other game on the schedule could be a stretch for a team who aspired to be more than just bowl eligible.

5. Washington — The Huskies’ quest for a bowl bid is much tougher after another one-score loss, this time to Oregon. At least they have Stanford this week, so they probably don’t have to worry about another one-score loss.

6. Oregon State — The Beavers lost by double-digits for the fourth time this season, and things do not seem to be getting much better. They could still be a potential spoiler for Oregon’s bowl bid, so there is still something to play for.


South

1. Utah — The darlings of the Pac-12 continue their undefeated season and now face a very vulnerable USC team. The Utes currently don’t have another ranked team on their remaining schedule, so they should go undefeated. But there is still a lot of football left.

2. UCLA — The Bruins have dropped two straight after thrashing Arizona on national television. The now unranked Bruins look to get back on track against the Golden Bears. They should be in good shape if they do not give up over 300 yards and four touchdowns on the ground again.

3. ASU — The Sun Devils need to win this game against Oregon if they hope to somehow win the Pac-12 South. They lost the tie-breaker to Utah, so with another loss the Devils would need them to implode to have any shot.

4. USC — USC played Notre Dame tough, but the Traveler uncharacteristically is not playing up to its preseason ranking. On the bright side, ESPN Films: 30 for 30, “Trojan War,” was pretty good.

5. Arizona — The Wildcats are somehow second in the division as they look to get back into title contention. Their remaining schedule consists of three beatable unranked opponents, including rival ASU and No. 3 Utah, which Arizona clobbered on the road last year. That was last year, though. Anything is possible in the Pac-12 Conference.

6. Colorado — How’s that guarantee of beating Arizona look now, coach? Confidence is always admirable, just not when you are the worst team in the conference. The Buffaloes did play Arizona tough for three quarters, so I guess they can use that at their end-of-season banquet.


Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.


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