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Pacific Takes Pac-12 Power Rankings week five & six: Washington moves up to the second spot

Another week of a lot of shuffling after the first full week of conference play.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Oregon 3-1 1-0 (Last week: 1) - The Ducks got a bye week to hopefully heal up, especially at OL and WR. They solidly look like the Pac-12’s most-complete team early in the season. Next week: Cal - This game looked a lot more challenging before Cal likely lost QB Chase Garbers and now looks like a game Oregon should control.
  2. Washington 4-1 1-1 (Last week: 3) - The Huskies slip past Cal with the Bears losing to Arizona State and the Huskies controlling USC. They certainly could still be the best team in the Pac-12 as their young players get their legs. Next week: at Stanford - this game should be a lot less-challenging than it did at the start of the season, but the Cardinal know this is a must-win if they want to stay alive in the North and for pride, so they should get a hard punch from the Cardinal.
  3. USC 3-2 2-1 (Last week: 4) -The Trojans move up with a loss? Yes, Cal slips down below them and they stay ahead of Utah because they have the head-to-head win. This is still a scary talented team. Next week: bye - the Trojans don’t have a conference game for a few more weeks, but how they play at Notre Dame could affect Clay Helton’s employment status.
  4. Utah 4-1 1-1 (Last week: 5) - The Utes did what they needed to do, dominating Washington State and getting their mojo back. They’re just need to keep stacking wins, get Zack Moss healthy, and hope USC loses a game or two. Next week: bye - the Utes get a week off to gear up for Oregon State in two weeks.
  5. Cal 4-1 1-1 (Last week: 2) - I don’t want to punish Cal too much as I think they beat Arizona State if Garbers doesn’t get hurt. They’re still a very tough veteran team that hopefully gets their QB back very soon. Next week - at Oregon - the Bears will likely need a hero performance from their defense to win in Autzen.
  6. Colorado 3-1 1-0 (Last week: 6) - The Buffs didn’t play, but their win at Arizona State looks even better now. Next week - Arizona - man, this feels like the kind of game a Pac-12 team like Colorado loses this season. Let’s see if they can pull it off.
  7. Arizona State 4-1 1-1 (Last week: 9) - The Sun Devils are up and down this season. Nice win for them at Cal. Next week - bye - the Sun Devils get a week to prepare for Washington State.
  8. Arizona 3-1 1-0 (Last week: 10) - The Wildcats certainly aren’t blowing anyone away by beating Texas Tech and UCLA in Tucson, but those are very nice wins for this program right now. Next week - at Colorado - the Wildcats may have to win a tough conference road game with a back up QB.
  9. UCLA 1-4 1-1 (Last week: 7) - Don’t bury UCLA again. They almost won at Arizona while dealing with injuries to their starting quarterback. They will be a conference pest all season. Next week - Oregon State - The Bruins HAVE to win this game to have any shot at making a bowl game.
  10. Washington State 3-2 0-2 (Last week: 8) - Things are quickly getting scary for the Cougar and they aren’t going to get any easier anytime soon. Next week - bye - don’t be shocked if the Cougars do a lot of tinkering during the bye week.
  11. Stanford 2-3 1-2 (Last week: 11) - At the very least, the Cardinal showed they aren’t the worst team in the Pac-12 by winning in Corvallis. Next week - Washington - the Huskies might be able to bury Stanford in Palo Alto.
  12. Oregon State 1-3 0-1 (Last week: 12) - That Stanford loss stings for the Beavers. Getting a Pac-12 win won’t be easy this season for Jonathan Smith. Next week - at UCLA - here’s one of the more-winnable games left on OSU’s schedule.