- Oregon 5-1 3-0 (Last week: 1) - The Ducks showed they could shut down a decent offense against Colorado. They might be able to hold onto this spot even if they lose to Washington on Saturday. Next game - at Washington - the Ducks can all but wrap up the North with a win here, but it will have to be on the road, against a very talented, hated rival.
- Utah 5-1 2-1 (Last week: 2) - The Utes impressed as much as possible against Oregon State. This is truly a team that can shut down your offense and score with theirs. Next game - Arizona State - The Utes need to shake the ASU monkey off their back or risk falling dangerously behind USC.
- USC 3-3 2-1 (Last week: 3) - The Trojans impressed, even with a loss, dropping to Notre Dame by just three on the road. I really think we might all be sleeping on them. Next game - Arizona - Okay, USC, here’s what you have to do, simply beat the teams you should beat.
- Stanford 3-3 2-1 (Last week 5) - Watch out for the Cardinal. David Shaw’s yearly rope a dope might be in full effect. Next game - UCLA - The Bruins in Palo Alto after a week off is the perfect way for Stanford to keep the momentum from their win over Washington.
- Cal 4-2 1-2 (Last week: 4) - It’s going to be hard for Cal to hold onto this spots even thought they’re going to start getting back to more-winnable games. Next game - Oregon State - The Beavers in Berkeley should be easier treading for the Bears.
- Washington 5-2 2-2 (Last week: 6) - Washington showed some offense at Arizona and that could go a long way toward them being a legit Pac-12 championship contender. Next game - it’s basically make or break for Washington right here as they host the Ducks.
- Arizona State 5-1 2-1 (Last week: 8) - The Sun Devils may be ranked, but Pac-12 fans don’t trust them and that loss to Colorado in Tempe looks bad right now. Next game - at Utah - the Sun Devils can prove themselves with a win in Salt Lake City.
- Arizona 4-2 2-1 (Last week: 7) - Things have started to get much harder for the Wildcats as their schedule toughens up. Getting to a bowl might even be tough. Next game - at USC - this might be a must-win if the Wildcats hope to be any kind of player in the South.
- Colorado 4-2 1-2 (Last week: 9) - I think things are starting to go downhill for the Buffs. They’ll need to keep battling or they could easily slip to the bottom of the conference. Next game - at Washington State - traveling to Pullman to play a WSU team that is starving for a win will be a major challenge.
- Oregon State 2-4 1-2 (Last week: 10) - The Beavers were reminded of how far they have to go to be an upper-Pac-12 team last week against Utah as the Utes bulldozed them at home. Next game - at Cal - things don’t get much easier as they have to play a tough Cal defense on the road.
- UCLA 1-5 1-2 (Last week: 11) - The Bruins are clinging to that one win at Washington State for now. Next game - at Stanford - the Bruins might catch a break and get a third string Stanford QB on Thursday, but I still don’t think it will be enough.
- Washington State 3-3 0-3 (Last week: 12) - The Cougars might actually be the fourth or fifth -best team in the Pac-12, but they’re 0-3 right now with a home loss to UCLA so I cant fairly have them not here in my opinion. Next game - Colorado - A must-must-must-win for the Cougs.
Pacific Takes Pac-12 power rankings weeks seven & eight: Washington back on the rise?
Things are getting super complicated halfway through the season.
By Jack Follman