- Oregon 4-1 2-0 (Last week: 1) - Things are setting up perfectly for the Ducks to win the North. They took down Cal and have already beaten Stanford. They could lose at Washington in two weeks and still be in first place in the division. They just need to win the games they should. Next week - Colorado - the Ducks move onto a home game against a Colorado team that looked below average at best at home last week against Arizona.
- Utah 4-1 1-1 (Last week: 4) - I’m moving Utah past USC. It was a road loss and the Utes were only barely outclassed in that game. They just need to take care of business and hope USC slips up a time or two in conference play from here, a very real possibility. Next week - at Oregon State - this is very much not a gimme game. The Beavers will be a tough out in Corvallis.
- USC 3-2 2-1 (Last week: 3) - I might place my money on USC winning the Pac-12 right now. They get two weeks of non-Pac-12 play to set up their second half run and their talent could win out in a year of mediocrity in the conference. Next week - at Notre Dame - a huge challenge and a bad loss her could shoot down Helton if USC thinks they have a candidate they have to move on.
- Cal 4-2 1-2 (Last week: 5) - The Bears losing Chase Garbers was a tragedy for their season. They could easily be undefeated right now. They will have to figure out how to win the games they should without him for now. Next week - bye - hopefully the Bears can at least get some of their offensive line healthy in the week off.
- Stanford 3-3 2-2 (Last week: 11) - Does Stanford have two losses? Yes, but they’re to arguably the two best teams in the conference as they dealt with injuries. They’re a team to watch in the second half of the season. Next week - bye - they get a much-needed bye week to recover for their last six games of the season.
- Washington 4-2 1-2 (Last week: 2) - The Huskies were stymied on offense by the other Bay Area team and their defense couldn’t make plays in crucial moments. This officially looks like a rebuilding season for Washington. Next week - at Arizona - the Huskies have to go right back on the road and play in the state of Arizona, where they have struggled mightily.
- Arizona 4-1 2-0 (Last week: 8) - Getting to 2-0 in the Pac-12 this year is no small feat. Getting a road win is especially no hard feet. This is a team to watch. Next week: Washington - the Wildcats get a battered, but angry Washington team for the chance to make another splash and climb to 3-0.
- Arizona State 4-1 1-1 (Last week: 7) - The Sun Devils have a really good conference road win and a bad road loss plus a really good non-conference road win. I have a feeling they will fli flop with Arizona a lot this season. Next week - Washington State - this game doesn’t look as tough as it did going into the season and is a great chance for the Sun Devils to pick up another win.
- Colorado 4-1 1-1 (Last week: 6) - Losing a tough game to Arizona isn’t the end of the world, but it was one of the most-winnable games left on Colorado’s schedule. They’re going to have to pull an upset or two to make a bowl game now. Next week - at Oregon - winning at Oregon six days after losing to Arizona in Boulder simply doesn’t seem possible.
- Oregon State 2-3 1-1 (Last week: 12) - The Beavers scored a huge road win and look like they can at least climb out of the Pac-12 cellar this year. Next week - Utah - keep an eye on this one, the Beavers could really test Utah in Corvallis.
- UCLA 1-5 1-2 (Last week: 9) - The Beavers are improving, but losing to Oregon State in the Rose Bowl means the Bruins might not win another game this year. Next week - bye - the Bruins need to rest after a tough first six games.
- Washington State 3-2 0-2 (Last week: 10) - I doubt that the Cougars are the worst team in the Pac-12, but they’re the only team without a Pac-12 win and they lost at home to UCLA so I think this is where they belong, for now. Next week - at Arizona State - things don’t get any easier for Mike Leach and company as they’ll have to win in Tempe to avoid starting 0-3.
Pacific Takes Pac-12 Power Rankings Weeks six & seven: Washington falls down after Stanford loss
A lot more shuffling after a tough week of Pac-12 play.
By Jack Follman