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Pacific Takes Pac-12 Power Rankings 11/26: Utah takes over top spot

It’s Utah, Oregon, USC, then a whole lot of mess.

NCAA Football: Utah at Arizona Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Utah 10-1 7-1 (last week: 2) The Utes had been outdueling the Ducks in the eye test for a while and Oregon dropping their first conference game, to a team that’s not as good as the one Utah lost to, gets Utah the top spot. The Utes should take care of business against Colorado and come into the P12CG as the every-so-slight favorite.
  2. Oregon 9-2 7-1 (last week: 1) We can’t punish the Ducks much. They lost one road game against a solid conference competitor and at least got it close with a late furious rally. They could easily beat Utah in the P12CG and impress in the Rose Bowl.
  3. USC 8-4 7-2 (last week: 4) The Trojans wrap up what would be a decent season for almost any other program. 7-2 in Pac-12 is pretty impressive and they still have a faint glimmer of hope this weekend with Colorado and Utah.
  4. Washington 6-5 3-5 (last week: 3) This is when all hell breaks loose. You could probably put teams 4-9 in any order and it would make sense. Teams 10-12 aren’t far behind either. The Huskies are hard to peg. They played Oregon and Utah better than anyone else in the conference and beat USC, but they also got beat by Cal, Colorado, and Stanford.
  5. Arizona State 6-5 3-5 (last week: 6) The Sun Devils looked so good against the Ducks it made everyone forget they had lost four in a row before that and lost at home to Colorado in their Pac-12 opener. They certainly feel like a really good 6-5/3-5 team though.
  6. Cal 6-5 3-5 (last week: 8) The Bears finally broke through against Stanford to put a positive spin on a weird season and make a bowl game. Now they have to get back up for a weird end to the decision, playing at UCLA.
  7. Washington State 6-5 3-5 (last week: 9) Hell of a win in a bowl game play-in over Oregon State in Pullman for the Cougars. Beat the Huskies in the Apple Cup and the Cougars could climb as hard as number four.
  8. Oregon State 5-6 4-4 (last week: 5) The Beavers were so close to clinching a bowl game. Now they have to somehow beat Oregon in Eugene. That loss to Hawaii stings right now.
  9. Colorado 5-6 3-5 (last week: 10) The Buffs have rallied down the stretch after clearly looking like the worst team in the Pac-12 just a few weeks ago. They probably don’t make a bowl, but three conference wins isn’t bad.
  10. UCLA 4-7 4-4 (last week: 7) The Bruins are going to finish actually very well in-conference, even if they don’t beat Cal. They’ve failed at the eye test lately though, seeming to slip a bit as the season goes on.
  11. Stanford 4-7 3-6 (last week: 11) Washington is getting most of the attention for having a confoundingly-bad season, but Stanford has been even worse (even though they beat the Huskies). The Cardinal are far too talented to win only four games in a season. Something is off in Palo Alto.

Arizona 4-7 2-6 (last week: 12) The Wildcats will finish in the cellar of the conference, unless they can upset ASU.