Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP poll to close the 2015 regular season. And unlike last week, when three of the league's representatives hailed from the North Division, it's an even split this time as two each are from the North and South.
No. 7 Stanford jumped from No. 13 after its thrilling 38-36 win over Notre Dame. The Cardinal now await Tuesday's College Football Playoff rankings, with one last chance to push toward the top four in Saturday's Pac-12 championship game. Stanford likely needs the help of outside chaos to play for a national title this season, but the Cardinal are still mathematically alive.
Stanford coach David Shaw was confident about his team's resume Saturday night.
"We're 10-2 with a really tough schedule," he said. "No I-AA teams on there. We're 8-1 in the deepest conference in America. We have nothing to prove to anybody. We're in the Pac-12 championship game and have to go play a great game against a team that's going to be fired up to play us."
The Cardinal's opponent at Levi's Stadium will be No. 24 USC, which re-entered the Top 25 this week after its commanding 40-21 win over crosstown rival UCLA. The Trojans clinched the Pac-12 South with that victory and set up a rematch with Stanford, with a Rose Bowl berth on the line.
No. 21 Utah also re-entered the rankings after its 20-14 win over Colorado. The Utes finish the regular season with nine wins, matching their 2014 total. Though loftier dreams are obviously dead in Salt Lake City -- Utah was once ranked in the top five -- Kyle Whittingham's team will have a chance to surpass last season's victory total in a quality bowl game.
No. 15 Oregon moved up three spots from No. 18 after its 52-42 Civil War win over Oregon State. The Ducks also finish the regular season at 9-3, and their Rose Bowl dreams aren't completely dead yet -- they'd likely be selected to replace Stanford if the Cardinal qualify for the College Football Playoff.
UCLA and Washington State dropped from the Top 25 following their losses this weekend.
One more game remains to finalize the Pac-12 postseason picture, which will feature a record 10 bowl-eligible teams.