Monday, November 18, 2013
Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 12
By Ted Miller
If you don't like where you are in the Power Rankings, play better.
Click here for last week's Power Rankings.
1. Oregon: The Ducks didn't really sparkle against Utah, but Stanford's losing gives them a boost by default. Instead of a likely BCS at-large berth, the Ducks now will need to win out to reach the Rose Bowl -- or face a BCS bowl-less season for the first time since 2008. Up next: a potentially tricky trip to Arizona.
2. Stanford: The Cardinal are going to feel a lot of regret about what happened at USC. It now seems likely that Stanford won't play in a BCS bowl game for the first time since 2009.
3. Arizona State: The Sun Devils took care of business against Oregon State, thereby reaching the South Division game of the year at UCLA. Arizona State is playing well on both sides of the ball, even overcoming some early struggles against the Beavers.
4. UCLA: Of course, if UCLA and USC both win on Saturday, the South game of the year becomes the Battle for Los Angeles, an affair that would be far more meaningful than anyone imagined it being eight weeks ago.
5. USC: The Trojans are 5-1 since firing Lane Kiffin, and the win over Stanford makes them a legitimate threat to win the South and then earn a shot at the Rose Bowl.
6. Washington: The Huskies have failed to answer the bell against the Pac-12's best teams, as was their clearly stated preseason goal. All is not lost. Win the final two regular-season games, starting with a visit to Oregon State on Saturday, and a bowl game, and a nine-win season won't feel so bad. Anything less would feel like a failure.
7. Oregon State: The Beavers have lost three in a row, and it's clear their 6-1 start was a product of a favorable schedule. Lose the next two, and the season won't ultimately feel successful.
8. Washington State: After upsetting Arizona -- on the road, no less -- the Cougars only need to beat Utah or Washington to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2003.
9. Arizona: Were the Wildcats looking past Washington State to Oregon? Maybe. If so, what the heck were they thinking? That was a bad home loss. Up until then, the season has pretty much gone as expected. Finishing the regular season with a three-game losing streak won't make anyone smile in Tucson.
10. Utah: Does it help if we insist that Utah is the nation's best 4-6 team? No? Yeah, it's hard to look at a 1-6 record in Pac-12 play and feel very good. But the Utes still have a shot at earning bowl eligibility. It's going to take some mental toughness to win at Washington State on Saturday.
11. Colorado: After whipping California, the Buffaloes guaranteed they won't go winless in Pac-12 play. In fact, if they could find some magic and beat USC and Utah, they'd be bowl-eligible in Mike MacIntyre's first season. That seems doubtful, but you can pretty much call MacIntyre's first go-round a success and grounds for hope.
12. California: Cal, Cal, Cal. Hey, at least it doesn't look like Stanford is going to its second consecutive Rose Bowl. That's something. Of course, they head into the Big Game feeling pretty angry. If the Bears don't show up with some fight, it could get ugly. Really ugly.