- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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If you don't like where you are in the power rankings, play better.
See last week's power rankings here.
1. Stanford: The Cardinal showed mental toughness by beating USC in triple overtime. Lots went wrong, including a pick-six from Andrew Luck, but the end result is a 16th consecutive win.
2. Oregon: Chip Kelly created a tempest in a teapot by opting to tweak reporters instead of simply saying, "If healthy, Darron Thomas is our QB." But that snarkiness is why we love him so much. The matchup Saturday with Washington is interesting, considering it's an emotional rivalry game in advance of a major clash with Stanford.
3. Arizona State: Against Colorado, the Sun Devils looked like a team that fully intends to win the rest of their regular-season games and then take their best Rose Bowl shot at either Stanford or Oregon.
4. USC: The Trojans showed they can play with anyone against Stanford. Normally, you'd wonder if they weren't set up for a let-down. But a visit to reeling Colorado on Friday doesn't seem too worrisome. Or is it?
5. Washington: Good win over an Arizona team that is better than its record. Bowl eligibility has been obtained a lot easier than it was in 2010. But, Huskies, want respect? Beat Oregon.
6. UCLA: Difficult to rank the next four. Just 10 days ago, the Bruins were in the pits after getting stomped at Arizona. But the power rankings are mostly about the RIGHT NOW. And UCLA's whipping of California was impressive. And shocking (to me, at least, but I need to get over being surprised by anything the Bears do, good or bad).
7. Utah: A week ago, the Utes were crushed by California. Hey, things change. The Utes are ahead of Arizona and Cal because: 1. They won over the weekend; 2. They are 4-4 with quality wins over BYU and Pittsburgh. So there is a big picture to the power rankings, too.
8. Arizona: No shame in a competitive loss at Washington, particularly with four suspensions. And it feels weird to have UCLA ahead of the Wildcats. But should a 2-6 team coming off a defeat be ranked higher than a pair of 4-4 teams coming off wins?
9. California: When I did my predictions on Thursday, the pick I had the most confidence in was Cal over UCLA. Yes, more than Stanford over USC. There is no analyzing Cal, a team whose results clearly are decided by some random spin of a fortune wheel. Is it time to give Allan Bridgford a shot at QB?
10. Oregon State: The Beavers got pushed around up front by Utah, which has issues at QB. Stanford is next. It runs better than Utah and doesn't have issues at QB. The Cardinal rushed for 446 against Washington. So, 500 this week?
11. Washington State: The Cougars outgained Oregon and played hard. These guys are fighting for coach Paul Wulff. But it seems as though this team isn't going to earn bowl eligibility. Athletic director Bill Moos is likely hearing a lot of feedback -- both ways -- from pained fans.
12. Colorado: Another week, another bad loss. It's a lost season. Coach Jon Embree again questioned his players: "We have some people who are comfortable with the results."