Monday, October 17, 2011
Pac-12 power rankings: Week 7
By Ted Miller
If you don't like where you are in the power rankings, play better.
See last week's power rankings here.
1. Oregon: The Ducks retake the top spot after an impressive win against Arizona State. Need to get healthy.
2. Stanford: The Cardinal have an opportunity to notch a quality win against Washington on Saturday, which might help in the beauty contest we call the BCS standings.
3. Washington: The Huskies have a chance for a landmark victory against Stanford, one that would reconfigure the North Division race and provide the proverbial, "We're baaaaack!" to the college football nation.
4. Arizona State: There was little to suggest from a highly competitive game at Oregon that the Sun Devils can't play with anyone.
5. USC: Trojans continue to linger, winning games but not many admirers. But if they win at Notre Dame, national folks will be forced to take notice, though most likely not without giving in to their apparently inexorable urges to tweak Lane Kiffin.
6. UCLA: The Bruins play at Arizona on Thursday night after a bye week. And, yes, beating a team that just fired its coach makes this a must-win for Rick Neuheisel. The potential parallel is too difficult to ignore.
7. Washington State: In the first half against Stanford, the Cougars showed how much they have improved. In the second half, they revealed how far they still have to go. And beating Oregon State on Saturday is critical for bowl hopes and coach Paul Wulff.
8. Utah: The Utes are 0-3 in Pac-12 play but have two of the better nonconference wins -- at BYU, at Pittsburgh -- in the conference. It's cool how coach Kyle Whittingham read the Pac-12 blog last week and then told his players to stop turning the ball over five times per game, as they had done the previous two weeks. Coach, that's the sort of advice you get from an AQ conference blogger.
9. California: It feels like the Bears' chances for a successful season might hang on beating Utah at home on Saturday. Neither team wants to start 0-4 in Pac-12 play, but Jeff Tedford and the Bears have been doing this a bit longer.
10. Oregon State: At 1-5, salvaging a respectable season is a more reasonable goal than a bowl game. Losing a second consecutive year to Washington State probably wouldn't go over well about the Beavers faithful.
11. Colorado: The cold reality has set in: The Buffs don't have enough horses to compete in the Pac-12 at present. One word: Recruiting. Another word: Recruiting.
12. Arizona: The Wildcats have had a bye week to digest the sudden termination of coach Mike Stoops. It will be interesting to see how they react against UCLA on Thursday. Will they be energized or will they look uninterested?