Monday, November 7, 2011
Pac-12 power rankings: Week 11
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. Stanford: Thought about reversing the order here -- just for kicks -- but the Cardinal and Ducks will settle who is at the top spot on the field Saturday, which is as it should be.
2. Oregon: Asked LaMichael James how the Ducks were different from last season's team. He said he thought they were faster. Not a good thing for Stanford to hear.
3. USC: Trojans should have a simple goal -- win in out and see if that's good enough to be the true South Division champions, particularly if that includes ripping away a chance for UCLA to play in the inaugural Pac-12 title game.
4. UCLA: The Bruins have crawled out of the sewer. But do they have the will -- and ability -- to continue their uptick? That might be answered at Utah on Saturday.
5. Arizona State: The loss at UCLA surely hurts. But know what would hurt worse? Pouting all the way through a loss at Washington State. If the Sun Devils don't show up focused, they won't win.
6. Washington: The Huskies have won two in a row against USC, Steve Sarkisian's old team. Make it three in a row and a nine-win season -- three years removed from a winless one -- seems possible.
7. California: Here's some advice Cal -- win at home against Oregon State and get bowl eligibility out of the way. Then you can play loose during road trips to rival Stanford and Arizona State as underdogs.
8. Utah: It's one thing to beat Oregon State and Arizona. Those two teams are struggling. But a third consecutive conference victory over a suddenly hot UCLA team after a 0-4 start in the Pac-12 would silence more than a few critics. In fact, it would strongly suggests an 8-win season is at hand.
9. Arizona: It's been a mostly miserable season for the Wildcats. But losing at Colorado, and giving the Buffaloes their first conference win, would make it even more miserable.
10. Oregon State: It's going to be second-consecutive losing season in Corvallis, and Beavers fans are restless while watching the Ducks flying high. And things could get even uglier. The Beavers will be underdogs in their final three games, which could mean a 10-loss season. That would be so 1980s.
11. Washington State: Maybe the Cougars can rally at home next week and catch a distracted Sun Devils team off-guard. Maybe they will recover their early-season mojo. Look at UCLA, a season's momentum can change quickly. But the realistic expectation is the Paul Wulff Era in Pullman might be on its last legs.
12. Colorado: The Buffs play host to Arizona on Saturday. They might want to tighten their chin straps. It looks like their best opportunity to make sure they don't finish 0-9 in their first year of Pac-12 play.