Monday, November 2, 2009
Pac-10 power rankings: Week 10
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
No changes this week, which may be a first this season.
1. Oregon: The Ducks left no doubt against USC. None. Zero. Now, can they maintain the focus that got them here -- the Pac-10 title within sight -- or will they start to do most-muscular poses in their bathroom mirror? Because if they start to get impressed with themselves, a physical Stanford squad will give them a whipping Saturday.
2. USC: Hello, police? Yes, this is the Pac-10 blog. Yeah, thanks. Every day! Cool. No, I'm not the greatest. Not always. No, Washington beating Oregon was not a great pick. Look, I'm calling to report a missing team. Yeah, the Trojans. I know! I knowwww! Well, if you see them, please get them tell them to call the Pac-10 blog. We're worried about them. There's a rumor they'll be in Tempe on Saturday, but we're not sure who will show up.
3. Arizona: Every team has at least two conference defeats. Except Oregon, which has none. And Arizona, which has one. That means that if the Wildcats can hold serve, they could steal the crown from the Ducks on Nov. 21 in Tucson. Of course, they'd also need to get a win in the season-finale at USC.
4. Oregon State: The Beavers held on against UCLA. Now, can they win at California? If so, they likely return to the national rankings and put themselves in good position for a nice bowl game.
5. California: The Bears have returned to the national rankings, but they won't officially move past their dreadful efforts vs. Oregon and USC until they beat top-half-of-the-Pac-10 teams. See above.
6. Stanford: The Cardinal sat at home this past weekend and watched their next two opponents play: Oregon and USC. Know this: Coach Jim Harbaugh and his players aren't afraid. They don't see an unstoppable offense coming to town this weekend. They see an opportunity.
7. Arizona State: The Sun Devils are fighting and clawing, but their bowl chances are dwindling. Of course, if they keep fighting and clawing, they might catch a flat USC team off its guard and reverse the trajectory of their season.
8. Washington: The Huskies are coming off a bye weekend knowing they have to win three of their final four games to become bowl eligible. While technically a visit to UCLA is not a must-win, know that it is. As it is for UCLA. In other words, one of these two teams will walk away with hope. The other, probably not.
9. UCLA: Losing five games in a row is a horrible way to start conference play. Fact is, though, the Bruins lost to five teams that are better than them. That's debatable about the next three foes, starting with the Huskies. If the Bruins hold together and win this weekend, their bowl hopes suddenly become better than decent.
10. Washington State: Notre Dame flicked the Cougars aside in San Antonio. And it only gets worse. Now the Cougs head to Tucson to play a rested and likely healthier Arizona squad that figures to be hungry. The challenge for coach Paul Wulff is to keep his team focused on getting better when it doesn't look like it can do much to improve the positive side of the win-loss ledger.