Pac-12: power rankings 12

Pac-10 power rankings

November, 17, 2008
11/17/08
8:17
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Sorting out the Pac-10 pecking order after 12 weeks.

Oregon moves up to No. 3, setting up a potentially HUGE Civil War after Thanksgiving.

1. USC: We keep waiting for everything to come together for the Trojans and for them to blow us away with their realized potential. Perhaps it won't come. Or perhaps it will come at the expense of an opponent in a BCS bowl game. Nice running game in the fourth quarter, though. Up next: bye.

2. Oregon State: The Beavers passed part one of their tripartite "Quest for the Rose Bowl" with the home victory over California. Now can they bring the same focused intensity on both sides of the ball to Arizona? The Wildcats are tough at home and have their own bowl hopes.

3. Oregon: How about those new unis, complete with intimidating Wings of Killer Duck? Dark Wing Ducks.... attack! And how about that new balanced, flashy offense? Anyone else starting to think ole Jeremiah Masoli may turn out OK? Ducks return to their lairs for a week off as they plot ruin for the Beavers' season on Nov. 29.

4. Arizona: Almost a brilliant comeback. Almost. It feels like Arizona needs at least one more win for this to become a successful campaign. Sure, the Wildcats got six wins, but that was expected with this schedule. A seventh win, notched against Oregon State, particularly would resonate.

5. California: The Bears' offense went into hibernation at Oregon State. Or maybe the Beavers were just that much better up front. Quarterback Kevin Riley has completed less than 50 percent of his passes in his last three games -- 22 of 53 -- with three interceptions and two touchdowns. Big Game feels big. Stanford wants bowl eligibility. Cal doesn't want to lose two in a row to the Cardinal.

6. Stanford: The Cardinal traded punches with the Trojans for three quarters before yielding, though that final touchdown seemed like a nice raspberry to send Pete Carroll's way. Yet the season will feel deflating without a bowl berth. So the Big Game is simple: Win and you're in. Win and your season is a success.

7. Arizona State: After sweeping the Washington schools -- yippee! -- the Sun Devils look mostly back on track. The task at hand now is simple: UCLA's visit on Nov. 28 eliminates one or the other from potential bowl eligibility. Kudos to Rudy Carpenter, who now has 80 career touchdown passes, third in Pac-10 history.

8. UCLA: Life should get simpler now that the "Rick Neuheisel returns to Seattle" hoopla is over. Defense held Washington to just 135 yards, the Huskies' lowest output since getting just 116 at USC in 2004. If the Bruins manage to win at Arizona State, then they merely need to end the football monopoly in LA on Dec. 6 to earn bowl eligibility.

9. Washington: The 27-7 loss to UCLA dropped the Huskies to 0-10. They lost their 12th straight game dating to last season -- extending a school record -- and are the only winless FBS team. They are winless at home for the first time in the 88-year history of Husky Stadium. Up next: The Apple Cup, the worst rivalry matchup in the history of college football.

10. Washington State: The Cougars were shutout for the third time in four games against Arizona State. They gained only 130 total yards. They may have lost quarterback Kevin Lopina (concussion) for the Apple Cup, meaning true freshman and No. 4 quarterback J.T. Levenseller likely will get the starting call. Hey, but they only trailed 10-0 at halftime, the first time this season against an FBS foe they were within two touchdowns. So they got that going for them.

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PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12