Week 12 Pac-12 Football Power Rankings

Jarred Bierbrauer, Sports Chief

Beavers stay sunk

1. Washington State (10-1)

Let’s get this out into the open. Gardner Minshew II deserves the Heisman. In case you didn’t know, the WSU quarterback helped the Cougars dominate the Arizona Wildcats 69-28 this weekend as he threw for 473 yards and a school-record seven touchdowns. On the season, Minshew is averaging almost 400 yards and three touchdowns per game and has completely reshaped the Washington State offense. Currently ranked No. 8 in the nation, WSU looks stronger than ever.

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2. Washington (8-3)

If you saw the UW vs. OSU game this past weekend, you would’ve seen the Huskies having fun on their senior day. Washington outplayed the Beavers 42-23 with the help of senior quarterbacks Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin. Browning threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns on the day, while Gaskin ran for 135 yards and went for one rushing and receiving touchdown on the night. If you want to see a good game, watch UW take on WSU this weekend.

3. Utah (8-3)

The Utes put on a show in the snow this weekend as they went into Colorado and took the 30-7 win without their starting quarterback or running back. In the game, Utah put up 30 unanswered points with the help of Utes quarterback Jason Shelley who put up 250 total yards and two touchdowns on the day. If anything is true however, it’s that the Utah defense has carried the team more than anything thus far. With this win, the Utes wrap up there conference season leading the Pac-12 South.

4. Oregon (7-4) 

Although it wasn’t pretty, Oregon found a way to win this weekend with a close margin of 31-29. For the fourth time this season, the Ducks have ended a game within one score, which just goes to show how easily their season could have varied. In the game, UO quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns. Next Friday, the Ducks will be heading to Reser Stadium to take on the 2-9 Beavers in what should be a repeat of last year’s 69-10 victory.

5. Stanford (6-4)

Coming off of their bye week, the Cardinal are well rested for their big matchup against UCLA this weekend in what could be a close game. With two games left in their season, Stanford has been one of the biggest question marks in the Pac-12 thus far. At first, it seemed like they couldn’t function without star running back Bryce Love. However, that proved incorrect when Stanford lost to Washington State and Washington after Love’s return. We’ll see how they perform against UCLA.

6. Arizona State (6-5)

What a tough loss for the Sun Devils. They were just two points away from possibly winning the Pac-12 South, but now they’ll have to wait until next season. It’s hard to figure out why ASU is having such a tough time finding wins this season. Their defense is solid and their offense is very dynamic. But, they couldn’t close out the win against Oregon and in the game that mattered most. For confidence, they should close out their season with a win against Arizona.

7. California (6-4)

Along with Stanford, the Golden Bears enjoyed their late-season bye week in preparation for taking on Colorado this weekend. In their last four games, the California defense has been absolutely astounding. They’ve allowed an average of just 12.5 points per game, including games against Washington State and Washington. However, their offense seems to be having troubles, averaging just 14.7 points in conference games, minus their blowout against Oregon State.

8. UCLA (3-8)

Although it’s too late for UCLA to make a run, we have seen the Bruins start to pick things up on the bottom end of their season (unlike Colorado). In one of the most exciting games of the year, UCLA was able to pull off the 34-27 win over USC after a late fourth-quarter field goal sealed the deal. Bruins running back Joshua Kelley rushed for a career-high 289 yards and two touchdowns off of 40 attempts. Yes, they have a bad record, but UCLA will be back next season.

9. Arizona (5-6)

It was a hard game to watch for Arizona fans this weekend. Not only did they get blown out by Washington State, but they allowed 55 points in the first half and let Gardner Minshew II walk all over their defense. Although the score looked bad, there was a bright side, as quarterback Khalil Tate threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns on the night. We’ll see how they fare against Arizona State this weekend.

10. USC (5-6)

As we’ve been saying all year, the Trojans are the most inconsistent team in the Pac-12. That being said, they have the potential to be really good next year. In three of their games this season, USC had lost within one score or less. If they can figure out how to get the edge and win the close games, the Trojans could be back on top of the Pac-12 in no time. Next week, USC will be taking on the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, which would be a huge upset if they pulled it off.

11. Colorado (5-6)

It seems that the CU losing streak may not end this year. In their game against Utah this past weekend, Colorado actually scored first and the score was tied 7-7 at halftime. It was the second half of the game where things fell apart for the Buffaloes, just like their season. In each of their last two games, CU has scored seven points. With their final game against California, it seems very unlikely that they’ll close out their season with a win. However, we’ve seen CU do it before.

12. Oregon State (2-9)

Another day, another loss for the Beavers. Once again, the OSU defense was unable to hold a team below the 40-point margin, and the Beavers continue to struggle overall as a team. Looking on the bright side however, freshman star running back Jermar Jefferson rushed for 115 yards on the day, reaching a season total of 1,316 yards on the ground, putting his at fourth in school history. OSU will host the Ducks this Friday for the classic Civil War matchup.