Week 8 Pac-12 Football Power Rankings

Power Rankings

Jarred Bierbrauer, OMN Sports Chief

Cougars pounce on second

1. Washington (6-2)

If Oregon beat Washington, and Washington State beat Oregon, then why is Washington back to No. 1 on our list? It’s simple, really. Washington is still that team who can win it all. Notice how they took care of business this week against Colorado. They are in no mood for upsets and are already looking forward to the Pac-12 Championships. Had they made that field goal against Oregon, they would be close to top-10 in the national rankings.

2. Washington State (6-1)

Not only did they put up 34 points on Oregon, but they held the Ducks’ powerhouse-offense to just 20 in the game. WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew has been playing at an NFL level and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. With Minshew averaging three touchdown passes and almost 400 yards-per-game, it’ll be interesting to see how things go in their final game of the season against the Washington Huskies and their solid passing defense.

3. Stanford (5-2)

After two losses and a bye week, Stanford is finally back on track with their season. In a low-scoring game, the Cardinal defense stepped up big by holding Arizona State to just 13 points. However, things have been hard on the offensive side of things for Stanford. In the last three games, the Cardinal have averaged just 19.3 points-per-game which is even lower than Oregon State. If Stanford wants to remain top-3 on our list, they need to figure out their offense.

4. Oregon (5-2)

 After their huge win against the Huskies, Oregon was hand-fed a loss this weekend by Washington State. Last week, they were No. 1 on our list, but now it’s time to look past the fancy Nike uniforms. Oregon is 2-2 in the Pac-12 and struggled to stop Gardner Minshew and the WSU offense. It was only a matter of time before the shaky Oregon defense was exposed. Maybe they can gather themselves before taking on Arizona in what should be a win for the Ducks.

5. Utah (5-2)

Don’t let the No. 5 distract you, Utah is still very much in the race for best team in the Pac-12. Tyler Huntley had a monster game against USC, throwing for 341 yards and four touchdowns while also running one in himself. After putting up 41 points against the Trojans, Utah is now tied with USC for the top spot in the Pac-12 South. Next week, the Utes will be head to Pasadena to take on UCLA. But make no mistake, this could be Utah’s toughest game of the season.

6. Colorado (5-2)

 The Pac-12 has hit Colorado harder than any team in the conference. Now with two consecutive losses, it will be interesting to see where the Buffaloes will go with there season. Outside of the conference, CU averaged 41 points-per-game this season. However, Colorado’s scoring has gotten progressively worse throughout Pac-12 play, as they only scored 13 points this week against Washington. Once 5-0, the Buffaloes need to turn things around soon.

7. UCLA (2-5)

 Now that they’re no longer playing nationally ranked teams every week, UCLA has finally started to develop into a winning football team. Although it was a close game, the Bruins walked off of their own turf victorious. UCLA currently has the same Pac-12 record as Oregon at 2-2 as they continue to build off of their winning streak. If the Bruins really want to prove their point, they should beat Utah in their upcoming matchup.

8. California (4-3)

 If you watched the Oregon State vs. California game, you’ll know that it was like watching the Golden Bears play a high school team. Their running game was unstoppable, wide receivers were left wide open and their defense dominated the OSU offensive line. We could talk all day about how they beat the Beavers 49-7, but let’s look forward to next week when they take on No. 15 Washington. All jokes aside, California could make the upset.

9. USC (4-3) 

The Trojans are probably the most inconsistent team in the Pac-12. They ended Colorado’s five game winning streak and beat Washington State, but this week they were dominated by Utah. It’s hard to diagnose exactly what their problem is, but USC is just having a hard time staying up. Their defense struggled to stop Utah’s quarterback and their offense couldn’t pull through. Maybe they can figure something out against ASU this weekend.

10. Arizona State (3-4)

Only scoring 13 points against Stanford, it begs the question of what happened to ASU’s offense. Other than their games against OSU and UTSA, Arizona State is averaging just 18.2 points-per-game. It’s understandable that Stanford’s defense is good, but 13 points is not what any offensive coordinator ever wants to see on the final scoreboard. If ASU wants to earn a win in their upcoming game against USC, they need to find their offensive groove.

11. Arizona (3-5)

 What a tough loss for Arizona. Losing by one point never feels good, but looking at how their defense performed doesn’t make it feel any better. Every scoring play they allowed was either from a wide-open receiver or untouched running back. On the bright side, their offense looked crisp. Next week, Arizona hosts the Oregon Ducks, who are not going to want another upsetting loss on their record. Most likely, the game will be a shootout, but it depends on whose defense is better.

12. Oregon State (1-6)

We thought OSU had a chance to turn things around against California. They were coming off of a well-rested bye week, had home field advantage and California had lost three straight games. We were wrong. Things were close in the first quarter, but the Golden Bears went to work on OSU after that. After the game, Beavers’ Head Coach Jonathan Smith said he knew the rebuilding process wouldn’t happen over night. The real question is how long will it take?

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