Football Power Rankings: Ducks waddle to the top

Jarred Bierbrauer, OMN Sports Chief

1. Oregon (5-1)

 If you watched the game on Saturday, you know Oregon looking for a national championship. But can they bring home the big one? You can’t rely on missed field goals to win championships. The Ducks need to reduce turnovers and keep their opponent out of the endzone to stay alive. Though, they did just beat No. 7 Washington. If Oregon rides this wave, they may be unstoppable.

2. Washington (5-2)

 It was a tough loss for the Huskies, you could say their game went ‘wide right.’ Washington’s lockdown-defense had a hard time handling Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. So, how much does this affect UW? In all honesty, we still think the Huskies are more than able to win the Pac-12 championship. Quarterback Jake Browning has potential to bring home some hardware, it just depends on if his teammates pull together.

3. Stanford (4-2)

 With Stanford among the four Pac-12 teams who sat on a bye week, they had time to reflect on their upsetting loss to Utah. Throughout the season, Stanford consistently scores less points in the first quarter with 14 in total, while they give up 38. Additionally, the Cardinal have allowed over 100-yard rushing performances against four of their last six opponents. Coming off two tough losses, the Cardinal have work to do.

4. Utah (4-2)

 Let’s get this out of the way, the Utes look good, really good. Not only did they upset Stanford, but they also showed Arizona how much they want to be in the discussion. As always, Utah quarterback did his thing by throwing for 201 yard and totalling for three scores. Next weekend, the Utes will host a desperate USC football team. It will be extremely important that Utah wins this game so they can keep their momentum up.

5. Washington State (5-1)

The Cougars got to rest this weekend after they rinsed and recycled Oregon State in the fourth quarter. WSU looks solid in their mid-season form, but will be put to the test when they take on the Oregon Ducks. Quarterback Gardner Minshew is dominating the Pac-12 in passing yards and touchdowns, however their defense still seems shaky. Our bold prediction is that Washington State beats Oregon in a high scoring shootout.

6. Colorado (5-1)

 The streak is broken! Colorado finally took their first loss of the season this past weekend against the USC Trojans. This loss hurts CU in the national rankings fairly badly. It was amazing how fast things got out of hand for the Buffaloes as they allowed three scores in the second quarter. It’ll be interesting to see how Colorado responds as they go into Seattle to take on the Huskies, who won’t be happy after their overtime loss to Oregon.

7. USC (4-2)

 For the first time this season, the Trojans looked like a solid Pac-12 football team. USC wide receiver Michael Pittman had a career high of 144 receiving yards and two touchdowns, just a taste of how great USC’s offense was running. Their upcoming game against Utah is a make or break for the Trojans as they try to sustain an even overall record. If USC wants to stay in the conversation, they need to keep the ball rolling.

8. Arizona State (3-3)

 This bye week was critical for ASU as they prepare to take on a fresh Stanford Cardinal. Looking at their performance against Colorado, the Sun Devils need to regain their offensive rhythm. On the other side of things, how is Arizona State going to slow down Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello? It’s been up and down all year for ASU, but if they get the right mindset and team chemistry, the Sun Devils could be looking at an upset.

9. UCLA (1-5) 

UCLA has earned their first win of the 2018 season by dominating California 37-7. Bruins running back Joshua Kelley shone bright as he ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Head Coach Chip Kelly must be proud of his team, as they faced multiple nationally ranked teams earlier this season. It might be too late for UCLA to discuss championships, but they can still make a statement as they take on Arizona.

10. California (3-3)

The Golden Bears have had downward spiral of a season. They started out by winning their first three games, but haven’t yet won in-conference. How do you justify losing to a winless UCLA by 30 points? You don’t. Luckily, California is traveling to Corvallis on Saturday to play Oregon State, who hasn’t won an in-conference game in two years. For California to earn their national ranking back, they need to handle OSU properly.

11. Arizona (3-4)

 What a rough game for the Wildcats. It was a late game on Friday night in a loud Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah’s offense put up over 400 yards on Arizona while the Wildcats struggled to get 10 points on the board. Now 2-2 in the Pac-12, it will be interesting to see how Arizona bounces back as they take on UCLA this weekend. If the Wildcats want to win, they need to get their offense going and can’t give up so many points.

12. Oregon State (1-5)

 What do you do with a 1-5 team during a bye week? How do you prepare for California? Why are you 1-5 when you have the most successful backfield in the country? These questions floated around the Oregon State campus last week. Honestly, we have no answers. If OSU wants to win a game they need to do it now. California is low in confidence and the Beavers have home field. We predict that OSU will win this one.

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