Week 5 in the Pac-12 was a series of blowouts on the coastline and crazy losses in the Rockies. This week’s power rankings show that the top and bottom of the conference are separating from the middle class.
1. Washington Huskies (6-0)
Last week: 38-10 win at California
The Huskies are really good, if you didn’t know. They made a blowout of Cal look as routine as brushing your teeth in the morning. They don’t face anyone near their level of play until their season finale against Washington State, so watch out for that collision course in the Pac-12 North.
Next week: 10/14 at Arizona State (ESPN)
2. Washington State Cougars (6-0)
Last week: 33-10 win over Oregon
Washington State proved in their upset over USC last week that they’re good. They spent this weekend showing off just how dominant they can be in their beatdown of Oregon in a difficult road environment.
Next week: 10/13 at California (ESPN)
3. USC Trojans (5-1)
Last week: 38-10 win over Oregon State
USC did what they were expected and dismantled the Beavers. Sam Darnold finally looked like himself as he had an efficient 3-touchdown day against a porous OSU pass defense. Because this weekend wasn’t miserable enough for CU, Josh Falo scored his first career touchdown. And to add even more to the misery, the Trojans might just wrap up the Pac-12 South race this weekend.
Next week: 10/14 vs. Utah (ABC)
4. Stanford Cardinal (4-2)
Last week: 23-20 win at Utah
New day, same story for the Cardinal. They cycled through incompetent quarterbacks but they were carried to victory by running back Bryce Love. With their offensive line mauling as usual and Love playing like the best running back in college football, it might not matter that they can only move the ball on the ground.
Next week: 10/14 vs. Oregon (FS1)
5. Utah Utes (4-0)
Last week: 23-20 loss to Stanford
Sure, the Utes got gashed by Bryce Love, but they did hold the Heisman-caliber back to a season-low 152 rushing yards on a season-low 7.6 yards per carry, plus they allowed only one 68-yard touchdown run. Utah moved the ball fairly well on the Cardinal defense, which is inspiring to see, but they were doomed by two Troy Williams interceptions.
Next week: 10/14 at USC (ABC)
6. Oregon Ducks (4-2)
Last week: 33-10 loss at Washington State
The Pac-12 is so top-heavy this year that even after Oregon was thoroughly dominated at home by the Cougars, they’re still in the top half of the conference. Even after putting only 277 total yards and 3 turnovers, there’s really no one to put here at No. 6.
Next week: 10/14 at Stanford (FS1)
7. Arizona Wildcats (3-2)
Arizona apparently had a Heisman-caliber quarterback on their bench all season. Khalil Tate filled in for the injured Brandon Dawkins and ran his way to history. On just 14 carries, Tate had 327 rushing yards, the most ever for a quarterback in FBS history. Look at the best running quarterbacks in college football history — Michael Vick, Lamar Jackson, Denard Robinson, Jordan Lynch, Sefo Liufau — and Tate had a better rushing game than any of them ever. Apparently the Buffaloes defense was just as shocked as us and they looked silly trying to catch Tate on his four touchdown runs.
8. UCLA Bruins (3-2)
Last week: 27-23 win over Colorado
UCLA has arguably the worst rushing defense in the nation. They’re about to play Khalil Tate.
Next week: 10/14 vs. Arizona (Pac-12 Networks)
9. Colorado Buffaloes (3-3)
Last week: 27-23 loss at UCLA
I’m still in shock that Colorado allowed 327 rushing yards to a backup quarterback, but we should give credit where credit is due. Tate’s historic performance overshadowed just how well the Buffs offense did. The indefatigable Phillip Lindsay set a bunch of school records as he had 41 carries for 281 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Steven Montez missed a few deep balls, but he too looked solid as he had 251 passing yards for 3 touchdowns. Hopefully this offense will carry over and the defense will figure itself out. Next week should be a good opportunity to reset.
Next week: 10/14 vs. Oregon State (Pac-12)
10. California Golden Bears (3-3)
Last week: 38-7 loss at Washington
Cal was one of the most interesting teams examine as they had some mighty impressive wins in their opening four weeks, but after having been blown out by Oregon and Washington in back-to-back weeks, we’re back to wondering what kind of team Cal can be.
Next week: 10/13 vs. Washington State (ESPN)
11. Arizona State Sun Devils (2-3)
Last week: BYE
Arizona State definitely enjoyed their bye week after allowing 301 rushing yards to Bryce Love. But as well-rested as they may be, Washington is about to put them in a body bad.
Next week: 10/14 vs. Washington (ESPN)
12. Oregon State Beavers (1-4)
Last week: 38-10 loss at USC
Oregon State has scored a touchdown against Washington and USC in back-to-back weeks. Good for them.
Next week: 10/14 vs. Colorado (Pac-12)