Pac-12 power rankings: Week five

WSU remains in the basement while the conference faces shake-ups



WSU defensive back Derrick Langford Jr. (5) lines up against USC wide receiver Tahj Washington (16) during a college football game Sept. 18, 2021, in Pullman.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

Another week passes in the Pac-12 for football, and this has to be one of the craziest weeks of college football I have ever seen for just this one conference. We are one week into conference play, and I honestly have no idea who will win this conference, as it’s just a fight to the top at this point.

With that, let us just get into the rankings for the Pac-12 conference as the conference heads into week five of the season.

1. No. 3 Oregon (4-0, 1-0)

Although the Ducks played it close for three quarters against Arizona, a 17-point quarter from Oregon opened up this game and ended any chance for the Wildcats to pull off the improbable upset. Forcing five interceptions is a big reason, probably the only reason, as to why Oregon won so comfortably, even though Arizona had more total yards. The Ducks should continue beating opponents up as they get healthy.

Next game: 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Stanford on ABC

2. No. 20 UCLA (3-1, 1-0)

The Bruins needed a bounce-back win after losing a heartbreaker to No. 18 Fresno State at home, and that is exactly what they got against Stanford. Although the Cardinal did not give up, UCLA still had the control and momentum throughout the contest, with the Bruins totaling 455 yards of offense. There was a health scare for their star senior quarterback Dorian-Thompson Robinson, going down with an injury late in the fourth, but the Bruins are in line to win the South division as of now.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Arizona State on FS1

3. Arizona State (3-1, 1-0), up one spot

The Sun Devils looked to rebound after a close loss against No. 13 BYU last week, and the defense for Arizona State showed up in a dominant win against Colorado. The dynamic offense for head coach Herm Edwards looked to be more fluid this week, with junior quarterback Jayden Daniels leading the team in rushing yards and passing yards. The Sun Devils look to be a close challenge for UCLA, and if the offense flows, the team looks good on both sides of the ball.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at UCLA on FS1

4. Oregon State (3-1, 1-0), up two spots

Pretty much the surprise of this past week was Oregon State, going into Los Angeles and easily handling USC at the Coliseum, a place where the Beavers have not won since 1960. They put up 45 points on the road. Oregon State made junior quarterback Kedon Slovis look very uncomfortable in the pocket all game, forcing three interceptions. The Beavers’ defense forcing four total turnovers was the key to this victory. So watch out for Oregon State, they could end up beating your favorite team.

Next game: 6 p.m. Saturday vs. Washington on Pac-12 Network

5. Stanford (2-2, 1-1)

This Cardinal team is not to be messed with. Yes, they lost, but they played close to UCLA the entire game, even tying the game at one point. If people do not want to put respect on this team, that’s fine, but at the end of the day, playing close to the second-best team in the conference at home deserves some points. The only thing they need to get going is their run game, with their quarterback collecting most of the yards on the ground. Stanford is still a sleeper for upsets in this conference.

Next game: 12:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Oregon on ABC

6. USC (2-2, 1-2), down three spots

Wow. The Trojans got beat down at home by a team that has not beat them in the Coliseum since the year 1960. Not a good look USC. Slovis, as I previously mentioned, looked very uncomfortable all game, not having any accurate passes and throwing three interceptions. This is not two very bad losses at home, where the opponents score at least 40. If this USC that plays at home is going to be the USC team all year, brace for a troubling year Trojan fans.

Next game: 11 a.m. Saturday at Colorado on Pac-12 Network

7. Washington (2-2, 1-0), up two spots

Honestly, I do not think the Huskies are the seventh-best team after a close OT win against Cal at home. There is just no one better. Washington forced three turnovers against Cal but lost the yards battle as their run game seems to be sluggish. Redshirt freshman quarterback Dylan Morris completed just over 50 percent of his passes, and the Huskies’ offense seems to be stagnant. That needs to change.

Next game: 6 p.m. Saturday at Oregon State on Pac-12 Network

8. Utah (2-2, 1-0), down one spot

The Utes did not look that impressive against WSU this past weekend, even though they pulled out a win, still not impressive. Utah, as a team, fumbled the ball five times in that game, and the Cougars collected three of them. Their run game was the main reason for beating WSU, racking up 212 yards on the ground. If Utah wants to have any success in the future, they need to find their passing game and limit the turnovers.

Next game: BYE

9. California (1-3, 0-1), up one spot

The Golden Bears came up into Seattle and almost beat the Huskies in Washington but came up a tad short with a missed game-winning field goal, leading to an OT loss. Redshirt senior quarterback Chase Garbers seems to be the offense for Cal, with Garbers throwing the ball 41 times and leading the team in rushing yards. They definitely played it close, and California could be an upset team in the Pac-12 North division.

Next game: 2:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Washington State on Pac-12 Network

10. Colorado (1-3, 0-1), down two spots

I do not know what happened to the Buffaloes’ offense, but it is anemic and has disappeared once again. They do have a run game, but their passing game looked absolutely horrible. Only 67 total passing yards are not going to lead to any wins. Colorado racking up more penalty yards than passing yards is the reason they are slipping down in the rankings.

Next game: 11 a.m. Saturday vs. USC on Pac-12 Network

11. Washington State (1-3, 0-2)

This team is all over the place — with the questionable coaching calls to the questionable offensive production. I do not believe this team will have any success — what a shame.

Next game: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at California on Pac-12 Network

12. Arizona (0-4, 0-1)

The Wildcats played a close game against Oregon for three quarters; it was close … for three quarters. But the fourth quarter, well, Arizona football. Five interceptions for sophomore quarterback Jordan McCloud, including one pick-six, melted any momentum the Wildcats had in this game. There’s always next year, Arizona.

Next game: BYE