Pac-12 power rankings: Week 6

Oregon holds on to top spot; no new teams in top five



WSU wide receiver Travell Harris (1) celebrates a touchdown during the first half of a college football game Sept. 18 in Pullman.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

We enter week six of the college football season, now officially halfway through, and this conference never fails to disappoint me. 

I thought last week was crazy, with USC getting stomped on at home, Washington barely beating California in an OT thriller. The conference now just got crazier.

But this week is the icing on the cake, with some of the wildest results the conference has seen all year.

Now that every team has at least one game of conference play under their belt, let’s take a look at the Pac-12 power rankings heading into week six.

1. No. 8 Oregon (4-1, 1-1)

I hate to leave this Oregon team at the top of the Pac-12 conference after a horrible loss on the road against Stanford, but there is simply no one else that should replace them. Let us be real. The Ducks are talented, but something always goes wrong on their path to a potential college football playoff birth, and Stanford was that obstacle once again. A New Year’s Six bowl game is definitely still in play for this team, but this loss took them out of the playoff conversation.

Next game: BYE

2. No. 22 Arizona State (4-1, 2-0), up one spot

Last week, I said that the Sun Devils are going to be a close challenge for UCLA on the road, and they showed up. Arizona State started off very competitive with UCLA in the first half, being up 24-23 at halftime, but the second half was all Arizona State. They shut out the Bruins in the second half, while also scoring 18 points to put the game out of reach. The Sun Devils showed up last week, and at this rate, could show up in the Pac-12 championship game.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Friday vs. Stanford on ESPN

3. Oregon State (4-1, 2-0), up one spot

Surprise! The Beavers not only earn themselves a top-three ranking in the Pac-12. But as of right now, they sit alone at the top of the Pac-12 North Division. Who would’ve thought? Not me. This team looks very dangerous, and they now have beaten USC and Washington, two of three top programs in the conference. Oregon State has a good defense and a solid run game that can physically carry them to victory.

Next game: 1 p.m. Saturday at WSU on Pac-12 Network

4. Stanford (3-2, 2-1), up one spot

Stanford shocked the world this past Saturday, coming back against Oregon at home to force overtime and eventually win in OT as well. With 1:52 left in the game, Stanford was down 24-17 and only had a 0.1 percent chance of winning the game, yet they walked out of Stanford Stadium as the victors. They slowed down Oregon’s offense, which was one of the keys to their victory, and forced Oregon to run the ball a lot to make up for their stagnant pass game. It was a huge win for Stanford this past weekend as they gain respect in the conference.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Arizona State on ESPN

5. UCLA (3-2, 1-1), down three spots

The Bruins needed to cement themselves as a real team in the Pac-12 with a big test coming into Los Angeles, and they absolutely blew it. They played a very competitive and close first half against Arizona State, but the second half came, and UCLA’s offense vanished. A bunch of penalties on the team, resulting in 89 yards of penalties, led to the demise of the Bruins this past weekend. 

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Arizona on ESPN

6. USC (3-2, 2-2)

The Trojans bounced back after they got stomped at home against Oregon State with a dominating win against Colorado on the road, and exactly what USC needed to gain their momentum again. Junior quarterback Kedon Slovis looked like his regular self, throwing for 276 yards and three touchdowns and just ran through the Colorado defense. The Trojans’ defense also forced two turnovers, and USC got a needed win on the road.

Next game: 5 p.m. Saturday vs. Utah on FOX

7. Utah (2-2, 1-0), up one spot

Utah is coming off of a bye. They now have to travel to Los Angeles to face USC. Utah needs to fix their offensive struggles if they want to win this weekend.

Next game: 5 p.m. Saturday at USC on FOX

8. Washington (2-3, 1-1), down one spot

Another tough loss on the road for the Huskies and all of a sudden, they are falling in the Pac-12 rankings. Washington kept it very competitive against Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon. But the quarterback struggles, as well as giving up two turnovers, are the reasons why Washington lost. The defense could not stop the run game of Oregon State and allowing 242 yards on the ground is proof that Washington has some problems that need immediate attention.

Next game: BYE

9. Washington State (2-3, 1-2), up two spots

Well, well, well, it looks like the Cougars are finally clicking together on both offense and defense. WSU looked like a top-five defense in college football on Saturday. It may be biased, but when the defense is second in the Pac-12 in turnovers, and sixth overall in college football, there is plenty to be excited about. Although there are some inconsistencies on the offensive side of the ball still, the defense looks very scary. Watch out for this defense.

Next game: 1 p.m. Saturday vs. Oregon State on Pac-12 Network

10. California (1-4, 0-2), down one spot

The Golden Bears’ offense got absolutely shut down at home against WSU, and after their first drive, it didn’t go anywhere else. Cal couldn’t muster anything up on offense, with a majority of the offense filtering through redshirt senior quarterback Chase Garbers. He could only throw a total of 152 yards. Cal is trending in the wrong direction and the way they’re playing; they could end up in the bottom in the Pac-12.

Next game: BYE

11. Colorado (1-4, 0-2), down two spots

The Buffaloes haven’t scored more than 14 points since their week one game against Northern Colorado, and it is not looking good for that offense. The offense for Colorado has fizzled out and seems to be going absolutely nowhere. Only 80 total yards on the ground and 162 yards through the air against USC just shows how bad the offense looks once again. Colorado needs to fix whatever their offensive struggles are if they want to escape from the bottom of the Pac-12.

Next game: BYE

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

Arizona is coming off of a bye week, but this team is still at the very bottom of the Pac-12. The future is bright, but it will be a little while for this Wildcats team to become a true powerhouse in the Pac-12.

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. UCLA on ESPN