Pac-12 power rankings: Week 12

WSU drops two spots; top two spots remain the same



WSU wide reciever Lincoln Victor (85) and linebacker Kyle Thornton (52) attempt to tackle Stanford running back Casey Filkins on a punt return during the first half of a college football game on Oct. 16, 2021, at Martin Stadium.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

There are two more regular-season weeks for the Pac-12 and the races in the North and South divisions seem all but wrapped up, with No. 3 Oregon and No. 24 Utah controlling their own destiny.

Washington looks to be going through a crisis, losing in horrible fashion and then firing former head coach Jimmy Lake.

WSU could not stop the run game for Oregon, allowing 307 yards on the ground, letting junior running back Travis Dye and senior quarterback Anthony Brown run through the defense.

Arizona lost, which snapped their first winning streak on the season, but it was very close against Utah at home, not good for the Utes.

With that, here are my Pac-12 power rankings for week 12.

1. No. 3 Oregon (9-1, 6-1)

The Ducks have all but closed the door in the Pac-12 North division after their win against the Cougars at home this past weekend. But once again, was it a convincing win? I do not think so. WSU had many opportunities to make this game a lot close, especially with the score being 14-14 at halftime. The Ducks exploded with 24 second-half points, but it seemed like the Ducks just can not have a convincing win, but they keep winning.

Next game: 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Utah on ABC

2. No. 24 Utah (7-3, 6-1)

The Utes did not have a controlling win against the Wildcats on the road, but another dominant week on the ground proved to be the difference for Utah. Junior running back TJ Pledger led the charge on the ground, carrying the ball for 119 total yards and a couple of touchdowns on 25 carries. Sophomore quarterback Cameron Rising had a good game in the air as well, throwing for a couple of touchdowns. Utah has their biggest challenge of the season coming into Salt Lake City this weekend, and after this past weekend, it will be hard for Utah to win.

Next game: 4:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Oregon on ABC

3. Arizona State (7-3, 5-2), up one spot

The Sun Devils played a sloppy game in Seattle, but with help from last-minute magic from the defense and a late touchdown from redshirt senior running back Rachaad White, they proved to be spoilers in Seattle. The passing game could not seem to get going for Arizona State, but that does not matter after the Huskies gave up 286 yards on the ground, with 184 of them going to White. On paper, the Huskies should have won this game, but the Sun Devils escaped with a big road win.

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

4. UCLA (6-4, 4-3), up one spot

After being down 20-10 at half-time, the Bruins opened it up in the second half against Colorado to go on to a dominant win at home to become bowl eligible. In his first game back after his injury, senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a great game on the ground but struggled to complete passes. The Bruins ran for a total of 245 yards, led by Thompson-Robinson and junior running back Zach Charbonnet. The season for the Bruins seems to be turning around just at the right time.

Next game: 1 p.m. Saturday at USC on FOX

5. Washington State (5-5, 4-3), down two spots

The Cougars went into Autzen Stadium and could not stop the run offense of Oregon, allowing over 300 yards on the ground, and lost by 14 in a game where the opportunities were there. The Cougars allowed Brown, Dye and freshman Byron Cardwell to collect four rushing touchdowns combined and Brown barely threw for over 100 yards. The offense could not get the run game going, with senior running back Max Borghi only having 41 total rushing yards with sophomore quarterback Jayden de Laura completing just over 50 percent of his passes. The Cougars can still clinch bowl eligibility this week.

Next game: 6 p.m. Friday vs. Arizona on Pac-12 Network

6. Oregon State (6-4, 4-3)

The Beavers have finally clinched bowl eligibility after beating down Stanford and losing back-to-back games. Oregon State lead the charge on the ground with 218 rushing yards, but a more dominant pass game from redshirt sophomore quarterback Chance Nolan, completing 19 of 25 passes with a couple of touchdowns. The pass defense also had a good game, forcing two interceptions and only a passing touchdown. I am not being biased by putting the Cougars right in front of this team, but Oregon State could ruffle some feathers.

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

7. USC (4-5, 3-4), up one spot

The Trojans’ last game was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the California Golden Bears’ program, but the Trojans do have a big rivalry game with bowl eligibility implications on the line this coming week.

Next game: 1 p.m. Saturday vs. UCLA on FOX

8. Washington (4-6, 3-4), down one spot

Yikes. The Huskies lost a game they should have won with their new interim head coach Bob Gregory, the defensive coordinator, leading the charge for Washington, but came up just a bit short. The Huskies had a 24-14 lead over the Sun Devils entering the fourth quarter and seemed to be in control of the game with seven minutes left, but the collapse for the Huskies began, with three touchdowns for Arizona State coming within five minutes of each other and the momentum swung in Arizona State’s way. The Huskies are going through a crisis on and off the field, and this could be their first losing season since 2009.

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

9. California (3-6, 2-4)

The Golden Bears’ last game against USC was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak within Cal’s program, but they look to come back this coming week in a big rivalry game for the Golden Bears this week as they try to win out and become bowl eligible.

Next game: 4 p.m. Saturday at Stanford on Pac-12 Network

10. Colorado (3-7, 2-5)

The Buffaloes have now become ineligible for a bowl game after they blew a 20-10 halftime lead against UCLA on the road, and their defense could not stop the run game of the Bruins in the second half. Offensively, the Buffaloes put up solid numbers, having almost 200 rushing yards on the day paired with 166 total passing yards, but their defense giving up big yards and big plays proved to be the demise of the Buffaloes. Colorado has finally found their offense, but it is a little too late in the season.

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

11. Stanford (3-7, 2-6)

Wow. Did Stanford give up on the season or something? They look so bad. No offense, but what happened after the Oregon game? They have now lost five straight games and had one of the worst second-half collapses I have ever seen. This past weekend, against Oregon State, the Cardinal did not even have their starting quarterback, and they just look like a team that does not want to win anymore. What a shame for a team that seemed to be actually doing well and looking well after a big win at home against Oregon.

Next game: 4 p.m. Saturday vs. California on Pac-12 Network

12. Arizona (1-9, 1-6)

I almost moved Arizona up to No. 11 in the power rankings for the sole reason that when they lose, they look impressive. Stanford, on the other hand, seems to have given up on the season. The Wildcats came up just a bit short against Utah and could not finish the job against the Utes, trying to keep it close and competitive. The Wildcats are just competing their hearts out at this point and trying to make all their games close as they look to next week.

Next game: 6 p.m. Friday at WSU on Pac-12 Network