1. Washington (1 last week): At the season’s halfway point, there is no question the Huskies are the Pac-12’s best team.
2. Utah (4): Think Troy Williams has the Utes’ Oct. 29 home date with UW circled on his calendar?
3. Washington State (8): After a rough start, Cougars now look like the Huskies’ premier challenger for the Pac-12 North title.
4. USC (7): After 1-3 start, Trojans could well be 6-3 when they visit Husky Stadium on Nov. 12.
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5. Colorado (2): Buffs’ game this week against ASU suddenly might have Pac-12 South title implications.
6. Arizona State (9): Sun Devils badly need quarterback Manny Wilkins to get healthy if they want to make a real run in the Pac-12 South.
7. Stanford (5): This ain’t your father’s Cardinal. Though I guess it depends how old your father is.
8. UCLA (6): After losing at ASU, it looks as if Jim Mora’s Bruins were overrated once again.
9. Oregon State (12): Finally, the Beavers showed they have a pulse by beating Cal in overtime.
10. California (3): Oregon State? Really?
11. Arizona (11): Injuries are mounting for the Wildcats. So are losses.
12. Oregon (10): WSU and UW combined to hang 121 points on the Ducks in a two-week span. Let that sink in.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES
1. Jake Browning, QB, Washington
Stats: 104 for 144 passing (72.2 percent), 1,418 yards, 9.8 yards per attempt, 23 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 204.9 passing efficiency
Comment: There is only one Heisman Trophy candidate remaining in the Pac-12, and it is UW’s sophomore quarterback. Browning not only leads the country in touchdown passes and passing efficiency, he also averages nearly a first down per pass attempt and is in the top five nationally in completion percentage. Simply put: There is nothing he hasn’t done at an elite level through the Huskies’ first six games.
2. Chad Hansen, WR, California
Stats: 59 receptions, 770 yards, 8 touchdowns
Comment: The most productive receiver in the league, and it isn’t close. Hansen’s 59 catches rank third nationally and are 20 more than the second-highest total in the Pac-12 (ASU’s Tim White has 39), and he’s still averaging a healthy 13.1 yards per reception. Hansen did sprain his ankle during Cal’s loss at Oregon State, though coach Sonny Dykes said he thinks his star receiver can make it back in time for the Bears’ game against Oregon next weekend, after this week’s bye.
3. Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Stats: 183 for 247 passing (74.1 percent), 1,852 yards, 16 touchdowns, 4 interceptions
Comment: Falk has so far been the most accurate passer in the Pac-12 and is throwing for 370.4 yards per game. With WSU looking like a challenger in the Pac-12 North, he’ll get plenty of opportunities to make big plays in meaningful games down the stretch.