Longtime readers of the News Tribune know that during football season, we publish a Pac-12 power ranking and national top 25 each week. (Also, just want to note that I don’t have a vote in the AP poll this year, so this ranking doesn’t go anywhere but in Thursday’s newspaper. And here.)
Pac-12 power rankings, Week 8 (And a quick note here — the conference power ranking isn’t intended to be a predicted order of finish, or even an order of the best teams, so it might appear more skewed week-to-week than the national ranking. The conference ranking is a weekly snapshot intended to reflect which teams play the best, week to week; which teams are on hot streaks; and which teams are trending downward. The national ranking looks at the bigger picture. For example: Utah is ranked behind three Pac-12 teams in the national top 25, but is ranked second in our power rankings. Hope that makes sense.)
1. Oregon (5) – Offensive line getting healthier is a good sign for Ducks.
2. Utah (2) – Just a blown lead against WSU away from being nationally relevant.
3. USC (8) – Trojans couldn’t lose on a Hail Mary and onside kick recovered by
opponent in same season, right?
4. Arizona (1) – Have to feel for kicker Casey Skowron, who was target of slurs, threats
on Twitter after missing potential game-winning field goal.
5. Arizona State (4) – Brutal schedule stretch continues with home game against
6. Stanford (7) – Cure for red-zone woes: play against WSU.
7. Washington (9) – Is this the year the Huskies get past Oregon? In Autzen? Against
Marcus Mariota? Ehh ...
8. UCLA (6) – Facing super-duper must-win this week at Cal.
9. Oregon State (10) – Can prove a lot by beating Utah at home this week.
10. California (3) – Golden Bears’ offense not quite as prolific as we thought.
11. Washington State (11) – Passing yardage easier to come by against Cal than against
12. Colorado (12) – Have a feeling the Buffaloes will be in this spot for some time.
National Top 25
1. Mississippi State (5) – Better reward for beating Auburn – No. 1 ranking, or a game
2. Mississippi (3) – Allowing only 11.8 points per game.
3. Florida State (1) – Seminoles would be third-best team in state of Mississippi.
4. Baylor (4) – Leading in the country in scoring at 52.7 points per game.
5. Notre Dame (6) – Game of the week against Florida State.
6. Auburn (2) – Four of six remaining opponents are ranked.
7. Alabama (7) – Bold prediction: Crimson Tide will lose another game this season.
8. Oregon (10) – Ducks might have easiest remaining schedule of any Pac-12 team.
9. Michigan State (11) – Spartans hoping to fare better against Indiana than Missouri did.
10. Georgia (13) – Gurley, Chubb. What’s the difference?
11. TCU (9) – Horned Frogs scored 58 and lost? Pac-12 thinks they’d fit right in.
12. Oklahoma (12) – Must-win against Kansas State at home this week.
13. Ohio State (14) – Rutgers, this week’s opponent, is 5-1.
14. Arizona (8) – Wildcats get a bye to prepare for tricky trip to Pullman.
15. Kansas State (16) – Averaging 40.8 points per game.
16. Oklahoma State (18) – Prepare for a shootout this week against Baylor.
17. East Carolina (19) – A whole two weeks to gear up for Connecticut. Look out.
18. Arizona State (20) – Visits UW on Oct. 25.
19. Nebraska (21) – 303.5 rushing yards per game for the Cornhuskers.
20. USC (NR) – Trojans snatched victory from the jaws of an inexplicable loss.
21. Utah (23) – Tough Thursday night game in Corvallis this week.
22. Stanford (25) – That offense is ... a little less offensive.
23. Texas A&M (15) – Aggies dangerously close to dropping from these here rankings.
24. Marshall (NR) – If Thundering Herd are truly legit, they’ll run the table.
25. Clemson (NR) – Your default team of the week.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple