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 9 (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. Hope that makes sense.)
2. Arizona State (5) – UCLA loss looking more and more like an aberration.
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3. USC (3) – Anyone got a ticket they want to sell to LenDale White for this week’s game against Utah?
4. Utah (2) – Travis Wilson is back in at QB for Utes. Can he beat the guys from L.A?
5. Arizona (4) – ‘Cats seeking revenge for home loss to Cougars last year.
6. UCLA (8) – Trip to Colorado should get Bruins bowl-eligible.
7. Stanford (6) – Playing just defense isn’t enough in this conference.
8. Washington (7) --What's worse than losing 11 consecutive games to Oregon? Losing 11 consecutive games to Oregon by 17 or more points.
9. Oregon State (9) – Could have changed season outlook by beating Utah.
10. California (10) – Four tight finishes this year have yielded a 2-2 record. Fair enough, probably.
11. Washington State (11) – Squally Canada, freshman running back with best name in the Pac-12, left the team this week.
12. Colorado (12) – Buffaloes still not quite there yet.
National Top 25
1. Florida State (3) – We’ve been FSU doubters all season, but win over Notre Dame must be rewarded.
2. Mississippi State (1) – If Bulldogs score 70 at Kentucky, they’ll be reconsidered for No. 1 spot.
3. Mississippi (2) – Trip to Baton Rouge this week should be wild.
4. Alabama (7) – Think the Tide just scored another touchdown on Texas A&M.
5. Notre Dame (5) – Irish go 1-for-2 on pick-play TDs. Needed both of them to win, though.
6. Oregon (8) – Remembered how to dominate just in time for game against Washington.
7. Auburn (6) – Looking to prolong decades-long winning streak over South Carolina.
8. Michigan State (9) – No truth to rumor Spartans will replace Michigan each year in annual rivalry game against Ohio State.
9. Georgia (10) – Last week: trip to Arkansas. This week: another bye.
10. TCU (9) – Held to 42 points by Oklahoma State – below Horned Frogs’ average.
11. Kansas State (15) – Top punt-return team in the country, and third-least penalized.
12. Ohio State (13) – Scored 50-plus points in four consecutive games.
13. Baylor (4) – Just knew Bears’ unbeaten magic was going to run out eventually.
14. Arizona (14) – 2.5-point favorites in Pullman this week. Seems low.
15. Arizona State (18) – Kelly? Bercovici? Doesn’t seem to matter. Sun Devils are rolling.
16. East Carolina (17) – UConn, ECU’s opponent this week, is one of worst FBS teams in the country.
17. Nebraska (19) – Tough back-to-back conference games against … Rutgers and Purdue.
18. Oklahoma (12) – Kickers, man.
19. USC (20) – Huge game this week against Pac-12 South foe Utah.
20. Utah (21) – Four of final six opponents are ranked.
21. West Virginia (NR) – Lots of stuff on fire in Morgantown last week.
22. Marshall (24) – 7-0. Yawn.
23. Clemson (25) – Really looking forward to that Nov. 22 game against Georgia State.
24. UCLA (NR) – Win at California was definition of “escape.”
25. LSU (NR) – Ole Miss and Alabama in back-to-back weeks. Zoinks.