University of Washington

Pac-12 power rankings

Stanford and Notre Dame face off later this season and if both teams enter with one loss, the matchup could determine the final College Football Playoff spot.
Stanford and Notre Dame face off later this season and if both teams enter with one loss, the matchup could determine the final College Football Playoff spot. The Associated Press, File 2014

1. Stanford (2): Cardinal keeps on rolling. But visit to Pullman this week could be dicey.

2. Washington State (5): Hey, it’s a power ranking, not a predicted order of finish. And few teams are playing better than the Cougars right now.

3. Utah (1): Thought the Utes could handle USC, but then, you knew they weren’t going to run the table.

4. UCLA (8): Bruins saved some face with an impressive whupping of Cal.

5. USC (9): Looks like the Trojans still have a little fight left in them, after all. Clay Helton assumes the role of lovable interim coach.

6. Arizona State (4): Sun Devils drop two spots without playing, because of quality wins by WSU, UCLA and USC.

7. California (3): After tough loss to UCLA, the other L.A. school visits Berkeley this week.

8. Oregon (6): Vernon Adams says he’s yet to play his best this season. Huskies might disagree.

9. Arizona (7): QB Jerrard Randle averages 11.0 yards per rush. Is that good?

10. Washington (9): No offense, but the Huskies don’t have any.

11. Colorado (11): Win over OSU proves Buffaloes aren’t the worst team in the conference.

12. Oregon State (12): Loss to Colorado proves Beavers are the worst team in the conference.

 

TOP 3 INTRIGUING

PAC-12 GAMES

1. Notre Dame at Stanford, Saturday, Nov. 28: Stanford will have likely already clinched its spot in the Pac-12 championship game by the time it faces the Irish, but this game could have huge College Football Playoff implications. If both teams enter with just one loss, they could very well be playing for the final spot in the CFP.

2. UCLA at Utah, Saturday, Nov. 21: The Utes (3-1) hold a one-game lead over USC, Arizona State and UCLA (all 2-2) in the conference standings, and a lot of football has to be played before this late-November matchup. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it could be a big one, especially if Utah stumbles against Oregon State, Washington or Arizona in the coming weeks. In the same span, UCLA faces Colorado, OSU and WSU.

3. Stanford at Washington State, 7:30 p.m. Saturday: The Cardinal should be the presumptive favorite to win the Pac-12 championship, but Stanford’s defense hasn’t quite been playing at a Stanford level this season. Then again, its offense has been so good that a stellar defense hasn’t been necessary to win. But it might be against the Cougars, who have scored 40 or more points in each of their past three games and could become a surprise challenger in the Pac-12 North with an upset win this weekend. Stanford is favored by 12 points.

christian.caple@thenewstribune.com

  Comments