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 6 (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. For example: Oregon is ranked behind UCLA in the Pac-12 power rankings, but still ranked No. 1 in the national top 25. Hope that makes sense.)
1. UCLA (3) – Hanging 62 points on ASU in Tempe will quiet some doubters. But not all.
2. Oregon (1) – Look for Ducks back in No. 1 spot if they take care of business against Arizona on Thursday.
3. Stanford (6) – Cardinal would be a lot more dangerous if it stopped turning the ball over in the red zone so often.
4. USC (5) – Steve Sarkisian with 69-27 and 35-10 victories over OSU in consecutive seasons.
5. Arizona (7) – Not likely to catch Oregon sleepwalking again this season.
6. California (10) – Bears might be ranked too high here, but what the heck. That win over Colorado was entertaining, if nothing else.
7. Washington State (11) – 21-point comeback at Utah was sweet revenge for 2012 thrashing. Cougars trending upward?
8. Washington (9) – Remember when people wanted Keith Price benched last season?
9. Utah (2) – Dres Anderson will be seeing that dropped fourth-quarter pass in his dreams.
10. Arizona State (4) – In Pac-12 South title chase, Sun Devils facing a near must-win scenario against Trojans this week.
11. Oregon State (8) – Will the Beavers ever win in Los Angeles again?
12. Colorado (12) – Buffs couldn’t get it done against Cal, but Bellarmine Prep alum Sefo Liufau had himself a game.
National Top 25
1. Oregon (1) – Marcus Mariota avoided being sacked during the Ducks’ bye.
2. Florida State (2) – It’s been a whole week, and Jameis Winston hasn’t said or done anything regrettable. Progress.
3. Oklahoma (3) – Tough trip to TCU this week for the Sooners.
4. Alabama (4) – Moved up to No. 1 in the USA Today coaches poll.
5. Texas A&M (5) – Finally, things starting to get interesting in the SEC (Texas A&M visits Mississippi State this week).
6. Auburn (6) – Finally, things starting to get interesting in the SEC (Auburn visits LSU this week).
7. UCLA (8) – Maybe the Bruins really are a CFP contender, after all.
8. Baylor (7) – How the tables have turned: Bears are 17-point favorites at Texas this week.
9. Notre Dame (9) – Golden Domers are somehow underdogs at home against Stanford this week.
10. Michigan State (10) – Game against Nebraska this week is one of biggest in Big Ten this season.
11. Mississippi (12) – Nation’s leader in team passing efficiency defense.
12. Mississippi State (13) – One-third of the way through a killer schedule stretch (LSU, A&M, Auburn).
13. LSU (19) – User error led to LSU being ranked behind Wisconsin last week. Which ain’t right.
14. Wisconsin (14) – Only one ranked team left on the schedule (Nebraska on Nov. 15).
15. Georgia (16) – Vanderbilt week. Get excited.
16. Stanford (17) – Either the Cardinal’s defense is ridiculously good, or Washington’s offense is ridiculously not as good.
17. Ohio State (18) – Could lose by 30 at Maryland and still be having a better week than Michigan.
18. Brigham Young (20) – Still not a ranked team on the schedule, but season finale at California looms as interesting.
19. East Carolina (21) – Not likely to trip up this week against 0-4 SMU.
20. Nebraska (22) – Beat Illinois, 45-14, if that’s of any interest to Huskies fans.
21. Kansas State (23) – One team is still holding down the whole football thing for the state of Kansas.
22. Oklahoma State (25) – Should breeze past Iowa State and Kansas. Then, at TCU.
23. USC (24) – Remember the last time a Steve Sarkisian team played Arizona State?
24. Missouri (NR) – Just when you thought the Tigers couldn’t get any lower, they go and totally redeem themselves.
25. Arizona State (11) – Sun Devils somehow gained 626 yards and lost to UCLA … by 35 points.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple