Pac-12 Power Rankings: Arizona schools move up in the ranks, USC drops after ugly loss

This week's Pac-12 power rankings

Are the Arizona schools playing the best football in the Pac-12 right now?

You know, Arizona and Arizona State, two teams that had sub-.500 records last year. Now, both teams have 3-1 conference records after starting the season off slow. They probably are not the two best teams in the Pac-12, but it looks like they would tough teams to beat. 

The two squads from Arizona climbed in the rankings and both have the chance to knock off ranked teams at home this weekend, as ASU will host No. 21 USC and Arizona will take on No. 15 Washington State in Tucson on Saturday. 

1) Washington Huskies (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) Last week: 2

The No. 12 Huskies were off this past weekend, but it looks like they are still the favorites to win the Pac-12. One thing that elevates UW is its top-ranked defense that allows just an average of 10.6 points per game.

2) Stanford Cardinal (5-2, 4-1 Pac-12) Last week: 3

No. 20 Stanford was also idle, but it may prove to be the best team in the league. The Cardinal have the best player in the Pac-12, that being running back Bryce Love, who leads the country in rushing yards and has a chance to win the Heisman Trophy.

3) Washington State Cougars (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) Last week: 4

Washington State got back to its winning ways by trouncing Colorado 28-0. The defense never let Colorado into an offensive rhythm, and quarterback Luke Falk threw three touchdowns.

4) Arizona Wildcats (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) Last week: 5

At this point, it does not seem like anybody can stop Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate. He has only started three games, but he has already totaled 780 rushing yards and averages almost 14 yards per carry. Tate was crucial in the Wildcats' 45-44 double overtime win over Cal, adding a 76-yard touchdown run to his highlight reel.

 5) Arizona State Sun Devils (4-3, 3-1 Pac-12) Last week: 6 

It appears the days of ASU's subpar defense are over. The Sun Devils snagged four interceptions in their 30-10 win over Utah, and showed their defense was capable of stringing together two excellent games in a row. 

6) USC Trojans (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) Last week: 1

Oh how the mighty have fallen. USC lost 49-14 in an embarrassment of a game against Notre Dame. The defense looked unprepared for Notre Dame's rushing attack and quarterback Sam Darnold had one of his worst games. The Trojans still lead the Pac-12 South, but that could change if they cannot get a road win over ASU this Saturday.

7) UCLA Bruins (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12) Last week: 11

UCLA is a pretty average team, but it has done a good job of winning over teams that it is equipped to beat. For example, the Bruins cruised to a 31-14 win over an Oregon unit that was missing its starting quarterback. Quarterback Josh Rosen threw two touchdowns and UCLA did not commit any turnovers in the winning effort. 

8) California Golden Bears (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12) Last week: 7

Cal is better than its record, with another example coming last weekend in a 45-44 double overtime loss to Arizona. The Golden Bears have made a habit of playing better teams closely – expect them to turn things around with upcoming games against Colorado and Oregon State

9) Utah Utes (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) Last week: 8

The Utes played a miserable game in their 30-10 loss to ASU. Maybe quarterback Tyler Huntley, who missed two games with an injury, was not ready to play just yet, as he threw four interceptions in his return.

10) Oregon Ducks (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12) Last week: 9

Week after week the Ducks show how valuable quarterback Justin Herbert was to their team. In the loss to UCLA, quarterback Braxton Burmeister threw for just 74 yards and an interception. Since Herbert went out against Cal three weeks ago, the Ducks are winless.

11) Colorado Buffaloes (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12) Last week: 10

Colorado is lucky it's in the same league as Oregon State because the Buffaloes look significantly worse than every Pac-12 team except the Beavers. Most recently, Colorado was shut out in a lopsided 28-0 loss to Washington State. The Buffaloes benched normal starting quarterback Steven Montez, but that did not solve their problems, as they amassed just 174 yards of total offense.

12: Oregon State Beavers (1-6, 0-4 Pac-12) Last week: 12

Oregon State had its bye which is good because at least that means the Beavers did not lose. The team likely spent most of its time preparing for its Thursday matchup against Stanford, meaning OSU will have to face Bryce Love. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @Harris_Mark7 on Twitter.

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