- Washington (5-0, 2-0 conference) - Congratulations to Washington, who seem solidified in their top ranking after USC’s loss combined with their nuking of Oregon State to the tune of 42-7. Only one team really exists that can challenge the throne at this point, and they won’t meet until the Apple Cup. Until then, a home game against Cal should allow the Huskies to continue looking good.
- Washington State (5-0, 2-0) - The Cougs are 5-0 for the first time since 2001 thanks to their victory over the Trojans, which was surprising only in how dominant it felt. Wazzu was able to impose its will on both offense and defense, a fact that has to have fans on the Palouse excited. And now they get to face an Oregon team that will be missing their starting QB.
- Utah (4-0, 1-0) - The Utes are getting this ranking only because they’re the only other undefeated team. That’s just me trying to be fair. They host Stanford this week in a game that will finally tell us something about this team.
- Southern California (4-1, 2-1) - Here’s the crazy thing about USC: outside of that Stanford victory at home, this team hasn’t looked good by any stretch of the imagination, and yet I still would take them against almost any team on this list. Sam Darnold doesn’t look nearly as good as he did in his redshirt freshman year (you mean a guy who no one had film on suddenly looks bad the next year? WEIRD!), and now the Trojans have been hit with an injury bug. The defense has been good, but that offense, including the offensive line, has been a huge disappointment so far.
- Stanford (3-2, 2-1) - See, the Cardinal just needed to play UCLA to remember they can be a good football team. A week after rushing for 263 yards against UCLA, Bryce Love ran for 301 against ASU, so things are looking up.
- UCLA (3-2, 1-1) - The Bruins, Oregon, and Colorado are essentially in the same tier (as are Utah really), but the Bruins just beat the Buffaloes, and Oregon just lost its quarterback for a month at least, so by process of elimination the Bruins get this spot. The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for this team, as they can start healing up and maybe figure out some things defensively.
- Oregon (4-1, 1-1) - Yes, the Ducks are 4-1, but between the weak non-conference and losing Justin Herbert for at least a month, there could be some rough sledding ahead in Eugene. The Ducks are going into a 5 game stretch where they may not be favored in a single game, and it starts with a visit from the Cougs this Saturday.
- Colorado (3-2, 0-2) - Colorado is definitely in a rebuilding year, and getting to start the conference slate with a visit from Washington and a trip to UCLA didn’t help matters. The good news is they now get Arizona and Oregon State to help out a bit.
- UC Berkeley (3-2, 0-2) - I think Cal is better than ASU, but the Oregon game combined with Alabama’s boatracing of Ole Miss (and to a lesser extent, Georgia Tech’s dismantling of North Carolina) proved to me that Cal’s hot start might not have been as good as believed to be. Which isn’t a great sign considering that they play both Washington schools next.
- Arizona State (2-3, 1-1) - That Oregon win is increasingly looking like a fluke, but at least they have a bye this week before a 3 game stretch against Washington, Utah, and USC.
- Arizona (2-2, 0-1) - Hopefully that bye was good for the Wildcats, because they now head off to Boulder to face a Colorado team that definitely doesn’t feel like they lost a winnable game, no sir.
- Oregon State (1-4, 0-2) - Do y’all need a hug or something up there in Corvallis?
Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 5
Taking stock of the Pac-12 Conference after 5 weeks.