- Arizona (6-2, 4-1 conference) - Sure, Arizona is the best team in the conference now, and Khalil Tate is the best player. Of course, the top spot in the Bruins Nation Pac-12 Power Rankings is apparently cursed following Stanford’s showing this week, so I’m just gonna expect the Trojans to walk all over the Wildcats this weekend.
- Washington (7-1, 4-1) - Did what good teams do, and beat a bad team handily. Still has a week to go before they start playing teams with a pulse.
- Bryce Love (6-2, 5-1) - David Shaw coached a flawless game that almost got Oregon State their first conference win, so let’s give credit there. That game also magnified how important Bryce Love is (and maybe that Shaw should stop playing Keller Chryst but whatever) so we’re just going to refer to this team by the actual team from now on.
- Southern California (7-2, 5-1) - The eternal question returns: did USC right the ship, or was Arizona State actually just bad this entire time, and just had a multi-game stretch where they played out of their minds? The world may never know, but Clay Helton retains his job for another week.
- Washington State (7-2, 4-2) - A statement that is absolutely true in 2017, yet remains weird to say: There is no shame in losing to Khalil Tate and Arizona in a shootout. Wazzu was without the services of Luke Falk, which certainly didn’t help, but what was once a dream season for the Cougs has slowly transitioned into a very good, but potentially-disappointing 2017 campaign.
- Arizona State (4-4, 3-2) - Arizona State has officially taken its place as the weird Pac-12 team of 2017, putting up amazing defensive efforts for two weeks, and then getting absolutely gashed by USC at home. The only thing I can guarantee is that this team is probably at the top of the trash heap that is the bottom 7 Pac-12 teams.
- UCLA (4-4, 2-3) - Ok, here me out: UCLA is bad, but so is everyone else below them on this list, and so far they’ve managed to beat Colorado and Oregon. That puts them at the top of the teams with 2 conference wins. This whole bottom half is pretty arbitrary anyway, as you could just list all of these teams as tied for 12th and it would have the same effect.
- Oregon (5-4, 2-4) - Oregon gets the nod over Colorado only because I believe, at full health, they’re the better team. Also their win over Utah was just a bit more impressive than Colorado’s win over Cal...
- Colorado (5-4, 2-4) - Which isn’t to slight Colorado, because their victory over Cal was also very good. At this point, Colorado looks like it can still get to a bowl game, which didn’t look to be a sure thing as recently as a few weeks ago.
- UC Berkeley (4-4, 1-4) - Fun fact: in conference play, Cal has allowed more points than UCLA. Cal got a great head start towards bowl eligibility when they went 3-0 in nonconference, but with 1 win since then, the Bears will need to go 2-1 in their final 3 games to qualify..
- Utah (4-4, 1-4) - I appreciate that Utah made a big deal over bringing in a new offensive coordinator, only to still have one of the worst offenses in the conference. Neither quarterback has really shone brightly, and somehow the defense has started to collapse in recent games. The good news is the UCLA defense is a great cure for any offensive woes, but even with the possibility of no Rosen, UCLA’s offense can find success.
- Oregon State (1-7, 0-5) - The game against Stanford should give Oregon State something to build on, and this week’s game against Cal might give them their best chance to notch a conference victory this year. Credit to interim coach Cody Hall for turning things around.
Taking stock of the Pac-12 Conference after 9 weeks.