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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 13

Taking stock of the Pac-12 Conference after 13 weeks.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Stanford Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s see how things shake out in the Pac-12 Power Rankings now that the regular season is over and the only remaining Pac-12 game is the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday.

  1. Southern California (10-2, 8-1 conference) - The Trojans did the smartest thing you could have done this weekend: not play football. I’d still say the Trojans ultimately lost this weekend, with their big road loss to Notre Dame looking worse thanks to Stanford’s whalloping of the Irish combined with the Chip Kelly hiring at UCLA, but on the scoreboard, they didn’t lose this weekend, and had the South wrapped up a few weeks prior, so take that how you will.
  2. Stanford (9-3, 7-2) - Don’t look now, but late-season Stanford is here! And the Cardinal were the big winner of the weekend, as they not-only beat up on Notre Dame, but also won the North thanks to Wazzu’s loss. Bryce Love has been injured the past few weeks and still manages to look like he should get an invite to New York for the Heisman ceremony, and could really bolster his chances with a victory over the Trojans on Friday. Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that the Pac-12 Championship should have a much-different look than the early-season matchup did, as the Trojans are now looking at a ton of injuries, while David Shaw finally figured out that K.J. Costello should have been his starting QB this entire time.
  3. Washington (10-2, 7-2) - The Huskies didn’t win the North thanks to their earlier loss to the Cardinal, but an Apple Cup shellacking of rival Washington State has to be considered a decent consolation prize.
  4. Washington State (9-3, 6-3) - I think if you had told Wazzu fans that they’d have a 9-3 season, and wouldn’t lose to an FCS team this time, at the beginning of the year, they’d have been ecstatic. But with how quick the start for the Cougs was, including the victory over USC, Wazzu fans have to be a bit disappointed by the end of the season. Luke Falk was a nightmare in what might finally be his last Apple Cup, which meant the Cougars missed winning their first division title. And then throw out all the Mike Leach rumors to Tennessee, Nebraska, and other places, and this was a rough Thanksgiving weekend on the Palouse.
  5. Oregon (7-5, 4-5) - This might have been the roughest past few weeks for the Ducks. Sure, the wins were nice, but they also provided a rough “what-if?” scenario, as the Ducks might have competed in a weaker North had Justin Herbert not been injured.
  6. UCLA (6-6, 4-5) - Since the last week of Power Rankings, UCLA hired Chip Kelly and beat Cal despite losing Josh Rosen at halftime. It’s hard to say the other teams in the South had a better week, because....
  7. Arizona State (7-5, 6-3) - The Sun Devils did win the Territorial Cup, but they needed Khalil Tate to get injured and be out for the second half, and then they turned around and fired Todd Graham after the game despite finishing second in the division and having a win over Washington (and also winning the rivalry game). Bill Connelly talked about why firing a successful coach just because he didn’t win enough is a bad idea, and he mentioned the last time ASU did this sort of thing, so good luck Sun Devils!
  8. Arizona (7-5, 5-4) - And then you have the Wildcats, who lost their rivalry game, lost Khalil Tate during the game to injury (no idea how long he will be out) and now sit behind the Sun Devils in the bowl pecking order. It’s still a successful season for a Wildcat program that was picked to finish last in the division, but the Power Rankings are based on the most recent work, and for Arizona, that recent work was a loss.
  9. Utah (6-6, 3-6) - Utah’s bowl streak continues thanks to the victory over Colorado, but the Utes are going to have to take a long look at the program this offseason, as this was a definite backslide for Kyle Whittingham’s program.
  10. UC Berkeley (5-7, 2-7) - Lost the Battle of California by 3 points, denying the Golden Bears a bowl game in Justin Wilcox’s first season, but I think this should still be considered a good building year for the program going forward.
  11. Colorado (5-7, 2-7) - First to worst in the division, and the game against Utah for last place wasn’t particularly close. The offense was a disappointment despite bringing back a ton of talent, and the loss of Jim Leavitt to Oregon was bigger than anyone would care to admit. But really, this is a stunning turnaround for the Buffaloes and should cause some major looks at the program’s direction.
  12. Oregon State (1-11, 0-9) - Got blown out in the Civil War, but it looks like you’re hiring a coach who has had success in the Pacific Northwest before, so things could be looking up! Which is good, because I don’t know how much further down it could get.