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UWDP: Week 10 Pac 12 Power Poll and Conference Roundup

Who wants to be the third best team in the Pac 12? Bueller....Bueller...

Jim Mora had a tough weekend in the Mudhole.
Jim Mora had a tough weekend in the Mudhole.
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

We've pretty much hit the half-way point in the P12 schedule and there is definitely a separation beginning to occur between the two best teams in the Pac 12 and the rest of the contenders. Last weekend's action demonstrated this bifurcation and reminded us that things in the "muddled middle" continue to be as destructive to Pac 12 BCS dreams as anything else. Some highlights:

  • Oregon did to UCLA exactly what they did to UW: toyed with them in the first half, let them hang around in the third, and then smothered them for a blowout in the fourth.

  • Stanford got dirty with Oregon State and out-Stanforded them for a win.

  • Brett Hundley got hit - a lot - as UCLA demonstrated that they may have some issues on offense

  • Speaking of getting hit ... Utah's bowl dreams took a big blow in their loss to USC.

  • Look out world, BJ Denker has decided that he'd like to be Matt Scott - ish. He put up huge rushing and passing numbers versus Colorado.
  • USC demonstrated - again - that their defense is, by itself, good enough to win games by holding the Utes to just three points.

UWDP's Weekly Pac 12 Power Poll - Week 10

Team Record
1. Oregon Ducks 8-0 (5-0)

The Ducks were a little more fallible than in past games: Mariota wasn't as accurate, there were a couple of unforced fumbles (including a bizarre misfired hike while the Ducks were at the UCLA 5 yard line) and the rushing attack, again, looked like it could be somewhat contained. However, the Ducks D continues to shine - albeit against a really banged up UCLA team - as Oregon jumps to #2 in the BCS rankings and one step closer to a National Championship showdown with Alabama. A BYE this weekend sets up the next big step: on the road to Stanford.

Stan_helmet_medium 2. Stanford Cardinal 7-1 (5-1)

The Cardinal continue to hold on to the #2 spot if for no other reason than nobody wants to take it from them. The Cardinal looked pretty bad on offense against an Oregon State team that is - outside of Scott Crichton - not really a good defensive team. The farce that was Kevin Hogan's Heisman campaign is now totally over as he was held to another abysmally inefficient effort. Still, the Cardinal's D was fantastic in harassing Sean Mannion to the tune of 8 sacks, a couple of deflections and many hurries. In addition, Ty Montgomery has really morphed into a true playmaker. Those facts are good enough to give Stanford clear sailing to the #2 status. The season-ending injury to Ben Gardener may end up being a killer for the Cardinal, so consider this position as "vulnerable".

Asu_helmet_medium 3. Arizona State Sun Devils
5-2 (3-1)
ASU got the game off last weekend, but climbs a spot in the power polls as Oregon State falls. The fact that the Bruins lost made ASU, who misses Oregon this year, the favorite to win the South division. Look for something crazy to happen in the Palouse on Halloween night.

4. Oregon State Beavers
6-2 (4-1)
The Beavers get one week to show that the dressing down of their offense by Stanford was more about Stanford and less about what we can expect from the Beavers when they actually play somebody with a pulse. Before this, OSU's P12 opponents were Utah, Colorado, WSU and Cal. Things only get harder from here and, to be successful, OSU is going to have to find a rushing attack if they hope to keep Mannion upright.

Uw_helmet_medium 5. Washington Huskies
5-3 (2-3)
UW climbs one spot ahead of UCLA in this week's ranking after their thorough win over Cal. This is pretty much a pick 'em position with UCLA, but there is actually a more comprehensive picture painted for the Huskies who have played a similar schedule to the Bruins but are coming out of it in a better state of overall team health. The Huskies have been better against common opponents and their advanced metrics are universally better, so go with the Huskies here.

Ucla_helmet_medium 6. UCLA Bruins
5-2 (2-2)
The Bruins last week caught an Oregon team that was a little less perfect than the one that UW played in Seattle, but suffered the same fate. The UCLA offense, due in no small part to offensive line injuries, looked pretty stagnant against the Ducks and, in fact, has scored fewer points than USC in the same number of P12 games played so far this year. Look for offensive output to be an issue for the Bruins the rest of the way.

Ariz_helmet_medium 7. Arizona Wildcats 5-2 (2-2)
No change here for Arizona who took care of business against an outgunned Colorado team. Ka'Deem Carey had only 119 yards on the ground (and Bishop Sankey thanks him) on 24 carries, but BJ Denker was a terror with his arm and his legs. The 'Cats still have an opportunity to make noise with UCLA, ASU and Oregon still ahead on the schedule.

Usc_helmet_medium 8. USC Trojans
5-3 (2-2)
Don't look now, but USC has the exact same conference record as the Bruins and, after their throttling of the Utah Utes in LA, they still have an opportunity to make noise in the South division. Their loss to ASU means that they don't control their own destiny, but it isn't like they aren't in a position to take advantage should the Devils mess up along the way. If the Trojans, who only dressed 47 scholarship players last weekend (at home) can get healthy bodies back, they can still do some damage and climb this poll.

Utah_helmet_medium 9. Utah Utes
4-4 (1-4)
I considered dropping the Utes even lower following their 3 point abomination against an undermanned USC. However, I resisted for two reasons: 1. USC is probably better than their record and 2. They still beat Stanford. That trumps anything anybody else did lower in the polls. Still, the Utes need to do some soul searching. While injuries are an issue, Travis Wilson is quickly becoming the Connor Holliday of the south (14 INTs on the season) and their other playmakers are not making plays. With ASU and Oregon still ahead, getting to 6 and a bowl is likely dependent on beating WSU.

Wsu_helmet_medium 10. Washington State Cougars
4-4 (2-3)
The Cougs were idle last weekend and are getting ready for a Halloween matchup with ASU. I'm not sure what will be scarier: ASU's pass rush against the overwhelmed Coug O-Line or Connor Halliday's passing efficiency.

11. California Bears 1-7 (0-5)
Can these guys get a BYE week? Another weekend, another blowout. In fact, the Bears have only managed to prevent two teams from scoring at least 40 on them all year: Portland State in Week 2 and - surprise - UCLA two weeks ago. This is obviously a beat up football team that is going through some serious growing pains. Still, they have highly ranked young players in key positions at WR, QB, OL and DL. They still beat Colorado on a neutral field.
12. Colorado Buffaloes 3-4 (0-4)
The Buffs are still without a P12 victory this season after getting crushed by Arizona and BJ Denker. In truth, Sefo Liufau and his Buffs hung tough for a half against the deeper, more experience Wildcats team. Still, this is a team with a lot of holes whose best player - Paul Richardson - is banged up and whose next two best players are freshmen. There is a way to go with this team.

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