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PAC 12 Power Rankings - Week 12

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Washington is toppled and a new conference order emerges.

NCAA Football: Washington at Stanford
This is not a good look for Coach Pete.
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Still swirling around those thoughts on what might of been?

Me too. Otherwise, I got nothing. Let’s just do the rankings.

The Cool Chart

Power Rankings Week 12
Chris Landon

Power Rankings - Week 12

12. Oregon State (1-9 / 0-7)

OSU 28, Arizona 49

The good news here is that OSU now has passed the 20 point mark in two straight and three of the last four. That has to count for something.

Otherwise, we ought to consider these next few weeks as an extended recruiting period to land the Beavs’s next coach.

POG: QB Darell Garretson (209 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT)

Garretson’s career hasn’t really worked out the way he thought it would after transferring from Utah State three years ago. But he’s been a willing leader and the most reliable signal caller that OSU has had in the post Sean Mannion era. Four TD passes seems like a highlight for him to take with him to wherever he goes after this season.

11. Colorado (5-6 / 2-6)

Colorado 30, ASU 41

There really isn’t any analysis left for Colorado. They are down to one more chance to get bowl eligible. They get a BYE week between now and then to get right physically and mentally after the throttling that USC gave them.

POG: WR Juwann Winfree (5 recs, 173 yards, 2TDs)

We called out Winfree as a possible breakout star before the season started. It hasn’t really worked out that way, at least until now. Winfree has all of the physical tools that you want to see in a #1 receiver. Now he has some numbers to match.

10. UCLA (5-5 / 3-4)

ASU 37, UCLA 44

Jim Mora staved off job elimination for at least one more week thanks to another big week from UCLA’s offense.

Disgruntled UCLA fans took to the skies over the Rose Bowl on Saturday

This game got off to an auspicious start after a couple of planes carrying anti-Mora themed banners made flyovers of the Rose Bowl. That move may have backfired as it seemed to trigger a highly-charged emotional response from the team. QB Josh Rosen was quoted afterwards as saying that the banners were “disgusting” and that the money spent on them could have been better spent digging wells in Africa - a reference to a mission trip that Mora went on over the offseason.

The Bruins are now one game from bowl eligibility with USC up next on the docket.

POG: DL Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (10 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFLs)

JTM hasn’t really made his mark as a Bruin up until this game. 10 tackles for an interior lineman always stands out. That four of them happened behind the line of scrimmage is exceptional.

9. California (5-5 / 2-5)

BYE

If there were ever a time for UW fans to root for the Cal Bears, it is this week against in the Big Game. Cal is coming off a BYE week and will have the opportunity to take on a Stanford team that might be a little emotionally, as well as physically, spent following their big win over Washington.

8. Oregon (5-5 / 2-5)

BYE

The only interesting thing that happened around the Ducks during the BYE week was the continued speculation about QB Justin Herbert’s readiness to play. We shall see.

7. Utah (5-5 / 2-5)

WSU 33, Utah 25

The Utes squandered whatever goodwill came from their thrashing of UCLA the week before in a game that was thoroughly controlled and administered by the visiting Washington State Cougars.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Utah
QB Tyler Huntley has to eliminate the turnovers if Utah is going to get bowl eligible.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

I’m sure Utes fans are not used to seeing any team come into Salt Lake and dominate physically in the kind of way that WSU did against Utah. But that is what happened.

(Hold on, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit).

Only the Oregon schools have scored fewer than Utah’s 186 in-conference points. The lack of scoring has fans and pundits wondering if Utah has enough firepower to get that critical sixth win in one of their last two tries.

POG: LB Kavika Luafatasaga (8 tackles, 1 TFL)

There really weren't any standout performers across Utah’s lineup period. Of the “ok contributors”, Luafatasaga stood out to me. He seemed to at least be a factor in a game that looked to not be such a high priority for several Utes.

6. Arizona State (5-5 / 4-3)

ASU 37, UCLA 44

ASU seems to have lost yet another game in which they had a shot to win. In fact, if you generate 584 yards of offense, see three different playmakers generate more than 95 yards of offense apiece and go into the half with a lead on the road, your fan base might expect as much.

It didn’t work out so well for the Sun Devils and now the seat that head coach Todd Graham resides upon has reached scorching levels.

POG: WR N’Keal Harry (6 recs, 95 yds, 1 TD)

The numbers were not gaudy. But taken with his perimeter blocking, Harry demonstrated what a high-quality all-around PAC 12 wide receiver looks like.

5. (23) Arizona (7-3 / 5-2)

OSU 28, Arizona 49

The Wildcats are dropping down a spot in the power poll not necessarily because they are “lower” than UW but because they are 100% eliminated from the South division race.

Were it not for that, Arizona and the traveling ‘Big Play Tate’ show might still be ascending the rankings.

This one was all about Tate and the rushing attack. Three Arizona players ran for over 100 yards with Tate, himself, going for 206 and a couple of TDs. There is a modifier given that the opponent was OSU. But, still, c’mon. This guy is ridiculous.

Nobody wants anything to do with Arizona right now.

POG: QB Khalil Tate (68 yards passing, 202 yards rushing, 2 total TDs, 1 INT)

I can’t even count how many POGs he’s won so far this season. All of them, maybe?

4. (16) Washington (8-2 / 5-2)

Washington 22, Stanford 30

The Huskies are going to have to live with the fact that they squandered a great opportunity to create something dynastic in a year in which everything seemed to line up in their favor. They are also going to have to endure all of the national catcalls reminding them all that everybody knew that they were frauds, their quarterback was never that good and that their record was bloated by poor competition.

Last Friday night, they were embarrassed in just about every phase of the game and made to look every bit the non-contender as the ESPN’ers think they are. The defensive line was stood up. The secondary was carved up by Stanford’s big receivers. And the UW quarterback looked like a bumbling player who still has never done anything to win a game when it counts.

NCAA Football: Washington at Stanford
Jake Browning is running out of time to show that he belongs as a top-tier PAC 12 QB.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What UW does with all of this disappointment and negativity remains to be seen. The good news is that there is no longer reason to look down on the next two opponents. The Apple Cup is suddenly UW’s super bowl with the following bowl game a chance to reset the narrative surrounding this team not unlike how USC reset their against Penn State in last year’s epic Rose Bowl.

There is much left to play for and, I think, this team isn’t really as damaged as many people might think.

POG: RB Myles Gaskin (18 carries, 130 yards, 3 TDs)

It was easy to overlook the fact that UW’s rushing attack was actually better than Stanford’s for most of the night. Gaskin, in particular, was his usual, dominating self on his way to breaking the 1,000 yard barrier for the season and tying Bishop Sankey as UW’s all time rushing TD leader with 37.

3. (15) Washington State (9-2 / 6-2)

WSU 33, Utah 25

After a surprisingly easy road win against the Utes, the Cougs still control their own destiny. Their road to the PAC 12 championship, however, is a little more difficult than Stanford’s given that they’ve still got a road trip to Seattle following their BYE week.

The Cougs dominated Utah in a game that really never felt as close as the scoreboard indicated. That sensation very much mirrors what happened the week prior against Stanford and seems like it is becoming a trademark of this particular rendition of WSU football.

POG: DE Hercules Mata’afa (8 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 TFLs)

Yeah, I had to do a double take on those numbers myself.

2. (20) Stanford (7-3 / 6-2)

UW 22, Washington 30

Over the course of one week, Stanford:

  • Established a new QB
  • Got their offensive line right
  • Demonstrated that coaching does matter
  • Eliminated a contender from the playoffs
  • Put a stranglehold on the North division race
  • Boosted the Heisman resume of a top candidate

Not a bad week for the Stanford Cardinal, you new favorites to win the PAC 12 North

POG: RB Bryce Love (30 carries, 166 yards, 3 TDs)

A Taylor Rapp shoestring tackle in the second quarter sent an already struggling Bryce Love to the sideline with what looked like a game-ending ankle injury. What happened after that was Heisman legends are made of.

Love seemed to get stronger on that injured ankle as the game wore on. His streak of games with a 50 yard run was snapped, but his three TDs and gritty play were the reasons that Stanford was victorious.

1. (12) USC (9-2 / 7-1)

USC 38, Colorado 24

Not much to say about this one. The Trojans took advantage of a huge 2nd quarter to jump out to a 20 to zero lead and cruised to an easy win up in the altitude of Boulder.

The Trojans have now clinched the Pac 12 South and have the opportunity to spread some snaps around the roster next week against UCLA before getting in a BYE week before the PAC 12 championship. That is a great luxury for a team that has its ups and downs all year.

POG: CB Ajene Harris (2 INT, 1 TD)

Harris was the most disruptive player on the field for USC. His two INTs were both backbreakers. One went back for a TD. He lateraled the other one in what could have been also been a TD, but replay showed that his knee had touched before he pitched it.