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Pac-12 Rankings and Projections After Week 10

The top teams in the Pac-12 remain the same-with a notable change.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 05 Cal at USC Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There’s just 3 weeks left in the schedule-and just 19 regular season games. The rankings within the Pac-12 have remained relatively stable for the last 6 weeks, but there are some big games coming up in the next couple of weeks that could shake things up.


The Pac-12 continues to have 5 teams in the CFP rankings (although one is new!). The same 5 teams are in the top-25 of the AP and Coaches polls (Oregon, USC, UCLA, Utah, and UW); plus, Oregon State is getting votes in each poll.

A summary of those and many other different rankings for all FBS teams can be found here:

Here is the updated ‘Cool Chart’ which shows the Pac-12 teams in those rankings.

Composite Rankings of Pac-12 Teams

As expected, there was a flip between Oregon State and UW. WSU moved up with their big win over Stanford; and Stanford moved down. Despite the loss, Cal made a small move up after their performance on the road against USC. UCLA also moved above Utah-a little surprising since they had a closer game against Arizona State than Utah did against Arizona.

There is a cluster of 4 teams at the top, then a cluster of 3 more teams. Then there is a big gap between the top 7 teams and the next cluster of 4. And there is an equally large gap between that cluster of 4 and Colorado.

USC and UW have moved up the most since the preseason. That shouldn’t be surprising since both teams were 4-8 last year and both are ranked now. Arizona State and Colorado have dropped the most; again, not surprising since they both fired their coaches during the season. California and Utah have changed the least since the preseason.

Here’s another view of the composite rankings for the Pac-12 teams. This one shows the range of rankings from each of the ranking sites for each school.

Composite Ranking Ranges for Pac-12 Teams

The line for each school goes from the highest to lowest of the rankings for that school. The dot indicates where they rank factoring all of the rankings.

In general, the higher-ranked teams have a smaller range. Stanford continues to have greatest range, although Arizona’s is nearly as big. Oregon’s range is the smallest. UW ranges from #18 to #55. The ones that have UW in the 50’s are definitely outliers. About 25% of the rankings have UW as a top-25 team, and less than 10% have them ranked between #41 and #55.

Of the sites that have UW ranked the ranking sites that have UW in the 40’s and 50’s, I found a couple where they incorrectly have Oregon State as having beat UW last week. (The records were wrong, and in one case they even showed the score from 2021 instead of last week’s score.) I don’t know if other similar mistakes are the reason that UW is ranked so low on those other sites, but in 10 of the 13 rankings where UW is in the 40’s or 50’s, Oregon State is ranked above UW.

With known mistakes like that, should we trust the Composite Ranking? Here is a comparison for the Pac-12 teams between these Composite Rankings, the SRS (, the CBS Sports poll ( , and the ESPN FPI ( .

Ranking Comparison for Pac-12 Teams

Team Composite Rank SRS Rank CBS Rank FPI Rank
Team Composite Rank SRS Rank CBS Rank FPI Rank
Arizona 84 87 92 80
Arizona State 82 86 83 70
California 81 72 99 69
Colorado 119 121 122 120
Oregon 7 8 6 11
Oregon State 31 35 30 38
Stanford 74 77 81 79
UCLA 12 15 9 21
USC 10 14 7 13
Utah 13 10 13 7
Washington 29 33 24 30
WSU 40 45 43 42

The only place where there is a significant difference is with Cal-going between 69 and 99-and that is between CBS and ESPN. Otherwise, the Composite Ranking doesn’t look much different the other rankings; most of the differences between the rankings are less than 10 places. The number of mistakes in some of the rankings used in the Composite Ranking (like the ones noted above) must be small compared to how many rankings (95) that are included in the Composite Ranking.

Advanced Stats

This week I’m adding a look at one of the advanced statistics (stats) for college football teams. Some of the advanced stats break down their stats into offensive and defensive components in addition to having a ranking for the overall team. One of those is the FEI (Fremeau Efficiency Index), developed by Brian C. Fremeau. The following table shows the FEI rank and the offensive (OFEI) and defensive (DFEI) ranks for each Pac-12 team.

FEI Ranks for Pac-12 Teams

Team FEI Rank OFEI Rank DFEI Rank
Team FEI Rank OFEI Rank DFEI Rank
Arizona 83 36 121
Arizona State 84 55 106
California 71 78 56
Colorado 123 122 112
Oregon 9 3 62
Oregon State 40 48 35
Stanford 82 98 78
UCLA 27 5 70
USC 13 2 103
Utah 11 19 30
Washington 38 14 84
WSU 28 53 28

First, this set is included not because I think it is the best, but because it is widely used, it appears to be representative (similar to the rankings), but because it includes offensive and defensive components.

The overall FEI ranks for the Pac-12 schools look very similar to the Composite Ranking, the SRS, and the ESPN FPI. A few teams are slightly lower like Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, and UW. WSU has a higher FEI rank than the other rankings.

It is clear from these offensive and defensive rankings that the Pac-12 is very good offensively, and not-so-good defensively. Three of the top-5, and 5 of the top-20 offensive teams are from the Pac-12. Defensively there are only 3 Pac-12 teams in the top 50. Utah and Oregon State are the only two Pac-12 teams in the top 50 for both the offense and defense.


ESPN has a similar ranking which breaks out offense, defense, as well as special teams.

The difference between their Efficiencies and their FPI is that Efficiency is more of a backward-looking statistic (what has happened in games so far) while FPI is more forward-looking (how teams are expected to play going forward).

Here is the updated FPI information for the Pac-12 teams including a comparison to their preseason ranking and win projections.

ESPN FPI Rank and Win Projections

Team Preseason Rank Current FPI Rank Preseason Projected Wins Current Projected Wins 6Wins% (bowl eligibility)
Team Preseason Rank Current FPI Rank Preseason Projected Wins Current Projected Wins 6Wins% (bowl eligibility)
Utah 13 7 9.4 9.6 100%
Oregon 23 11 8.6 10.4 100%
USC 35 13 8.1 10.3 100%
UCLA 39 21 8.3 10.2 100%
Washington 48 30 7.5 8.7 100%
Oregon State 57 38 6 7.8 100%
WSU 79 42 5 7 97.00%
California 67 69 5.6 4.1 3.60%
Arizona State 50 71 6.8 4 3.40%
Stanford 62 79 5 3.9 0.90%
Arizona 91 80 3.5 3.9 1.80%
Colorado 84 120 3.5 1.1 0%
Comparison of ESPN’s FPI current rank and win projections with the preseason projections

The Pac-12 has 6 bowl-eligible teams and should have 7 teams in bowl games; WSU just needs one more win-and hopefully it isn’t in the Apple Cup! Cal, ASU, Stanford, and Arizona each have 6 losses, so each would need to win out-which is highly unlikely for any of them.

Here is the ESPN FPI win projections for all of UW’s remaining games:

ESPN FPI Win Projections for UW’s Remaining Games

Week Day Visitor Home UW Win Projection Change since last week
Week Day Visitor Home UW Win Projection Change since last week
11 12-Nov Washington Oregon 22.50% -2.6
12 19-Nov Colorado Washington 96.10% 0.3
13 26-Nov Washington Washington State 47.00% -10.6

In a bit of a surprise, ESPN’s FPI now has WSU as the favorite in the Apple Cup, although they show it as a close game. UW had been favored every week until now. The convincing win over Stanford on the road while UW struggled (?) at home likely contributed to the change. WSU is now favored in their remaining 3 games while UW is only favored in their home game against Colorado.

Here are all of the winning percentages for this week’s Pac-12 games.

ESPN FPI Win Projections For Week 11 Pac-12 Games

Visitor Win % Home Win %
Visitor Win % Home Win %
Colorado 5.60% USC 94.40%
Washington 22.50% Oregon 77.50%
California 21.30% Oregon State 78.70%
Arizona 11.60% UCLA 88.40%
Stanford 5.90% Utah 94.10%
Arizona State 20.50% WSU 79.50%

As you can see, the home team is favored in every game, and all of them are heavily favored. This week might be considered the ‘calm before the storm’ as there are appears to be some close and decisive games the following week-including the USC-UCLA and Utah-Oregon games.

So far, each week ESPN’s FPI has been correct for 86% of the Pac-12 games. Even their preseason projections have been correct for almost 85% of the games. These should start to separate since, as of now, there are some differences between the preseason projections for the final games and the current projections. For example, in the preseason Arizona State was projected to be favored in all 3 of their remaining games; now they are underdogs in all 3.

Talent Comparison

So far this season the team with more talent ( has won 83% of the Pac-12 games. This had been at least as good at projecting the winner as the ESPN FPI projections until this last week (when WSU beat Stanford). However, this week will be a big test. In 3 of the 6 games, the team with less talent is the one that is favored by ESPN’s FPI: California vs Oregon State, Stanford vs Utah, and Arizona State vs WSU. With just 19 games left, this week could decide which method does better predicting the winner.


What do you think about UW’s CFP ranking?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Too low, they should be higher
    (46 votes)
  • 62%
    About right
    (140 votes)
  • 16%
    UW shouldn’t be ranked in the top-25
    (37 votes)
223 votes total Vote Now