One more week of college football is in the books and not much changed in Pac-12 country over the weekend. The conference continues to be dominated by the schools up in Oregon, but there are still a few schools hanging in contention as we head down the stretch.
How the conference plays out should be interesting given the schedules each squad has left. With just a little over a month of regular season play left, this is how the Pac-12 stands.
The Ducks manhandled Arizona State in about 15 minutes of game time Saturday and then put it in cruise control the rest of the game. The Sun Devils didn’t put up much of a fight after scoring a quick touchdown and UO continued to show why it’s the class of the conference.
Oregon also received a little extra motivation this week when the Ducks learned that they were ranked fourth in the BCS despite being the second ranked team in the country in both major polls. With a little extra to play for, look for Oregon to keep its foot on the gas pedal down the stretch.
2. Oregon State
The Beavers are off to their best start in over a decade and have been able to pull off two straight victories with their backup quarterback under center. There are two really big tests left on the slate – Stanford and Oregon – but, other than those two, OSU has several games remaining that it should have little trouble winning.
The Trojans manhandled Colorado in a game that was over in the first minute. Now USC will travel on the road to face an Arizona squad that will put up more of a fight than the Buffaloes did.
The majority expects a victory from USC this Saturday, but Arizona looked like it got back on track this past weekend against Washington. It should be interesting to see how USC responds to Arizona’s defense in a hostile environment.
With a big win over rival Cal, Stanford stayed within striking distance from Oregon and Oregon State atop the Pac-12 North Standings. With those two teams still left on the schedule, the Cardinal still possess a legitimate opportunity to win the north division and play for the conference title.
The Bruins had their bye week and now head into a very important affair in Tempe against Arizona State. Both teams are looking to stay in contention, with the loser facing a big climb to the top of the standings.
6. Arizona State
The Sun Devils were brought back to reality when Oregon came to town and easily blew them out. It was the first formidable opponent ASU has faced to date and it still has a few tough matchups left, including road games at Oregon State and USC.
Arizona State has one game that shouldn’t be a problem against Washington State, but the other remaining four are all going to present tough challenges.
The Wildcats righted their ship by dominating Washington at home on Saturday. The offense faced little-to-no resistance from the patchwork UW defense, but what was more impressive for Arizona was its defense, which shut Washington out in the second half. UA now must host a tough USC team this Saturday in a rare afternoon game in Tucson and the Trojans haven’t lost at Arizona Stadium since 1999.
After two straight victories over Washington State and UCLA, Cal had a little momentum going into its rivalry matchup against Stanford. Unfortunately the Golden Bears could not muster up any sort of consistent offensive attack against the Cardinal. The loss to Stanford prevents Cal from being considered a contender in the Pac-12 North.
The Huskies went into Tucson over the weekend needing a win, but instead they were ran off the field by Arizona. Washington’s defense was once again exposed and its offensive line allowed a suspect pass-rush to harass Keith Price all game. There was optimism surrounding the UW program just a few weeks ago, but all that has vanished with three straight losses.
The Utes continue to struggle on offense and looked inept at times against Oregon State this past weekend. Utah gained 307 yards of total offense, but coughed up the ball four times. A team once considered by many to be a contender in the Pac-12, the Utes are just two losses away from being eliminated from bowl consideration.
There isn’t much to say about Colorado after this past weekend. The program is years away from competing with the rest of the conference.
12. Washington State
Wazzu had its bye this past weekend, which is better than another loss.