It was an interesting weekend in the world of the Pac-12. Oregon took care of business as usual, but the rest of the league saw plenty of shakeup. USC suffered a crushing defeat to Arizona and Oregon State failed to remain undefeated after losing to Washington. With just a few weeks remaining on the slate, the conference breakdown goes as follows.
The Ducks received little resistance from Colorado and were able to dispatch the Buffalo rather easily. The Ducks will be tested on the road this weekend at USC, a team coming off a devastating defeat to Arizona.
Which Trojans’ squad that shows up will really decide how close this game is. USC can definitely take down Oregon, but it will have to play an outstanding game and hope the Ducks aren’t at their best.
The Cardinal take this spot by default, but the team avoided disaster this past weekend against one of the Pac-12's worst teams. Stanford was able to ultimately defeat Washington State, but the fact that the Cardinal allowed Wazzu to hang in the game is a little concerning. They won’t be able to play like that down the stretch if they want to stay in the Pac-12 North race.
After picking up a much-needed, last-second victory on the road against Arizona State, the Bruins host an Arizona team this week that is also riding high after an upset win over Pac-12 South leader USC.
The Bruins' offense came back to life against the Sun Devils, leading the charge for 45 points and the victory. They will likely need that sort of effort again this week as they host one of the best offenses in the country.
4. Oregon State
The Beavers' loss to Washington drops them a couple of spots in the rankings. The loss doesn’t take OSU out of the race, however, considering it still has a game left against Oregon.
Oregon State came out flat against the Huskies and paid for it in the end as UW outlasted OSU. A win over Arizona State this weekend is a must for the Beavers.
The Wildcats were able to pull off the upset at home over USC and positioned themselves to make a big run down the stretch despite holding a conference record of just 2-3. Arizona continues to look like an improved squad under Rich Rodriguez and his offense has instantly become one of the deadliest in the nation.
With games against UCLA, Utah, Colorado and Arizona State remaining, UA may have a chance to compete for the Pac-12 South title. Nothing is guaranteed with the Wildcats, but if they continue to stay grounded they will be a tough team to beat.
The Trojans squandered a record-setting performance by Marqise Lee by losing a crucial game on the road to Arizona. Southern California remains in first place, but its game against Oregon this Saturday is extremely important. If the Trojans lose, there is a chance one of the three teams chasing them could leapfrog them and steal the division.
An upset win over Oregon State keeps the Huskies in bowl contention. The conference title game is certainly out of the question, but a solid run could give UW a chance to make a respectable bowl game.
With Washington facing arguably the four weakest teams in the conference to end the season, seven-to-eight victories is a very obtainable goal.
8. Arizona State
A run at the top spot in the Pac-12 North is possible, but given the schedule down the stretch for the Sun Devils, it’s certainly not likely. ASU’s loss at home to UCLA puts a huge dent in its chances at reaching the conference title game.
After a big win over Cal at home, the Utes still possess an outside shot to reach a bowl game. It will be very tough with a road game at Washington and a home matchup against Arizona still left on the schedule, but the postseason is certainly not out of the question just yet.
At 3-6 and with games against Oregon and Oregon State remaining, the Golden Bears are all but out of the bowl picture. Cal needed to win on the road in Utah this past weekend, but instead, the team was blown out. After this season, Jeff Tedford’s seat has to be scorching.
CU presented very little challenge to Oregon this past week and they continue to struggle even being competitive.
12. Washington State
The Cougars surprisingly took Stanford to the wire and had a chance to tie the game late. Unfortunately, Wazzu still came away with a defeat, but the close affair with a ranked opponent on its home field is a sign of progress under new head coach Mike Leach.