ASU football was among four teams that experienced a bye week with the biggest result coming in Eugene as Oregon defeated Washington in overtime.
It appears the Pac-12’s hopes of getting a team into the College Football Playoff vanished on Saturday after No. 17 Oregon defeated No. 7 Washington in overtime.
The Huskies now have two losses, albeit two strong losses to Auburn and Oregon, is all but done considering the Stanford game doesn’t look as big now as it once did.
Washington State is probably the most important game on the schedule with the Cougars entering the AP Top 25 this week ahead of their big clash with the Ducks in Pullman.
In the Pac-12 South, what a mess it’s becoming. After UCLA’s first win at Cal and Colorado suffering their first defeat to the hands of USC, everyone is separated by just one game.
With Week Eight upon us, the conference features a full slate with Ducks-Cougs the lone ranked matchup in the Pac-12.
Here are our Week Seven Pac-12 Power Rankings.
1. Oregon Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) Last Week: 2
The Ducks had their biggest win of the Mario Cristobal era on Saturday after the Ducks rushed for 177 yards and threw for 202 more in the host’s 30-27 victory over then No. 7 ranked Washington.
Despite for barely throwing over 200 yards, Justin Herbert was mistake-free against one of the best defenses in the country. The ground game took over for the Ducks with two CJ Verdell rushing touchdowns.
Oregon is now the highest ranked team in the Pac-12 at No. 12 in the nation.
Saturday evening win was a defining moment for the Ducks who hit the road next weekend to face off against a suddenly dangerous Washington State team.
2. Washington Huskies (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) LW: 1
The Huskies’ slim chance at the College Football Playoff was effectively wiped by their overtime loss at Oregon.
Like last year’s loss to Arizona State, UW’s kicking game doomed them as Peyton Henry missed a potential game-winning field goal from 37 yards as time expired.
The Huskies later failed to score a touchdown on three goal-line opportunities in overtime, leaving an opportunity for CJ Verdell to score the game-winning touchdown for the Ducks.
It wasn’t certain that Washington would get in anyway, but with the senior experience of Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin not resulting in a playoff berth, it stings they couldn’t carry the Pac-12 to the promised land.
The Huskies look to get back in the win column when returning home to face Colorado this weekend.
3. Utah Utes (4-2, 2-2 Pac-12) LW: 5
The Utes have found their stride of late scoring 82 points in their last two games alone in victories over Stanford and Arizona.
Utah will look forward to a very important game with Pac-12 South implications this week as they face the leader in the South, the USC Trojans.
T4: USC Trojans (4-2, 3-1 Pac-12) LW: 7
When USC started the season 1-2, many questioned the Trojans’ legitimacy as a Pac-12 South contender. Just a few weeks later, USC is now 4-2 and in the driver’s seat to win the division.
USC defeated Colorado 31-20 in an unofficial Pac-12 South championship Saturday, and for just the second time all season, Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault was held under 100 receiving yards.
Colorado’s offense has been one of the nation’s best this year, but Saturday it was limited to 264 yards of offense against a USC defense that has played exceptionally as of late.
Freshman quarterback JT Daniels has finally found his stride in the pocket, and if he continues to improve, USC should get to the Pac-12 Championship.
T4. Washington State Cougars (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) LW: 6
The dream finally came true for Washington State as College GameDay announced they will be heading to the Palouse for the first time ever.
Famously known for appearing at every GameDay site holding Ol’ Crimson, the flag will be raised proudly in its own backyard.
While the atmosphere will be excellent, Washington State has a big game on its hands Saturday evening as they host the 12th-ranked Oregon Ducks.
6. Stanford Cardinal (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) LW: 3
After a disappointing 40-21 loss to Utah a week after a loss to Notre Dame, Stanford will look to get back on track and healthy after the team’s bye week.
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The biggest player the Cardinal will look to get back to full health is star running back Bryce Love. Love sat out against Utah and his loss was evident in the showing as the Utes ran over Stanford’s hopes at the College Football Playoff.
Stanford will look to get back on track as they face the 3-3 Arizona State Sun Devils who will also be looking to turn their season around after a loss to Colorado a week ago.
7. Colorado Buffaloes (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) LW: 4
The Buffs (5-1) were brought back down to earth last Saturday as they suffered their first loss of the season.
USC freshman quarterback JT Daniels was able to find holes in the Buffs secondary with three touchdown passes.
The game had big implications in the Pac-12 South and Colorado couldn’t cash in, falling to second place from the top spot just a week ago.
Buffs quarterback Steven Montez struggled to get anything going with a 55 percent completion rate for just 170 yards and had an interception returned for a touchdown.
However, Laviska Shenault Jr. continued his strong production that has him on the Heisman watchlist. The sophomore had nine catches for 72 yards and also took a 46-yard run for a touchdown.
8. Arizona State Sun Devils (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) LW: 8
It’s time to find out how the Sun Devils will define their season.
At 3-3, it’s easy to look in the past. Most coaches and players know that if a certain number of plays were different, ASU could be 6-0. But there’s nothing they can change about that.
A home game against Stanford provides the Sun Devils a chance to salvage their season. The Cardinal have fallen from No. 7 to unranked in the past two weeks, ruining their chance at a Pac-12 North title and a run at the College Football Playoff.
ASU will likely play a less-than-100 percent Bryce Love, giving the defense a chance to focus on K.J. Costello. If the Devils can hold their own defensively while finding a balance between Eno Benjamin and the passing game, they’ll have a chance to win and remain in the South race.
9. California Golden Bears (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) LW: 9
Just as UCLA was establishing its stronghold as the weakest team in the Pac-12, the Bruins came into Berkeley and stomped the Golden Bears by 30 points, 37-7.
Sophomore quarterback Brandon McIlwain recorded four (two interceptions, two fumbles lost) of Cal’s five turnovers in its third consecutive loss following a 3-0 start.
Once ranked as high as No. 24 in the Associated Press poll, the team is coming off of arguably its worst performance under second-year coach Justin Wilcox.
Up next, Cal ventures to Corvallis for a meeting with Oregon State. In a matchup featuring the conference’s two weakest teams, only pride and sole position of the cellar in the Pac-12 North are on the line.
10. Arizona Wildcats (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) LW: 10
A week ago, it appeared Arizona had turned a corner. The Wildcats regressed to their old ways Thursday night against Utah.
Khalil Tate exited the game early, and in his absence, Arizona only recorded 318 yards of total offense. The Wildcats’ defense was exposed by Tyler Huntley, who scored passing, rushing and receiving touchdowns in the win.
Arizona’s bowl chances aren’t completely gone, but if Tate doesn’t return to 100 percent, the Wildcats could struggle to win another game.
11. UCLA Bruins (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12) LW: 12
Week to week progress is all that Chip Kelly can ask for from a UCLA team that is one of program’s youngest and least talented rosters in recent memory.
Thankfully for Kelly, progress is finally being made.
The Bruins who won their first game of the season this Saturday in a 37-7 beatdown of California.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson suffered only two incompletions all game as Bruins running back Joshua Kelly had the game of his life with 157 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
UCLA looks to maintain their recent momentum with Arizona coming to town this weekend.
12. Oregon State Beavers (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) LW: 11
Oregon State is coming off a much-needed bye week after their rough start to Pac-12 play.
The Beavers enters this week with the worst scoring defense in the Pac-12 allowing 47.0 points per game, the worst total defense allowing 541.3 yards per game and the league’s fewest sacks with just five.
A bright spot for Oregon State is freshman running back Jermar Jefferson, who leads the conference averaging 144.2 rushing yards per game and 12 touchdowns, five more than ASU’s Eno Benjamin who sits in second.
OSU will host Cal this week in what will be their best chance to win a conference game after the Golden Bears’ humiliating 30-point loss versus previously winless UCLA.