ASU Football: 2018 Pac-12 Week Nine Power Rankings

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 27: Blake Mazza #40 of the Washington State Cougars celebrates with teammates after he kicked a 42 yard field goal to put the Cougars ahead of the Stanford Cardinal late in the fourth quarter of their NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium on October 27, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. Washington State won the game 41-38. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 27: Blake Mazza #40 of the Washington State Cougars celebrates with teammates after he kicked a 42 yard field goal to put the Cougars ahead of the Stanford Cardinal late in the fourth quarter of their NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium on October 27, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. Washington State won the game 41-38. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

It was a chaotic week for the Pac-12 with underdogs ASU football, Oregon State, Cal and Arizona pulling off the most surprising results of the weekend.

What a stunning Saturday it was in the Pac-12.

The surprising results started with Arizona State’s come-from-behind win at USC thanks to the brilliance of N’Keal Harry.

Next, it was Oregon State claiming their first Pac-12 win since Nov. 2016 and their first road win since 2014 overcoming a 28-point deficit to defeat Colorado 41-34 in overtime.

Joining the party was California who picked up their second straight Pac-12 win defeating Washington 12-10 as the Huskies benched quarterback Jake Browning.

Lastly, the biggest margin of victory among the underdogs was Arizona who defeated No. 19 Oregon 44-15.

The only favorites to win were the divisional leaders, Washington State and Utah, who secured road wins over Stanford and UCLA respectively.

They are your two Pac-12 teams ranked in the first edition of the College Football Playoff rankings with Wazzu ranked eighth and Utah ranked 15th.

In what is being called Statement Saturday nationally, here are our latest Pac-12 Power Rankings.

Power Rankings: Preseason | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six | Week Seven | Week Eight

1. Washington State Cougars (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) Last Week: T1

The tale of Gardner Minshew continues.

In a game holding massive implications for the North, the senior delivered a 438-yard, three touchdown performance in a comeback win over Stanford that put the Cougars in sole possession of first place in the division.

The victory propelled WSU to No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Undoubtedly, this team is the conference’s best chance at reaching the final four.

The Cougars have a favorable route, too. Three of the team’s next four games are at home, giving them an opportunity to boost their divisional lead before a crucial Apple Cup on Nov. 23.

With how the past three weeks have gone, this may be the only consistent team in a conference full of deviations.

Trevor Booth

2. Utah Utes (6-2, 4-2 Pac-12) LW: 4

October treated Utah very well in their rise to the top of the Pac-12 South.

The Utes finished the month 4-0 following a 41-10 throttling of UCLA at the Rose Bowl. It was the fourth consecutive game Kyle Whittingham’s squad posted over 40 points, as both Zack Moss and Tyler Huntley have found a groove in recent weeks.

With four games remaining, the Utes are in the driver’s seat to win the division. The team has two of their three conference games left on the road against Arizona State and Colorado, respectively, teams looking to climb back towards the top themselves.

Losses to Washington and Washington State aren’t detrimental to the Utes’ schedule. As we’ve seen recently, however, it can only take one loss to spiral a team out of control.

– Booth

3. Washington Huskies (6-3, 4-2 Pac-12) LW: T1

After entering the regular season as a potential College Football Playoff contender, the Huskies are now unranked.

Washington fell to California this weekend by the bizarre final score of 12-10.

Starting quarterback Jake Browning was benched mid-game in favor of redshirt quarterback Jake Haener who threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

The touchdown proved to be the winning score of the game as Washington suffered their third loss of the season to the now 5-3 Golden Bears.

Bowning already has more interceptions than he did all of last season. The senior quarterback has not come close to the level of play he displayed two seasons ago and for Washington fans that has spelled disaster for a program with New Year’s Six aspirations.

Koki Riley

4. Stanford Cardinal (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12) LW: 5

In a battle for Pac-12 North supremacy, the Cardinal blew an 11-point halftime lead to Washington State as the Cougars won the game 41-38.

We normally come to expect Stanford games to be more of a grind and low-scoring affair. That hasn’t been the case this season.

Both quarterbacks were outstanding with K.J. Costello throwing for 323 yards and four touchdowns. Wazzu’s Gardner Minshew did a little bit more though throwing for 438 yards and three touchdowns.

In the end, it came down to who had the ball last and that team was Washington State as kicker Blake Mazza converted a game-winning field goal 42-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in regulation.

Stanford will travel to Seattle to face Washington Saturday in a battle of unranked teams, just as we all predicted preseason.

Sam Ficarro

5. Oregon Ducks (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) LW: 3

The Oregon Ducks were having a very promising season, but now the team has lost two in a row after getting blown out by a mediocre Arizona team last weekend.

The Ducks have obviously hit a rut on offense after putting up only 15 points against the Wildcats.

Junior quarterback Justin Herbert’s numbers have dipped. His completion percentage never reached 60 percent in the team’s three October games.

Also in that span, the Ducks haven’t had a play longer than 30 yards despite explosiveness being their strength earlier in the season.

Now, their stud under center, Herbert, has been placed in concussion protocol. His status for Saturday’s game against UCLA is unclear and it’s symbolic of the rest of the season for the Ducks.

Ethan Schmidt

6. Arizona State Sun Devils (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) LW: 8

The Sun Devils relied heavily on do-it-all N’Keal Harry who ran back a punt from his own 8-yard line for 92 yards and a touchdown, reeled in the catch of the year in the Pac-12 with one hand, and also contributed 95 receiving yards and a touchdown in a victory over USC.

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The win combined with a great amount of chaos in the conference has opened up an opportunity at winning the South for the Sun Devils as they will play Pac-12 South frontrunner Utah.

The Utes enter on a four-game winning streak in which they have averaged over 40 points per game during the span.

Cody Whitehouse

7. USC Trojans (4-4, 3-3 Pac-12) LW: 6

Last Saturday marked the first home loss in the Clay Helton era.

A slow start resulted in the Trojans falling behind by 17 points before third-string quarterback Jack Sears led USC to three straight touchdowns to take a four-point lead over the Sun Devils.

A N’Keal Harry punt return for a touchdown gave the Devils the lead and momentum back as ASU escaped the Coliseum with the 38-35 upset victory.

The countless injuries to this USC team have greatly hurt the Trojans chances at a bowl game appearance. But a weak Pac-12 South may help Helton’s team salvage a lost 2018 season.

– Riley

8. California Golden Bears (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) LW: 10

California contributed to the tumultuous Week 9 for the Pac-12. The Golden Bears upset Washington at home for their fifth win of the season.

While Cal is now one win away from bowl eligibility, it is far from clinched. Washington State, USC, Stanford and Colorado are the Golden Bears’ last four opponents, and they likely won’t be favored in any of those games.

It’s very possible that the matchup against Colorado could be a battle of two 5-6 teams fighting for bowl eligibility.

Carson Field

9. Colorado Buffaloes (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) LW: 7

In Week 9, Colorado pulled off every Pac-12 team’s worst nightmare: losing to Oregon State. Not only did the Buffaloes allow OSU to win its first conference game of the year, but they also collapsed after leading by 28.

Luckily for Colorado, the Buffaloes get another shot at a so-so opponent this week in Arizona. Though Arizona defeated Oregon a week ago, the Wildcats have been inconsistent on both sides of the ball throughout the season.

A loss to the Wildcats would significantly heat up Mike MacIntyre’s seat.

– Field

10. Arizona Wildcats (4-5, 3-3 Pac-12) LW: 11

The Wildcats pulled off arguably the biggest shocker of the season routing then-No. 19 Oregon 44-15.

Running back J.J. Taylor ran wild for Arizona rushing for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Khalil Tate had one of his best games of the season throwing for 189 yards and three touchdowns.

Arizona outgained Oregon 465-270, which is a shocking disparity considering how lethal Oregon’s offense can be.

What really hurt Oregon was their third down conversion rate as they were 3-for-16 while also turning the ball over three times.

Arizona will look to keep the positive energy rolling this week against Colorado, who’s coming off a shocking defeat of their own against Oregon State last week.

– Ficarro

11. Oregon State Beavers (2-6, 1-4 Pac-12) LW: 12

The Beavers overcame a 31-3 deficit at halftime against Colorado in route to the team’s first Pac-12 on the season.

Optimism may be short-lived in Corvallis as the Beavers face USC, Stanford, Washington, and Oregon to finish out a season in which OSU has shown little signs of competing.

– Whitehouse

12. UCLA Bruins (2-6, 2-3 Pac-12) LW: 9

Back to reality in Westwood.

Wins over Cal and Arizona in consecutive weeks had UCLA gaining momentum under Chip Kelly before a 41-10 loss to Utah.

The Bruins allowed Utes running back Zack Moss to have a career night on the ground, rushing for 211 yards and three touchdowns while averaging over eight yards per carry.

Offensively, UCLA struggled to move the ball and finished the game with under 300 total yards and three turnovers, including two interceptions by quarterback Wilton Speight.

Next. ASU Football: Sun Devils expecting physical game against No. 15 Utah. dark

At 2-6, Kelly will need to win out if he hopes to take the Bruins to a bowl game in his first season. Their first obstacle is a road test at Oregon.

Zach Pekale