ASU football‘s upset win over No. 15 Utah was the biggest upset in the Pac-12 last weekend while Washington State held off Cal to stay in the driver’s seat.
It was a pretty uneventful week in the Pac-12 after Week Nine featured upsets everywhere.
The biggest upset last week was Arizona State’s 18-point home win over the 15th-ranked Utah Utes.
Utah entered the game as one of the hottest teams in the nation having won four in a row averaging over 40 points a game.
On Saturday, the Sun Devils held Utah to just 20 points, including three in the second half, as Arizona State recorded three interceptions against both Utah quarterbacks.
The Sun Devils now control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South as they just need to win out to earn a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Elsewhere in the Conference of Champions, No. 8 Washington State fended off Cal 19-13 thanks to a touchdown with 32 seconds remaining and Washington defeated Stanford 27-23 to rejoin the College Football Playoff rankings this week.
Here are our Week 10 Pac-12 Power Rankings.
1. Washington State Cougars (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12) Last Week: 1
It might just be time to buy in to Washington State.
A year after the Golden Bears derailed the Cougars’ 6-0 start in Berkeley, the two teams met again in Pullman. Only this time, Minshew’s late game heroics were the difference. The redshirt senior connected with wide receiver Easop Winston Jr. on a 10-yard strike with 32 seconds remaining to come away with a 19-13 win.
Sitting atop the conference standings, coach Mike Leach’s team represent the best chance the Pac-12 has to get a team into the College Football Playoff. Though it is unlikely, dominating performances and winning the Pac-12 title would present a strong argument.
To reach Santa Clara, the No. 8 Cougars’ journey begins at Colorado for their final road game of the regular season.
2. Washington Huskies (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12) LW: 3
The benching of starting quarterback Jake Browning during last week’s loss at Cal created a narrative of failure for the Huskies season that seemed to be unraveling in all of the wrong ways.
This weekend, Washington got their offense back (after scoring only 10 points against the Golden Bears) on track and picked up a big 27-23 home win over Stanford.
148 yards on the ground from Myles Gaskin and 194 yards in the air from Browning carried the Huskies attack that was aided by a defense that forced Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello to throw three picks.
Now back in the top 25, Washington’s chances of a Pac-12 conference title are slim and their shot at making the playoff nonexistent.
But, a win at Pullman to finish the year could salvage something from an otherwise lost 2018 season for the Huskies.
3. Oregon Ducks (6-3, 3-3 Pac-12) LW: 5
After back-to-back losses against Washington State and Arizona, Oregon rebounded in Week 10 with a win over UCLA. Oregon cruised to victory, winning 42-21.
The UCLA win clinched bowl eligibility and to close out the season, the Ducks face Utah, ASU and Oregon State.
While the Apple Cup will most likely decide the winner of the Pac-12 North, these next few games have major implications on the Ducks’ bowl pairing. Something to watch out for is if Oregon will rest quarterback Justin Herbert in preparation for the NFL Draft.
4. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-4, 3-3 Pac-12) LW: 6
Is it time to get back on the train?
Three weeks ago, the Sun Devils’ season looked dead. ASU had lost its fourth game by seven points against Stanford, and with a 1-3 Pac-12 record, it looked like a bowl game was the brightest glimpse of hope remaining.
Now, it’s a lot more than that.
A 38-20 over victory over Utah has the Sun Devils, improbably, in control of their destiny to win the Pac-12 South. The victory was an outpour of things waiting to be seen, including defensive turnovers, a balanced offense and utter dominance from N’Keal Harry.
With three games remaining, ASU can still reach great heights. They just might be clicking at the right time.
5. Utah Utes (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12) LW: 2
After four straight victories, the Utes were in the driver’s seat of the Pac-12 South. Beat Arizona State, and you’re the likely champions of the division.
But the Utes lost, and now must turn to their backup quarterback, redshirt freshman Jason Shelley, for the remainder of the season.
With six victories, Utah have already punched their ticket to a bowl game. Getting to host an Oregon team with only two wins away from Eugene will benefit the Utes immensely.
With struggling squads in Colorado and BYU to finish out the season, Utah are still in a position where they can win the Pac-12 South.
6. Stanford Cardinal (5-4, 3-3 Pac-12) LW: 4
David Shaw’s team has had a very up-and-down season thus far.
After starting the season 4-0, Stanford has lost its last four out of five games. The team’s last two losses have come by a combined seven points.
The Cardinal (5-4) traveled to Seattle and had a chance to knock off Washington with a late rally, but came up just short.
Star senior running back Bryce Love has been inconsistent all year. Maybe it’s due to the fact that the Cardinal has lost its way of being dominant in the trenches this season.
The offense has transitioned into a passing unit and the numbers are there.
Now, Stanford gets to host a subpar Oregon State team to help work out any late-season kinks before bowl season approaches.
7. Arizona Wildcats (5-5, 4-3 Pac-12) LW: 10
In Friday’s win over Colorado, the junior had arguably his best game of the season, throwing for five touchdowns and 350 yards to help the Wildcats move into a tie at the top of the Pac-12 South.
Along with the production of J.J. Taylor, who has rushed over 150 yards in each of the past three weeks, the Wildcats have finally shown their predicted prolific offense.
With only two games remaining, they’ll have to be perfect to have a chance to win the South. The challenges are no pushovers, as they’ll have to go on the road to face Washington State before hosting Arizona State, who controls their destiny in the division.
The season once looked bleak, but Kevin Sumlin can still get his team to Santa Clara. Who would’ve thought it?
8. USC Trojans (5-4, 4-3 Pac-12) LW: 7
A week after having to rely on the team’s third-string quarterback in a 38-35 loss to Arizona State, the Trojans got back on track behind running back Aca’Cedric Ware’s three touchdown performance on the ground.
Ware rushed for the hat trick and rushed for just over 200 yards in the return of highly touted freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels. Daniels had little work to do in his return as he completed 14 of his 26 attempts for 177 yards and a touchdown against a weak run defense.
The victory moves the Trojans to 5-4 on the year and gives them a slim chance at winning the Pac-12 South in part by a flurry of chaos in the conference happening in recent weeks.
Head coach Clay Helton will most likely be coaching for his job the remainder of the season USC has remaining matchups against Cal, UCLA, and No. 4 Notre Dame as the Trojans look to become bowl eligible.
9. California Golden Bears (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) LW: 8
Marching downfield in the fourth quarter against No. 8 Washington State, it appeared California would upset the Cougars a second year in a row en route to a three-game winning streak as well as securing bowl eligibility.
Instead, quarterback Brandon McIlwain threw a costly interception in the red zone. A critical mistake made by the sophomore was the last play the Golden Bears ran in WSU territory.
Though coach Justin Wilcox’s team is young and lacks experience, its managed to compete. A win in one of its final three games would secure a berth into a bowl game, a step in the right direction for a program that has not played postseason football since 2015.
10. Colorado Buffaloes (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) LW: 9
Colorado has now lost two in a row and by the week, the Buffaloes’ bowl chances become even murkier. Left on the schedule are games against Washington State, Utah and Cal.
It’s very possible that the end-of-season matchup between Colorado and California could feature two 5-6 squads. If Colorado misses out on a bowl game, Mike MacIntyre could be out.
11. UCLA Bruins (2-7, 2-4 Pac-12) LW: 12
The season has not been what UCLA fans had hoped. There were seemingly high expectations for first-year coach Chip Kelly and his group, but the Bruins have struggled to compete this year.
They went into Eugene and got blasted by three scores against the Oregon Ducks.
However, one positive takeaway was the offense established a running game. Junior running back Joshua Kelley carried the ball 26 times for 161 yards and a score.
The Bruins now have to travel to Arizona State and face a red-hot Sun Devil team who has won two in a row and is still fighting for a potential Pac-12 South title.
12. Oregon State Beavers (2-7, 1-5 Pac-12) LW: 11
After a miraculous 28-point comeback victory against Colorado, the Beavers returned to reality against USC as the weak run defense was once again the team’s Achilles heel in a 38-21 defeat.
The Trojans ran for 332 yards and four touchdowns led behind Aca’Cedric Ware who had over half of the yards at 205 and three of the four rushing touchdowns.
OSU’s schedule will only continue to get more difficult as they face three tough rushing attacks and overall tough squads in Stanford, Washington, and Oregon to finish out the season.