It’s rivalry week in the Pac-12 including ASU football heading south to face Arizona with the Apple Cup representing the Pac-12 North Championship game.
It’s come down to rivalry week to decide who will represent the North division in next week’s Pac-12 Championship Game.
Utah secured its first division title since joining the Pac-12 after Arizona State’s two-point loss at Oregon last week.
Washington State will look to add a top-20 win to their resume as they make their claim to be in the College Football Playoff.
Elsewhere, the Territorial Cup takes place Saturday afternoon in Tucson as Arizona looks to become bowl eligible with a home win against their in-state rival.
The Sun Devils will look to play spoiler.
Utah plays BYU, Oregon meets Oregon State in the Civil War and USC and Colorado will look to earn bowl eligibility against Notre Dame and UCLA respectively.
Without further ado, here are out latest Pac-12 Power Rankings.
1. Washington State Cougars (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12) Last Week: 1
Domination might not be a strong enough word to describe the events that took place at Martin Stadium on Saturday.
Senior quarterback Gardner Minshew continued to make a case for an invite to New York City, throwing for 473 yards and seven touchdowns in a 69-28 thumping over Arizona. Despite the one-sided result, Washington State remained at No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Though it is unlikely the Pac-12 has a representative among the nation’s top four teams come December, the Cougars stand as the best chance to do so should they win out and receive some help from other major conferences.
Currently, the likelihood of WSU reaching a New Year’s Six bowl seems more probable. But for that to become a reality, Minshew and company will have to snap the program’s five-year losing streak to Washington in the annual Apple Cup.
2. Washington Huskies (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12) LW: 2
On Senior Day, Washington cruised to a 42-23 win over Oregon State keeping their Pac-12 North hopes alive.
Quarterback Jake Browning, in his final home as a Husky, threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns as Washington built a 28-3 lead after one quarter against the Beavers.
Running back Myles Gaskin rushed for 135 yards and one touchdown as Washington totaled 503 yards of total offense.
As has been the case for the majority of their games, running back Jermar Jefferson has been a lone bright spot for Oregon State as he rushed 115 yards on 19 carries in a losing effort.
Washington now heads to Pullman to face eighth-ranked Washington State with everything to play for as the division is up for grabs. The Huskies hope to spoil the Cougars’ Playoff chances.
3. Utah Utes (8-3, 6-3 Pac-12) LW: 4
For the first time in program history, the Utah Utes are Pac-12 South champions and what a process it’s been to reach this point.
Following a 38-20 road loss at Arizona State on Nov. 3 that included a season-ending injury to quarterback Tyler Huntley, it appeared as though a seven-year drought without a division title would continue for coach Kyle Whittingham’s team.
But the duo of backup quarterback Jason Shelley and running back Armand Shyne, in for the injured Zack Moss, kept Utah in contention the previous two weeks in wins over Oregon and on the road at Colorado.
Following a 30-7 drubbing of the Buffaloes, Utah concluded its Pac-12 schedule first among conference teams, putting pressure on ASU to hold its ground or concede the division. The Sun Devils fell to Oregon 31-29.
Before heading to Santa Clara the Utes finish the regular season with the Holy War, a rivalry game against BYU.
4. Stanford Cardinal (6-4, 4-3 Pac-12) LW: 5
After poor air quality postponed last week’s game against Cal, the Cardinal return to the field this Saturday for another in-state matchup with UCLA.
The matchup with the Bruins is one Stanford has dominated in recent history. The Cardinal have won 10 straight against the blue and gold dating back to 2008, and in the last three seasons, they’ve won the game by an average of 18 points.
With Love hobbled, David Shaw’s squad will have to find a way to match the output of Joshua Kelley. The junior rushed for 289 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over USC, and he’s rushed over 120 yards in five of the last six games.
Following their stop at the Rose Bowl, the Cardinal will travel six hours north to the California Memorial Stadium to make up their rivalry matchup with the Golden Bears on Dec. 1.
5. Oregon Ducks (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) LW: 7
Oregon entered last week’s game against Arizona State knowing they were playing spoilers as the Sun Devils needed to win out to claim the South division.
The Ducks held on for a 31-29 win over Arizona State as the Sun Devils failed a two-point conversion with 4:35 remaining.
Oregon did just about everything it can do to gift the game to the Sun Devils as they surrendered a 28-13 halftime lead.
But an offsides penalty against ASU on a 3rd-and-2 sealed the win for the Ducks as Arizona State couldn’t stop the clock.
In what possibly was quarterback Justin Herbert‘s final home game as a Duck, he threw for 262 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as Oregon outgained ASU 449-324.
The Ducks head to Corvallis for another edition of the Civil War against Oregon State as Oregon looks to solidify themselves in position for a better bowl game.
6. Arizona State Sun Devils (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) LW: 3
The finish to 2018 for the Sun Devils is relentless.
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After winning their final three games to put themselves into a position of winning the Pac-12 South, ASU lost that chance after falling to Oregon on the road 31-29.
But the Sun Devils can’t let their heads down now as Arizona awaits for the Territorial Cup this weekend in Tucson.
For fifth-year senior Manny Wilkins, this game will mean everything to him. Not only will it be his last Territorial Cup but Wilkins’ team also has a shot at destroying Arizona’s chances at a bowl game. The Wildcats currently sit at just 5-6 on the season.
7. California Golden Bears (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) LW: 8
A win over USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum likely had Justin Wilcox and Co. salivating ahead of their rivalry matchup against Stanford. Unfortunately, poor air quality in the northern California area pushed the matchup back two weeks.
Instead, the Golden Bears will pit their stingy defense against Colorado, a team that hasn’t won since Oct. 6. With Cal holding their previous four opponents to 12.5 points per game, that trend is likely to continue come this weekend.
However, freshman quarterback Chase Garbers will have to be prepared for more. With Stephen Montez and Laviska Shenault Jr. on the opposing end, a shootout may ensue, and Garbers may have to target shots down the field.
If the Bears win, their matchup with Stanford could be crucial in deciding their bowl game. With Cal’s recent defensive successes, they should be ready for the challenge.
8. Arizona Wildcats (5-6, 4-4 Pac-12) LW: 6
The Wildcats will look to salvage what has otherwise been a disappointing first-year under head coach Kevin Sumlin in a matchup for the Territorial Cup.
Not only will the game be a chance to regain the cup, but it will also come with a chance for the Wildcats to become bowl eligible in what has been by most regards a lost season.
After coming into the season with Heisman hopeful Khalil Tate, both Sumlin and Tate struggled to adjust to each other and a more pass-heavy offense.
The result has been a 5-6 team that has been widely inconsistent evident in the team’s beatdown of No. 19 Oregon 44-15 and then again in the team’s 69-28 loss against Washington State last week.
9. UCLA Bruins (3-8, 3-5 Pac-12) LW: 11
Progress is a word that many hoped the Bruins could achieve in year one of Chip Kelly’s reclamation project at UCLA.
After starting the year 0-5, it looked like 2018 the Bruins had a chance at finishing the season winless.
But then the offense finally started to click. Players like running back Joshua Kelley started to step up and UCLA began to show signs of, that’s right, progress during the second half of the season.
Last week’s win over cross-town rivals USC displayed that progress on a grand stage.
The win over the Trojans put the Bruins at 3-3 since their 0-5 start and although there will not be a bowl game in Westwood this year, progress has been made.
10. USC Trojans (5-6, 4-4 Pac-12) LW: 9
Similar to Arizona and Colorado, USC is 5-6 and one loss away from missing out on bowl season. The Trojans are in this position because of their recent loss to UCLA.
A strong effort from JT Daniels was not enough as the Trojans’ defense was unable to contain UCLA running back Joshua Kelley. Kelley ran for 289 yards and two touchdowns in the rivalry win, and that was just a portion of the Bruins’ 479 total yards.
Despite having the best recruits year in and year out, USC underachieved this season, and Clay Helton’s job may be the price.
This week doesn’t get any easier for the Trojans. They host the nation’s No. 3 team, Notre Dame, which has much more to play for than USC.
11. Colorado Buffaloes (5-6, 2-6 Pac-12) LW: 10
With Colorado’s most recent loss, the Buffaloes have hit rock bottom. So much so that head coach Mike MacIntyre was fired following the Buffaloes’ 30-7 loss.
Many thought of Colorado to be the best team in the Pac-12 after the first few games. The Buffaloes were even ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll and 5-0 at one point.
Now 5-6, the Buffaloes are one loss away from becoming bowl ineligible. That won’t be an easy win to secure on Saturday when Colorado heads to Cal, which has one of the Pac-12’s best defense.
12. Oregon State Beavers (2-9, 1-7 Pac-12) LW: 12
The Beavers will walk away from 2018 with little to take away as the team currently sits a record of 2-9 with their lone victories coming against Southern Utah and Colorado.
One lone bright spot in an otherwise dark season has been running back Jermar Jefferson. The freshman projects to have a successful career in Corvallis after running 1,300 yards through 11 games this season.
Jefferson along with first-year head coach Jonathan Smith has proven to be a lethal attack and the pair will look to build off of the freshman’s successful inaugural season.