ASU football‘s stunning comeback win over Arizona highlighted rivalry week with Washington defeating Washington State to win the Pac-12 North.
The Apple Cup and Territorial delivered drama to what has turned out to be a lackluster Pac-12 season.
In the middle of a blizzard in Pullman, Washington once again defeated Washington State crushing their dreams of winning the Pac-12 North and their College Football Playoff hopes.
The Huskies now will meet Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game Friday night. Utah is coming off a victory over BYU after a second half surge.
But the best game of the weekend occurred in Tucson with the Territorial Cup with Arizona State erasing a 19-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Arizona 41-40.
It was a crushing home loss for the Wildcats who controlled the game for three quarters. The Wildcats finished 5-7 and face major questions heading into the offseason after missing a bowl game.
With the Pac-12 Championship Game set to take Friday and Stanford-Cal to play their rescheduled game Saturday, here is our Week 13 Power Rankings.
1. Washington Huskies (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12) Last Week: 2
On what was a snowy and less than ideal night for football, the Washington Huskies prevailed in the Apple Cup 28-15.
The Huskies leaned on running back Myles Gaskin for the majority of the night due to the elements as he ran the ball 27 times for 170 yards and three scores.
Washington will look to salvage what has been a disappointing three-loss season as they will face off against the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Championship.
2. Washington State Cougars (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) LW: 1
In a game that was blistering cold and a snowy mess, Washington State lost to Washington in the Apple Cup, eliminating the Cougars from the College Football Playoff race.
But that shouldn’t take away from the Cougars’ incredible season. Gardner Minshew could be a Heisman finalist, Mike Leach is a candidate for National Head Coach of the Year and Washington State will likely play in a New Year’s Six bowl.
At 10-2 overall and No. 13 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, Washington State is projected by some experts to appear in the Fiesta Bowl, while others have the Cougars in the Peach Bowl.
3. Utah Utes (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) LW: 3
The Utes were most likely caught looking ahead to their first appearance in the Pac-12 Championship Game in what was a 20-point comeback against in-state rival BYU.
Utah used both the arm and legs of backup Jason Shelley in the comeback victory as the freshman quarterback finished passing for 141 yards and running for 61 yards with a combined two touchdowns.
After a 21-7 loss earlier this season to Washington, the Utes will look to avenge their early season loss as they eye a birth in the Rose Bowl.
4. Oregon Ducks (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12) LW: 5
The Oregon Ducks finished their regular season off nicely with a beatdown of Oregon State in the Civil War. Redshirt freshman CJ Verdell balled out for 187 yards on the ground and five total scores in the 55-15 victory. The Ducks racked up 392 total rushing yards.
However, star quarterback Justin Herbert was carted off the field. He appeared to hurt his shoulder after taking a sack in the first half.
The injury was reported not serious according to 247sports. The junior could possibly declare for the 2019 NFL Draft as he is one of the best prospects at his position.
They will now await to see if a quality bowl game is in store sporting an 8-4 record.
5. Arizona State Sun Devils (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) LW: 6
Unlike their neighbors to the South, this week was a pretty spectacular one for the Sun Devils.
A 19-point comeback victory in the fourth quarter against Arizona in Tucson for the Territorial Cup capped off one of the greatest wins for ASU in their storied rivalry with the Wildcats.
Even with N’Keal Harry leaving for the NFL after this season, ASU still has a bowl game to play. Likely either the Sun Bowl or the Las Vegas Bowl against former ASU quarterback Bryce Perkins and Virginia or Utah State.
6. Stanford Cardinal (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) LW: 4
There might not be a more disappointing player in the Pac-12 this year than Bryce Love. The senior running finished second in voting for the 2017 Heisman Trophy and passed on the NFL after running for more than 2,100 yards and 19 touchdowns.
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The offensive discrepancy between the two season has forced quarterback KJ Costello to mature faster than coach David Shaw likely anticipated.
However, Costello has taken tremendous strides as a junior. He’s thrown for nearly 3,200 yards and 28 touchdowns in 11 games and will have a chance to make one final statement in the Big Game against Cal on Saturday. The Cardinal have dominated the rivalry, last losing in 2009.
7. California Golden Bears (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) LW: 7
The California Golden Bears proved to be the breakthrough team of the Pac-12 this season. They have reached their first winning season since 2015 with a 7-4 record currently.
In just his second year as head coach, Justin Wilcox has Cal trending upward. Despite some tough losses, the Golden Bears knocked off Washington earlier in the season and beat USC for the first time in 14 years.
Now, Cal has a chance to end its season on a huge high note. After being previously postponed, Stanford will make its trip into Berkeley.
The Golden Bears look to shut down the Cardinal with a defense that is ranked 16th in the nation. That side of the ball came up with two scores last weekend against in Cal’s 33-21 win over Colorado.
8. Arizona Wildcats (5-7, 4-5 Pac-12) LW: 8
It was a pretty tough week for Kevin Sumlin and the Wildcats.
On Saturday, Arizona blew a 19-point fourth quarter lead to arch-rival Arizona State in the 92nd annual Territorial Cup. The loss placed the Wildcats outside of a bowl game for the second time in the last three seasons.
To add insult to injury, quarterback Khalil Tate is pondering a transfer from the program.
With Shawn Poindexter having played his last game with the Wildcats, the quality of Arizona’s team is in jeopardy of dipping well below acceptable standards in 2019.
9. USC Trojans (5-7, 4-5 Pac-12) LW: 10
Another game, another stinging home loss for USC and coach Clay Helton.
Needing a win to save bowl eligibility, the Trojans initially answered the bell against rival Notre Dame. An efficient start from quarterback J.T. Daniels gave USC a 10-0 lead, the first time the Fighting Irish trailed by double digits this season.
Then, the demons of disappointment crept in. As the Irish scored 17 unanswered points en route to a 24-17 victory, fans left the Coliseum assured Helton would be relieved of his duties.
Only, he wasn’t.
Fan reactions to retaining Helton have been anything but pleasant. The Trojans haven’t had a losing season since 2000, and nothing less is expected than Rose Bowl and New Year’s Six appearances.
It’s safe to say he’ll be on a short leash for next year.
10. UCLA Bruins (3-9, 3-6 Pac-12) LW: 9
For the third time in four games, UCLA was close, but didn’t have enough to finish the job.
Saturday’s 49-42 loss to Stanford was the Bruins’ ninth of the season and and their first to an in-state rival. While UCLA’s first season under coach Chip Kelly has been an uphill battle, their final contest was no different.
Trailing by 11 points in the closing minutes of the second quarter, the Bruins showed resilience. Two touchdowns runs from Joshua Kelley and Martell Irby tied the game at 27, and after forcing a safety, the Bruins scored twice to take a one-point lead in the fourth quarter.
However, their youth showed. The Cardinal responded with a 52-yard score just one minute and eight seconds later, shunning momentum and sending the Bruins back to the defensive.
While UCLA improved in Kelly’s first season, there are steps to be made in building a successful program. Only 2019 will tell how much they’ve progressed.
11. Colorado Buffaloes (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12) LW: 11
The downhill plunge that was the second half of Colorado’s season reached its peak Saturday — the Buffaloes became bowl ineligible. Colorado fell 33-21 on the road to Cal, clinching a losing record for the Buffaloes.
After a 5-0 start to the season, the Buffaloes lost their last seven games, which cost head coach Mike MacIntyre his job. In that losing streak, Colorado was defeated by perennial bottom feeder Oregon State.
Now that Colorado doesn’t have to worry about bowl game preparations, it can focus all of its attention to the head coaching search. Some of the first names to come out as potential candidates have been Derek Mason, Dana Holgorsen and Mark Helfrich.
12. Oregon State Beavers (2-10, 1-8 Pac-12) LW: 12
Well, at least the Beavers won a conference game and a road game in the same season, right?
Head coach Jonathan Smith’s first season at Oregon State concluded with a four-game skid, including a 55-15 drubbing at the hands of rival Oregon in the annual Civil War matchup. Ducks’ running back CJ Verdell amassed 187 yards and four touchdowns on the ground while adding another through the air.
Verdell’s backfield teammate Troy Dye added another 199 yards and two additional scores to give UO a total of 392 rushing yards.
If there’s a positive to take away from another disastrous season in Corvallis, it’s the potential of running back Jermar Jefferson. The freshman will be the face of the Beavers’ program over the next two seasons.
While he will have room to grow if he hopes to play in the NFL, his 1380 yards and 12 touchdowns are a fine baseline to build off of.