Week 7 Top 25: Oregon and Stanford Hold Steady in the Top 5
The Pac-12 Conference inched closer to placing three teams in the Top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll this week.
The No. 2 Oregon Ducks and No. 5 Stanford Cardinal held firm after their Week 6 conference wins, and the UCLA Bruins climbed to a new season-high No. 11.
UCLA outlasted Utah on Thursday in a defensive battle. Coincidentally, the Bruins were last ranked this high in 2007 but dropped out of the poll following a 44-6 loss at Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Which unbeaten Pac-12 team is most impressive?
Stanford's 31-28 defeat of then-No. 15 Washington was not enough to bump the Cardinal above either Clemson or Ohio State. Nevertheless, the Pac-12 remains the only league with two teams in the Top 5.
Keeping five conference teams in the poll has proved challenging. Whether it's Oregon State, USC or Arizona State, the Pac-12's five representatives have repeatedly been ousted after short stints in the polls.
Arizona State fell out of the rankings for the second time this season. The Sun Devils still received votes from AP voters following their 37-34 loss to Notre Dame, however.
2/2. Oregon Ducks (5-0 overall, 2-0 Pac-12 Conference)
This Week: Won at Colorado, 57-16 | Week 7: at No. 16 Washington
Oregon is on a historic scoring pace through its first five wins, which has been enough to garner a few first place votes.
The Ducks' schedule has also been rather underwhelming to this point. Nicholls State is the only of Oregon's five opponents with a record currently above .500.
That changes in Week 7 when Oregon visits rival Washington for a Top 20 conference showdown.
My Ranking: 2
5/5. Stanford Cardinal (5-0, 2-0)
This Week: Won vs. No. 15 Washington, 31-28 | Week 7: at Utah
The Cardinal's BCS championship aspirations hung in the balance Saturday, and Stanford did just enough to hold off a stiff challenge from Washington.
Though Stanford scored one of the most impressive Week 6 wins, it cannot climb any higher than No. 5. The Cardinal face another test in Week 7 at Utah. The Utes have dropped two conference games by single digits, leaving them desperate for a Pac-12 win.
My Ranking: 5
11/13. UCLA Bruins (4-0, 1-0)
This Week: Won at Utah, 34-27 | Week 7: vs. Cal
UCLA showed off its defensive prowess Thursday, gaining six takeaways to weather both snow showers and a solid effort from Utah.
Sputtering Cal visits the Rose Bowl in Week 7. Another defensive struggle is highly unlikely; the Golden Bears have given up 30 points or more in each of their five games and at least 44 on four occasions.
My Ranking: 9
16/19. Washington Huskies (4-1, 1-1)
This Week: Lost at No. 5 Stanford, 31-28 | Week 7: vs. Oregon
Voters did not really punish Washington and with good reason. The Huskies played an outstanding game against the defending Pac-12 champion Stanford.
Washington proved itself as a legitimate Pac-12 threat, but its hopes for a Rose Bowl berth hinge on regrouping against another Top 5-ranked opponent, Oregon.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian has never beaten the Ducks.
My Ranking: 18
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