Week 8 Top 25: Welcome UCLA to the Top 10 at No. 9

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Week 8 Top 25: Welcome UCLA to the Top 10 at No. 9
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The Pac-12 Conference lost one Top 10-ranked team from the Associated Press Top 25 Poll but gained another. 

Stanford's loss at Utah dropped the Cardinal from No. 5 to No. 13 in the Week 8 rankings. However, UCLA cruised past Cal to remain perfect and maintain the conference's two-team presence in the Top 10. 

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The Bruins landed at No. 9, their highest ranking since reaching No. 7 in the Week 10 poll of 2005. 

Oregon is still the conference's pace-setter at No. 2. The Ducks are 6-0 after an impressive win at Washington, which stayed in the rankings at No. 20. 

Despite the three-touchdown margin of victory, Oregon made up no ground on top-ranked Alabama. The Ducks garnered five first-place votes to the Crimson Tide's 55. 

Three more Pac-12 teams—Utah, Oregon State and Arizona State—received votes but did not make the poll. 

Teams are listed with AP ranking first and USA Today Coaches Poll rank second. My vote in the B/R Top 25 is italicized. 

 

2/2. Oregon (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) 
Week 7: Won at Washington, 45-24 | Week 8: vs. Washington State 

The Ducks rose up to the challenge No. 16 Washington provided Saturday. Playing in one of the conference's most hostile venues against a quality opponent, Oregon scored the most points Washington has allowed on the season while also holding the Huskies to a season low. 

The win was impressive enough to beg the question, is this the nation's best team? 

My Ranking: 1 

 

9/10. UCLA Bruins (5-0, 2-0) 
Week 7: Won vs. Cal, 37-10 | Week 8 @ No. 13 Stanford

UCLA is the Pac-12's only other remaining unbeaten team after it steamrolled Cal. A critical two-game road swing takes the Bruins to Stanford and Oregon in consecutive weeks.

Jim Mora's team will have its championship credentials tested in that stretch. 

My Ranking: 7 

 

13/13. Stanford Cardinal (5-1, 3-1) 
Week 7: Lost at Utah, 27-21 | Week 8 vs. No. 9 UCLA 

Stanford proved it can still win a conference championship despite a road loss last year, when it rebounded from an early defeat at Washington to run the remainder of the league table. 

The Cardinal are left playing catch-up in the BCS race after falling at Utah, though. 

My Ranking: 13

 

20/25. Washington Huskies (4-2, 1-2) 
Week 7: Lost vs. No. 2 Oregon, 45-24 | Week 8 @ Arizona State

One week after going toe-to-toe with Stanford, Washington brought the fight to Oregon for three quarters. The Huskies wore down in the final period, though, and the Ducks pulled away. 

Losses to Oregon and Stanford proved the Huskies are not quite in the conference's top tier, but a win next week at Arizona State is a must to keep Washington atop the conversation of the next group. 

My Ranking: 21

 

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