College Football Pac-10 Power Rankings: Washington, USC Rising while UCLA Falls
The Pac-10 continues to shuffle week in and week out.
There were times that I thought UCLA would start their upward climb toward the top of the conference and wondered if USC would be any better than mediocre.
As for the top of the conference, the Oregon Ducks still remain the lone unbeaten team in the conference. Thanks to a bye week, they missed out on the top spot in the recently-released BCS poll.
They might have a small chip on their shoulder looking up at Oklahoma.
As for the rest of the conference, there were some that started to climb the ladder before being knocked down a rung, and a few more who hung on strong.
The backside of the Pac-10 schedule should be the most exciting of the entire season, though you could say that for most conferences in college football.
Here are the Pac-10 power rankings as we head toward Week 8 of the college football season.
No. 10: Washington State Cougars
Last week: No. 10
I don't see Washington State getting out of the cellar anytime soon unless they can find a good spot to pick up a win.
They'll need to get more than just one though, to leave the last spot in the rankings.
Their gauntlet isn't done, as they still have Stanford and Arizona State on the road after having already played Oregon and Arizona in back-to-back weeks.
Next game: Oct. 23rd at (No. 12) Stanford
No. 9: UCLA Bruins
Last week: No. 7
The UCLA Bruins drop two spots even after a bye week.
But I'm less and less convinced that this Bruins team is the same team that embarrassed Texas on the road.
That win is looking pretty good though, after the Longhorns knocked off Nebraska this past Saturday.
Next game: Oct. 21st at (No. 1) Oregon
No. 8: Arizona State Sun Devils
Last week: No. 8
Arizona State stays right where they were last week.
They're coming off a bye week after a 24-14 win at home over the Washington Huskies.
The win over the Huskies was the Sun Devils' only win in their last four games, and it doesn't get much easier from here.
Next game: Oct. 23rd at Cal
No. 7: Washington Huskies
Last week: No. 9
The Washington Huskies picked up a much-needed win over Oregon State this past Saturday, 35-34, and look to be on their way up.
However, if you look at how their games have gone, they've lost each of the next games after a win. That may not change on the road against No. 15-ranked Arizona.
Next game: Oct. 23rd at (No. 15) Arizona
No. 6: Cal Bears
Last week: No. 5
The Cal Bears have lost three of their last four, with their only win coming on a 35-7 win over UCLA two weeks ago
The Bears were supposed to be one of the better teams in the conference, but have looked like anything but that. Their only three wins on the season have come against UC Davis, Colorado, and the aforementioned Bruins.
Next game: Oct. 23rd vs Arizona State
No. 5: Oregon State Beavers
Last week: No. 4
After a win on the road over Arizona two weeks ago, most of us figured that Oregon State would have an easy time with Washington, regardless that this game was also on the road.
That turned out to not be exactly true as the Beavers dropped a 35-34 decision to the Huskies in Seattle, giving up almost 500 yards of total offense (475).
Next game: Oct. 30th vs Cal
No. 4: USC Trojans
Last week: No. 6
The USC Trojans seem to be figuring things out, or maybe they're just showing a side of themselves that we haven't seen all season.
Whatever the case may be, the Trojans looked vastly different in their 48-14 throttling of the Cal Bears this past Saturday. However, their real tests are still to come.
Next game: Oct. 30th vs. (No. 1) Oregon
No. 3: Arizona Wildcats
Last week: No. 3
The Arizona Wildcats picked up a 24-7 win over Washington State this past Saturday.
But it cost them their starting quarterback, Nick Foles, who will be out 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee.
Head coach Mike Stoops did not want to talk about the injury during the weekly teleconference, but did confirm that Foles would miss 2-3 weeks and said he had been sent home to Austin, Texas, to be re-evaluated and go through therapy.
With Foles out, they'll turn to Matt Scott to lead the team for the next couple of weeks.
Next game: Oct. 23rd vs Washington
No. 2: Stanford Cardinal
Last week: No. 2
Stanford is coming off a bye week after going 1-1 in the first two weeks of October.
They dropped a 52-31 decision on the road at Oregon, but came back and knocked off USC 37-35 at home the following week.
Stanford had a chance to rest up last weekend before going into a crucial stretch of its schedule.
Next game: Oct. 23rd vs Washington State
No. 1: Oregon Ducks
Last week: No. 1
The Oregon Ducks thought for sure they would be the No. 1 team going into the first BCS poll release of the season.
Unfortunately, they were looking up at the Oklahoma Sooners, much to a lot of people's surprise (except Oklahoma fans).
They will most certainly use that as motivation, a chip on their shoulder if you will, to run through the rest of their schedule unbeaten. But it won't come easy.
Next game: Oct. 21st vs UCLA