Pac-10 Power Rankings Week 9: UCLA Continues Free Fall, Arizona On The Rise

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IOctober 26, 2010

Pac-10 Power Rankings Week 9: UCLA Continues Free Fall, Arizona On The Rise

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Wide receivers David Roberts #81 and Juron Criner #82 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrate after Criner scored a 21 yard touchdown reception against the Washington Huskies during the fourth quarter of the college football game at Ar
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The top of the Pac-10 has never been a closer battle between three teams than it is right now.

    Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona all sit at the top of the conference, with Oregon being the team that has sat on top of the mountain for the entire season thus far.

    They've knocked off Stanford, but have yet to take on a hot Arizona team. Can the Wildcats do what no one else has been able to do, or will their defense be no match for LaMichael James and Darron Thomas?

    What about the rest of the conference? Where do they stand at this point in the season?

    Is it weaker than it has been in recent weeks, or do the likes of USC, Oregon State, Arizona State and Washington make the top three teams quiver a little bit?

    Let's dive in to this week's Pac-10 power rankings, find out where each team stands, and if there might be a changing of the guard after this weekend.

No. 10: Washington State Cougars

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    PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 23:  Jeff Tuel #10 of the Washington State Cougars passes the ball against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 10

    I almost put the Cougars at the ninth spot in the rankings.

    But when you lose six straight games and currently sit at 1-7 on the year, it's hard for me to take you out of the cellar.

    I will give them credit for losing by just 10 to the Stanford Cardinal on the road, though.

    Next game: Oct. 30th at Arizona State

No. 9: UCLA Bruins

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 21:  Richard Brehaut #12 of the UCLA Bruins  is sacked by Brandon Hanna #44 of the Oregon Ducks on October 21, 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 9

    Three weeks ago, it looked like UCLA was about to make their way up the Pac-10 rankings and possibly be able to ruin someone's weekend.

    But, here we are two weeks later, and the Bruins look about as bad as Washington State. At least the Cougars put up 28 points against Stanford to UCLA's 13 against Oregon.

    Next game: Oct. 30th vs (15) Arizona

No. 8: Arizona State Sun Devils

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    MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 18: Deantre Lewis #25  of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20-19. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 8

    The Arizona Sun Devils were supposed to be one of the up-and-coming teams when the 2010 season began.

    But after a 50-17 loss at Cal, it marked their fourth loss in the last five games.

    However, a trip to Washington State could change that trend. Seems everyone uses the Cougars as the conference punching bag.

    Next game: Oct. 30th vs Washington State

No. 7: Washington Huskies

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies scrambles to pass during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 7

    The Washington Huskies found out just how good the Arizona Wildcats are, as they got rolled 44-14 on the road.

    I honestly thought the Huskies would be far better than they are, but that should be a testimony of just how good this conference is this season. Next to maybe Washington State and UCLA, there are really no "gimmie" games.

    Next game: Oct. 30th vs (13) Stanford

No. 6: Oregon State Beavers

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 09:  Quarterback Ryan Katz #12 of the Oregon State Beavers drops back to pass during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona.  The Beavers defeated the Wildcats 2
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 5

    Oregon State is coming off a bye week after dropping a one-point, 35-34, loss at Washington two weeks ago.

    This was the same team that went to Arizona and knocked off the then ninth-ranked Wildcats. I'm not sure which team is real and which team is going to lay down.

    Next game: Oct. 30th vs Cal

No. 5: Cal Bears

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    BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Kevin Riley #13 of the California Golden Bears passes against the UCLA Bruins at California Memorial Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 6

    After a 48-14 drubbing at the hands of USC, the Cal Bears came right back and took it out against Arizona State to the tune of a 50-17 blowout.

    They'll start the first of a back-to-back road weekends, the first of which will come against an up-and-down Oregon State team.

    Next game: Oct. 30th at Oregon State

No. 4: USC Trojans

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Marc Tyler #26 of the USC Trojans warms up before the game against the California Golden Bears at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 4

    USC didn't need to drop two of their last three games, especially not leading up to a crucial game for not only them, but the team they face.

    After losses to both Washington and Stanford, by a combined three points, the Trojans got a big win over Cal and will get ready for arguably their biggest game of the season.

    Next game: Oct. 30th vs (2) Oregon

No. 3: Arizona Wildcats

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Injured quarterback Nick Foles #8 of the Arizona Wildcats congratulates Keola Antolin #2 after Antolin scored a 78 yard rushing touchdown against the Washington Huskies during the second quarter of the college football game at Ar
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 3

    The Arizona Wildcats are heating up at the right time leading up to the toughest part of their schedule.

    Having to do so without starting quarterback Nick Foles could make things tricky, although they have a more than capable backup in Matt Scott.

    With two wins over both Washington schools, they'll get ready to face the likes of USC, Oregon and Stanford in the coming weeks. Time to see what this team is made of.

    Next game: Oct. 30th at UCLA

No. 2: Stanford Cardinal

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    PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 23:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh congratulates Andrew Luck #12 and Stepfan Taylor #33 of the Stanford Cardinal after the Cardinal scored a touchdown against the Washington State Cougars at Stanford Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Palo A
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 2

    Unlike Arizona, Stanford doesn't have quite the road that they do to get to the top of the conference mountain.

    After a disappointing loss in Eugune the first weekend of October, Stanford has come right back with wins over USC and Washington State, but will have a road game this weekend that they can't look past. With the kind of performances they've gotten from quarterback Andrew Luck and running back Stepfan Taylor, I don't see them having that problem.

    Next game: Oct. 30th at Washington

No. 1: Oregon Ducks

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 21:  LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks runs the ball against the UCLA Bruins on October 21, 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Last week: No. 1

    The Oregon Ducks, for the third straight week, will stare up at another No. 1 team and wonder why it's not them.

    First, it was Ohio State, then it was Oklahoma, now it's Auburn. The two before the Tigers fell less than a week after being installed as the No. 1 team.

    How long will it take before the Ducks will take their rightful place at the top of the college football mountain?

    They'll have to prove themselves in arguably their biggest game of the year, next to Stanford, when they face USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum this weekend.

    Next game: Oct. 30th at USC