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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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

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