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Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 6: Arizona jumps after upset

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Arizona rises to the top of our power rankings after six weeks of play.

Arizona and Head Coach Rich Rodriguez Got a Huge Win Thursday at Oregon
Arizona and Head Coach Rich Rodriguez Got a Huge Win Thursday at Oregon
Christian Petersen

Pac-12 play continued this week with five league games and one nonconference contest. Washington was the only team with a bye.

Arizona was the team of the week, traveling to Autzen Stadium and holding off Oregon late for a huge upset.

Here are how things stack up throughout the rest of the conference:

1. Arizona (5-0, 2-0)

The only undefeated record in the conference belongs to Arizona, so it has climbed above everyone else in the Pac-12 for the moment. The Wildcats looked stellar in their win at Oregon on Thursday, but whether or not they keep it up over a treacherous next three games remains to be seen.

2. Oregon (4-1, 1-1)

Some major flaws on the offensive side of the ball were revealed against Arizona, but this is still a legitimate contender to make the College Football Playoff. In order to stay alive, Oregon will need improved play from its offensive line this weekend as it travels to UCLA.

3. Utah (4-1, 1-1)

With all the carnage in what is quickly becoming the craziest conference in the nation, there are bound to be teams ahead of ones they lost to. So here is Utah at third, despite a loss to Washington State last month. How the Cougars were able to hold the Utes to just 21 points is interesting, but perhaps it had something to do with playing in monsoon-like conditions. With wins at Michigan and UCLA, we can safely assume this team is legit.

4. UCLA (4-1, 1-1)

The Bruins drop a couple spots after their stunning loss to Utah, but the beauty of their schedule gives them a chance to jump right back up with a victory against Oregon on Saturday. We'll see who takes the opportunity and who drops from consideration for a playoff spot.

5. Arizona State (4-1, 2-1)

It was not the most well-coached or properly executed of games, but a win is a win is a win. Arizona State escaped Los Angeles with a 38-34 win against USC and now gets a much needed week off to come down from its high and prepare for a good Stanford team.

6. California (4-1, 2-1)

The Golden Bears rise to the upper half of our power rankings thanks to a tremendous offensive effort Saturday night in Pullman. Quarterback Jared Goff threw for five touchdowns and more than 500 yards as they escaped with a 60-59 win. With its only loss coming on a Hail Mary on the road against undefeated Arizona, some might say California should be ranked higher than sixth. We should find out if that's correct over the next few weeks as it has the toughest schedule of anyone in the Pac-12.

7. USC (3-2, 2-1)

Tensions are high at USC following its loss against Arizona State, which dropped the Trojans deep in the conference standings and out of playoff contention. A win at No. 10 Arizona on Saturday could change everything around though.

8. Stanford (3-2, 1-1)

The Cardinal might just be a few plays from an undefeated record, but right now this is a team struggling to stay above .500. They played solid football for most of the day last week at Notre Dame, but a touchdown on a fourth down for the Fighting Irish broke Stanford's hearts in the final minutes.

9. Washington (4-1, 0-1)

The Huskies actually dropped after not playing in week six, but it was a must since Utah and California both got big road wins. Washington still sits at a respectable 4-1, but I think this team lacks the talent needed to compete for a north division title.

10. Oregon State (4-1, 1-1)

The Beavers continued their trend of playing down to their competition, sneaking past Colorado for a 36-31 win. Oddly enough, a five-point game was by far the least compelling game throughout the conference last week. Oregon State actually led 36-24 up until the three minute mark, at which point the Buffaloes got a 17 yard touchdown pass and a big stop on defense. Their game-winning drive ended up stalling, however, and Mike Riley's team ended up escaping with another close win against a mediocre opponent.

11. Washington State (2-4, 1-2)

You have to feel for quarterback Connor Halliday, who broke an NCAA passing yardage record against California with 734 yards through the air. He could have used two more. Coach Mike Leach ended up opting to send out his field goal kicker instead of going for the end zone in the final moments of Saturday's game, and junior Quentin Breshears' 19-yard attempt went wide right to let the visitors escape with the win.

12. Colorado (2-4, 0-3)

They might still be at the bottom, but once again, Colorado proved it can compete with most anyone in the conference. Bowl eligibility seems out of the question at this point, but a win at USC in two weeks would make things interesting.