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Pac-12 Football Review: Utah, Stanford separate themselves in Week 7

Two teams have clearly emerged as the top teams in the North and South divisions.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Your weekly recap of the happenings in the Pac-12 Conference.
Arizona Wildcats (5-2, 2-2 in Pac-12 play)

The stable is deep.

Jared Baker (23 rushes, 207 yards, 2 TD) performed very well in absence of all-conference running back Nick Wilson. The Wildcats got off to a quick start, jumping to a 17-7 lead, but trailed 24-17 entering the final frame before exploding for 21 points to edge the Buffaloes by seven. They'll need to produce more complete efforts moving forward.

Arizona State Sun Devils (4-3, 2-2)

Wasn't meant to be.

The Sun Devils weren't able to contain the Utes offense on Saturday night, losing a game that essentially ends their chance of winning the conference. The team battled hard, but there are still plenty of questions for the team as they enter a bye week before beginning the final stretch of the regular season.

No. 20 California Golden Bears (5-1, 2-1)

Regroup.

The Golden Bears loss pits them in an unfavorable position to win the North division, but they can hang their hat on the fact that even in the midst of their mistakes, they only fell by six points. Should they fix their issues during the break, they will still remain one of the most dangerous teams in the Pac-12.

Colorado Buffaloes (3-4, 0-3)

Couldn't hang on.

Head coach Mike Macintyre had promised his student body a win over the Wildcats, and he very nearly came through. The Buffaloes won't be as easy an out as many probably assume they are, and while the odds are against them accomplishing their goal of garnering bowl eligibility, they won't give up on the idea without a fight.

Oregon Ducks (4-3, 2-2)

On the winning side of things.

After a disappointing and shocking loss to Washington State, the Ducks were able to beat the Washington Huskies on the road, controlling the Huskies for the majority of the game . With Vernon Adams back under center, and appearing to be healthy, the Oregon offense should be able to generate some points (although, likely not in the way we've been accustomed to in recent years).

Oregon State Beavers (2-4, 0-3)

Battle of the bottom.

The Beavers will begin their final stretch of the season with a matchup against Colorado. With only two wins on the year so far, a victory can provide some perspective moving forward.

No. 10 Stanford Cardinal (5-1, 4-0)

Fear the tree.

The Cardinal have been the best team in the North since dropping their first game of the year, and have arguably been the best team in the conference. Stanford's offense, led by sophomore running back Christian McCaffrey, has looked very dominant as of late. If the group can hold form through the late stages of the year, they will figure to win the North.

UCLA Bruins (4-2, 1-2)

Ouch.

The Bruins suffered three major losses on defense before the season even reached the half way mark. Not only have those injuries caught up with them, but the absences have been very apparent in the score of their most recent games. For Jim Mora and Co., the best thing to do is hope the team can turn things around quickly.

USC Trojans (3-3, 1-2)

Fight on.

The Trojans are in the midst of one of the most tumultuous spots in program history, but still very nearly beat Notre Dame on the road. It appears USC will be competitive moving forward, and perhaps their ceiling has been merely as a competitive group and not an elite group all along.

No. 3 Utah Utes (6-0, 3-0)

Room for error.

With their win over Arizona State, the Utes now have a two-game lead on all the teams in the South division. This puts them in position to go on and win the division, then compete for the conference title in December.

Washington Huskies (3-3, 1-2)

In time.

The Huskies are arguably ahead of schedule considering the youth on their roster. Still, hiccups along the way are expected, and to have only loss to a more talented Ducks unit by six this season is reason to remain excited for the future of this team.

Washington State Cougars (4-2, 2-1)

Better than we thought?

The Cougars are now 4-2 in 2015. In years past, to expect them to have a winning record at this point was folly, but they've looked pretty good so far this season. They pose as a threat to upend any of these team's conference title hopes so long as they stay healthy.