Our Pac-12 Power Rankings have begun to take their final form as we head into the final couple weeks of the 2017-18 campaign. That doesn’t mean there weren’t a few changes from last week to this one, though.
Let’s take a look:
Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 11
|USC||USC (+1)||Washington State (+1)|
|Stanford (+1)||Stanford (+2)||USC (+1)|
|Washington State (+1)||Washington (-2)||Stanford (+1)|
|Washington (-3)||Washington State||Arizona (+1)|
|UCLA (+2)||Arizona State||California (+3)|
|Arizona State (-2)||UCLA (+3)||UCLA (+3)|
|California (+2)||Utah||Arizona State (-2)|
|Oregon (+2)||Colorado||Oregon (-1)|
|Colorado (-3)||California (-2)||Utah|
|Utah (-3)||Oregon||Colorado (-4)|
|Oregon State||Oregon State||Oregon State|
A closer look
Destin: Okay, now we know just how good USC is... time for some Fiesta Bowl fun! The real shock this week was the lack of movement in my rankings. It took 11 weeks, but finally, I've seemed to get a grip on who's better than who (except for ASU vs. UCLA). Arizona, Washington State and USC all took care of business, beating the bottom half of the Pac, while Stanford, as I expected, ended Washington's chance at a college football playoff. Now, Washington vs. Washington State in two weeks may be the ultimate decider of a who is in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Next week; however, will be all about upsets. UA vs. Oregon, Cal vs. Stanford, ASU vs. OSU, UCLA vs. USC and Utah vs. UW.
Tonis: Another of my top teams goes down, so their cross-state rival takes the spot. Washington State moves to number one by virtue of win over USC in September. All things being equal, I would probably have the Cougars at the top anyway, but head to head clinches it. The most important games remaining for the conference all happen in the North with Stanford and Cal playing this week and the Apple Cup next week, trying to figure out who will play USC in Santa Clara. The Cougars have the inside shot, but an Apple Cup win by Washington gives all three teams a shot at a New Years 6 game. Meanwhile, spots six through 11 are kind of a mess, as exactly half the conference sits at six wins and on the brink of bowl eligibility. There's a path to 11 Pac-12 teams heading to the postseason, which would be the most since the conference expanded in 2011.
Madden: Big wins this week for Stanford and USC, with the Cardinal knocking off Washington at home to climb to the top of the Pac-12 North and USC locking up the South. We also learned quite a bit about the middle of the conference, as UCLA came back to assert dominance over ASU, Arizona stayed hot while stomping OSU and Utah fell eight points short of upsetting Washington State. USC is clearly the best team in the Pac-12, but it is yet to be determined who they will face in Santa Clara. Should make for an interesting last two weeks.