Friday, 15 November 2013

2013 Pac-2 Power Rankings: Week 11

1. Stanford (Overall: 8-1, Conference: 6-1, Last Week: 2)
What else is there to say about the Stanford Cardinal after their huge win over Oregon? The Cardinal have defined their season and won the biggest game of the Pac-12 season. With only two conference games remaining on its schedule, Stanford controls its own destiny to win the Pac-12 North and reach the Rose Bowl for a second consecutive year. Now about that Utah game...

2. Oregon (8-1, 5-1, LW: 1)
The Ducks were finally slowed down last Thursday as Stanford, for a second year in a row, showed how to beat the Ducks. The red flags may have been there all along as teams have been able to run the ball on the Ducks defense for most of the season and Oregon's offensive line, particularly the entire of its line had lost physical battles even against lesser opponents. Oregon may have a "Stanford problem" but that is being way to over simplistic. There are 120 teams in college football that have a Stanford problem and it's not like Oregon hasn't beaten string physical teams before either (Stanford in 2010 and 2011, Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl). This is still a top five team and even the most staunch Oregon hater has to kid himself to believe that Oregon could lose to any of its remaining opponents.

3. UCLA (7-2, 4-2, LW: 3)

4. Arizona State (7-2, 5-1, LW: 4)
I worry that last week's game against Utah was "that game" the one performance that happens every year with the Sun Devils where they put together a month or more of great performances and then flush it away with one terrible effort against an inferior team. ASU did everything they could to give that game away but, they pulled out a one point win and the Pac-12 South title still remains very much in play.

5. USC (7-3, 4-2, LW: 6)
Once left for dead, the Trojans are back in a big way behind the best baby sitter ever, Ed Orgeron. Orgeron gives the USC players really delicious food and lets them watch movies and exchange, the USC players have played immeasurably harder than they ever did for Lane Kiffin. USC still hasn't lost a conference game since Kiffin and although they do need ASU to lose twice, the Pac-12 South division title isn't a pipe dream at this point.

6. Washington (6-3, 3-3, LW: 5)
I thought Colorado would give Washington some trouble in hang around with the Huskies last week but Washington snuffed that out in a hurry. The Huskies, especially QB Keith Price, looked like they were having fun out there for the first time since the beginning of October and the defense had its best performance all season.

7. Arizona (6-3, 3-3, LW: 7)
Arizona looked really good in hanging with UCLA and making a bit of a come back to at least get a shot at the win late but they were done in by the same thing that has killed them all year, they just can't throw the ball. God bless B.J. Denker, he has a lot of heart and you can't question his work ethic. While he does bring a lot to the table to his legs, he takes most of it away with his arm. The Wildcats might get some help soon as star WR Austin Hill began practicing this week for the first time all season after suffering a torn ACL back in March but, he probably won't be enough to change Arizona's fortunes through the air.

8. Oregon State (6-3, 4-2, LW: 8)
9. Washington State (4-5, 2-4, LW: 9)
You might as well lump the Beavers and Cougars together. After playing the easy portions of their schedules in the first half of the season, the Beavers were 6-1 and the Cougars were 4-5. Now OSU and WSU are on a combined five game losing streak. Both of these teams were looking great at one point as Washington State looked like a safe bet to qualify for a bowl game for the first time in over a decade and the Beavers looked like a strong dark horse in the Pac-12 North. Now that these two teams have come unraveled, it's hard to find another win on either teams' remaining schedule.

10. Utah (4-5, 1-5, LW: 10)
Is there any team that has suffered more heart crushing home losses in college football than the Utes? Utah controlled the game from start to finish against Arizona State and at this point are two plays away from having three home wins over ranked opponents. You could make a convincing argument that Utah is the best team with a losing record in college long as your making the case with Utah playing at home. The Utes have been truly awful when traveling outside state lines and they probably have another thorough road shellacking coming their way on Saturday as they face Oregon at Autzen Stadium without starting QB Travis Wilson.

11. Colorado (3-6, 0-6, LW: 11)
Colorado's run of improving and being feisty came to an abrupt end against the Huskies, further reinforcing just how little Pac-12 caliber talent is currently available on Colorado's roster.

12. California (1-9, 0-7, LW: 12)
California's solid effort to stay competitive with Arizona was nothing more than a tease. The Bears were wiped off the field by the Trojans and now get their one shot at a conference win as they head to Boulder for the ultimate Pac-12 pillow fight with the Buffs.

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