Pac-12 power rankings: UA finishes in lower half of the Pac
1. No. 7 Stanford (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12 Conference)
With a chance to repeat as Pac-12 champion, the Cardinal hosts a tremendous defense with an offense that relies heavily on its rushing attack. Its Dec. 7 matchup with fellow defensive powerhouse ASU for the Pac-12 championship should be one of the best games of the year.
2. No. 11 ASU (10-2, 8-1)
In last week’s win against Arizona, the Sun Devils proved that their defense is built to contain a strong rushing team. If they can force Stanford to pass the ball more, they should get the win. The Cardinal has struggled against good rush teams, racking up losses to Utah and USC. The conference championship game will be played in Tempe, Ariz.
Ryan Revock / The Daily Wildcat UA freshman receiver Nate Phillips dives into the endzone against UCLA during the homecoming game on Nov. 9 at Arizona Stadium.
3. No. 12 Oregon (10-2, 7-2)
The Ducks rebounded after their loss to Arizona with a home victory over their rival Oregon State. It wasn’t pretty, but Oregon got it done. Oregon has a few weeks before its bowl game to get its head on straight.
4. No. 8 UCLA (9-3, 6-3)
The up-and-down regular season for the Bruins ended on a high note, as they beat their crosstown rival USC convincingly last week, 35-14. UCLA should be heading to a strong bowl with a chance to go into next season as one of the conference favorites. Freshman running back/linebacker Myles Jack is an early 2014 Heisman candidate.
5. USC (9-4, 6-3)
Emotions got the best of the Trojans in their game versus the Bruins. But from where USC started to where it ended, the team had one of the best second halves in the Pac-12. The Trojans also solved their coaching vacancy in hiring former Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian.
6. Washington (8-4, 5-4)
The Huskies would have been fifth in the power rankings, but after Sarkisian left Washington for the sexier USC job, the Huskies were left without a head coach and a number of assistants. Good luck.
7. Arizona (7-5, 4-5)
With the talent the Wildcats put out on the field every week, a seven-win season is impressive. But a 58-21 loss to their rival to end the season was not.
8. Oregon State (6-6, 4-5)
The Beavers fell just short of upsetting their rival on the road last week. Oregon State fans will not be satisfied with a six-win season, but considering how poor its defense was, it’s something to hang their hats on. The Beavers’ third-ranked passing offense will be an attractive choice for bowl bidders.
9. Washington State (6-6, 4-5)
The Cougars could have really benefited from a seventh win, but they lost to their rival Washington last week. While they may be bowl-eligible, there is a chance they won’t get invited to one, as this year there are more bowl-eligible schools than spots available.
10. Utah (5-7, 2-7)
Despite knowing that their season was not going to end with a bowl, the Utes played hard against Colorado last week.
11. Colorado (4-8, 1-8)
Last season, the Buffaloes weren’t even competitive. That is no longer true. Colorado is rising … slowly.
12. California (1-11, 0-9)
While last week was an off week for the Golden Bears, it was arguably their best, because they didn’t lose.
—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella