John Ross rankings
Wide receiver John Ross will see his role with the Huskies grow in the final games with the injury to fellow receiver Kasen Williams.
Wide receiver John Ross will see his role with the Huskies grow in the final games with the injury to fellow receiver Kasen Williams.Photo by Joshua Bessex
1. No. 2 Oregon (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12)
The Ducks rank in the top 10 in rushing yards, points, and points allowed in the nation. They’ve been almost an unstoppable force, smashing opponents with Hulk-like vigor in the fourth quarter. But here’s the big game: Stanford hosts the Ducks in the marquee conference showdown of the year.
2. No. 5 Stanford (7-1, 5-1)
This is the game for Stanford: Oregon comes to town with the Pac-12 North title still in reach. For me, I’m glad the Huskies are on a bye this week so I can just sit back and enjoy this one.
3. No. 20 UCLA (5-2, 2-2)
The gap between the top two teams of the Pac-12 continues to widen. Despite hanging tough with the mighty Ducks for three quarters, the Bruins took a huge hit as Oregon poured in 21 points on the Bruins in the fourth quarter last week. But, you know, UW fans can sympathize.
4. Arizona State (5-2, 3-1)
UCLA’s performance against the Ducks almost let ASU leap-frog over the Bruins. But the Sun Devils didn’t play last week, so that just wouldn’t be fair.
5. Oregon State (6-2, 4-1)
The Beavers couldn’t prove their worth against Stanford in their first big test of the year, missing out on numerous opportunities to topple the Cardinal. A soft first-half to the Pac-12 schedule served the Beavers well in padding their record, but it could come back to bite them if they’re not up to the challenge of a stout second half.
6. Washington (5-3, 2-3)
The offense looked back to its early season form for the Huskies. But they were also playing Cal, which doesn’t say much of anything about if the UW is back on track or just the beneficiaries of a depleted Bear defense.
7. Arizona (5-2, 2-2)
The Wildcats are just one win away from bowl-eligibility and will likely get it this week as they play Cal. B.J. Denker was far from stellar in Seattle earlier this season, but had cleaned up well. He was 21-of-32 through the air against Colorado last week for 265 yards and ran for 192 rushing yards, which set a school record for a quarterback. His speed, combined with Ka’Deem Carey’s is a very dangerous combination.
8. USC (5-3, 2-2)
The Trojans are piecing things back together slowly after Lane Kiffin tore them down. Marqise Lee is still sidelined, but the USC defense simply suffocated the Utes, keeping Utah scoreless for the final 55 minutes and 45 seconds of the game.
9. Washington State (4-4, 2-3)
It’s my hope that quarterback Connor Halliday rested his arm during the bye week. He’ll need it this week against Arizona State.
10. Utah (4-4, 1-4)
The Utes can’t ride the coattails of their win over Stanford much longer. They’ve got a bye week to get quarterback Travis Wilson healthy after he banged up his hand in the aforementioned Stanford game.
11. Colorado (3-4, 0-4)
The Buffaloes are lucky Cal is so bad so they don’t have to be at the very bottom of the rankings. While No. 11 is nothing to brag about, at least it’s not No. 12.
12. California (1-7, 0-5)
Can anything save the Bears at this point? No? Well, there’s always next week.
Reach Sports Editor Thuc Nhi Nguyen at email@example.com. Twitter: @thucnhi21
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