Rob Malara

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 11


A relatively uneventful week in the conference as the canabalism was kept to a minimum.  The week 11 slate coming up shortly promises to be a lot more unpredictable with three games remaining and bowl positions up for grab.

  1. #7 Stanford (8-1, 7-0, S&P+ Overall 14th, Previous Ranking: 1)

Week 10: Defeated Colorado; 42-10.

The offense got its tuneup in against a Pac-12 bottom feeder as the Christian McCafferey Heisman campaign continued.  The Cardinal are supporting it’s biggest spread advantage in recent memory against the Pac-12 North rival Ducks.

  1. #10 Utah (8-1, 5-1, S&P+ Overall 24th, Previous Power Ranking: 2)

Week 10: Defeated Washington; 34-23.

Utah got some help from the officials not to mention the Washington offense especially in the second quarter of the game assisting in them piling up 24 points on 3 turnovers during the frame.  While traveling to Tucson doesn’t look to be as tough as it has been in recent seasons, their defense will get tested by the Wildcats offense laterally.  But it’s fantastic defense should be up to the task in squashing a inconsistent passing game.

  1. USC (6-3, 4-2, S&P+ Overall 10th, Previous Power Ranking: 3)

Week 10: Defeated Arizona; 38-30.

JuJu Smith-Schuster showed the country why he is a big time playmaker after recording 8 catches for 138 yards despite undergoing surgery to have a screw put in his broken hand five days earlier.  Still think SoCal players are soft?

The Trojans get a tune-up game in Boulder before heading out to Eugene next week.

  1. #19 UCLA (7-2, 4-2, S&P+ Overall 19th, Previous Power Ranking: 4)

Week 10: Defeated Oregon State; 41-0.

Josh Rosen looked fantastic in his three quarters of work on the road and without his hot tub.  But things will get much tougher on Saturday as the Bruins play host to trending Washington State in a game not long enough to fit all the points that could be scored.

  1. Washington State (6-3, 4-2, S&P+ Overall 75th, Previous Power Ranking: 5)

Week 10: Defeated Arizona State; 38-24.

There may not be a hotter team out west outside of Stanford.

Mike Leach has done a fantastic job of putting his team in positions to do what they do best (air it out) while covering up a soft underbelly of an inconsistent defense and special teams.  Last weekend and ASU showed that if their defense can simply hold serve, and their special teams can avoid mistakes, the offense is good enough to carry them through the rough spots.

A win in Pasadena on Saturday night should vault this team into the College Playoff Rankings come next Tuesday.  Who would have predicted that after the week 1 loss to Portland State?

      6.    Oregon (6-3, 4-2, S&P+ Overall 51st, Previous Power Ranking: 7)

Week 10: Defeated Cal; 44-28.

The stakes are stll at their highest between these two Pac-12 North rivals in a series that has determined the Pac-12 champion over the course of the last five seasons.

The Ducks defense has improved from downright awful to simply passable in the second half of the season and will have to turn in its best game of the season in order to best the Cardinal. The Oregon offense on the otherhand is back to being the best in the Pac-12 since Vernon Adams Jr. returned.

      7.   Cal  (5-4, 2-4, S&P+ Overall 44th, Previous Power Ranking: 6)

Week 10: Lost to Oregon; 44-28.

The slippery slope continues for the Bears whose losing streak was extended to four games.  Jared Goff returned to his Freshman Year house of horrors where he was pulled in the first quarter back in 2013.

Week 11 should be the week the streak ends for Cal as they host the lowly Beavers on Saturday night.  It’s last chance saloon for Sonny Dykes and crew to make that surge for a bowl after starting off the season .

  1. Arizona State (4-5, 2-4, S&P+ Overall 74th, Previous Power Ranking: 8)

Week 10: Lost to Washington State; 38-24.

Lots at fault over the current three game losing streak for the Devils, be it the defense, the penalties, the turnovers, let alone the Pac-12 officiating crew blunders.

A season of hope for a Pac-12 Championship has now been demoted to saving face, winning it’s last three games and making a less than embarassing bowl game.  And it won’t get any easier this week as the Devils host a hungry young Huskies squad that shows all the want in the world without the results to back it up.

  1. Washington (4-5, 2-4, S&P+ Overall 21st, Previous Power Ranking: 9)

Week 10: Lost to Utah; 34-23.

Another tough loss for the Huskies who lost to the Utes due to a poor showing in the second quarter.  The offense showed promise against a tough Utes squad but just couldn’t close out drives.

Is this the week the Huskies circle the wagons and pull it all together to mount a bowl campaign down the stretch, or will it simply be a battle of flawed teams lacking that killer instinct to put the game away.

  1. Arizona (5-5, 2-5, S&P+ Overall 81st, Previous Ranking: 10)

Week 10: Lost to USC; 38-30.

A tough loss to the Trojans in a game which the Cats defense couldn’t stop should be troubling news heading into their game against the Utes this week.  Jeff Casteel’s run defense is middle of the road and will once again be tested by the likes of Devontae Booker.

Whether or not the tenth best passing defense in the league can keep Travis Wilson under wraps on third down may help decide this game at Arizona Stadium.

  1. Colorado (4-6, 1-5, S&P+ Overall 95th, Previous Power Ranking: 11)

Week 10: Lost to No. 9 Stanford; 42-10.

It was a fun game for a quarter in Boulder before Stanford’s offense applied their foot on the accelerator.  Watching junior quarterback Sefo Liufau get benched in the second half was also telling for a team that just doesn’t have the skill or consistency to compete with the top dogs in the conference.

  1. Oregon State (2-7, 0-6, S&P+ Overall 106th, Previous Power Ranking 12)

Week 10: Lost to No. 22 UCLA; 41-0.

Is it 2017 yet?


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** S&P+ rating was created by : The S&P+ Ratings are a college football ratings system derived from the play-by-play and drive data of all 800+ of a season’s FBS college football games (and 140,000+ plays).  

About Rob Malara

Rob Malara

Rob Malara is a 2002 Sun Devil grad having spent the majority of his time in Tempe as a football, basketball, and baseball season ticket holder and front row inhabitant. A member of the Football Writers Association of America, he hosted the ASU Devils podcast and was its sub-optimal technical producer through its lifespan. Currently the president of the ASU Alumni Association's Northern Colorado Club, he is part of a family of maroon and gold residing in Fort Collins with his Sun Devil wife and nearby Sun Devil sister.

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