With Rivalry Weekend behind us, there is a clear winner of the weekend: Oregon State.
The Beavers were the only team that were able to pull off a sweep, but ASU, USC, Washington and the shocker, Cal, pulled off series wins against their rivals.
The Huskies have been in the top spot for a while now, but the Beavers have now regained that honor. The hottest team in the conference though is USC, who has now won eight straight league games, including back-to-back sweeps of the last two National Champions. Doubt that's ever happened before.
A lot of movement from last week, so let's get right into it.
1. Oregon State Beavers (31-8, 14-4)
Previous ranking: 2
Last week: 3-0 vs. Oregon
This week: @ Cal (Fri-Sun)
The Beavs outscored Oregon by a combined score of 14-4 (just like their conference record). The weekend was highlighted by Jace Fry, who surrendered just one hit on Sunday. That hit came in the first inning. So there's that. Also, Michael Conforto kept on impressing, but maybe the biggest surprise is freshman catcher Logan Ice. And it's a great name in general, even if he wasn't that good at baseball. But Ice has a .390 OBP, and has zero errors as a catcher. Also, just 46% of baserunners are successful stealing bases on him this year.
2. Washington Huskies (29-11-1, 16-5)
Previous ranking: 1
Last week: 0-2 vs. Seattle, 2-1 vs. Washington State
This week: @ Utah (Fri-Sun), vs. Grand Canyon (Mon)
I'm not gonna lie, I'm way more intrigued with that GCU game than the Utah games. UW falls out of the top spot partially due to those losses vs. Seattle, partially due to losing a Friday night game, but mostly due to just how good Oregon State looks right now. The Huskies seem to still have the inside track on hosting regional weekend, but these weird losses keep piling up. After Utah, they have their non-conference weekend, and then Oregon State. Can't give away any losses before that weekend against the Beavs.
3. USC Trojans (24-18, 12-9)
Previous ranking: 8
Last week: 1-0 vs. Hawaii, 3-0 @ UCLA, 0-1 vs. UC Irvine
This week: @ Washington State (Fri-Sun)
Yes, I'm insane. I moved USC up five spots this week. I'm okay with this. In the last nine Pac-12 games, the Trojans have given up just 21 total runs. 2.3 runs per game. That's some good weekend pitching right there. But I am hopping on the USC bandwagon right here, right now.
4. Oregon Ducks (31-13, 10-8)
Previous ranking: 3
Last week: 0-3 @ OSU
This week: vs. Arizona (Fri-Sun)
The Ducks got swept by the best team in the conference on the road. Alright. And they get to host Arizona this week. Don't foresee any long-term struggles here. Just an unfortunate weekend against their rivals. They get another crack at the Beavers next Tuesday, this time at home.
5. Arizona State Sun Devils (24-17, 12-9)
Previous ranking: 4
Last week: 2-1 @ Arizona, 1-0 vs. NMSU
This week: @ Oklahoma State (Fri-Sun)
ASU didn't look as good in person as I expected them to, but somehow they have that series win at Oregon State from earlier this year. Traveling to Oklahoma State is the toughest non-conference series that any Pac-12 team has had since the beginning of conference play. The Cowboys are a top-ten team, so ASU has a chance to really do some damage if they can get two-of-three in Stillwater.
6. Washington State Cougars (18-22, 8-10)
Previous ranking: 6
Last week: 0-1 vs. Gonzaga, 1-2 @ Washington
This week: vs. USC (Fri-Sun)
This is right about where I'm not sure where to put any of these teams. The Cougs are below .500 overall and in conference, yet somehow I still think they are a really good team. I think this weekend is more about how well USC can do on the road more than how good WSU is. I sit here confused about Washington State.
7. UCLA Bruins (22-19-1, 9-9)
Previous ranking: 7
Last week: 1-0 vs. Loyola Marymount, 0-3 vs. USC, tied UC Santa Barbara
This week: @ Stanford (Fri-Sun)
UCLA is struggling bad right now, and it looks like another National Champion will miss out on the postseason. UCSB has no lights on their field, so the game was called a tie after 12 innings and darkness set in. If at the beginning of the season you had told me that this UCLA/Stanford series was going to be between two of the lower-tier teams in the standings, I would have said you don't know what lower-tier means. But here we are.
8. Stanford Cardinal (19-19, 7-11)
Previous ranking: 5
Last week: wins vs. St Mary's, Santa Clara, and Pacific, 1-2 vs. Cal
This week: @ UCLA (Fri-Sun)
I said I don't know what to do with WSU. I really don't know what to do with Stanford. So much inconsistency from the Cardinal. Losing a series at home to Cal is bad, and being four games below .500 in conference is even worse for them. A lot of potential for the future with how young their weekend rotation is, but still very confusing.
9. California Golden Bears (19-21, 7-11)
Previous ranking: 10
Last week: 0-1 @ Fresno State, 2-1 @ Stanford, 1-0 vs. San Francisco
This week: vs. Oregon State
Good series win for the Bears last weekend. Your reward? A visit from the Beavers. Congratulations.
10. Arizona Wildcats (18-25, 7-14)
Previous ranking: 9
Last week: 1-2 vs. ASU
This week: @ Oregon (Fri-Sun)
This team keeps on struggling with its offensive game, especially hitting with runners on base. A date with the Oregon pitching staff is not the cure. Not at all.
11. Utah Utes (13-25, 3-15)
Previous ranking: 11
Last week: 0-1 @ Utah Valley, 1-1 vs. Nevada
This week: vs. Washington (Fri-Sun)
Interesting that the top teams in the conference get the worst teams this weekend for the most part. Sweeps galore!
Just Arizona at Oregon on Pac-12 Networks this weekend, because for some awful reason, the Pac-12 Networks decided to show Arizona as often as possible this season. Here's a look at the times:
Friday (7 pm), Saturday (3 pm), Sunday (4 pm)
Stanford at UCLA is on ESPNU Saturday night at 7 PM.
The softball TV schedule is much better than the baseball schedule. Take some time and watch some softball this week instead.