This is it. This is the weekend when we finally get the long-awaited Oregon State/Washington series, and the Beavers are trying to ruin it by letting Ben Wetzler get arrested last weekend.
All three of the OSU/UW games will be on Pac-12 Networks. The Friday and Saturday games start at 4 PM, with Sunday at 3 PM.
Everything else is a mess, and it's starting to look like four (maybe only three) teams will make it into the NCAA Tournament.
Anyways, here's how I power-rank 'em this week.
1. Oregon State Beavers (38-8, 20-4)
Previous ranking: 1
Last week: 1-0 @ Oregon, 3-0 vs. UCLA
This week: @ Portland (Tues), vs. Washington (Fri-Sun)
Obviously the Ben Wetzler thing looms large for OSU as they are looking at being a National Seed, and hosting both Regionals and Super Regionals. As of right now, it seems like he'll be pitching on Friday night vs. Washington. But honestly, the Beavers' pitching staff is so deep that it likely wouldn't have an effect on them until postseason play if Wetzler became unavailable. Time will tell.
2. Washington Huskies (36-11-1, 19-5)
Previous ranking: 2
Last week: 3-0 vs. Bethune-Cookman
This week: vs. Seattle (Tues), @ Oregon State (Fri-Sun)
Win this series in Corvallis, and all of the sudden you're looking at being a National Seed Huskies. I hope all these games are 2-1 pitching duels. That would be fantastic.
3. Oregon Ducks (36-16, 14-10)
Previous ranking: 4
Last week: 0-1 vs. OSU, 1-0 vs. Portland, 1-2 @ ASU
This week: vs. Pacific (Tues), @ UCLA (Fri-Sun)
The Ducks are still lacking that consistent offensive threat. It really costs them on weekends like last week in Tempe, when they're unable to pitch themselves out of problems. I still expect them to dominate a struggling UCLA team this weekend though.
4. Arizona State Sun Devils (26-21, 14-10)
Previous ranking: 5
Last week: 2-1 vs. Oregon
This week: @ UNLV (Tues), vs. Utah (Fri-Sun)
After being swept at Oklahoma State, the Devils responded nicely with a series win over the Ducks. Assuming they don't screw up this weekend in a massive way, ASU should be good to go in the postseason. A win at UNLV would be a nice addition to the resume though.
5. USC Trojans (26-22, 14-13)
Previous ranking: 3
Last week: 1-2 vs. Cal
This week: vs. Grand Canyon (Mon)
That's a bad series loss at home against Cal, and no games this weekend to erase that memory is not good timing for the Trojans. They're still firmly on the bubble for postseason play, and get their chance to play themselves in against Oregon State in two weeks.
6. Washington State Cougars (22-24, 12-12)
Previous ranking: 6
Last week: 2-1 vs. Utah
This week: @ Gonzaga (Tues), @ Stanford (Fri-Sun), @ Seattle (Mon)
A loss to Utah happened last weekend, which hurts as WSU needs to get above .500 overall to have any shot at the postseason. That ship has probably sailed with how much they struggled before conference season started, but you never know. They host ASU in two weeks to finish up the regular season, which could be a huge series for the Cougs for both this year, and moving the program forward.
7. Stanford Cardinal (24-21, 11-13)
Previous ranking: 8
Last week: 1-0 vs. Santa Clara, 2-1 @ Arizona
This week: vs. San Jose State (Tues), vs. Washington State (Fri-Sun)
Stanford didn't really look that impressive this weekend in Tucson, but move up a spot in the power rankings because the bottom of the conference is just that bad. Their RPI is still in the high-30s, so I don't know what to make of their postseason aspirations besides the fact they're below .500 in conference play right now. Weird team man.
8. California Golden Bears (21-25, 9-15)
Previous ranking: 9
Last week: 2-1 @ USC
This week: vs. Arizona (Fri-Sun)
That's a pretty impressive series win at USC. Not bad after getting flat-out dominated at Oregon State the week before.
9. UCLA Bruins (23-25-1, 10-14)
Previous ranking: 7
Last week: 0-1 vs Cal State Fullerton, 0-3 @ Oregon State
This week: @ UC-Irvine (Tues), vs. Oregon (Fri-Sun)
Injuries have ruined any chance the Bruins had of defending their National Championship. It's a shame too. But two more tough opponents this week after a tough week last week. It's just free-fall mode for UCLA right now.
10. Arizona Wildcats (19-30, 8-19)
Prevous ranking: 10
Last week: 1-2 vs. Stanford
This week: @ Cal (Fri-Sun)
Finally got a Friday night win and couldn't capitalize. This team just can't win close games.
11. Utah Utes (15-30, 4-20)
Previous ranking: 11
Last week: 1-0 @ BYU, 1-2 @ Washington State
This week: vs. BYU (Tues), @ ASU (Fri-Sun)
A two win week! Stop the presses! And yet another Friday night win. Three of their four conference wins have come on a Friday. That's so weird to me. Good luck getting a win in Tempe though during the last regular-season games ever held at Packard.
Get your TVs on that OSU/UW series this weekend in-between softball watching. The Pac-12 title should pretty much be decided by Sunday night, and that's exciting.