Pac-12 power rankings: Arizona recovers after Utah victory

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Wildcats' victory against the Utah Utes will keep RichRod's squad out of sniffing distance of the cellar.

1. Oregon

Last week: Oregon 62, Washington State 38

Trending: --

Hey! Connor Halliday just completed another pass against the Oregon defense! With Oregon getting a sour deal in the first BCS poll, it's no wonder assistant coach Nick Aliotti was upset with WSU coach Mike Leach for running up his losing score. Could Oregon be the best team in the nation? It's hard to say if they're even the best OU team in the last five years. But they're not far off.

2. Stanford

Last week: Stanford 24, UCLA 10

Trending: ^^

After losing their footing at Utah, the Cardinal returned home with a big victory against the Bruins. Since Washington fell to ASU, it's clear that Stanford still deserves to be at No. 2. Until someone catches them ...

3. UCLA

Last week: Stanford 24, UCLA 10

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Nope. The Bruins swung and missed at dropping Stanford this weekend, which keeps the Cardinal on their own in the chasedown of the Ducks.

4. ASU

Last week: Arizona State 53, Washington 24

Trending: ^^

The Sun Devils certainly made a statement. Defensively, Todd Graham's team proved it could stifle one of the best run games in the nation. It also battered a decent-enough quarterback.

5. Washington

Last week: Arizona State 53, Washington 24

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Washington appeared more mentally beaten than anything. A tough stretch in the schedule didn't do them any favors and now the Huskies have injuries to quarterback Keith Price to worry about -- among other things. UW was truly with ASU and UCLA as contenders, but now it's a wonder if they can recover to make a run and stay in the second-tier conversation.

6. Oregon State

Last week: Oregon State 49, Cal 17

Trending: ^^

Don't look now, but the Beavers are cruising. After embarrassing all FBS teams in Week 1 by losing to Eastern Washington, Mike Riley has his team gunning its way back up the board with six straight wins and impressive play between quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Brandin Cooks, who leads the NCAA in receiving yards. And they haven't found a run game yet!

7. USC

Last week: Notre Dame 14, USC 10

Trending: Down

The Arizona win might have been a given. The Fighting Irish aren't bad, but the Trojans couldn't break Notre Dame like they did the Wildcats. It's still hard to put them in the top half of the league.

8. Arizona

Last week: Arizona 35, Utah 34

Trending: ^^

How much can change in a couple of weeks? Perhaps a home win against Utah might allude to the Utes not knowing how to handle the success of dropping Stanford a week prior. Still, Arizona answered a Utes rally in the second half by using its defense and another angry rushing attack led by Ka'Deem Carey.

Just check out ESPN Pac-12 Blog's stats attack from this week.

Pass-efficiency defense

9. Oregon
12. Washington
14. Arizona
20. UCLA

...

Arizona has one of the most improve defenses in the nation. Last season, it gave up 35.3 points per game and ranked 11th in the Pac-12.

9. Utah

Last week: Arizona 35, Utah 24

Trending: Down

Utah thought it arrived. It lasted a week. Keep trucking, Utes.

10. Washington State

Last week: Oregon 62, Washington State 38

Trending: Down

Well, Mike Leach's team can pass. And pass. And pass. They're still improved, but nothing will really breathe of moral victories against an Oregon squad that beats everyone to a pulp.

11. Cal

Last week: Oregon State 49, Cal 17

Trending: --

Sonny Dykes seems to be in a tougher position than we all thought. He took a while to grab a foothold at his last gig at Louisiana Tech -- we'll see if they're patient in Berkeley.

12. Colorado

Last week: Colorado 43, Charleston Southern 10

Trending: --

Every week, we wait for the Buffs to show signs of breaking through in some way. Each week, it's hard. This week, it was hard because they played Charleston Southern.

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